Justice for Ami
Dear Friends and Partners,
[Please note: this alert contains graphic images that may be disturbing to some readers.]
As you saw in our mission to Israel during the Hezbollah War in 2006, One Free World International stands firmly beside Israel, the only true democracy in the Middle East, and supports its right to exist and defend itself. We are also grateful to the Jewish people for the many contributions they have made to humanity in the sciences, the arts, religion, morality and ethics, and human rights. It is our support and love for Israel that requires us to bring our concerns on behalf of Messianic Jews in Israel to your attention.
You may have heard about Ami Ortiz, a Messianic Jewish teenager who was seriously injured by a bomb disguised as a Purim gift last year. Purim is on March 10th-11th this year, and we would like to let Ami know that we are thinking of him at this time and to send a message to the Israeli government that they must bring those responsible to justice without further delay.
Ami’s life has changed forever, but he has miraculously defied the odds and is doing very well. We met with him last fall and were inspired by his courage and spirit. The bomb had been filled with bolts, screws, safety pins, and other shrapnel and metal objects and was built for maximum carnage and doctors had given Ami’s parents little hope for his survival. Yet today Ami, who had dreamed of being a professional basketball player, is back in school and even playing basketball, albeit with great pain. He still faces a number of surgeries and must wear a pressure-suit 23 hours a day for two years to treat his many scars and the skin grafts on his 2nd and 3rd-degree burns.
The Ortizes moved from the United States to Israel over 20 years ago and all of their children, including Ami, have served or plan to serve in the Israeli Defence Forces. Ami was born in Israel and the only difference between him and his school-friends is that the Ortizes are Messianic Jews. They believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah promised by God to the Jewish people and, through them, to the whole world.
Israeli law guarantees freedom of religion and Israelis in general are content to treat their neighbours’ religious beliefs as a private matter. However, Messianic Jews have expressed concern in recent years over growing opposition from ultra-Orthodox groups. A small segment of radical, ultra-conservative Jews see Messianic Jews, whose numbers in Israel are few but growing, as a threat and have responded with hatred born out of fear. There is strong evidence that the attack on Ami was planned and carried out by such radicals and Israeli officials have stated as much. Yet, despite broad media coverage, the government has done very little to bring those responsible to justice and to date no arrests have been made.
Most Israelis on the street readily condemn the attack against Ami as a hate-crime. If authorities turn a blind eye in Ami’s case, those responsible will feel they can continue to harass Messianic Jews freely and the impact will be felt by all Jews who do not choose to follow the doctrines of the radical ultra-Orthodox.
In the Jewish calendar Purim marks the joyous celebration of the triumph of the Jewish people, thanks to the courageous acts of Queen Esther, over the evil plot of Haman for their destruction. Like the Jews of that time, we must not allow hatred to prevail over life and freedom for Jews in Israel today.
If we love Israel and the Jewish people, we must speak the truth about this matter to those in positions of authority in Israel. OFWI has addressed the Israeli Foreign Ministry about this and we plan to do so again at the end of this month. Please sign our online petition and share it with your friends, churches, prayer groups, and synagogues, so that we can urge the Israeli government to take appropriate action to:
1. bring those responsible for the horrific attack on Ami to justice without further delay, and 2. ensure that the right of all Jews to believe and worship in accordance with their conscience will be respected in Israel.
• that Ami would continue his miraculous recovery, that he would be filled with love and forgiveness for those who have hurt him, and that what the enemy has meant for evil, God would turn around for good and use it to reveal His glory;
• that those responsible for this attack would recognize the evil of their actions and experience the love and forgiveness of God and His peace which passes understanding; and,
• that the Israeli government would move without further delay to bring those responsible to justice, and that they would ensure that the right of all Israeli Jews to believe and worship in accordance with their conscience is respected.
The Bible teaches that faith without action is dead, so please take action urgently and write (contact details are included below):
• a note of encouragement to Ami, c/o One Free World International at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at 20 Bloor Street East, Box 75129, Toronto, ON, M4W 3T3 Canada;
• sign our petition online at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/JusticeforAmi/, and make sure to forward the petition to your friends, churches, prayer-groups, synagogues, and co-workers so that we can get as many signatures as possible. The future of the Messianic community in Israel depends on your support; and,
• write to the Israeli ambassador to your country, assuring them of your love and support for Israel and urging the government to take appropriate and effective action in this matter immediately.
• We will be meeting with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the end of this month and will present them with the petition and copies of your letters so please remember to send us a copy of your correspondence at: email@example.com
Remember, that the persecuted Christians are dying every day, but they are still smiling. They are in a very deep dark night, but they have the candle of the Lord. The enemy can have a very strong weapon and a very strong army, but we have the Lord Almighty.
"They can kill the dreamer, but they cannot kill the dream" in the Lord’s name.
Be with God and may God be with you.
Rev. Majed El Shafie President and Founder One Free World International El Shafie Ministries
In Canada: Her Excellency Miriam Ziv Embassy of Israel 50 O'Connor Street Ottawa, ON K1P 6L2 Tel: (613) 567-6450 ext. 232; Fax: (613) 567-9878 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the United States: His Excellency Sallai Meridor Embassy of Israel 3514 International Dr. N.W. Washington DC 20008 Tel.: (202) 364-5500 Email: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org