On February 11, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI, announced that he would resign from the papacy, effective February 28. Few popes have been vilified in Israel the way he was. Unwilling to repeat the claims, let me just soften them, "He was born in Germany; he is the proof that the Church is anti-Semitic." The exact accusation is utterly ridiculous and by far less credible than the fact that Israel is actively anti-Christian. There is no need to perform a deep historical review to reach such a conclusion; three days before the Pope's dramatic announcement, Israel's Supreme Court approved anti-Christian activity.
Supreme Court Rules Discrimination
The ruling came two years after Galei Tzahal (“IDF Waves,” the Army Radio) censored an ad by Yad La'Achim ("Hand to the Brothers," a Jewish missionary organization). The banned ad was: "Soul, don't let them trick your soul!" The first "soul" is roughly parallel in its use to the English "dear." It was a warning against Christian missionaries. The wildly-humanist radio station judged it "too-Jewish" (as reported to the Court) and decided to ban it.
Asher Grunis, President of the Supreme Court, approved a softer text (I am faithful to the Hebrew phrasing): "If they tried to influence you to change your mind while offering you goods, it is a criminal offense. Ask for details at Yad La'Achim." The Hebrew advertising world didn't lose much when Mr. Grunis chose Law School.
The Israeli Supreme Court is notorious for its partial rulings; in the past I reported on its systematic annulment of marriages, when the couples are not to the liking of the State. Other cases, mainly related to settlers in the West Bank, periodically reach the headlines. In the case of missionary activity, Israeli law is odd. The activity is permitted as long as no goods are offered. Did the missionary give you a free Bible? If so, he committed a criminal offense. This explains the rephrasing proposed by Mr. Grunis. However, this is observed only towards non-Jewish missionaries while most of the activity in the field is carried out by Jewish-missionaries. Don't get me wrong, they are not active either among Muslims or Christians.
The Unholy Trinity
Three missionary organizations can be seen among Jewish communities in Israel and abroad. The abovementioned Yad La'Achim is an ultra-Orthodox missionary organization trying to bring secular Jews back to orthodoxy; they also carry out campaigns against Christian missionaries, like the one that reached Court. Lev La'Achim (Heart to the Brothers) split from the first in 1995, mainly due to a schism between leading rabbis. Both act in a similar fashion. The third and best known outside Israel is Chabad, an ultra-Orthodox Hasidic organization which centers on bringing secular Jews back to orthodoxy, but on the Hasidic side of the Jewish-spectrum. Chabad is intensely active in places visited by young Israelis who have ended their military service; the sign in the picture above is at their Bolivian branch in La Paz.
These three organizations are allowed to work freely in Israel, despite the abovementioned Israeli law. Moreover, Chabad can be seen entering IDF bases on Fridays, where they often give soldiers "little gifts." Notoriously, during Hanukkah they hand plastic bags with an image of the Rabbi of Lubavitch and a few coins. That man is promoted by them as the Messiah (the bottom line in the sign showing him, roughly reads "Long Live to Our Lord, Our Teacher, and Our Rabbi, the King Messiah, Forever and Everywhere"). They are committing what the President of the Supreme Court defined as a criminal offense. Yet, since they are Jews, this is ignored by the State. Even the IDF ignores the fact that civilians are not allowed into military bases, opening its gates as wide as possible when Chabad approaches them.
"Yeshu = Yeshua = Yeshuaa" | Missionaries near Haifa
The Jewish reprisal to Christian missionaries is often violent. Most of them come in the form of pamphlets and signs disclosing identities, addresses, and methods of operation. In essence, this is a thin hint "their blood is permitted." The first image in this page contains one such pamphlet. It is difficult to understand why the people who don't get tired of talking about the Nazi censorship, propaganda, and violence against the Jews, are doing similar things towards others. Does this make them better than the Nazis?
However, reprisals run deeper than that. Rabbi Zephaniah Drori, Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Shmona opted for a wild reaction towards the letters sent by missionaries to the town's denizens. He decided to frighten civil servants, by sending an open letter to the post office, complaining that postmen were being forced to distribute Christian missionary literature which contravenes their conscience and religion. The latter was never proven. Israeli law cannot prevent the dissemination of the letters. Moreover, the rabbi couldn't prove that Christians were forcing the postmen to do their jobs; no missionary was found aiming a weapon at a postman. Yet, Zionist propaganda keeps working. The entire world is against the Jews, even the postmen, and the Pope is a...