There is no greater societal weapon today than the label libel. It’s easy. If someone is not supportive of gay marriage, label them a homophobe. If someone is against the positions of a black politician, label them racist. The label libel works every time. It effectively shames and even destroys a person’s reputation. It happens all the time in America, but it’s also happening here in Israel. (Daughter of Holocaust Survivor Denied Citizenship and Will be Deported, JPost, Nov. 21, 2017) All Messianic Jews are “missionaries,” and with that label, the granting of citizenship is a non-starter, because once you are deemed to be a threat to the state, it doesn’t matter if you were born Jewish. It’s been an effective trick, but it has also been a despicable tool to keep out individuals who are eligible for citizenship through their bloodline and through their obvious passion and desire to be part of the homeland of the Jews with no goal to missionize.
I am one of those individuals who immigrated before the world of Google arrived. I would not be so fortunate today in obtaining my citizenship, but I can categorically say, I have never been or am now a “missionary.” I do not stand on street corners with a megaphone, and I do not scout out people upon whom to beat over the head with my message – unlike many orthodox Jews who accost drivers at intersections, either attempting to hand out their literature or solicit donations. I am a law-abiding citizen, a proud Jew and someone who gave up a comfortable life to live in the land of my forefathers (not that I’m living any less comfortably here). I bitterly resent those who believe as I do being libeled by the use of the “missionary” label. It is blatantly false and it is totally meant to prejudice the entire Israeli population against those who believe that the Messiah has already come in the person of Yeshua of Nazareth. It does not change one’s birthright any more than believing Rabbi Shneerson or Bar Kochba was the messiah. It is a result of this great prejudice and fear that I must withhold my name from this letter, but I will not withhold my voice in stating that turning away Messianic Jews to live in their rightful home is tantamount to turning away the ships of Jews who longed to come home but who were not permitted to do so. The world is becoming more and more a very dangerous place for any Jew, and no Jew can, in all good conscience, cut off a segment of their own flesh and blood from coming home simply by using the label libel. More than 15,000 of us are already here, serving in the army, working in Israeli society and paying taxes, living as cultural Israelis, often much more observant than many in the secular population. We harm no one and mostly live our lives quietly and peacefully. The time has come to accept all Jews for who they are, cease with the label libel and understand that Jews have never been a “one size fits all” people.