CASPARI CENTER MEDIA REVIEW JUNE, 2000 #2
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 38. Of
these articles, nine dealt with issues related to Jehovah’s Witnesses, eight articles
focused on a land scandal that took place in the past couple of weeks, six articles
dealt with Christian tourism and Christian sites in Israel, five articles focused on
missionary and anti — missionary activity, four articles dealt with Scientology, and one
article dealt with Jewish-Christian relations. The remaining five articles were on
miscellaneous topics dealing with Christian, Arab or Jewish matters on their own
University Students Dabble in Mission Work (Hamachane Hacharedi, 07/06/00,
Both articles were written for religious weeklies, and though they do not focus on the
same incident, there is but one complaint. The Messianic Student movement has
been “making itself known” through the distribution of invitations to their meetings,
and setting up an information stand.
The first article relates the shock of Knesset member Limor Livnat, who during a visit
to the university was surprised to find a stand representing the Messianic Students
Union. After looking into the matter she reported that university standards require a
minimum of 20 signatures for any one person to put up a stand.
Livnat asked the religious members of the Knesset to support her in protest of such
groups who threaten her Jewish identity.
The second article gives more insight into the activities of the Messianic Students
Union. According to Knesset member Rabbi Meir Porush, the Union distributes
pamphlets inviting students to participate in lively “theological” discussions titled
“questions of life and death.” In addition students are invited to Bible and New
Rabbi Porush said that “Parents teach their children to beware of fire, heights, pins
and knives. But our educational institutions do not teach the younger generation to
beware of teachings that are false and not connected to the law of Sinai.”
The Knesset’’s education committee will look into the legality of such action in Israeli
Ethiopian Social Worker is a Missionary! (Yom L’yom, 07/06/00)
Ethiopian immigrants are demanding the dismissal of their social worker who is the
daughter of a well-known missionary. These people claim that she herself has been
active in missionary work, though the social worker has said that her job has nothing
to do wii: her opinions. She denies being involved in missionary activity amongsi
these immigrants. It should be noted that she has been working for the municipality
Missionaries Working for Ministry of Labor and Welfare (Bakehila, 23/06/00)
According to this religious daily, two women working for the Ministry of labor and
welfare are, in fact, missionaries. Their job requires them to work mostly with needy
families, and it is in these situations mostly that they exploit their position and preach
their beliefs. It is believed that the women offered some families obvious financial
relief in exchange for their faith.
In addition to these tempting offers, the women have begun placing New Testaments
and informative literature in aid baskets that are given to needy families.
Yad L’achim sent a severe complaint to the ministry. They responded by saying that
“we are aware of the activity these women are involved in, but must point out that
none of it is done during work hours.”
A New Law: Seven Years to a Woman Praying at the Wailing Wall (2.05.00, Vesti)
In a short article the Russian daily describes the new law project offered in the government.
Four deputies from the party Yahadut Ha-Torah have offered a law project suggesting of seven years imprisonment for a woman who will pray at the Wailing Wall, having put on “talit” and “tfilin” (phylacteries) or reading the Torah out loud.
This law project was offered in connection with the verdict of BAGATZ, which had acknowledged women’s right to pray at the Wailing Wall, using religious attributes, which, according to the Jewish tradition, is an exclusive men’s prerogative.
The deputy Abraham Ravitz said to journalists on May, 31, that the verdict of the Highest Court of Justice contradicts the Law About Holy Places. The law project acquired the necessary number of voices, but the Chairman of Knesset Abraham Burg annulled the results of the voting, saying, that it was carried out without the necessary formalities. The same day, May, 31, the Knesset passed in preliminary reading the law project of the party SHAS, confirming the current order of prayers a the Wailing Wall.