The Jewish Agency will for the first time include a Evangelist on its board of directors in exchange for a pledge by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) to contribute NIS 180 million over the next three years for immigration and absorption, it was reported at the weekend.
The IFCJ, headed by Yechiel Eckstein, has already contributed tens of millions of shekels raised by the evangelical community in the United States. “It is a badge of honor to the non-Jewish supporters of Israel around the world that they have put strengthening Israel at the top of their priorities,” declared Jewish Agency Chairman Ze’ev Bielski.
However, sources within the Jewish Agency are furious at the decision. “Just because the Jewish Agency is short on money, it signs an agreement to bring in a Christian partner and obligates itself to advance Christian causes in Israel and abroad,” an angry official told Maariv.
Yad L’Achim, the countermissionary organization, released a statement saying that behind the evangelicals’ friendship with Israel is a belief that once all Jews are in Israel, they will convert or operate in accordance with Christian teachings.
Yad L’Achim Chairman Rabbi Sholom Dov Lifschitz expressed outrage at the decision. “Jews have throughout the generations given their lives to resist the faith of that man and here, in Israel, in broad daylight, the Jewish Agency appoints evangelical Christians whose beliefs are clear, to become an integral part of its management.
“The Jewish Agency will become the Christian Missionary Agency. Through their big payoff, the missionaries are gaining control of Israel and getting closer to their [goal] that there should be no remnant of the Jewish people.”
Rabbi Lifschitz is writing to heads of Jewish communities around the world, including Jewish Agency board members, to revoke the decision.