January 2005 #2 Caspari Center Media Review To subscribe to the Media Review, send a blank email to To request copies of original articles, email
During the period of time covered by this review, we received 158 articles as follows:
11 dealt with Messianic Jews and anti-missionary organizations 30 dealt with Christians and the status of non-Jews in Israel
15 dealt with Israeli attitudes toward Christians and Christianity 4 dealt with Christian solidarity with Israel
28 dealt with anti-Semitism and Jewish-Christian relations
6 covered archaeology
19 covered Christian tourism and tourist sites
3 were film, music, art, or book reviews
The remaining articles dealt with Christian or Jewish affairs on their own merit.
“Missionaries” and Anti-Missionaries
Kolbo, Dec. 31; Yediot HaGalil, Dec. 31; Reshet Moreshet, Dec. 29, 2004; BaKehila, Jan. 27; Yediot Haifa, Jan. 14; HaModia, Jan. 20, 26, Feb. 4; Yated Ne’eman English, Jan. 14; Mishpaha, Jan. 20, 2005
Mishpaha and HaModia (Jan. 20) report on a Catholic Church in Galilee inviting nearby residents – including children – to a musical event. When they arrived, the event turned out to be nothing but missionary preaching, with songs conveying the same message about “that man.” In Haifa, students at a special education school were taken to visit a church, where they were given New Testaments by a Santa Claus figure (Kolbo, Dec. 31; Yediot Haifa, Jan. 14). Parents complained to the mayor about this “missionary activity,” saying that even pluralism has its limits.
Israeli attitudes toward Christians and Christianity
Ha’ir. Dec. 30, 2004; HaModia, Jan. 28; Ha’Aretz, Jan. 17, Feb. 2, 4, 6; Jerusalem Post, Jan. 21, 25; Malabes, Jan. 21; Nana, Jan. 23; Arutz 7, Jan. 29; BakKehila, Jan. 13; Blazer, Jan. 2005; Derech Ha’Osher, Jan. 2005
Blazer, a Tel-Aviv monthly magazine, makes fun of Jesus in a “photo album” of his life, complete with captions in which he supposedly tells his story. A photo of a classic painting of Mary and the baby Jesus is accompanied by the remark, “My father isn’t in the picture, because it’s unclear who my father is: the Holy Spirit, Joseph the carpenter, or Jehosaphat the mailman.” A picture captioned “Walking on Water” shows a nude figure from the back, with the quote, “If this fish moves, I’m history.” Other photos in the “album” include the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection.
HaModia includes an opinion piece that describes “Christian Unity” as being made possible by unending hatred of the Jews, a hatred which brings together people and nations who are otherwise enemies. This was true during WWII, and is true today as seen in the United Nations.
All four articles in Ha’Aretz in this section cover cultural issues in the USA. On Jan. 17 and Feb. 2 there are reports on “The return of Darwin and the monkeys.” These articles report on the controversy over teaching alternatives to Darwinian evolution in US schools, where Christian conservatives want the Intelligent Design theory to be taught as well. Both articles side with those who want any reference to a creator kept out of public schools. On Feb. 4, Ha’Aretz reports on the claims that “Sponge Bob” and other cartoon characters are being
http: //7www.caspari.com/mediareview/2005/05-01-2.html 27-Mar-05 used to promote the homosexual political agenda. This report is fairly even- handed, detailing the positions of both sides of the debate, and saying that it will not end anytime soon since the divide in American culture is so great. The final Ha‘Aretz article (Feb. 6) covers the use of ultrasound technology in crisis pregnancy centers and its effect on women considering abortion. According to this report, 90% of the women considering abortion decide against aborting their babies after having an ultrasound. The article includes quotes from both pro-life and pro-choice activists, as well as from women who decided to keep their babies.
Christians in Israel / Status of non-Jews
Yediot HaGalil, Dec. 31; Kolbo, Dec. 31, 2004; Ha’Aretz English, Jan. 21: Ha‘Aretz, Jan. 21, 23, 25, 31; Feb. 4; The Marker, Feb. 4; Yated Ne’eman, Feb. 1; HaTzofeh, Feb. 1; HaModia, Feb. 3; Kol HaZman, Feb. 4; Iton Yerushalayim, Jan. 28, Feb. 4; Kol Ha’ir, Feb. 4; Arim, Jan. 28; Nana, Feb. 3, 6; Ma’ariv, Jan. 18, 20; Jerusalem Post, Jan. 7,14, 21, 23; Kol HaNegev, Jan. 7, Yom L’Yom, Jan 13; Arutz 7, Feb. 8, Globes, Jan. 20, 2005
Kol HaNegev and Yom L’Yom report on Yad L’Achim’s activities against Arabs in Israel. The former story is an interview with a girl who started dating an Arab Christian without knowing his true identity. When the truth came out and she decided to end the relationship, he threatened her and her family. The second story is about residents of Pisgat Ze’ev, a neighborhood in north Jerusalem where Arab collaborators have been settled for their safety. Yad L’Achim reports that Jewish girls are “caught in the nets” of these Arabs, and need to be rescued. In a related story, Arutz 7 reports on an Arab anti-racism group that has filed a complaint with the Attorney General against Yad L’Achim. According to the complaint, Yad L’Achim’s activities harm the religious sentiments of Christian missionaries, as well as inciting racism against Arab residents of Israel.
Israel’s Interior Ministry has decided to deport Barbara Ludwig, a Messianic believer who has been trying for months to get a student visa (/ton
Yerushalayim, Feb. 4; see ). Ludwig’s attorney, Calev Meyers, says that the ministry’s decision is full of inaccuracies and insults.
“The Children’s Hour” in Ha’Aretz (English and Hebrew, Jan. 21) covers the ultranationalist Kahane Youth movement. Along with its political stand against the disengagement, the movement also holds racist views, and the article details an attack made against a Christian Arab couple and their little girl who were walking in downtown Jerusalem. The police arrested a few teens in the incident, but they denied involvement, claimed the police had harassed them, and one of them is quoted saying that it’s “too bad [the Arab] didn’t die.”
Archaeology Jerusalem Post, Jan. 21, 30; NRG, Jan. 24: Yediot Ahronot, Jan. 31; Eretz V’Teva, Jan-Feb, 2005
Eretz V’Teva ran a feature on the “John the Baptist cave” found near Ein Kerem (see ). The article includes quite a bit of history from the New Testament as well as the likely use of the cave over the centuries, but concludes that there is very little to tie the site to John the Baptist himself.
The Jerusalem Post (Jan. 30) reports on the debate over the Shroud of Turin, including an analysis by a Hebrew University botanist that gives support to the belief that the shroud could be up to 3,000 years old. The Post (Jan. 21) also profiles Rev. William Broughton, an Episcopal priest and archaeologist, who says that without hands-on learning, it’s hard to have a true grasp of the Bible. Broughton is also involved in inter-faith dialogue, and has strong ties with Arab Christians as well as with Jews in Jerusalem.