Shalom to all. This evening Israel commemorates Memorial Day for all those who have been killed during the years of wars and rumors of wars. It is a true statement that we must fight for liberty and peace. Tuesday is Israel’s Independence Day, and God is working to sanctify His name amongst His people whom He will cleanse from all their ungodliness and uncleanness. We praise and worship our great God and Savior that He has paid the greatest price and won the war, and gives His peace to those who believe it!
Here is a more detailed report of where things stand in our lawsuit against those who still do not believe:
In accordance with the instructions of Judge Iddo Ruzin, the three sides to the lawsuit prepared drafts of a proposed compromise and submitted them to the court. At that time, we, Nichalim BaNegev [Streams in the Negev – the registered, non-profit society that provides legal coverage for Kehilat Nachalat Yeshua/Yeshua’s Inheritance Congregation, and me, as plaintiffs, along with Beer Sheva’s Chief Sephardic Rabbi, Yehuda Deri, and the anti-Messianic organization, Yad L’Achim/Hand to the Brothers, as defendants, faced the judge for the final time. Our lawyers, Marvin Kramer and Kevork Nalbandian, have faithfully represented us throughout the more than four years since we first decided to file a civil suit against those defendants for the illegal demonstration, trespass and violence against us on 24 December 2005 (which was the second time that the same two parties have worked together and were involved in a massive demonstration against our congregation).
When we appeared in court, the Judge submitted his own version of a proposed compromise, and submitted it to us for review. None of the parties was willing to accept the compromise as drafted by the Judge. Despite efforts to reword and revise the language, we were not able to reach agreement. We said that a public apology for the event getting out of control would be acceptable, since they publicly lied and ridiculed us in the media. We did not even insist that they accept ‘guilt’ in order to apologize, but rather that they would express remorse and apologize for their actions, which resulted in a riot which got out of control. The defendants were not willing to apologize, and it became very clear that there was no regret or remorse from either of them. From the tone and content of their words in open court, we realized that we could not accept the court’s proposed compromise, as in our opinion, it contained untrue statements, and our faith would not allow us to say that wrong was right, or agree to compromise on a fundamental premise, namely, a public apology.
There were other aspects of the proposal that we also could not agree with, such as a request by one of the defendants for an order directing that any compromise reached would not be allowed to be publicized. At the end of the hearing, Judge Ruzin said that he would prepare his decision and send it to the attorneys in the mail. We hope to receive it within 30 days.
Throughout the course of the lawsuit, we felt not only the burden of representing ourselves, but also recognized that we were taking a stand for the believing community as a whole here. Our decision to risk accepting the judge’s verdict over a meaningless ‘compromise’ was done in the belief that this lawsuit is approved by the Lord with His blessing. The fact that so many of you have stood with us — not only in prayer, but also in appearances in court, in coming to Beer Sheva to worship and to intercede, to give financial contributions towards the cost of the case — has greatly encouraged us that this is not our personal issue or battle, but God’s! We know that the outcome is in His hands, and we continue to pray that His righteousness will prevail.
We all thank you all very much, and praise God for this opportunity to work together towards accomplishing His purposes at this time.
Howard and Randi