Well,...once again, Messianic Jews are stirring things up in Israel.
It's not enough that they've been in the news because their services have been disrupted and property damaged by Orthodox Jewish protesters as happened in Beersheva. Or that their leaders have been assaulted by Orthodox Jewish protesters and then put under house arrest by the police, making them a double victim, as happened in Arad. Or that one of their children almost lost his life when he opened a bomb disguised as a holiday gift as happened in Ariel. Or that one of their congregations was evicted from a secular kibbutz due to pressure from the Orthodox Jewish Establishment (OJE) as happened in Jerusalem.
Now, an 11th grader from Pisgat Ze'ev (a northern suburb of Jerusalem) has gone and qualified as one of four finalists in the International Bible Quiz (aka the "Global Bible Quiz for Jewish Youth") and caused the OJE to get into a tizzy, demanding that all "Jews" boycott the event if she is not disqualified. What's the reason she should be disqualified, you ask. It's not because she was discovered to have cheated her way to the championship. She wasn't, and she didn't. It's not because she admitted to being an atheist and believes the Bible is full of lies and fairy tells. She didn't, and it's not. Her offense: She's a messianic Jew that believes Jesus is the Messiah.
Ironically, had atheism been her identity, there would be no issue raised by the OJE. That's still a dilemma that the OJE has yet to resolve: How can an atheist be considered Jewish? Some respond that being Jewish is cultural. Okay, if that's the case then this student's "religious" beliefs should be of no consequence. Right? Right! And that brings us back to the dilemma: Who is a Jew? Is being Jewish a cultural issue? A linguistic issue? A religious issue? A national issue? And this is where in their inconsistency, the OJE has painted themselves into a corner. And they are inconsistent because their agenda is to delegitimize Jews who believe Jesus is the Messiah.
By the way, the name of the state school Bible quiz champion is Bat-El Levi, the daughter of Ruti and Yitzhak Levi. Kol HaKavod, Bat-El.
Those who are interested in this type of event can read the complete story in this Jerusalem Post article. I would encourage you to survey the reader comments, too.