CHRISTIAN PILGRIM CENTER TORCHED
The Jerusalem Post, Feb.19; Kol Ha’Ir, Feb.27 1998
The Biblical Resources Center’s new premises in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem neighborhood were the target of an apparent arson. The building’s electrical system as well as portions of the wooden roof and front door were damaged in the fire. A pile of wood in the garden was also soaked with kerosene, and the incident is being investigated by the police.
WILL PM MARK JUBILEE WITH JEWS FOR JESUS?
The Jerusalem Post, March 2 1998
The New York Jewish Week has reported that a celebration of Israel’s 50th anniversary sponsored by the Christian Alliance for Israel may be the largest in the USA. Organizers expect to draw up to 18,000 people to the event, and expect Israeli PM Netanyahu to participate, either in person or via satellite. Netanyahu’s office, however, said that no decision had been made on whether he will attend.
In response to claims by Jews for Judaism that the event was a “who’s who of the missionary movement,” the event’s planner is quoted as saying that though Messianic believers have a rightful role to play, they have to abide by certain guidelines, including a ban on proselytizing.
HaModia, Feb.6; The Jerusalem Post, Feb.23; Itton Tel-Aviv, Ayalon Feb.27 1998
The first article, in HaModia, focuses on Yad L’Achim’s demand that the US State Department prevent missionaries from coming to Israel. The message was sent in a letter to Secretary of State Albright, after the Jehovah’s Witnesses “dared to complain” to the State Department that members of the cult were being harassed in Israel.
The later articles describe actual attacks that have been made on the Witnesses and their property. These include harassment of visitors to their offices in Tel-Aviv, tire-slashing, and a break-in to the Witnesses’ hall in Lod by students from a local Habad yeshiva. Yad L’Achim denies any complicity in these incidents, insisting that all their activity is conducted within the confines of civil law.
BAPTISM IN JERUSALEM
Israel Radio, HaModia, Feb.10; HaModia, Yated Ne’eman, Feb.11; Hadashot Mishpacha, Index, HaShavua B’Yerushalayim, Yom L’Yom, HaTzofe, Feb.12; HaModia, Itton Yerushalayim, Yom HaShishi, Shisha Yamim, Feb.13; HaModia, Feb.15; B’Kehila, Feb.20; Yom L’Yom, Feb.26 1998
A crowd of ultra-orthodox Jews demonstrated in downtown Jerusalem on Feb.10th, following the baptism of 3 or 4 Messianic Jews on the previous Shabbat. The believers in question came from Rishon L’Zion, where they had to first rely on the police to disperse a group of orthodox protesters who blocked their way. A few days later the large demonstration was organized, which was attended by “over a thousand” or “thousands,” according to the orthodox papers. Interestingly, the demonstration was not mentioned by the mainstream Israeli dailies, and in fact merited only a photo with a caption in one secular Jerusalem weekly (Itton Yerushalayim), which estimated the crowd at “hundreds.”
The protest was against the “rising tide of missionary activity,” and called on concerned Jews to lend their hand to both the legal battle and the work of organizations such as Yad L’Achim. An orthodox member of Jerusalem’s city council called on Mayor Olmert to take severe measures against this “shocking incident … a desecration of all that is holy to us.” On the national front, Shas MK Pinhasi has presented a bill to the Knesset which states that “Anyone who preaches with the purpose of causing another person to change his religion is liable to three years imprisonment or a fine of NIS
NEWSPAPERS USED IN THIS EDITION:
The Jerusalem Post: National English language daily, published in Jerusalem. Tends to the religious right, but careful and relatively fair towards believers (has a large Christian readership). Friendly towards right-wing political Christianity.
Kol Ha’Ir: Jerusalem leftist weekly. Pro-Palestinian, anti-religious, objective towards believers.
HaModia: Jerusalem religious daily. Very hostile to believers.
Itton Tel-Aviv: Tel-Aviv weekly.
Yated Ne’eman: National religious/political daily published in Bnei Brak. Very hostile to believers.
Mishpaha/Hadashot Mishpaha: Jerusalem religious weekly.
Yom L’Yom: Jerusalem religious/political weekly. Hostile to believers.
HaTzofe: Tel-Aviv religious/political daily. Hostile to believers.
Itton Yerushalayim: Jerusalem weekly.
Yom HaShishi: Jerusalem religious weekly. Hostile to believers.
Shisha Yamim: Jerusalem religious weekly.