Evangelicals Urge Police to Act on Harassment of Messianic Jews

Christian official condemns last month's attack, which injured youth in Ariel's small missionary community.

A leading evangelical organization in Israel has called on local police to stop "overlooking" cases of "harassment, intimidation and even physical violence" against messianic Jews, in the wake of last month's attack, which seriously injured a member of Ariel's small Christian missionary community. In an open letter released Sunday, the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem condemned the attack against 15-year-old Ami Ortiz, son of prominent messianic pastor David Ortiz, breaking some three weeks of silence on the subject.

"We urge Israeli authorities to take this criminal assault seriously, and to commit all the resources, manpower and willpower necessary to see the investigation through to conclusion and to prosecute to the fullest those deemed responsible," the statement read.

"The 'Purim gift basket bombing' has caught the attention of the Christian world and Israel needs to assure everyone that it is indeed a democracy that safeguards the rights and lives of its religious minorities."

The organization refrained from reacting to the attack earlier, the statement said, "in hopes the police investigation would quickly identify those responsible for this appalling act."