Messianic IDF officer praised in local Jerusalem newspaper

Israeli Air Force First Lieutenant M. (Photo: IDF Spokesperson)

Local Jerusalem newspaper, Mynet Jerusalem reported on Friday about a “local pride” for Jerusalem – a 22-year-old officer who just graduated the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operator course. What stands out in this report is that Mynet noted clearly that the officer is a Messianic Jew.

The full report stated as following: “Pride: First Lieutenant M., 22 years old who grew up in Argentina, graduated this week the course for UAV operators. M studied at Ankori High school in Jerusalem and belongs to the Messianic community in Jerusalem. When he finished his studies, he delayed his military service for public diplomacy travels around the world to speak about Israel and the Messianic community. After he was recruited into the artillery corps and put in regiment 402, he continued to a commander course, and after that went to officer’s training school.”

KNI could not contact the officer directly because the Israeli Defense Forces prohibits soldiers in high security clearance positions for giving unauthorized interviews, but our sources have confirmed that he is indeed a member of a local Messianic congregation.

Mynet Jerusalem only posted a photo from the IDF Spokesperson with text on their Facebook account, without a full article. We tracked down the original article about M., which was published on June 16 on the Israeli Air Force (IAF) website in Hebrew only. The article focuses on his military career and how he went from the artillery corps to the UAV operators unit in the IAF, but it mentions his faith in passing. In the article, M. says that he was born in Israel, but lived one and a half years in Argentina and five years in the US. “We are a family of Messianic Jews, which brought us to go between congregations and organizations in different countries. Our faith is that Yeshua is the Messiah of the Jewish people and of the entire world, and that he came to save us and connect our hearts to God.” The article states that he is a leader in a congregation “which meets regularly to read together in the Bible and sing songs.”

The article then continues to describe how he received an opportunity to skip serving in the IDF and go directly to college or university after high school. At that point of indecision he tells the interviewer, “The percentage of people who serve in the IDF and are motivated is very high among Messianic Jews,” and explains how he finally decided to do his army service.

At this point, the article defines which different roles he has had in the IDF and how he progressed from an officer in the artillery corps into becoming a UAV operator. The article heavily emphasizes how thankful he is for the way the army developed him into the person he is. The subtitle of the article states: “He almost gave up on his military service, and a pilot course was not in his plans. After he became an outstanding officer in the artillery corps and filled different roles, where he also risked his life in situations where the UAV above him often was the defining force – First Lieutenant M. was impressed by the skills of the UAV operators and their defining role in the campaign. So when he received an unusual opportunity to go to a course for UAV operators, he didn’t hesitate for a moment.”

The Messianic community in Israel is still small and unknown to many. But as we can see in this example, we have many ambassadors who bring us pride. The more we are, the more of us will be visible in places like these, and it will be harder for our opponents to dismiss us or pretend we don’t exist.

The Mynet Facebook post had a few comments by people asking: “What is the Messianic community – Christians?” and one helpful commenter helped them out by quoting from Wikipedia that “Messianic Judaism is a religious movement which blends faith in Jesus with Jewish identity.”