For the first time in Israel’s history, a party comprised of Jewish and Christian candidates — both Messianic and Orthodox Jews together — is running in this year’s elections.
The Bible Bloc Party (Gush Hatanakhi in Hebrew) has received approval from the party registrar to run in the April 9 elections. The party began its campaign this week with a question-and-answer session in Jerusalem.
Avi Lipkin, the party leader, has talked about making this dream a reality for some 20 years now. Lipkin, an Orthodox Jew, has been speaking for years in Christian churches around the world warning them that, according to his belief, the ultimate goal of Islamists is to destroy Jews and Christians in a quest to dominate the world.
In his talks, Lipkin calls for Christians to stand with Israel and for an alliance between Jews and Christians. This party is a materialization of that vision.
“Jews and Christians have been hating each other for the last 2,000 years and I’ve been preaching for 20 years — which is only 1 percent of that — of the need for the hatred to stop and the loving to start,” Lipkin told Kehila News Israel. “This party is the start of that love.”
Lipkin has dedicated his years to fostering ties between Christians and Jews and Christian support for Israel. He is a rare Orthodox Jew who accepts both Christians and Messianic Jews as “brothers.”
“Either we hang together or hang separately,” he said.
Lipkin made aliyah at the age of 19, served in the Israel Defense Force and became a spokesman for the army. David Friedman, who also made aliyah from the U.S., is fourth out of five on the party list and served in the IDF with Lipkin. The party list also includes another Orthodox Jew, a Christian Arab and Christian married to a Messianic Jew.
The chances of the party getting enough votes to have representation in the next Knesset are slim. But the publicity would hopefully bring awareness to the inequalities faced by Messianic Jews and Christians, they say.
In his remarks at the Q&A, Friedman said it is time to stand up for what is important to us including “full civil rights” and better treatment for Messianic Jews and Christians living in Israel.
“I would work to change this at the government level so it would be one without prejudice,” Friedman said adding that he is not “naive enough” to think that will happen overnight.
The party will also push and prepare for aliyah. Lipkin, in his teachings, has said that he expects some 10 million new arrivals — mostly Jews along with their non-Jewish partners and children — to flee Western nations and an impending Holocaust of sorts against Jews there.
The party will take a tough stance on security issues including standing up to the “Islamic threat” stemming from the Palestinians and Iran. The Bible Bloc party is more politically aligned with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and its rightwing coalition than with challengers Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party in national security matters.
Friedman also wants to tackle the issue of abortion, which is legal and morally accepted in Israel, and the nation’s inefficient health care system where hospitals see 15 parent of patients sleeping in the hallways.
“This is a broken nation,” he said. “We all love this nation very much. I’d like to donate my time and energy. Our nation may not welcome me into the Knesset, but with God’s help they’ll get over it. Win or lose, this is a start.”