January 31 – 2002

Caspari Center Media Review……………. January 2002, #2


In the period of time covered by this review, we received 53 articles on the subjects of Messianic Jews, Christianity and the Mission. Of these:


  • 16 articles dealt with land issues in the country
  • 13 articles dealt with missionary activities
  • 8 articles dealt with the Catholic Church and the Vatican
  • 5 articles dealt with Christmas in Israel
  • 2 articles dealt with Tourism in the land


The remaining 9 articles were single articles dealing with matters of Jewish or Christian interest on their own merit.


Mission among Jews in Former Soviet Union (24/1/02, Ha’Modia)

In this religious paper, an article appeared stating that Messianic Jews in the F.S.U have formed ministries among the Jewish population in the major cities to the extent that more Jews are exposed to these ministries than to Jewish synagogues. In response to these facts, an orthodox organization,  “Magen,” was established oppose the mission in these cities. The organization enjoys support from most of the religious sects in the F.S.U as well as in Israel.


Kashrut adviser sues restaurant (23/1/02, Ma’ariv)

This article tells of a Tel-Aviv restaurant that lost its Kashrut license after a Christian worker cooked herself a meal on Saturday. To the amazement of the owner, Orit Moshkovitz, the restaurants’ Kashrut adviser proceeded to sue her on the grounds that he had lost his employment due to the event.


After much discussion, it was decided to pay the plaintiff one thousand shekels, some of which taken from the paycheck he was to receive, and thus the case was closed.


The Vatican reduces Christian animosity towards Jews (21/1/02, 23/1/02, Ha’Aretz Hebrew and English edition)

In a recent 210-page document published in Rome, the Catholic Church states that there is no contradiction between the Christian belief that Jesus is to return and the Jewish anticipation of the Messiah.


The document was accepted, although cautiously, in Jewish circles in Europe. The importance of the document lies especially in two main areas; first of all it states that its goal is “to encourage love within Christ’s Church towards the Jews, after the horrible crimes they have endured.” Second, for the first time in Vatican history, the doctrine, according to which the old covenant that God made with the Jews was replaced by the new, thus creating a basis for the denial of Judaism’s right to exist, was invalidated. The document also has political importance due to its apology that some passages from the New Testament were used to justify anti-Semitism.


Religious leaders meet in Alexandria (21/1/02, 22/1/02, Yediot Acharonot, 21/1/02, 22/1/02, The Jerusalem Post, 22/1/02, Ha’Aretz)

In a historic meeting of top Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders in Alexandria, a declaration was issued declaring the killing of innocents “a desecration of God’s name and defamation of religion.” The three day gathering was initiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey together with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Melchior, and was attended by many prominent leaders from the Middle East; among them: Sephardi Chief Rabbi Eliahu Bakshi-Doron, Sheikh Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, head of Egypt’s Al-Azhar University, the supreme Sunni Muslim religious institution, Sheikh Taysir Tamimi, head of the P.A’s religious courts, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah and others.


The final draft of the declaration consists of a seven-point pledge by the leaders to use their “religious and moral authority to work for an end to the violence and the resumption of the peace process.” The document was also sent to Chairman Arafat for approval.


Nazareth mosque dispute continues (18/1/02, 21/1/02, The Jerusalem Post, 14/1/02, 18/1/02, 20/1/02, 22/1/02, Ha’Aretz, 4/1/02, Yated Ne’eman, 16/1/02, 22/1/02, Ma’ariv, 14/1/02, The Jerusalem Report)

The controversy surrounding the building of the mosque in Nazareth continues to occupy many headlines in the Israeli press. Nothing as of yet has changed, even though the issue has grown to become an international dispute. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon strongly opposes the building, all the streams of Islam have come together to support it, and the Vatican sees the mosque as a direct provocation.


On January 17th, the Ministerial committee that was given the task by the cabinet to find a solution to the problem met with city and Muslim leaders, but no actual decisions were made at that time.