From Prison to Power Broker

The spiritual butcher is back in Israel to slay Messianics once again.

Update Jan 10, 2016: The Israeli Cabinet Ministers approved Deri’s appointment to Ministry of Interior.

Aryeh Deri is the head of Shas political party in Israel. It seems imminent the Prime Minister will appoint him to take the office of Interior Ministry. This is the office who will decide who gets visas in Israel today, who can stay and who must pack up and get out. Deri is as a spiritual butcher and I personally have seen many distraught a person because of his firm stance on the issue in the past. Shas has always pushed to rid Israel of Messianics.

After serving a prison term for stealing funds (corruption) he has returned with a vengeance. He recently served as Israel’s Minister of Economy, but resigned and took the Ministry for the Development of the Negev and Galilee. He resignation was due to his thwarting the progress of Israel’s oil and gas plan for our newly discovered huge Leviathan field. The oil discovery keeps Israel heartily prosperous for years to come but also gives the nations a reason to want to take our spoil. Jealousy is cruel as the grave the Bible teaches. We must be looking like the big prize right about now to those nations prophesied to come and make war with us. It’s doubtful the nations want our Wailing Wall or ancient Torahs to take for spoil. Perhaps Mike Huckabee seems a threat to Deri as he sees Mike bringing in busloads of Christians to stay, should he win the presidency in 2016. Whatever the reason, Deri is back now and this forces us believers in Israel to be in a very good place, on our knees in prayer.

Some ministries have volunteers who will not be given a renewed visa to work in Israel or volunteer now. In the past, ministries were really hurting but his anti-Messianic Jew views caused Christian ministries to hire Israeli believers and that was a good thing. Contrary to some Christian leaders stance and outright hypocrisy, native-born Israelis make excellent leaders if they are understood and truly stood by. Deep rooted Israelis can understand a ministry “in an Israeli fashion” in ways Christians who are not born or grew up here will ever know. Jews in general can make a case for Messiah which is very compelling and therefore a threat to Deri and Shas. Not unlike in the days of Jesus the thinking was then as it is now. We are a threat to Deri because the local people may like us better than them, i.e. Shas vs. Messianic Jews.

We Messianics and Christians, however, can learn from Shas. Once a small disorganized handful of Sephardim (Sephardic Jews, Spanish and Arabic countries respectively), who felt marginalized. They organized themselves, grew and now have great power in Israel. It is this ultra-Orthodox fold who decides the fate of the next Prime Minister because their once pitiful vote now is the swaying factor in our elections. If you don’t have Shas onboard, well you may as well go home too, visa or not, because you’re not getting the election victory without them! Our politicians know that all too well, so we continue to give hoards of monies to Yeshivas (schools for the religious adults) and all other demands they request, including the thorn in the flesh refusal of army service. Many Israelis feel the ultra-Orthodox should share the burden with everyone else and serve in the army.

These are issues that we have to ask ourselves if we shouldn’t be protesting as Shas once did. Should Messianics just sit by and pray but not get involved to raise our voices? Shas spoke up, grew and gathered herself as a larger voice. Can we do that? Will our voice be heard or will we be that pathetic little still voice that no one takes seriously? An active government minister in the government once told me this is the opinion in the government of Messianics. We have no voice here, not a loud one, not an impacting one in the issues of everyday life as this Deri issue now again. Perhaps if we stood up and challenged his coming back he may not get the job. Perhaps if we made problems it would be good for the Jew. Taking no stance is worse than a small stance. Will we be so silent that we will be pushed all the way into the corner? Shas did not let the bullies do that and I think we ought not either.

We need to stand and stand together tall. If we all stand there will be no visas denied. If we would just make that stand as a body unified for the sake of being unified on the right to be here as Jews. If we know we are still Jewish and our mothers are still Jewish and Jesus was Jewish don’t we fall into the right of return? Cannot we challenge this as we have done other things legally when pushed? Perhaps we are too comfortable, too prosperous so we don’t want to make waves. Well there will be plenty to pay if we think in that fashion. Yeshua made waves and plenty of them. We may as well dilute the whole bucket and become assimilated if we make no distinction between us and the rest of the folk in the land. I for one want to make a difference with the faith. I am not content to sit and do nothing raking in my support and things going along as usual. I think we can stand up together and be heard. It’s about time we did that.

In the past Deri has wreaked havoc on Messianic Jews and Christians alike in Israel. He has inflicted many spiritual bruises on the body of Christ who are faithful in Israel. He was responsible for many Christians departing the holy land after years of service in ministries. Many whom had served for institutes and churches were simply out the door when he was previously was in power. As of today we are in the position of seeing that happen now again in our midst.

Messianic lawyers have worked hard to ensure many can rightfully stay in the land during trials of threatened Messianics deportation. Legal measures are exercised but the fight can be draining and some cannot take the pressure upon being accused of the crime of simply being Messianic. The Supreme Court did rule in 1989 that Messianic was “another religion” and could not be eligible to return to Israel as a Jew. Should we let that alone and not attempt to overthrow that law? Who else will overthrow that law if we don’t try? I can promise you Deri will once again set his eyes on us the believers to destroy us as before. He had many moments in his prison cell to think how he could do it better next time, this spiritual butcher of the Lord’s peace and his people. The spirit of the anti-Christ raises its ugly head again to hinder and make war on the saints and is so close, it’s at the very door.