U.S. Marine Turned ‘Jewish Terrorist’ Convicted in Attack on Messianic Pastor’s Son
Update (April 15): Morning Star News reports that Jack Teitel has been sentenced "to two life terms in prison plus 30 years," and the Ortiz family is satisfied that "justice has been done."
Last week, Jack Teitel, a former U.S. marine labeled as a "Jewish terrorist" in the news media, was convicted in an Israeli courtroom of two murders and one attempted murder.
Israel's small but growing Messianic Jewish community was one of his targets. CT noted in 2009 when Teitel first confessed to the murders (video). CT also noted how the attacks may have influenced Israel's supreme court to grant citizenship rights to Messianics.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency notes:
"Along with killing two Palestinians and attempting to murder five Jews and Arabs, he also assembled a package bomb that seriously injured the son of a messianic Jew in Ariel and set up a pipe bomb near the home of prominent left-wing professor Ze'ev Sternhell. The crimes occurred between 1997 and 2008."
In March 2008, the son, Ami Ortiz, was at home while his father, David, pastor of Messianic Congregation of Ariel, and his mother, Leah, were out. Someone left a gift basket at the door of the Ortiz home in Ariel. During the Jewish holiday of Purim, the exchange of gift baskets is common.
Ami opened the package, causing the bomb inside to explode, nearly killing the teen. He survived but received extensive injuries. At one point, later during interrogation, Teitel told police his intention was to murder David Ortiz.
The Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ) has been involved in legal advocacy for the Ortiz family since the attack. In a recent newsletter, JIJ said:
Ami has miraculously recovered from this attack, but is still undergoing a serious of painful plastic surgeries to remove his scars. During the opening of his trial, Teitel said, "It was a pleasure and honor to serve my G-d, G-d is proud of what I did. I have no regrets".
It is a relief to know that this cold-blooded murderer will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
The court has set a sentencing date for mid-February. The Ortiz family created this website to update the public about Ami's story.
There are many remaining questions about Teitel and whether he was a so-called "lone wolf," or as some believe, was given assistance and support by others. Since Teitel pleaded guilty, there was no trial in the case. The court rejected defense claims that Teitel was not mentally competent to stand trial.
Leah Ortiz said on the family website, "There has been so much in this case that has been hidden in darkness and obscured. Only the Lord can now uncover what needs to be brought into the light."
CT noted the Ortiz attack in a 2008 editorial examining how ground-level religious discrimination against Messianic Jews may be changing.