Caspari Center Media Review
January #1, 2004 Media Review
During the period of time covered by this review, we received 82 articles on the
subjects of Messianic Jews, Christianity, Tourism and Aliyah. Of these:
5 dealt with Christian solidarity with Israel
4 dealt with Anti-Missionary attitudes
4 dealt with the promotion of Tourism in Israel
11 dealt with the Christmas/New Year holiday celebrations in Israel
4 dealt with issues of Anti-Semitism
4 dealt with Christian-Jewish Relations
3 dealt with Mormons
1 dealt with Ethiopian Jewry
The remaining 46 articles dealt with domestic Israeli, Christian, Jewish and political
Solidarity with Israel
(HaTzofeh Nov. 7, 2003) (HaTzofeh Nov. 710, 2003) (Jerusalem Post Nov. 10,
2003) (Yated Ne’eman December 28, 2003) (Sha’ar HaNegev Dec. 10, 2003 – 2
In spite of the clear decline in immigration to Israel from the Western world (by
30%, in comparison to last year), a group who calls themselves Soul to Soul has
sent more than 1,000 immigrants to Israel with major financial support from the
Christian world. The article calls for a reevaluation of immigration policies in the
Israeli government. Groups like Soul to Soul are funded mainly by Evangelical
Christian organizations. Furthermore they call for the Jewish Agency to advance
new and fresh efforts to promote immigration to Israel. The Jewish public finds
itself in an awkward situation where the Zionist dream for Aliyah is being realized,
for the most part, through the generous donations of Evangelical Christians.
(HaTzofeh Nov. 7, 2003)
Some 3,000 Korean Evangelical Christian supporters of Israel are set to participate
in a large convocation dedicated to the promotion of peace in the area. The
convocation is due to take place in Israel in the summer of 2004. Dr. Choy, the
general secretary of the group, stated that Israel and Korea have a common
history of much persecution. Through the conference, the Korean representatives
will express their solidarity with Israel.
In response to Israel’s recent dealings with the Hezbollah leadership, a letter
written by Jan Willem Van der Hoeven, director of the Christian Zionist Center in
Jerusalem, has expressed his opinion that these dealings are a bad policy. The
lesson Israel needs to teach the world is about bringing justice to the terrorists and
to not rewarding them for their actions. (Jerusalem Post Nov. 10, 2003)
(HaTzofeh Dec. 28, 2003) (HaModia Dec. 26, 2003) (Novostely Dec. 12, 2003)
The pursuit of Jewish souls is active in all parts of the country, from the cities to
settlements in Samaria. This is even getting the attention of the new immigrants
(Olim). The article is written in a negative tone including some controversial anti-
A contaminated tin of oil (HaModia Dec. 26, 2003) was the title of this article. It
raised questions regarding the decline of Jewish roots in the general public. These
questions come in the wake of various national phenomena such as people
leaving the country, people changing their religion and conversions in the attempt
to find other sources for spiritual fulfillment. The writer asks what these people are
missing in Judaism that is causing these phenomena.
A letter signed by 540 elderly people, addressed to the editors of a Russian
community newspaper, reproached the newspaper for publishing an advertisement
for Christian converts. The newspaper writes that the advertisement did not
constitute an endorsement of Christians, but was merely an advertisement in the
advertising section of the newspaper.
(Ha’Aretz Dec. 26, 2003- 2 articles) (Yated Ne’eman December 26, 2003)
Christians, Israel wants youl! Israel is wooing Christians into increased tourism
through appeals to Protestant clergy in the US. (Yated Ne’eman December 28,
Mrs. Phligie, age 72 from Florida, was declared as the millionth tourist to arrive in
Israel. The Minister of Tourism came personally to receive her with flowers and a
special celebration, as part of tourism-promoting activities.
Christmas/New Year holiday celebrations in Israel
(Ha’Aretz Dec. 25, 2003) (The Jerusalem Post Dec. 26, 2003) (Ma’ariv Dec. 29,
2003) (Yated Ne‘eman December 29, 2003) (The Jerusalem Post Dec. 25, 2003 -2
articles) (Ha’Aretz Jan. 05, 2004) (Zman Haifa Jan 05, 2004) (The Jerusalem Post
Jan 05, 2004)
A predominantly young group of Israelis crowded into Jerusalem’s Dormition
Abbey for the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass.
Bethlehem has cheered the easing of IDF restrictions this year. Pilgrims were able
to come for a short time and participate in traditional celebrations.
A short survey of New Year’s celebrations in Israel showed that less than a quarter
of Israelis were intending to welcome the New Year with celebrations.
A temporary reprieve was given to migrant workers in Israel, promising that the
Immigration Police would not be arresting and deporting any workers during the
Christmas and New Year holidays.
Exodus from Sudan!
(Yediot Ahronot Dec. 26, 2003)
“Not Without My Daughter,” (Yoman Dec. 26, 2003) states the headline of this
article. This declaration was made by Tekle Semu, age 70, who made his own first
attempt to find his daughter who was kidnapped during their exodus from Ethiopia
to Israel 20 years ago.
Two decades ago, some 4,000 Ethiopian Jews died during their long journey to the
Holy Land. During this journey hundreds of women and men were kidnapped and
taken as slaves and wives for the local Sudanese.
Now 20 years later their families are openly calling for the government to officially
assist them in finding their beloved ones. Some even went as far as going back to
the place where they lost their loved ones. Two different families, both seeking
loves ones, one a father (Tekle Semu) who found his daughter and another, a
daughter who found her father, both risked their lives going through local contacts
and private investigations. Both the leadership of the Ethiopian Jewish community
and government officials have cautioned those seeking family members of the
dangers they may face in Sudan.
(Yated Ne‘eman December 26, 2003) (Yediot Ahronot Dec. 31, 2003)(Makor
Rishon Dec. 19, 2003)
The return of Antiochus! After nearly 2000 years, Greece is producing the bitter
fruit of Anti-Semitism rather than Art or Philosophy. Menachem Mendel Hendel, the
Habad representative in Greece, said that this new phenomenon of clear and bold
Anti-Semitism is new to the Jewish community. Even if they wanted to deal with it,
they are unprepared to do so. (Makor Rishon Dec. 19, 2003)
The Presidential Committee in France is making efforts to maintain secularism
(Yated Ne’eman December 26, 2003) and is supporting legislation prohibiting head
covering in schools, and is also standing against making Jewish and Muslim
Holidays national days off from school. The law against head coverings is intended
to stop the spread of fundamentalist Islam in France. The churches and the Muslim
community oppose this new legislation.
In Yediot Ahronot’s last edition of the year 2003 (Dec. 31), the Age of Islam is
declared to be one of the major phenomena spreading throughout the world.
The Mormon Religion/Cult
(Index Yerushalayim Dec. 24, 2003) (Makor Rishon Dec. 26, 2003) (Ha’Aretz Dec.
31, 2003) (HaModia Dec. 31, 2003)
An allegation is being made against Mormons that they are engaged in the “virtual”
conversion of deceased Jews. In the past, an agreement was made between the
Mormons and Jewish representatives in which the Mormons agreed to stop
“converting” deceased Jews. Now Jewish representatives from Israel and the U.S.
are stating that the Mormons are violating this agreement.
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