This post is written by a member of the Messianic community in Israel or guest contributor. The opinions and views expressed are solely those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Kehila News Israel.

An Open Letter to the Ministry of Interior

It seems to be time to seriously consider engaging in some much-needed damage control. As the sole arbiters of matters concerning life, death, birth, marriage and everything else connected to registry as a Jew and the accompanying status, benefits and privileges which follow, you have a massively great obligation to all Jewish-born individuals and their offspring who, by virtue of the Law of Return have the right to live in Israel and be counted among her people.

Yet, for many who otherwise qualify as Jews, your personal prejudices, suspicions and unjustified fears have dominated your rulings, denying those who may not necessarily adhere to one brand of the Jewish religion or who may have, unfortunately, been born in what you consider to be the wrong country. This is both morally unconscionable and the highest level of betrayal to those who would have, without a doubt, suffered and been killed at other times in history for their bloodline.

Do you think that your refusals to allow all Jews of all stripes to live in their ancestral homeland embodies the sacred work with which you have been entrusted? Do you think that you are gaining respect and honor by others who have paid close attention to your arbitrary and discriminatory decisions which run counter to the laws which were established concerning true eligibility for citizenship and registry as a Jew?

How long will it be before non-Jewish lovers and supporters of the Zionist State discover your systematic “selection” lines and decide that they will no longer support, either with their presence or finances, a state which turns away its own simply because they are not deemed to be the right kind of Jews?

The Interior Ministry has been cited as ‘un-Jewing’ citizens through probes” and this is highly disturbing because it makes any Jewish citizen subject to suspicion and paranoia, if they have already received Israeli citizenship, but are suddenly reviewed in an attempt to have that status revoked simply because someone in the Ministry has found what they considered to be a strong case against them. This includes large swaths of the population such as all Ethiopian and Russian Jews, all Messianic Jews already living in the country, Jews by birth who may have been adopted by non-Jewish parents and that’s just the beginning.

If one’s religious affiliation continues to be the only acid-test of who is deemed to be a real Jew, then, perhaps, the non-observant, atheists and agnostics and others of a different persuasion may also be in jeopardy of losing their Jewish status. What about the Jewish gay community? What about Israelis who marry outside the faith? Let’s face it, pretty much everyone can be up for grabs.

Is this the kind of refuge and safe haven Israel was intended to be for her people? Is this the kind of state we are now becoming? Will Jews run the risk of being turned away from their shores as the world becomes an increasingly more dangerous place in which to live?

I, for one, do not believe that the vast majority of Israelis agree with this distortion of Israeli law which is being executed by a handful of orthodox zealots who have a lock on matters of life and death and the ultimate sword to wield against any of their people who don’t pass their smell test.

Only a few weeks have passed since Yom Kippur, the day in which we are all to do some inward soul searching in order to righteously evaluate how we relate to God and treat our fellow man. Those of you who work in the Interior Ministry and have this ultimate power need to take an extended moment to reflect upon the evils which you have chosen to perpetuate amongst your own – those who are your kin but with whose pedigrees you may find fault. You need to do it because others are closely watching, and because it falls into the category of acts of unrighteous judgment, but most of all, because it is the right thing to do.

Israel must be a home for all Jews, and maybe the one who expressed it best said was the new head of the Jewish Agency, Isaac Herzog who said, “We need to do whatever we can to unify the Jewish people, make sure the Jewish people are not torn apart. “A Jew is a Jew is a Jew, and it doesn’t matter what kippa he wears or does not wear and what stream he belongs to. We are one people.”

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