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Standing With Israel

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Hostile Environment


Bass himself was a victim of at least one attack by anti-missionary, Orthodox extremists. On Dec. 24, 2005, several hundred Orthodox Jews mobbed an outdoor service Bass held. The mob destroyed church equipment, terrorized congregants and threw Bass into a baptismal pool.
Bass has since sued Yad L'Achim, an Orthodox, anti-missionary organization he said is responsible for inciting the attack. A court decision in the case is due later this month.


On its website, Yad L'Achim asserts that missionaries are "devious" and are trying to "destroy the Jewish people." The organization makes no distinction in its website between missionaries and Messianic Jews. The site also goes as far as to accuse Messianic Jews of "playing the victim to the hilt" in reference to the Ortiz bombing.


Despite numerous attempts to reach members of Yad L'Achim, no one was made available for comment.


According to the 2009 International Religious Freedom Report issued by the U.S. Department of State, there are 10,000 Messianic Jews in Israel. The report documents several cases of violence against Messianic Jews, including one case on May 15 in which "ultra-Orthodox residents of the Tel Aviv suburb of Rehovot attacked and beat a group of Messianic Jews who were handing out New Testament pamphlets on the street."


Additionally, Bass cites a book published this week in Israel titled, The King's Torah. Bass said the book encourages the killing of gentiles and anyone else deemed to be a threat to Israel.
"We're seeing a spirit rising," Bass said, "where they feel they have a legitimate right to kill anyone who threatens the Jewish state."


Mentioning the book, David Ortiz agreed with Bass, calling the bombing and recent anti-Christian aggression "a shadow of things to come."


As for what the Ortiz family wishes for Teitel, Leah Ortiz said she hopes he will receive a sentence that is "equal to his crime." Because Israel has no death penalty, this very likely would mean life in prison.


Regardless of what happens in court, members of the Ortiz family say they have forgiven Teitel. David Ortiz hopes one day to sit down face-to-face with Teitel and talk. He said he hopes Teitel will become another Apostle Paul.


"There is something inside him that makes him want to kill people. If God has had mercy on me, maybe he'll have mercy on others," Ortiz said. "The Lord forgave David and many people in the Bible-my goal and my prayer for him is that he will repent and be saved."

 

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