Mina Fanton, a former Jerusalem city council member and activist, called on the public to demonstrate against the presence of Christian tourists at the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem on Tuesday evening and the Jerusalem March on Wednesday.
The Feast of Tabernacles is the largest annual Evangelical Christian celebration in Israel which brings thousands of tourists to the Holy Land for an 8-day-long celebration over Sukkot, organized by the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem (ICEJ).
“Missionary traps” will be set at the Feast of Tabernacles’ Israeli night on Tuesday evening, Fanton said and added, “We won’t allow it.”
Furthermore, “thousands of missionaries” are “violating the Jewish sanctity” of Jerusalem during the Sukkot holiday, Fanton told radio station Galey Israel, seen as a right-leaning station.
The former city council member described how she “struggled for eleven years” against the participation of Christian tourists in the Jerusalem March, an annual parade drawing thousands of people from Israel and around the world. The ICEJ has participated in the march for decades.
During the march, Christians are waving flags with the word Jesus and “are taking Talitot [Jewish prayer shawls], carrying an Ark of the Covenant, they are desecrating everything that is holy to us,” Fanton charged.
She accused the ICEJ of violating agreements not to proselytize openly and even accused the municipality of cooperating with the ICEJ in the matter by not enforcing the laws.
Fanton turned to the courts in this matter, she said, in order to ensure that the police would enforce the proselytization ban this year.
In what appears to be a grave misunderstanding of Christian teaching, Fanton explained her increased activism against the ICEJ this year by claiming that this year saw the culmination of a two-year plan by Christian organizations to convert Jews.
The ICEJ decided to proclaim Jesus as the king of all the world “specifically this year,” Fanton said, seeing this year’s march as a victory march.
She also connected this alleged plan to the Isaiah 62 Fast prayer event on the southern steps of the Temple Mount in May, which was disturbed by partly violent protests by groups of religious Jews in which Fanton participated.
Fanton further claimed that these kinds of events are usually done inside church buildings and were held outside in the open for the first time in order to kick off the plan of a “Decade of Evangelism.”
Back in August, Fanton had already explained this alleged plan in an interview with Israel’s Channel 7 news. “According to the organizers, the gospel of Christ will reach every person on the planet. It should be remembered that the Jews in Israel and abroad are the first target. Two years of preparation and organization to realize the Christianization,” she said.
“We can’t ignore this. It means another Holocaust for the Jewish people,” Fanton said.
Former Knesset Member Rabbi Yehuda Glick, who participated in an event of the Feast on Sunday, contradicted Fanton’s statements on the same day in August.
“For hundreds of generations, we have faced Gentiles who hated us and here we are witnessing the reality of millions of Gentiles who love us and love God. It is fitting that we show them a bright face and recognize a favor done to us,” Glick told Channel 7.
Fanton’s comments come shortly after one of Jerusalem's deputy mayors, Aryeh King, warned the public against the “several hundred and maybe even more (!) Christian missionaries” who he claims will take part in the annual Jerusalem March. King also took part in the violent protest against Christians in May.
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The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.