Daniel Ayalon: Israel’s Ambassador for Christendom

Israel’s Foreign Ministry is sponsoring a bid to upgrade the status of evangelicals in Israel and recognize them as a sovereign group or an independent church. The Interior Ministry is opposing the move on the grounds that, “it would open the flood gates and similar requests from other religious groups would come pouring in.” But it’s likely that the Interior Ministry is also concerned about the missionary nightmare such an arrangement would unleash. It’s been reported that a joint committee from the two ministries will be established in order to find a solution.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon reportedly feels that the evangelicals, who “donate untold sums of money” and support Israeli public relations efforts within the US are deserving of this gesture.

The Israeli press placed an emphasis on tax and customs breaks, while the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) ran headlines , “Israel May Reward Christian Zionists for Faithfulness”, and pinned their hopes on the simplification of the visa process.

Jewish Israel has posted numerous reports on how Christian missionaries have used underhanded tactics to gain visa or even aliya rights in Israel. Below is an example of how a volunteer for Christian Friends of Israel (CFI) bragged about her visa status and used it to her advantage:

Erin Elizabeth Adams (now Erin Kol), managed to bring an Israeli policeman to Jesus and get him baptized and married. She wrote the following entries in her online diary:

"...And the most exciting part is that I am granted an automatic permanent visa in Israel - that's right! CFI is so highly respected by the Israeli government that I am granted automatic visa renewals without any trouble on a permanent status...Now I am watching my dreams unfold before me of being a permanent missionary/volunteer in Israel...This is my highest calling to the people of Israel... that they would know Messiah."

“I continue to work with the Ministry of Interior to obtain visas for all of our volunteers and I am also trying to recruit to fill a lot of open volunteer positions we have at CFI.”

For quite a while now Daniel Ayalon and his wife Anne – the daughter of devout evangelicals - have made it their business to court Christian groups.

While serving as Israeli ambassador to Washington, Danny Ayalon regularly spoke at church events and befriended a number of evangelical pastors – including those affiliated with groups like Assemblies of God. AOG actively targets Jews for conversion and Jewish Israel recently reported on the inroads AOG is making in Israel. The type of rhetoric Ayalon used at these meetings can still be found on the Israeli Embassy Website:

“Your Judeo-Christian heritage is entwined with ours…We are brothers, and we will dwell together in unity.”

Back in 2007, Ayalon- as the outgoing Israeli ambassador to Washington - told Christians sitting at a gala farewell banquet, that he intended to be “their ambassador to Israel”. And it seems he’s doing everything he can to make good on that pledge.

While running for the Knesset on the 2009 Yisrael Beiteinu ticket, Ayalon, criticized “the harsh policies against Christian volunteers living in the Holy Land”. An article which appeared in publications like the messianic magazine “Israel Today” and the evangelical publication “The Jerusalem Connection” quoted Danny Ayalon as saying, "We should be more open to our Christian brothers…Israel Beiteinu will push for making relations between Christians and Jews and Israelis much closer, much stronger."

The article brought up the issue of visas and noted that, “many Christian volunteers are now subject to tighter visa rules…”. It’s something of a disgrace that Daniel Ayalon and his wife are pictured in the article with the very people who tried to spiritually defraud the Jewish people by ripping the halachic and civil foundations out from under the Jewish State.

After the elections and Daniel’s appointment to the position of Deputy Foreign Minister, Anne Ayalon appeared on Christian missionary Daystar television boasting of her Christian evangelical roots. And very recently Daniel Ayalon completed a three-part interview with the highly controversial televangelist, Benny Hinn.

In Hebrew, the term “avoda zara” is literally translated as “strange worship”, and nothing is stranger (to us Jews) than the kind of worship Benny Hinn practices. It’s also strange to hear our secular Deputy Foreign Minister speaking about how we will continue “to live for God’s Glory”. Maybe Daniel’s been “touched” by Benny’s supernatural spirit, but it’s more likely that Anne has been training Danny in the fine art of speaking “Evangelese”.

Daniel Ayalon manages to get a plug in for Nefesh B’Nefesh on Hinn’s program. But do we Jews really want to be pooling our aliyah resources from the likes of shamans and showmen like Hinn? Is playing with Benny’s strange fire really good for the Jews and for Judaism?

Those who are enamored with the Palestinian pastor, counter by saying that he supports the territorial integrity and biblical mandate of Israel. But they should note that Hinn, the magician, can play two sides of the table at once. It’s Hinn who has the power to organize what was hailed as an “historic” and
“highly productive” meeting in Washington between top evangelical leaders and numerous Arab ambassadors. The sons of the founders of TBN and CBN, as well as Falwell Jr. were all present. Gordon Robertson (Pat’s son) proclaimed ,"now more than ever Christians need to reach out with love and compassion to the people of the Middle East. I join with Pastor Benny Hinn in reaching out to Israel with one arm and the Arab nations with the other.”

Of course for years we’ve all been hearing from the likes of Yechiel Eckstein and Isi Leibler that the evangelicals are "not monolithic”. But if that’s the case then why is Ayalon and the Foreign Ministry trying to create a colossus “Zionist”church. There are massive missionary problems that would be part of that parcel…

Will the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) which claims to represent 420 million evangelicals, and which openly calls for efforts to convert Jews, be included in the special Foreign Ministry status? And what about Jews for Jesus? They are an evangelical church by definition and members of the World Evangelical Alliance, the Evangelical Council on Financial Accountability, the Evangelical Alliance of Great Britain, the Evangelical Alliance of South Africa, the Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism, and the Evangelical Federation of France. J4J and all of their limbs are sure to request inclusion in the special status. And let’s not forget about all of the other “Zionist” evangelizing (missionizing) messianic entities which will be vying to be a part of the new Frankenstein monster established by Israel’s Foreign Ministry. In this case the Interior Ministry has great reason for concern.

Maybe Aish can set Daniel straight. He claims to study Torah each week at Yeshiva Aish HaTorah and was the 2008 recipient of their 'Builder of Jerusalem' award.

Is he building Jerusalem or helping to destroy it?

Just two weeks ago Ayalon was promising that he would not compromise Israel’s control of the Cenacle shrine on Mt. Zion, and headlines hailed him as a defender of King David’s Tomb. Jewish Israel expressed concerns about Daniel’s ability to hold his own in negotiations with the Vatican and we were somewhat relieved at reports that talks had failed due to “disagreement in respect to the Vatican's demand for sovereignty at the Last Supper Room on Jerusalem's Mount Zion.”

However, latest reports seem to indicate something of a softening in Ayalon’s stance over the room sitting above the traditional tomb of King David:

“Danny Ayalon, Israel's deputy foreign minister, said he hopes a compromise could be reached. But while Israel might consider giving the Vatican a greater role in operating the site, he warned that turning over sovereignty is unlikely.”

[note: Jewish Israel had warned in our report that the “language “ was changing and could be a factor]

In addition to the Foreign Ministry’s plans to upgrade evangelical church status, and possibly compromise on Mt. Zion, Israel’s Tourism Ministry recently announced a three-year plan which sets their sights on “Evangelical Christians, Russian Orthodox and Catholic Christians”. It seems the Ministry of Interior sure could use some support from the Jewish man or woman on the street who wants to keep the Israeli street, and State of Israel, Jewish.

Write to:
Interior Minister Eli Yishai: eyishay@knesset.gov.il
and register your protest at the Foreign Ministry to:
Foreign Ministry Avigdor Liberman: aliberman@knesset.gov.il
Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon : dayalon@knesset.gov.il

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Comment by ellen on January 5, 2010 at 10:14am
There are enormous halachic and ethical questions that should be directed to, and addressed by, Daniel Ayalon and his wife. One can’t help but feel that the character and very nature of the of the Jewish state is being compromised. One would think that an Israeli government minister and diplomat who is the husband of a purported convert to Judaism would be especially careful and a master at drawing appropriate, meticulous and definitive lines between faiths. Indeed he is under special obligation to do so.
Comment by Captain Q. on January 5, 2010 at 8:23am
Well, Rabbi Sanders, that's pretty much what we at Jewish Israel have been wondering all this time. But, yes, we haven't asked it so bluntly, because our policy is to document facts and avoid assumptions.

However, even should this assumption be nothing more than that, the matter of Israel having such persons serving in any relevant government capacity remains problematic, certainly more so with his continuing association with and praises of everything detrimental to the spiritual well-being of Am Yisrael.
Comment by Gavriel Sanders on January 5, 2010 at 12:51am
Has anyone even dared ask or raise the obvious question about Danny Ayalon in all this? First, is his wife an evangelical believer? If yes, she is instructed by the Christian scriptures not to be "unequally yoked with an unbeliever", which is the apostle Paul's way of saying believers should only marry believers. If - and I admit it's a big if because I don't know (yet) - she married him as a believer who is committed to follow New Testament doctrine, then it's natural to ask - is Danny Ayalon a secret believer in Jesus?

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