In an apparent infringement on personal privacy legislation and in defiance of
laws preventing incitement, an anonymous group has taken to distributing flyers
“naming and shaming” Messianic Jews (Christians) living in the Jerusalem-area
town of Mevaseret Zion.
The personal details of some 10 people, including
photographs and home addresses, are displayed on the flyer, which was delivered
to hundreds of households in the town of 30,000 residents.
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me of actions taken by the Ku Klux Klan in the US,” commented one of those
listed on the flyer, a Jerusalem-based lawyer who made aliya in 1992. “It is
anonymous persecution of others just because they do not agree with our
According to the lawyer, who asked not to be named, it is not
clear who is behind the distribution of such material, but the 30 or so
Messianic Jewish families that live in Mevaseret Zion are used to such
“There has been a clear campaign against Messianic Jews here,” he
said, pointing to a recent court case involving a family that accused the
community of trying to indoctrinate their daughter.
The lawyer said the
case was thrown out of court last month.
“Most of the Messianic Jews here
just want to live their lives quietly and mind their own business,” he
“Most are an integral part of society and contribute in many ways
such as serving in the army and being productive citizens. This behavior is just
As well as the 30 or so families living in
Mevaseret Zion, the nearby Yad Hashmona community is home to a further 30
families which, while honoring many Jewish traditions, also believe that Jesus
is the messiah. Estimates put the number of Messianic Jews that live in Israel
at about 15,000. The community has been subject to attacks in the
The lawyer said out that while there are laws in Israel against
proselytizing or forcing individuals to join a religion, legislation protecting
freedom of religion and practice are stronger.
“Israel encourages freedom
of religion,” he said, adding that most Mevaseret Zion residents have spoken out
against the flyers and showed their support for the Messianic Jewish
“We have been very encouraged by the response of other
residents,” he added.
Arie Shaman, the head of Mevaseret Zion’s
municipal, council told The Jerusalem Post
on Thursday that while he had not
seen the flyer, he was aware of some families protesting the presence of
Messianic Jews in the town.
“There was a public protest here a month ago
where a family claimed that their daughter had been indoctrinated by Messianic
Jews, but we are a mixed community in Mevaseret Zion and have many people
practicing all different religions,” he said, adding that Jews of all
affiliations live in his town and families practicing other religions
“We provide municipal services to all our residents regardless of
their beliefs,” said Shaman, claiming that the distribution of such a flyer
breaks privacy laws.
“If we find that to be true, then this could be a
case for the police,” he said. “We will need to look into it.”
spokesman could not comment Thursday on whether an investigation would be