Knesset Member Molla in Messianic Money Jam

In what could be a tale of double deception, it’s been reported that Kadima MK Shlomo Molla - a member of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus - may have pocketed thousands of shekels in funds which were designated for the Ethiopian Jewish community by a very deceptive Christian missionary “rabbi” Jonathan Bernis of the Jewish Voice

YNET broke the story on October 12th and Molla – who claims he has since returned the funds – stated that, "The amount was given to me in trust to be transferred to an assistance fund for new immigrants from Ethiopia according to the criteria said to be set by the president of the organization, Jonathan Bernis, by the end of October… In telephone conversations and written correspondences over the past month, it was agreed that if the criteria were not stipulated by this time, the money would be returned to him."

(For those who know “rabbi” Jonathan Bernis, any “criteria” would likely be very evangelical and duplicitous in nature.)

On October 12th Jewish Israel received correspondence from a member of the Knesset who made mention of the Molla investigation. On October 13th and the morning of the 14th we sent email correspondence to that MK with pertinent information on the messianic organization the Jewish Voice. The emails included attachments as well as video clips documenting that organization’s missionary activities in Ethiopia. Excerpts from those videos appeared on the channel 1 (Mabat) news report on the evening of October 14th.

Jewish Israel regularly meets with members of the Knesset and rabbinic and community leaders to introduce them to our organization and its vital services, and to keep them abreast of the severity of the missionary situation in Israel. At present missionaries have infiltrated into, and enjoy significant influence in, the Israeli political arena, and in the private and public sectors of Israeli society.

A sampling of the information we sent to the Knesset MK is as follows:

• A number of video clips which appear on Youtube documenting the missionary targeting of Ethiopians in Gondar and Addis Ababa by the organization “the Jewish Voice”. See a sampling below:

• A document attesting to the distribution by the Jewish Voice of a missionary broadcasting device developed in Israel by an “Israeli technology company… owned by messianic believers”. (Here’s a new term to add to your evangelical lexicon: “missionpreneur”)

• Documentation as to the partnership between Pastor Jack Hayford and messianic “Rabbi” Jonathan Bernis of “the Jewish Voice”. Jack Hayford is actively promoting messianic Judaism in Israel. In addition he is the poster boy for the Ministy of Tourism, and he recently co-Chaired, with Robert Stearns, the Christian Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem – a mixed worship event with missionary and messianic church leaders joining together with Rabbi Riskin, Knesset members, and Jerusalem municipal representatives.

• Information that the once banned missionary network Daystar Television, which features fake rabbi, Jonathan Bernis and the Jewish Voice, has resumed broadcasting in Israel via HOT Telecommunication Systems. It’s been reported that Daystar has plans to open a new television studio here in Israel. In a previous report, Jewish Israel noted that Jonathan Bernis is featured on TBN – another major missionary network broadcasting in Israel which targets Russian immigrants.
(more on the Daystar development in our next blog post)

Jewish Israel would like to make it clear that we did not break the story on the Molla affair, nor are we involved in any way with the internal investigation. We simply provide what we deem to be vital information to members of the Israeli parliament.

The targeting of Ethiopian Jews and non-Jews by missionary elements in and outside of Israel has made headlines in recent years. In May 2008, Israel was raked over the coals by the international and Christian press, the State Department (and by Jewish leaders) when a municipal leader in the town of Or Yehuda was connected with the incineration of missionary materials (in accordance with halacha) which were allegedly distributed to the Ethiopian Jewish community in that town. Jewish Israel will continue to provide coverage of this potentially explosive issue with the hope that our government leaders act responsibly and enact immediate and comprehensive counter-missionary legislation.

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