An evangelical Christian broadcaster may get kicked off the air in Israel — after seemingly confessing a secret plan to convert Jews to Christianity by “removing the blindness from their eyes.”
The Florida-based Christian broadcaster was earlier this year approved a 7-year contract with Israel’s main cable provider, HOT, after insisting it was merely providing content for Christians.
But “GOD TV” — also known as “Shelanu” — is now being investigated by Israeli authorities over seemingly damning comments made in a video by the station’s CEO, Ward Simpson.
“God has supernaturally opened the door for us to take the Gospel of Jesus into the homes and lives and hearts of his Jewish people,” Simpson said in the video.
“They’ll watch secretly, they’ll watch quietly,” he added. “God is restoring his people, God is removing the blindness from their eyes.”
In a subsequent video, Simpson acknowledged that the channel was under investigation by Israeli authorities, saying that preaching about Jesus in Israel is a “very touchy subject.”
He apologized for any offensive remarks and said GOD TV — which claims to reach 300 million viewers worldwide — would comply with all regulations.
While freedom of religion is enshrined in Israeli law, the Communications Ministry said it was investigating a “discrepancy” over the initial applications that granted the channel’s license in March.
“GOD TV” sought the license purely to service the Christian community but appears to “target Jews and convince them that Jesus is the messiah,” the ministry claimed.
Simpson says “GOD TV” has hired lawyers to resolve the issue and is determined to stay on the air.
“The last thing we want to do is to cause division over there,” he said. “We love Israel.”
Laurie Cardoza-Moore, a Tennessee-based evangelical who hosts a program called “Focus on Israel” that previously aired on GOD TV, fears that the scandal could encourage anti-Semitism.
“Any attempts to convert Jews or downgrade their religion will only sow undue hatred at a time when we should unite in the face of darkness,” Cardoza-Moore said.
The cable provider, HOT, said in a statement that it was not responsible for the channel’s content and has been “fully transparent” with authorities.
With Post wires
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