Caspari Center Media Review…………August, 2001, #1
The number of articles that dealt with the subjects of Messianic Jews, Christianity, and the Mission that were received during the two week period covered by this review totaled 43. Of these:
- 9 articles dealt with the election of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch`
- 8 articles dealt with the visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury
- 6 articles dealt with the Vatican, Jewish/Catholic Relations
- 4 articles dealt with Tourism and tourist sites
- 5 articles dealt with human interest or personal stories
- 3 book reviews
- 2 articles dealt with the controversy over the excavations at the Scottish Church in Tiberias
The remaining 6 articles were on miscellaneous topics dealing with Christian, Arab or Jewish matters on their own merit.
Breaking into the Monastery (Roim Olam, July/August 2001, bimonthly journal)
This bimonthly journal features a 5 page article dealing with the accommodations available at Christian Guest Houses, convents and monasteries in Israel.
The article opens with a plea to Israelis to become acquainted with the Christian sites in Israel. “Churches and Christian sites that draw hoards of tourists are almost completely unknown to Israelis. Many churches and monasteries have guest rooms and offer a wonderful experience that includes, apart from the holiday, an encounter with another culture, special atmosphere, and even spiritual experience for those who are open for it.”
Three Jerusalem establishments: Christ Church Guest House, St. Andrew’s Hospice and St. Charles’ Monastery are positively reviewed and enthusiastically recommended. These three establishments are described and the history of Christ Church is included. In addition to the information about the places reviewed, a number of other guest houses are mentioned and contact information is given.
In the section concerning Christ Church, the Zionist history of the site is mentioned as is the ‘synagogue like’ appearance. Neil Cohen, himself Jewish and the current ‘father’ of the church was interviewed.
Visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury (Ha’Aretz, 31,07/01, 01/08/01, 03/08/01, Yidiot Achronot, 31/07/01, HaTzofeh 31/07/01, Jerusalem Post 31/07/01, Yeted Ne’eman, 10/08/01)
The visit of George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was widely covered by all sectors of the Israeli press. Both the secular and religious papers covered this visit. Archbishop Carey was invited to Jerusalem by the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, the Rt. Rev. Riah Abu El-Assal. The occasion of the visit is the alarming emigration of Christians, among them Anglicans, from Israel/Palestine. The number of Christians today in Israel and the Palestinian territories is the same today as in 1949.
Carey met with Prime Minister Sharon and Chairman Arafat. Following his meeting with the two political leaders, Archbishop Carey made it a point to praise them both. He also visited the areas of Bethlehem and Gaza. The archbishop’s hosts were concerned that Archbishop Carey see for himself the devastating effects of the occupation and uprising.
Carey said, “ You need us to put pressure on our political leaders – but in doing so we must be even-handed: Jewish people have a right to belong (there) but we’re speaking up for the rights of Palestinians too.” Carey spoke strongly about the need for Christians to remain in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Missionary Fairy Tales???? (HaTzofeh, 10/08/01)
A two page article dealing with the publication of a new edition of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales appeared in the weekend edition of this major religious daily. The writer of the article is incensed over the translation and publication of these stories that he considers to be missionary in content, tone and intention. The author, Liron Negler-Cohen, went so far as to approach the publisher and ask if missionary elements had paid for the publication of the current edition. In response, the publisher made it clear that the publisher is solely responsible for the publication and that this volume is one of a series that will eventually include all of Hans Christian Anderson’s works.
The article quotes extensively from some of the ‘more offensive’ stories and decries the effect that this ‘Christian missionary content’ would have on young, impressionable readers. “Within the 144 pages are hidden texts whose distribution is prohibited by Israeli….Among the 23 stories collected here, the name of ‘that man’ appears openly and undisguised in no less than seven of the stories.” The article quotes one sizeable text that speaks in glowing terms of the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Yeshua. “ ‘Mother’! Said the little boy, ‘listen, I want to tell you what I read.’ And the child sat beside the bed and told the story to his mother, things about the one and only one, who chose to die on the cross to save man, even the yet unborn generations. ‘There is no greater love than this.’” This is taken from the story “The Most Beautiful Rose in the World.”
The only positive thing the article has to say is that in this day of computer games, most children would probably find these stories boring. In addition to the text, the article features a photograph of the book’s cover and a number of the book’s illustrations that are also considered offensive, crosses, a star in the sky, etc.
Christian Groups to Boycott Products from Settlements (Yidiot Achronot, 09/08/01)
A short article in this major circulation Hebrew daily reports on a decision taken at a large conference of Christian churches and human rights organizations in Geneva recently. This group has vowed to find ways to boycott products produced in settlements since the presence of the settlements is the cause of conflict in the region.
The fifty representatives of international organizations represent “hundreds of millions of Christians in the world.” The conference theme dealt with the question of how to strengthen international support of a comprehensive peace that is based on justice and security for Palestinians and Israelis.
Vatican Reacts to ‘Slanderous Campaign’ by Jewish Scholars (Jerusalem Post 08/08/01, Ma’Ariv 08/08/01, Ha’Aretz 08/08/01)
Following the suspension of a joint Catholic-Jewish panel to study the activities of the Vatican during World War II, there have been a number of claims and counter claims regarding responsibility for the suspension. Jewish sources have been accusing the
Vatican of hiding the documents while the Vatican’s representative, Rev. Peter Gumpel, said that the panel’s work failed because of the “irresponsible” action of some of its (Jewish) members. Each side is accusing the other of reprehensible behavior.