April 21, 2008
Messianic Jews Win Citizenship Victory in Israel
Supreme Court rules Messianic believers must be granted citizenship rights in many cases.
For decades, Israel has made it next to impossible for immigrant Messianic Jews, who affirm belief in Jesus as Messiah, to become citizens of Israel. Often, if Messianic believers disclosed their faith in 'Yeshua,' the name they use for Jesus, government authorities would reject their citizenship application.
But last week, the Supreme Court of Israel, ruled on a case involved 12 Messianic Jews who sued the government Ministry of the Interior for their legal 'right of return' (and then to become citizens of Israel).
The court in its ruling said:
The parties have submitted to us the following notification:
"In their notification dated 13.04.08 the Respondents declared, that the fact that a person is a "Messianic Jew" has no bearing on an application according to Sec. 7 of the Law of Citizenship, as well as an application according to Sec. 4(A)(a) of the Law of Return (as long as the person applying according the abovementioned section of the Law of Return is not considered to be Jewish, as described in section 4B of the Law of Return).
The Respondents declare that in accordance with their notification they will process the applications of all Petitioners as soon as possible, as well as the application of Alvetina Zibareva, and Valentina Zibareva who requested to join the petition on 01.04.08 to the extent that their request is similar.
Due to these circumstances the representatives of the Petitioners requested to remove the petition without a ruling regarding court costs.
The Petition is removed by consent as aforesaid.
One blogger explains the ruling this way:
I received a communication today that clarifies the settlement reached yesterday in Israel...
The ruling would not cover all Messianic Jews, but would cover many of them: If a person was not a Jew previously (religious definition) but is a descendant of Jews, then they can make aliyah (citizenship) without discrimination for their current faith in Yeshua.
According to CBN:
"This is yet another battle won in our war to establish equality in Israel for the Messianic Jewish community just like every other legitimate stream of faith within the Jewish world," said Calev Myers, founder and chief counsel of the Jerusalem Institute of Justice.
Messianic belivers in Israel were wondering whether the recent bomb attack on Ami Ortiz, the son of Messianic pastor, had any influence on the court's ruling. Ortiz was severely injured in the incident and is expected to be in recovery for months to come.