CASPARI CENTER MEDIA REVIEW……………………………..MARCH 2000, # 1
The number of articles found in the Israeli media’s coverage of matters related to Messianic Jews, the Mission and other Christian matters came to a total of 130.
Over half of these articles had to do with the Pope and his visit in some way (60 articles in all) or the Pope and Arafat (16). 14 articles focused on missionary and anti-missionary activity, 8 articles dealt with Christian tourism and Christian sites in Israel, and 4 articles were book reviews. The remaining 28 articles were on miscellaneous topics dealing with Christian, Arab or Jewish matters on their own merit.
Israeli’s Know Nothing About the Jesus They Sell to Tourists (Israel Today, January 2000)
This is a short commentary article discussing the ignorance of most Jews about Jesus. “One wonders how Israeli’s can “market” Jesus in so many different ways and yet not really want to know much about him” says the writer.
The writer also reveals the general ignorance which is displayed concerning Christian groups and the differences between them. The best reason for this apparent ignorance is probably the simple lack of interest. This lack of interest stems from the bloody history between Jews and Christian, though the writer is careful to add that “those who take time to read the New Testament realize that Jesus would never promote an Inquisition or order a crusade.”
Operation Exodus Celebrates 100th Sailing (Israel Today, January 2000)
The ship which has brought over 52,000 Jewish immigrants to Israel in the past eight years has recently celebrated it’s 100th voyage from Odessa to Israel. The founder of this organization is a Christian from Switzerland who now lies dying of cancer, but content with his work. The article commends him by saying that “no one person in our time has so monumentally contributed to the essence of Zionism – the Intergathering of the Exiles – as this Christian gentleman.”
To mark this occasion an apology was given by the German sons and daughters of former Nazi officers to several Holocaust survivors who were making their way to Israel as new immigrants.
Christians working with Operation Exodus have a signed agreement with the Israeli government which strictly forbids engaging in missionary work. Pastor Wayne Hilsden commented on this by saying that there’s no greater Christian witness than love.
Kach Not Allowed to Help the Needy (Shisha Yamim)
Legally, Kach’s charity organization is not allowed to help needy families since they are a terrorist organization.
This is outrageous, according to the article, since the legal opinion completely disregards the law preventing mission, and the fact that hundreds of thousands of Jews are sent to mission organizations who will treat them kindly if they agree to convert to Christianity.
“As though in the name of the law, while missionary organizations are celebrating and breaking the law.”
Missionaries By Name (Makor Rishon, 28/01/00)
This is a three page article that appeared in a Bnei Brak (religious) weekly. It gives a rather
general introduction to mission work around the world and in Israel, before focusing on
several well known Messianic Jews in this country.
The first Messianic to be mentioned is Kokev Gudamu, an Ethiopian Jew who heads a
‘friendly fund’ by name of Lapid Gidon. He is accused of promising material goods to anyone
who would convert to Christianity, “although” says the writer “these missionary cults are
careful to call themselves ‘Messianic Jewish congregations’ and never Christians.”
Before going into further detail, the writer states that all of the Messianics mentioned in the
article are officially Jewish, and therefore are all the more dangerous to the Jewish
Ari Sorko-Ram was expelled from the army 14 years ago after being accused of preaching his
Messianic beliefs to the soldiers under his command. He then published a book entitled “The
Diary of an Israeli Soldier on Reserve Duty” in the United States only. In it he told some of
his “conversion” experiences while doing guard duty. Sorko-Ram later appealed his
expulsion to the High Court of Justice, but his appeal was denied. Sorko-Ram is married to
Shira, a converted Jew. Her conversion was canceled, however, when the rabbinic court
discovered that she never stopped believing in Jesus.
Ya’acov Damkani published an autobiographical book which tells of his conversion
experience. After moving to the States, dealing in different kinds of small crimes, abandoning
his wife and child, he finally saw “‘the light.” At the end of his book he tells the readers that
they too can find this light. Anyone can join a Messianic congregation if they like..
Damkani has a good friend by the name of Avi Mizrahi. Mizrahi experienced some deep
internal “happenings” at the end of his army service, and found himself led to Jesus. He is not
ashamed to talk about this to anyone who is interested in listening. Yad L’achim got a hold of
a video in which Mizrahi is giving some American missionaries advice on how to
successfully get to Israel. “Come as tourists at first, and a few months later apply for
citizenship by the law of return, since it is hard for the ministry of interior to find out your
true roots.” The writer was able to get in touch with Mizrahi, who defended his beliefs by
quoting from the Bible. He denies doing any missionary work, saying that he only answers
when people ask… “I encourage tourism, but not missionary tourism,”
Seth Ben Haim headed the Messianic Student Union at the Hebrew University. He calls
himself a Jew because he was “born a Jew and will die a Jew.” The Messianic Student Union
would gather many students to study the Bible and New Testament. Seth said that he believes
in a God of three parts: God the father, God the son and God the spirit. The Messianic
Student Union would hold weekly meetings which explained their beliefs. He denies that any
of this is missionary activity, though Yad L’achim claims it is nothing but that. To this
accusation he says “I’m sorry that people tell lies. All over the world there is an unwillingness
to see the truth. It’s too bad that people don’t want God’s truth.”
In order to better understand the “ways” of these missionaries, the writer got in touch with
Binyamin Kluger, a well known converted Christian. Kluger said there are many rules you
must follow to be a missionary. “You are not allowed to talk of the trinity, the New
Testament and the cross… Only then are they able to convert the Jews.”
‘The writer ends his article by saying that “we must make house calls and explain the dangers
behind missionary activity. We must make the Israeli public aware the missionaries, in any
shape or form, are a danger to the nation of Israel. This is not only a matter concerning
This article is a book review/response to Avigdor Shinan’s “That Man: Jews tell about Jesus.”
(See Media Review, February #2), The writer complains that there are two flaws in this book,
the first being the complete absence of any female writings on Jesus. The second flaw, and
one that Shinan could do nothing about, is the simple fact that there is really nothing
interesting in Jewish literature on Jesus. This, of course, doesn’t include the New Testament
which is originally a Jewish writing, and has it’s beautiful passages along side it’s less
The writer wants to know what happened to the Israeli writers? He claims that some of the
most interesting writings on this man are more modern. They have been completely neglected
though, which is a pity.