Benjamin Netanyahu has been rightly credited with building strong ties between the American Christian Evangelical community which fervently loves, support and often visits Israel. Having seen their sincere and faithful hearts, he quickly knew it was to his advantage, not to mention the advantage of the country at large, to nurture and develop that relationship, and so he did as no other prime minister before him had ever done.
Among those close evangelical ties was that of Mike Evans, well-known author and the individual responsible for building the Friends of Zion Museum situated in the heart of Jerusalem. While Evans has been a frequent visitor and generous philanthropist of the Israeli nation and her people, he has chosen not to live here, even though his Jewish mother and grandparents qualify him for citizenship. Instead, he has stood behind the scenes, so to speak, making friends with political leaders, being an invited guest to many important Israeli events and also bestowing recognition on those from among the nations who have contributed to the many worthy causes which have helped to further the Jewish homeland, a great personal passion of his.
No one can dispute the sincerity and fervor of Bibi and Mike Evans for each other’s community, along with their commitment to respect and advance one another’s agenda. What is, however, in great dispute here is Netanyahu’s lack of commitment towards the estimated 30,000 Messianic Jews who are both citizens of Israel as well as the obvious lack of understanding on the part of Mike Evans for what his Jewish counterparts in the faith have endured over the last 12 years of the Netanyahu government.
While many among us gladly supported Bibi, believing that he was an advocate of freedom of religion and committed to Bible-believers, it took a few years before it became clear that with each election that he won, he would build his coalition largely made up of ultra-Orthodox and virulently anti-Messianic individuals. None were more zealous in their attempts to keep Messianic Jews from immigrating to Israel than those who controlled the Interior Ministry. Theirs seemed to be more than a job, but a charge in which they were committed to do all within their power to weed out and expose anyone who believed that Yeshua was the promised Messiah of whom the law and the prophets spoke. To them, having Jewish parents, grandparents and living a Jewish lifestyle was irrelevant. The minute they were discovered to be of that persuasion or even suspected of it, the door was slammed shut in their face. Told to go home or spend thousands of dollars in a court battle in order to obtain what was rightly theirs by birth were their two alternatives.
It’s hard to believe that Bibi knew nothing about this systematic practice given his exposure to so many American Christians who did know about it and might have told him. It’s hard to believe that over the last twelve years he hadn’t read any of a number of newspaper articles or caught televised programs which spoke about the issue at length, and it’s equally hard to believe that Mike Evans, who has close ties with civil rights attorneys here in the land who defend such Jewish-born individuals, in their lengthy legal battles for citizenship, would also not have heard about this troubling phenomenon which is completely antithetical to the very Biblical prophecies which he would surely claim to support and promote – that the Jewish people would be permitted to return to their homeland.
Undoubtedly it was much easier and far less controversial for both men not to bring up this sticky wicket of an issue. By not dealing with it, they could each continue to enjoy a warm, mutual friendship which was beneficial to one another, and so it went for these many years.
Now, suddenly as a new government looms on the horizon, ready to replace the longest-governing prime minister in Israel’s history, Mike Evans has done all he could to come to the rescue of his dear friend, Bibi. He has written a scathing article which has warned Israelis and others just how dangerous and unprovidential it would be to replace this government with one that he fears would put Israel in jeopardy, both from a security standpoint as well as many other ways. In his assumption that Bibi has been divinely placed in his position, Evans cannot and will not entertain that anything else is at play other than a vicious plot to unseat his trusted friend who is the only one able to steer this ship into the best possible waters.
Considering the fact that Evans does not live here nor has a horse in this race, as it relates to hostilities or consequences suffered by the Messianic Jewish population who have been wrongly maligned and labeled non-Jews, despite their choice to live here, follow the biblical laws and culturally live as other Jews, including participating in army service and other areas of service to the Israeli people, Mike Evans, despite his great accomplishments, tremendous generosity and fervent love of Israel, has not earned the right to interfere in the Israeli political system, something which he has done as he has vowed to do all he can to return Bibi to the helm of his ship.
Until and unless Mike Evans is ready to invest himself in everyday life, as the rest of us have, here in the Jewish homeland, and then fight for the rights of all Jews to return to their ancestral homeland, no matter what their personal faith or convictions, then he needs to respect those of us who are, each day, living the consequences of being second-class citizens, barely tolerated by those who would do all they could to strip us of our citizenship and rid the country of those they consider undesirable and traitors to their people.
Mike, if you are reading this, thank you for all you have done for the people of this country. Your contributions are not minimized in the least, but your interference into the prophetic plans of God are not a welcomed undertaking either by us, the members of the Israeli Messianic community nor by the Almighty Himself who will do whatever it takes to override and thwart the plans of anyone in the Israeli government who comes against the regathering of the exiles to their land – thus saith the Lord!