Caspari Center Media Review………………………….. April 2002, #1
In the period of time covered by this review, we received 42 articles on the subject of Messianic Jews, Christianity and the mission. Of these:
- 14 articles dealt with missionary activity in the country
- 12 articles dealt with the security situation
- 3 articles dealt with Christian support of Israel
- 3 articles dealt with tourism in the country
- 2 articles were book reviews
The remaining 8 articles were single articles dealing with matters of Jewish or Christian interest on their own merit.
Demonstrations outside conference (HaModia, 01/04/02, HaTzofe, 02/04/02)
In continuation of the story appearing in the last media review regarding the Messianic conference during Passover, it is important to add some new details. The conference was held as planned and was regarded as a great success, even with the religious opposition. Anti-missionary groups organized a large demonstration in front of Kfar HaMacabia, trying to prevent as many people as possible from attending.
In addition, the anti-missionary group Yad LeAchim has organized the Rabbis of Ramat Gan, and together, the religious groups are threatening to deny the conference center their kashrut license.
Religious attack secular T.V programming (Globus, 27/03/02, Ma’ariv, 27/03/02)
Knesset Member Yigal Bibi began attacking the cable companies during a meeting of the Economics Committee of the Knesset, expressing great anger that the alleged companies include international channels in their programming, some of which contain Christian orientated T.V shows. He named the phenomenon “anarchy of expression” and predicted the drastic fall of the cable companies due to the current programming.
Haifa employee fired (Yated Ne’eman, 27/03/02)
In expectation of the opening of a new bridge in Haifa, the city’s municipality hired a number of people to hand out leaflets explaining the changes in traffic. One of these employees handed out missionary materials as well. The chief Rabbis of the city became aware of this and immediately turned to his employers, who then removed him from the job, saying that he would probably not be paid his wages for the work already completed.
Extreme religious attack Netanya community (Yom LeYom, 26/03/02)
The newest area the extreme religious group Yad LeAchim has decided to attack is Netanya. The article mentions that the congregation in Netanya headed by David Loden and Evan Thomas, has acquired a new building in the industrial area of the city, and is attempting to convert Jews to Christianity. The article also says that Yad LeAchim has infiltrated Beit Asaph congregation and is planning to act severely in order to fight the so-called missionary activities in the city.
Jerusalem House of Prayer for All Nations meeting attacked by Yad LeAchim (Yom LeYom-HaMa’avak, 26/03/02)
In this magazine, published by Yad LeAchim themselves, there appears a copy of a letter which circulated throughout the messianic congregations and home groups in the country calling them to come together for joint prayer. In the article relating to the letter, the magazine printed the names of Benjamin Berger (Jerusalem), David Lazarus (Tel-Aviv), Avi Mizrachi (Tel-Aviv) and Daniel Yahav (Tiberius) naming them as dangerous missionaries.
Cloud and Wind, and Yet No Rain- (book review) (HaAretz, 05/04/02)
This is the title of the new book by Yaron Peri, (published in Hebrew) telling the story of mission to Israel which originated in London. It relates the activity of London’s Protestant mission from 1809 and after, including their support in health areas as well as explaining their strong belief in the Messiah.
Status issues become complicated for immigrants (HaAretz Hebrew and English edition, 27/03/02)
The complicated issue of the new immigrants in the country is becoming more and more complex. Three articles appeared in HaAretz magazine telling of the plight of these people.
The main emphasis was on the children caught between the Law of Return and the Ministry of Interior. Many of these children come with their families only to find that although their parents, and sometimes even their siblings, are granted citizenship, they are denied. This problem can often occur, due to the strict Law stating that grandchildren of Jewish decent are entitled to citizenship, while the great-grandchildren are not. This triggers a situation where the children, on top of the pressure of coming to a new country, culture, language and life, are forced to deal with the fear of deportation, the lack of acceptance, and the loss of belonging even to their own families.
To make matters worse, the Ministry of Interior is not always completely clear on these matters, so that many of the immigrants are not even aware that the problem exists until they file for a passport or are not called to the army like everyone else.
The three articles state very grave criticism of the Government offices in charge of these matters, and call out for a real change in policy.
Beth Abraham – a story of repentance (Jerusalem Post Weekend Edition)
Beth Abraham in Jerusalem, dedicated in 1961, has served as a retreat for Holocaust survivors for the past 41 years. The retreat is run by the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary, a group of 200 women worldwide, who have dedicated their lives to seeking forgiveness for their fathers’ sins during the Holocaust.
The article includes interviews with the two of the first nuns to come to the Jerusalem, sisters Irene and Gratia, who lovingly tell the story of Beth Abraham and of their own growth in faith and the satisfaction they receive by doing their blessed work in the country, as well as interviews with survivors under the care of the sisters. It weaves a beautiful tale of people who have dedicated their lives to helping others. As sister Gratia said: “We can never heal the wounds, they are just too deep. But we can help to sooth them.” This taken together with the testimonies of the survivors indicates that they have indeed succeeded in their mission.