Jewish Journal

Messianic Jews petition Israeli high court for citizenship

by Brad A. Greenberg

May 8, 2009 | 8:43 pm

Three Brits have filed a petition with the Israel High Court of Justice. Their grievance? They’re Messianic Jews who say they have been denied citizenship because they are being religiously profiled as missionaries.

Messianics accept Jesus—or Yeshua—as the Messiah but also, in varying degrees, observe Jewish rituals. They’ve caused an uproar in Israel before. Last year religious Zionist rabbis called for a boycott of the Bible Quiz after they learned that one of the four finalists was a Messianic Jew. Weeks before that, 12 Messianics won a big Supreme Court decision when the high court ruled that they had the right of return.

The right of return is held by any person who has at least one Jewish grandparent. And these three Brits do. Here’s the story from YNet:

They claim they have appealed to the Interior Ministry a number of times but were rejected because they are Messianic Jews. They say the ministry sees members of their faith as missionaries and has denied their appeals for this reason.

The three say they have done nothing to warrant a denial of citizenship that is theirs by law and that they are Zionists who want to make Israel their home.

The petitioners claim the Interior Ministry is behaving in a discriminatory manner and persecuting them for their beliefs. The State’s response has not yet been filed.

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