May 31 – 1999




RECONCILIATION WALK (Jerusalem Post, Yediot Achronot, 03/05/99)


The papers report the beginning arrival of hundreds of Christian pilgrims who are following in the path of the Crusades. Approximately 2,000 pilgrims from 27 nations have taken part in the walk that began in Cologne, the starting point of the Crusades, and will end in Jerusalem. The pilgrims have been walking for over 2 years and are slated to arrive in Jerusalem in mid July. The walk has taken them from Germany through Turkey to Israel. The purpose of the walk is to apologize for the Crusades and the slaughter of Jews during the time of the Crusades. The chief rabbis of Israel have accepted an invitation to accept an apology when the walkers arrive in Jerusalem.


BAPTISTS IN EILAT (Erev Erev  B’Eilat, 06/05/99)


Rabbi (HaRav) Gear, a Baptist worker, unveiled an extensive tourism plan for the millenium. He said that tens of thousands of Baptist tourists are expected in Eilat over the next few years. Part of his proposal is to establish a “Tent of Meeting” according to the pattern given in the book of Leviticus, in Timna and to visit other sites in the area associated with the Bible. Rabbi Gear is working in co-operation with the Eilat municipality. His plan was unveiled at a public meeting and was said to already to be in high gear.



TWO JEWS BAPTIZED IN THE SEA OF GALILEE (Yom Hashishi, HaModia, 07/05/99)


These two religious papers report that two Jews were baptized on the sabbath in the Sea of Galilee. They were identified as an English teacher from Tel Aviv and as a young Jerusalemite. The leader of Dugit Gallery in Tel Aviv was mentioned as being responsible for the baptisms.




(Hamodia, 07/05/99)


Agudat Yisrael and Yad L’Achim recently held their 100th joint protest demonstration against missionary activity. For the past two years the groups have worked together to fight against and to eradicate missionary activity. They have expressed worry about increased missionary as the year 2,000 approaches. Dugit Gallery is mentioned as an active missionary center. “Yad L’Achim directors asked the religious parties to legislate an anti-mission law and requested that the parties make their intentions known on platforms before the elections.





The ultraorthodox in Tiberias are reported as enlisting non-Jewish new immigrants to infiltrate meetings of those suspected of missionary activity. They have been chosen because of their non-Jewish status and their previous experience in the KGB. The Haredim interviewed for the article said that they were using the non-Jews as Shabbas Goys to photograph and tape the meetings held on the sabbath. The report says that the meetings are taking place in small hotels in Tiberias. The ultra-orthodox have threatened sanctions against the hotels that host the meetings.






NEW CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE  (Jerusalem Report, 10/05/99)


In their regular column “In and Around,” the magazine reports “An evolving doctrine in Christian Zionism and Messianic Judaism, based on new interpretations of scripture, holds that most true Christians are descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel.”



EX-SOLDIER DENIED CITIZENSHIP (Ma’ariv, Ha’Aretz, Yeted Ne’eman, 12/05/99)


An immigrant from the Ukraine who served in the elite army unit ‘Egoz’ and was honored with an award as an outstanding soldier has been denied citizenship on the grounds that he is a Christian. Andrei Malish, son of a Jewish mother and a Christian father, immigrated to Israel in 1994 and received immigration documents. After three months he filed a normal request to change his status and receive citizenship. On the form, he declared himself to be a Christian. For the next two and a half years he was without an Israeli identity card while he served in the army. When security clearance was required, the Ministry of Interior refused to give him his I.D. and revoked his immigration documents. Malish is unable to return to the Ukraine because he could face criminal charges for serving in a foreign army.


The ACRI (Association for Civil Rights in Israel) has filed a petition with the supreme court requesting that the court instruct the Ministry of Interior to return the immigration documents to Malish. “ACRI said yesterday that it has received many complaints from recent immigrants whose immigration documents have been cancelled by the ministry without explanation.” (Ha’Aretz)


PSALMS PROJECT (Jerusalem Post, 13/05/99)


Peace through religion by means of prayer concerts is the vision of a Jew, Gershon Tzipris, himself a recent Russian immigrant to Israel. One week of concerts was held during which the entire book of Psalms was performed. Choirs participating included the Orthodox Christian choirs of Jerusalem, Armenian, Ethiopian, Syrian, Coptic as well as different choirs from the Jewish community and Protestant choirs. The venues were synagogues and churches of the Old City. The Orthodox Christian choirs agreed to take part in the project “because they were asked by a Jew.” If another Christian had tried to organize the event it would not have been possible.





Yad L’Achim is operating a secret agent who has infiltrated the Ethiopian community in Nazareth Elite. The agent is responsible to investigate ten families of Falashamura who are alleged to be Christians. The agent has been active for one and a half years to look for signs of Christian observance within the community. He reports that the parents of the families are lost to Judaism but that there is hope for the children since they attend religious schools and can be drawn to Judaism. It was reported that neighbors of the families say that the Falashamura families do not eat matzot on Passover and that at Christmas time they erect trees and visit the churches in lower Nazareth.



WALDORF SCHOOL IN TIVON (Hed Hakryot, KolBo, 15/05/99)


These two papers each featured three page articles on Anthroposophy. The occasion of the coverage was the recent approval of an 8 million shekel project to fund the building of a Waldorf school. The article highlighted the life and teachings of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy. There is controversy surrounding the decision to build the school as those opposed call Anthroposophy a ‘Mystic Christian Cult.’ The concern is that Steiner’s ‘Christian’ beliefs and doctrines will become or at least influence the school’s curriculum. The Tivon city council, with the approval of the Ministry of Education has approved the funding and building of the 8 million shekel complex.





The weekend edition of the Jerusalem Post featured an extensive feature article on the activities of the Chief Rabbi of Ukraine and Kiev. He expressed much concern over the ‘missionary problem.’ He cited the activities of the U.S. based organization Mir and its sister organization in the Ukraine ‘Shalom.’ He accused them of “…bringing the needy Jews food along with missionary books in Hebrew.”


Newspapers Used:


Ha’Aretz: National daily, published in Tel-Aviv, mostly objective towards believers.


Ha’Modia: Jerusalem religious daily. Very hostile to believers.


Hed Ha’Krayot: Haifa area weekly.


Kol-Bo: Haifa weekly.


Kol HaEmek V’Ha’Galil: Northern weekly, published in Upper Nazareth.


Ma’ariv: National daily, published in Tel-Aviv. Politically tends to the right, mostly objective towards believers (depends on the reporter).


Yated Ne’eman: National religious/political daily published in Bnei Brak. Very hostile to believers.


Yedi’ot Aharonot: National daily published in Tel-Aviv. Attitude to believers depends on the reporter.


Yom Ha’Shishi: Jerusalem religious weekly. Hostile to believers.


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.


The Jerusalem Report: English language bi-monthly published in Jerusalem, world-wide distribution. Politically centrist or left of center. Sensitive and objective towards believers.