PM’s Serious Identity Blunder
“But the important thing is that the young Israeli who openly declares his faith in Yeshu, now works in a key position and represents the Israeli government.” (From “Hakehillah”, the information portal of the Christian-Messianic community in Israel. April 24th, ’18)
PM Netanyahu’s close relations with missionary personalities and groups is a known thing. The Israeli Left cannot oppose those ties for ideological reasons. And the Israeli Right and religious, who in general do not have a problem accepting contributions from Christian organizations, cannot oppose those ties – for practical reasons.
It is not implausible that the PM’s close ties with these missionary organizations are what caused him to appoint Hananya Naftali, a self-declared senior missionary, Evangelist messianic Christian as his deputy media advisor. Naftali’s professional qualities are presumably excellent. So who are we to interfere in the personal beliefs and opinions of a public official?
That is the entire point. This is about the State, not a private business. And the State of Israel is not a state of all its citizens. It is a Jewish state.
If Naftali had been appointed to a senior position in a private company, it would really be wrong to interfere. But the Prime Minister’s Office is the most public place that we can think of. It is the place from which the entire Nation of Israel is led. Jewish history is being written there today, in Jerusalem. Not in New York and not anywhere else.
Christianity is like fire. It persecuted us with cruelty, burned us in the Crusades and the pyres of the Inquisition and was the central incentive for the pogroms and holocausts that have befallen our Nation.
On the other hand, the Christian belief in the Bible is what brought about the Balfour Declaration, and in no small measure, the establishment of the State of Israel (any and all channels are open to G-d). More recently, it has been behind the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem (against Netanyahu’s will).
We have to be very careful of this fire – to understand its motivations, to respect its good will – and to be able to differentiate between its benefits and its dangers.
Netanyahu does not have the tools to understand where that fine line runs. He has stepped beyond the border. The voice that emerges from the PM’s office to the media will no longer be the voice of the Jewish Nation. Now, Netanyahu has placed “in a key position, representing the Israeli government” the voice of missionizing Christianity.