ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Jewish extremists try to interrupt Messianic Jewish event in Jerusalem

Protesters attempt to break into main hall, block participants from getting to convention; police arrest activist for allegedly attacking officer

Michael Horovitz is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel

Jewish extremists from the Or l'Achim and Lehava organizations scuffle with police outside a Messianic Jewish convention in Jerusalem, June 22, 2023. (Twitter video screenshot: Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Jewish extremists from the Or l'Achim and Lehava organizations scuffle with police outside a Messianic Jewish convention in Jerusalem, June 22, 2023. (Twitter video screenshot: Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Jewish extremists attempted to disrupt a convention of Messianic Jews in Jerusalem on Thursday.

Activists from the Lehava organization, which opposes interfaith and interethnic relationships and marriages, and Or l’Achim, an organization that tries to counter Christian proselytization in Israel, tried to block participants from attending the event and attempted to break into the main hall at the Clal Center.

Police were called to the event to disperse the protesters and ensure the safety of the event. One person was arrested for allegedly attacking police at the event.

Footage showed the protesters arguing with police and singing outside the hall.

In a statement, police vowed to preserve freedom of expression and protest, “but not illegal public disturbances and rioting.”

Last year, then-defense minister Benny Gantz considered naming Lehava, and another far-right group, La Familia, as terrorist organizations for their violent actions and inflammatory rhetoric.

The event at the Clal Center was hosted by the Messianic Jewish Alliance of Israel.

Messianic Judaism is a movement that combines Jewish tradition and practice with the belief that Jesus Christ is the coming messiah. It is considered outside the fold by all mainstream Jewish denominations, who say the ideology directly contradicts many of the religion’s principal tenets. Some Messianic Jews want the movement to be accepted as a sect of Judaism, and view it as such. They often have ties to explicitly Christian organizations.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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