June 15 – 2004

Caspan Center Media Review


June 2004 #1 Caspari Center Media Review


During the period of time covered by this review, we received 77 articles as



5 dealt with Messianic Jews and anti-missionary organizations

11 dealt with Christian solidarity with Israel

9 dealt with the status of non-Jews

1 dealt with anti-Semitism / anti-Zionism

17 covered Christian tourism and tourist sites

3 covered film and books

9 covered Jewish-Christian relations

7 covered religion, politics and culture


The remaining articles dealt with domestic Israeli and Christian or Jewish affairs on

their own merit.


“Missionaries” and Anti-Missionaries

Yom L’¥am, June 10; Yediot Haifa, June 4; Yated Ne’eman, June 9; HaTzofeh,

June 11, 14; lton Yerushalayim, June 11; Israel Today, June 2004


The /sraei Today monthly reports on the protests against Messianic Jews in the

southern city of Arad, quoting the city’s chief rabbi as saying, “Get out of our city,

you liars, who … want to snatch our children and convert them to Christianity …

They should hang a chain and cross around their necks so we can recognize them

as Christians and not mistake them for Jews.”


Yediot Haifa covers the new Messianic magazine for youth, Lo B’Mikreh (“Not by

Chance”). The publication is called a “step up” in the activity of the “missionary cult

of Messianic Jews,” who hide their message that Jesus is the Messiah in this

magazine that is distributed at music and New Age festivals. At a spring New Age

festival in northern Israel, the Messianic Jews had a booth that attracted many

young people. The head of Shas (the Sephardic Orthodox political party) in Haifa

was shocked: “We must fight missionary activity with education. The fact that

young people turn to all kinds of cults shows how much we lack good education in

the Tanach (Old Testament) which is the only thing for the Jews.”


Yom L’Yom (and ultra-orthodox paper) follows up on the reports of Yad L’Achim’s

activities against the “Artists, Musicians and Media Club” ( Media

Review). The current article complains about the lack of police cooperation in

dealing with this missionary threat. In order to protect innocent youth, a Yad

L’Achim activist was standing outside the club and handing out material explaining

its missionary and criminal nature. While he was talking with one of the youth, a

police car pulled up in response to a call from Richard Frieden, the owner of the

club. While the police were there, the latter made physical threats against the anti-

missionary activist, who was then ordered to go with the police for questioning on

suspicion of incitement. After he was questioned and released, the anti-missionary

activist went back to the club to continue warning youth. At that point Frieden and

“another bully” came out and cursed and threatened him. His continued calm drove

them crazy, and Frieden jumped him and grabbed his bag of educational materials.

The activist then went to the police station to file a complaint, but the police refused

to take his statement. The head of Yad L’Achim was not surprised: “It’s absurd that

we are always fighting for the amendment of the anti-mission laws so that they will

completely forbid all missionary activity, and each time we come up against

support for freedom of expression. … Each time we point out that the current law is

being broken, we come up against a hostile wall. This time the police have even

joined the missionaries in their plot against the legitimate activity of Yad L’Achim.”


Yated Ne‘eman, HaTzofeh, and Ifon Yerushalayim all report on the mayor of

Jerusalem boycotting a meeting with Christian tourists after the leader of the group

was discovered to be a missionary. Dr. Ulf Ekman of the Word of Life organization

wrote a letter assuring the ultra-orthodox mayor that he supports Israel, educates

Christians, fights anti-Semitism, etc., but that wasn’t enough. When at the last

minute he declined to add the phrase “I affirm that | am not involved in any

missionary activity among Jews,” the mayor decided to stay in his office.


Christians in Israel / Status of non-Jews

Yediot Ahronot, June 1, 3, 9: HaModia, May 25; Jerusalem Post, June 4; Hed

HaKrayot, June 4; Israel Today, June 2004


Yediot Ahronot (June 9) reports that their online reporter for Arab affairs, an Arab

Christian, was not allowed to join Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom’s entourage on a

trip to Cairo. When the foreign minister’s spokesman called with the request to

send someone else instead of the veteran reporter, he told the news editor that the

reason is “off the record.” This is not the first time Arab reporters have been

prohibited from doing their job because of “security factors.”


On June 1 Yediot Ahronot reports on a “partial OK for Reform conversion.” Israel’s

high court ruled that the Law of Return applies to those who convert to Judaism in

Israel, without specifying which type of conversion is necessary. This ruling goes

against the stand of the Interior Ministry that the Law of Return applies only to

Jews in the diaspora who want to immigrate.


Christian Support for Israel


Yated Ne’eman English, May 28; Jerusalem Post, June 10; Ha’Aretz, June 1, 3;

Ma’ariv, June 8; Globes, June 10; Anashim Yerushalayim, June 1; Zman

HaNegev, June 4; NFC, June 10; Nekuda, June 2004


In the midst of declining support for Israel in Europe, Ma’ariv reports on a

Protestant group in Holland which deliberately buys “Blue and White” products

from Israel. “Israel Products Center’ was established in 1979 by the Van Hort

family, and does about 3 million Euros worth of sales each year, as well as

educating others about Israel and encouraging support for “the Chosen People.”


Norwegian Christians express their Zionism in a letter to Nekuda (a Jerusalem

monthly) containing a history lesson: In 1920, they write, Jewish settlers in the

“finger of Galilee” (Kiryat Shmona area) did not receive support from the rest of the

Jewish population when they were attacked by Arab terrorists, and in fact there

were calls for them to leave. Just as they are now considered heroic pioneers, so

the settlers in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the Golan Heights are creating the basis

for a strong Jewish country.


Ha‘Aretz (June 1) reports on the “Apostolic Congress,” a Pentecostal movement in

the US that worked hard to convince President Bush to step back from his support

for the “road map.” They also raise funds for the needy in Israel, but according to a

report in The Village Voice (a U.S. based newspaper) they’re breaking |sraeli law

by offering incentives for conversion. Israeli government officials who have become

friends with these supporters say that if this is true, they will immediately cut ties

with the movement. On June 3 Ha’Aretz carries a report on the “New Zionist – a

Canadian Christian Lover of Israel,” focusing on a group from Canada that has

settled in a community close to the green line and opened a factory.


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