MK to Be Featured Speaker at Missionary Event
Norwegian Jews are deeply concerned over a planned missionary convention in Oslo on Sept. 3 that is to feature an Israeli MK as its main speaker.
Oslo city hall (by Frobber)

The convention, billed as the Oslo Coalition Jubilee Conference, brings together leading missionary organizations to, as its own literature asserts, "ensure representation of a broad specter of religious organizations involved in missionary activities" in drafting a "Code for Conduct for Missionary Activities."

Among the groups that are signed on the invitation to attend the conference are the Norwegian Church Ministry to Israel, the notorious missionary organization Scripture and Israel and two other groups identified with the missionaries.

Yad L'Achim chairman Harav Shalom Dov Lifschitz received distressed letters from mitzvah-observant Jews in Norway who view with the utmost gravity the planned event, including the baffling participation of Israeli Foreign Ministry officials and MK Michael Melchior, who is scheduled to be the main speaker.

"To our great sorrow," begins a letter from The Center Against Antisemitism (SMA) to Rav Lifschitz, "we are witness to a cooperative effort between Jews and missionaries. This cooperation makes it more difficult to expose harmful activities. In this instance, the Jews who are cooperating with the missionaries are doing so to collect money, some of which is directed at open, legitimate goals and some of which goes to a hidden agenda."

The center warns that the "relatively modest support for legitimate, above-board objectives is used to get innocent donors to give large sums, most of which is directed at converting Jews from their religion."

MK Melchior defended his decision to attend the event in a written response: "The event in question is the central event of friendship organizations of Israel, which includes the Jewish community. Therefore I responded positively to the request of the organizations to appear as the main speaker in an evening saluting Israel."

Harav Lifschitz was not satisfied by Melchior's response. "Is he unable to see the great damage that comes from legitimizing the mission, which occurs when a person of his stature participates in this event? He himself doesn't deny that missionaries are among the organizers. Isn't it clear that his very appearance there, certainly as a main speaker, will be used by the mission as a means to continue its destructive activities?"

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