What would Bubbe say if her little blue JNF box suddenly bore a cross?
These days the Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) is not only fighting fierce forest fires, but they also appear to be fanning the "fire and brimstone" by collaborating with evangelical end-timers from BibleLandTrees.org (also accessed via BibleLandTrees.com).
JNF is engaged in a partnership with BibleLandTrees.org, granting them the exclusive rights to sell Bible Land tree certificates to new Christian/Evangelical customers. JNF's CEO Russell Robertson writes,
"Now JNF invites its Christian brothers to join this most hallowed endeavor of planting trees in the Promised Land – through the auspices of the BibleLandTrees.org."
Jewish Israel would like to point out to JNF that what is "hallowed" for the Jews is very different from that which is "hallowed" for the Christians.
The Bible Land Trees homepage states, "The Bible tells us that Jesus the Messiah will come only after the Jewish People have returned to the Land of Israel and it is well populated and fruitful."
The videos and written content on the site are highly christ-centered and eschatological in nature- with an emphasis on new testament scripture, end-times prophecy, and references to jesus as king, savior and messiah. As an example, one featured video clip says, "And we plant trees so the land will blossom for his [jesus’] coming" (Bubbe would plotz over that one).
The homepage advertises a free gift of wild flower seeds from the Bible Land. The "Flowers of Faith" promotion links to a page quoting Matthew, and saying among other things, "Grow flowers of the Bible Land and grow your faith in our Lord and in the Bible Prophecies of His Return"
GOOGLE "Bible Land Trees" and you’ll get a reference for "…help bloom Jesus land"
As of this posting Jewish Israel does not know who the folks are at biblelandtrees.org. The about us page only refers to "a non-sectarian, non-political group of Jews and Christians based in Jerusalem, the Galilee and the Tel Aviv area of Israel. "
In fact, outside of Matthew and Luke, some Jewish prophets, and JNF’s CEO, the only other personality quoted in relation to this project is Pastor David Decker (Dekker) – and he’s a known missionary (although some Jewish activists will tell you that Decker "is completely kosher").
Pastor Decker – who reportedly entered Israel as a covert missionary - has made his mark in Israel via the establishment of messianic congregations and a church. His son Michael is with the law offices of Yehuda Raveh and is "an activist at the Jerusalem Institute of Justice [JIJ], and assists many Christian and Messianic families in immigrating into Israel and in receiving various visas in Israel. Furthermore, Michael is desirous of educating the local and foreign Messianic and Christian community regarding their rights in the Israeli democratic state, with the objective of advancing freedom of religion and equality to all sectors of society…"
In relation to our report, Jewish Israel was referred to a JNF representative and we wrote to him asking the following:
"Do you feel that this evangelical partnership and site [BibleLandTrees.org] is in keeping with the spirit of JNF whose mission it is ‘to serve as caretaker of the land of Israel, on behalf of its owners—Jewish people everywhere.’?"
Don’t you feel it would be appropriate for the KKL- JNF to request that their Christian partners respect the Jewish nature and sensitivities of Israel and her people by refraining from advertising overt religious messages that run contrary to the very foundations of Judaism and the aspirations of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel?
We will let our readership know if and when we receive a reply.
JNF’s “Gospel” to rival “Jesus “
Recent headlines from BiblePlaces.com claim that the Israeli Government, via the Jewish National Fund, plans to build “a rival Jesus Trail”, called the “Gospel Trail”:
“The trail - like its name - is almost identical to the Jesus Trail... It will be signposted by black basalt stone markers very expensive to prepare. New trails will be blazed - and the cost: three
million shekels, with an option of development.”JNF promotes Bar/Bat Mitzvah venue with “Israeli and Finnish believers in Jesus Christ” On the JNF site under the heading Places where a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Ceremony can be held, one can find the messianic village of Yad Hashmona featured:
Nestled in the Judean hills about ten miles west of Jerusalem, Yad HaShmonah is a thriving moshav (communal settlement) composed of Israeli and Finnish believers in Jesus Christ.
Its newly constructed biblical gardens are a perfect if you want your guests to have a first person view of agricultural life in the time of the patriarchs.
The ceremony can be held in the ancient synagogue, and the reception area can be held in the conference hall, the gardens, or in one of two Bedouin tents, all offering spectacular views.