Messianic Jew Deported From Israel Over Evangelism Efforts to Appeal to Supreme Court

BarnettJERUSALEM (Morning Star News) A British messianic Jew deported from Israel last year for participating in an evangelistic outreach to Jews confirmed that he will appeal his case to the nation’s supreme court.

Barry Barnett, 50, left the country on Dec. 2 under a deportation order issued by Israel’s Ministry of the Interior. He was banned from the country for 10 years. Barnett said his primary concern is returning to Israel but that the case has religious rights implications that go far beyond him.

“If we win in the Supreme Court, not only does it get me back to Israel instead of waiting 10 years after having been deported, it means that every single Christian has the right or every religious person has the right to express their faith freely without intimidation,” Barnett said. “It’s about the right of religious expression.”

Barnett was arrested Nov. 20 near the city of Be’er Shiva by immigration enforcement officers at a Jews for Jesus “Behold your God Israel” campaign. The arrest struck members of Jews for Jesus as odd from the start; members of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish group known as Yad L’Achim followed Barnett and other members of the group during the campaign, and organization leaders said officers with evident religious bias singled out Barnett, the only non-Israeli in his canvasing group.

Dan Sered, Israeli director of Jews for Jesus and Barnett believe Yad L’Achim, which has well-documented ties to the Ministry of the Interior, had a role in Barnett’s arrest.

“I think someone is taking advantage of the fact that the State of Israel is The ‘Jewish’ State of Israel, and Yad L’Achim and the religious institutions and authorities are trying to use all means to ‘protect’ what they see as the Jewish State of Israel,” Sered said. “I think Yad L’Achim used their own power and influence to get the immigration police to do this. I don’t at all think that it was a coincidence that those who arrested him were all ‘religious’ [strictly practicing] Jews.”

Missionary work is legal in Israel as long as no material incentive for conversion is given and no minors are evangelized. Also, Israel is a signatory to the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, an international agreement stating that tourism for the purpose of exchanging religious beliefs is valid and should be encouraged.

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The officials intimidated and interrogated Barnett and then held him in an immigration detention center for four days, he said. Barnett then had a court hearing with an immigration judge. Ministry of the Interior officials claimed that Barnett violated the terms of his B-2 tourist visa for doing “missionary work.”

The judge found in favor of the officials and released Barnett on bail. Shortly after returning to the United Kingdom, Barnett started the process of re-entering the country, but when he applied for another tourist visa, he was informed that the Ministry of the Interior had banned him from the country for 10 years.

“I went to the Israeli embassy, and they said, ‘Oh, you shouldn’t have done what you did, it was illegal,’ Barnett said. “So I explained to them Israeli law. I explained Israeli law to the Israeli embassy, and said, ‘No, it’s not illegal. Every person has the right in Israel to express their religion freely – to give out leaflets, to put up a banner – as long as I am not enticing anyone through money or material benefit.’”

Lawyers for Jews for Jesus in Israel appealed the case in March and lost in the lower court. According to Sered, the appeal judge believed the state because she thought Barnett was “acting in a way that wasn’t normal tourism.”

“She ruled believing the state, that Barry was working,” Sered said. “But even if he was working, any employee – anybody who works for an international organization who comes into Israel – comes in and they’re working, and they get the same type of visa that Barry got. A B1/B2 visa is what an employee from Intel gets if Intel USA sends somebody to check over the plants that they have in the south in Israel.”

Likewise, Sered added that if a university professor from Harvard comes to Hebrew University to teach a lecture, Hebrew University will pay all of his expenses, “his hotel, his stay and he comes and gives his lecture – and he is working.”

A hearing for the Supreme Court appeal is set for Feb. 9. Barnett will not attend because of his ban from the country, but he said he doesn’t feel the need to be there.

“God will be fighting for me in court anyway,” he said.

Sered said he is hopeful Jews for Jesus will win the case, but that the whole incident has been somewhat of a shock to him.

“I was always raised to see Israel as a democracy where justice is blind,” Sered said, adding that the rights of freedom of speech and religion have made Israel the country it is to today. “This is the difference between Israel and Iran. This is exactly why we are the only democracy [in the Middle East].”


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  • robertannable

    Now Israel will lose support from the US wing-nut Evangelicals. It just shows how Israel hates all non-Jews

    • Conservative Dasilva

      American evangelicals are their biggest allies, we love Israel,,why would they act like this towards evangelicals?

      • Jeffrey Samuels

        the problem is you love Israel, not the Jews. This condescending attitude that Judaism is a second rate, superseded religion, whose members are just on hold until they can convert to the ‘real religion’ comes across to a populous who has ‘enjoyed’ Christian love for 2000 years much to their detriment. At best, evangelicals are held at arms length over there. At worst, probably there is a lot of suspicion about your motives.

    • Pagael

      Yad L’Achim are the problem, the Evangelicals (I would be classed as one) would not see this as “Israel hates all non-Jews”. I pray that the law is followed and Barry Barnett will be allowed to carry on his ministry.

    • Carrie Geren Scoggins

      Calling Christians nuts is hate, bigotry, and religious intolerance.

    • alnga

      It shows nothing of the kind and you should know that if you read.

  • Evelyn Reyno

    Who killed Jesus Christ, anyway?

    • Larry

      We did, all of us whoever have ever sinned. The sins of the whole world he willingly took upon his own body and put them to death to pay the price for us the price we couldn’t afford ourselves because the wages of sin are death and then comes the judgment. He willingly chose to redeem us from that penalty of sin and death, that is eternal damnation. Forever and ever and ever we have that assurance in the finished work of the cross and will live on after death and in an instant be with Him who saved us in heaven world without end.

      • alnga

        Thank you for the truth.

  • Carrie Geren Scoggins

    I have always been pro Israel, but that was before their government decided that our Christian religious beliefs, or the spread there in, that of Christianity, was not welcome. To throw him out of the country for 10 years for telling people about the Bible and Jesus Christ, after all we Christians have done for them financially, especially U.S. Christians, in battling the Islamic Jewish haters in the UN for them, after helping them with weapons to defend themselves many many times, I, among others, find this offensive. They know the U.S. if full of Christians, and is primarily Christians, and it is U.S. that has helped them so much, I find it hard to fathom their retaliation against Christians [from US or Britain]. What if this had been a U.S. Christian, of whom has paid in tax money to aid them. Where is the thanks.
    END TIMES PROPHECY NEWS UPDATE, Carrie Geren Scoggins Political Newsletter, my program now on webcast and YouTube

  • KCR

    Israel will fall from God’s grace soon, they cannot stand with out Christ.

    • Pagael

      Let’s not judge where God’s grace is, it is because of most of the Jew’s rejection of Yesua, that the Gentiles have heard the Gospel. There is no logic to your statement re standing without Christ as the world already rejects or stands without Christ. What is happening is that G_d is bringing the Jews together in their promised land and the world will gather against the Jews, this is not a reduction of G_d’s grace but the wickedness of this world. In time, G_d will lift up the veil that covers many Jews from seeing who Yesua is. I believe shortly, G_d will show again, his protection to the Jews which will in no doubt be attributed correctly to His Holy Name.

    • Spencer Bell

      G-d will stand by his Chosen People! And they are nobody but The Jewish people. Either born Jewish or converted properly as prescribed by the Torah. That is what is written and thats what will come to pass. Not Messianic Jews who claim to be Jewish but are far from what is a Jew! G-D said what a Jew is. And that is a sacred covenant between G-D and the Jewish people. That is if you believe in The Old Testament, the writings of the Torah. Read the short essay on “The Jew” that Mark Twain penned.

      • http://google.com IntheCustodyofCarl’sJr.

        Jews have no hope without Christ.

  • The Lone Ranger

    No one killed him he gave himself .

    1 Timothy 2:6
    Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
    Titus 2:14
    Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
    1 John 5:10
    He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son………………((The witness in himself, it is impossible to have a witness in you and you not know it and be witness to the witness! The Ranger.

    • alnga

      Mr. ranger He gave Himself for OUR SIN, so yes we all played a big part in His death, which was His plan from before time began.

  • alnga

    The scriptures are clear that it will not be until the very last few years that the 144,000 Jewish evangelist will be preaching Salvation through the messiah Jesus. Until then Israel will be going up and down in their travail due to their obstinate rejection of the Christ. .

  • Richard French

    The spirit of Jesus’ pharisees lives on, just as Jesus does. The war continues, but will be over soon.

  • Micah Malaa Bell

    satan wants Christians to be offended by Israel so we will abandon it and the Jews. Remember Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. also Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armor of GOD, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. please read Ephesians 6:13-24 for description of the armor of GOD.

    Thank you,

    Micah