God has made a covenant promise that He will bring His people back from the ends of the earth to their ancestral homeland and re-plant them in their land again.
“If any of your scattered countrymen are at the ends of the earth, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back. The Lord your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will be good to you and make you more numerous than your fathers.” – Deut 30:4-5
The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent border restrictions over the past year and a half have made world travel extremely difficult. When the recent Gaza conflict began, anti-Semitic incidents soared in many countries. Aliya has slowed significantly as Israel has grappled with the pandemic and more elections.
The 1950 Law of Return (knesset.gov.il/laws/special/eng/return.htm) states that:
Every Jew has the right to come to this country as an ‘oleh’ (immigrant).
[Messianic Jews] have been rejected for the last 15 years or so, if they are known to believe that Yeshua is the Jewish Messiah.
An oleh’s visa shall be granted to every Jew who has expressed his desire to settle in Israel, unless the Minister of Immigration is satisfied that the applicant:
i) is engaged in an activity directed against the Jewish people; or
ii) is likely to endanger public health or the security of the State
Danny Danon (former Likud MP who served as Israel’s 17th UN representative) in his article in the Jerusalem Post on July 16, 2021, jpost.com/opinion/israel-a-homeland-for-world-jewry-opinion-671227 states that:
“We are proud of the Law of Return, the focus of which is to unite and connect the Jewish people with their homeland.”
But it appears that in fact NOT all Jews are welcome in Israel.
Journalist Steve Rodan in a blog article on May 28 on the Times of Israel website (blogs.timesofisrael.com/israels-white-paper-us-jews-find-locked-doors), tells another story. He points out that despite interest for aliya applications to Nefesh b’Neshesh, (which handles applications for the Israeli government in the US) being at a record high, successful applications are at an all time low. He cites an example of a traditional Jewish lady who went to the Nefesh b’Nefesh office, being put through layers of bureaucracy for over a year and even requiring fingerprints submitted to the FBI! Formerly it was sufficient to just prove you had Jewish parents or at least one grandparent.
This is nothing new to Messianic Jews. Despite believing in the God of Israel, the Hebrew Bible and keeping the Biblical Feasts, they have been rejected for the last 15 years or so, if they are known to believe that Yeshua is the Jewish Messiah. The Ministry for the Interior was controlled by the ultra-orthodox parties who consider they are no longer Jews. Some have been thrown out of the country for being believers, others are currently fighting to gain citizenship that should be their right, and still others have to constantly renew temporary visas.
The former Ministry for the Interior has been very selective as to who they consider to be Jewish. There is however, now a new opportunity. The Jewish Agency has estimated that 250,000 Jews could make aliyah if Israel would allow it. Let us pray for the new government to reassess the criteria and open their arms to Jews across the broader spectrum of Jewish belief and pray that the Jews in the diaspora will be ready and willing to move to Israel when the doors open.