Caspari Center Media Review……..September 2001#2
The number of articles that appeared in the Israeli English and Hebrew media during the time period covered by this review totaled 43. These subjects covered by this review are Messianic Jews, Christianity, and the Mission. Of the 43 articles:
- 8 articles expressed Christian support of Israel
- 6 articles dealt with the new Greek Orthodox patriarch
- 5 book reviews
- 4 articles dealt with anti-missionary activity
- 3 articles dealt with non-Jews in Israel (Russian immigration)
- 3 articles dealt with security issues
- 3 articles dealt with interfaith issues
The remaining six articles dealt with Christian or Jewish issues on their own merit.
Yad L’ Achim is Active (HaTzofeh 25/09/01, Yom L’Yom 6/09/01, B’kehilah 14/09/01)
These religious papers all report on the activities of the anti-missionary organization ‘Yad L’Achim.’ Yad L’Achim is engaged in an ongoing war with Christian and Messianic groups in Israel.
These three articles deal with Yad L’Achim’s activities that are directed against the Hesed v’Emet (Grace and Truth) congregation in Rishon LeTzion. The congregation is in the midst of building a new center with will include a church, a counseling center, library, etc. Yad L’Achim is very opposed to this project, referring to it as the “growth of missionary nests in the heart of the Tel Aviv area.”
Yad L’Achim got hold of a tract that was distributed to the members of Hesed v’Emet congregation asking them not to share information about the congregation, the people in it or the congregation building with anyone over the telephone. The tract asked the congregation members to refer any questions to the elders of the congregation. A copy of the tract appeared in all three of the articles.
Vatican’s New Version of the New Testament (HaTzofeh, 11/09/01)
This Hebrew language religious daily published a short article stating that the Vatican is planning to release a new and updated version of the New Testament which will include new information received form the Dead Sea scrolls. An international committee is working on the changes and an official announcement of the project is due to be given in late September.
New Mission Law in Progress (Yom l’Yom, 13/09/01)
This article, published in a Jerusalem religious weekly, reports on how religious parties in the government (primarily Shas) are currently working on a new law proposal. They plan to try to pass this through the Knesset during its next session.
The law, if passed would make it illegal for anyone to try to influence another person, by any means, to change their religion. To this point, the main difficulty that has been encountered is that the current coalition government has made policy that no new religious or anti-religious laws will be passed by the government.
Shas, however, argues that the tone of the law is democratic and they further say that the idea behind the proposed law is “each man should live according to his own religion.” For this reason they do not see that the proposed law is either ‘religious’ or ‘anti-religious.’ Shas has hired a lawyer to prepare the new law and rid it of any religious meaning.
An American with a Mission (Jerusalem Post 21/09/01)
This four-page feature article appeared in the large circulation English daily telling the moving story of Jonathan Miles. He is an American Christian on a mission to help save the lives of Palestinian children with severe heart failure.
Jonathan Miles has worked very hard to make possible the passage of Palestinian children from the Gaza Strip to Wolfson hospital in central Israel. He has had to overcome many obstacles— endless bureaucracy, extreme security at checkpoints and great financial burden. Miles, together with a small group of dedicated Christian volunteers, has put together a mission, which unlike most organizations in the country carries a spirit that bridges the polarity in the land and “represents a new model for Christian ministry, one in which Jew and Palestinian are brought closer together through the efforts of Christians.”
Christian Feast of Tabernacles ( Jerusalem Post 01/10/01, Faxtors 01/10/01, HaTzofeh 01/10/01 and 03/10/01)
These papers all report on the expected visit of some 2,500 Christians from around the world who are coming to Israel to attend the annual Christian celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles held in the International Convention Center in Jerusalem. These Christians are coming to support Israel and considering the current political situation, this is both unusual and honorable. In addition to the support the Feast participants offer on a spiritual level, the large number of tourists will also help Israel’s ailing tourism industry