May 31 – 2005

Caspari Center Media Review…………………………. May 2005 # 4

During the period of time covered by this review, we received 48 articles on the subjects of Messianic Jews, Christianity and the Mission. Of these:

  • 4 dealt with Jewish Christians Relations
  • 1 dealt with attitudes about Jesus
  • 1 dealt with Tourism
  • 3 dealt with Messianic Jews
  • 6 dealt with Anti-Missionary Attitudes
  • 3 dealt with Israeli/Jewish attitudes about Christians
  • 5 dealt with Christian support of Israel
  • 2 dealt with status of non-Jews


The remaining 23 articles dealt with different matters of Jewish or Christian interest.

Messianic Jews (Malabes May 20, 2005, Tzomet HaSharon May 20, 2005)

The same article appeared in Malabes (May 20, 2005) and Tzomet HaSharon (May 20, 2005). The 4-page article covered the reporter’s visit to the Students conference held at the Baptist Village over the Independence Holiday period. The report was in essence, neutral towards the Messianic Jewish community and featured interviews with Israeli believers, Jewish and non-Jewish, naming Michael Decker, Racheli Pecks, Dana and Anna both from Kfar Saba congregation and a Messianic Jew by the name of “D”. There is a lengthy interview with Michael Decker where much space is dedicated to his testimony as well as why “Yeshua” fulfils the Messianic criteria in the Tanach (Old Testament). Racheli Pecks is described as “looking just like the girl next door.” Racheli was asked questions on the ideology of dating non-believers and the Messianic Jewish attitude to homosexuals. The reporter’s response is that the “homosexual community can breath a sigh of relief” because “the Messianic’s do not hate them but rather see the act of homosexuality as a sin.”

An interview with Dana deals with the issue of Jesus being referred to as “Yeshua” and not “Yeshu”. When asked how the Messianic faith is different from Christianity, Dana responds by saying “we believe a direct relationship with God is possible and therefore do not need a human mediator to get to God and we do not need to say certain prayers at the right time.” The students also say that everything they do regarding their faith is done only according to the laws of the state. The reporter notes that all of the students say that Yad La’Achim “intimidate and persecute” the Messianic Jews in Israel. The activities and tactics of Yad L’Achim are described, including personal and congregational harassment, posters put up in towns with photos of Messianic Jews, “warning” communities of their presence, and spying in congregations. Yad L’Achim are given a short chance to respond under the headline “who is harassed and who is harassing?” and claim that the Messianic faith is the “real harassment of the Jewish people.”

Anti-Missionary Attitudes (Mishpacha May 5, 2005) (Kan Darom May 20, 2005) (HaShavua BeYerushalayim May 11, 2005)

The religious weekly HaShavua BeYerushalayim (May 11, 2005) notes ten issues that, in their opinion, devalue the notion that Israel is a Jewish state. “The danger of the mission” is described as one of those issues. The paper says that when the State of Israel was founded many were poor and it was the “mission who appeared as savior filling the poverty gap and causing many Jews to convert.” The paper goes onto say that “only God’s grace prevented a national and religious disaster.” Regret is also expressed that the Anti Missionary Legislation initiated by Knesset members Lapid and Gafni drew to a halt because of international pressure.

In a letter to the editor (Kan Darom May, 20, 2005) “sadness and shock” is expressed because “ironically” during Israel’s Independence Holiday in Ashkelon Park, “many missionaries were as vultures distributing missionary material among the crowds.” The writer says that “it is horrifying that they plant ‘their Torah’ among us so that they can convert Jews.”

A Hassidic singer, who received “missionary material” in Hebrew from a staff worker at American Airlines on his way back to Israel, is the subject of an article in Mishpacha (May, 5, 2005). The singer says that he “naively” thought that the surprise package was a Jewish prayer book or something relevant to Passover. The “travelers package” was given to all passengers and according to Mishpacha, American Airlines have declined to comment.

Christian Support of Israel (Jerusalem Post May 25, 2005) (HaAretz English Edition May 27, 2005)

HaAretz (May 27, 2005) reports on Kay Arthur of Precept Ministries, Chattanooga. In a speech given at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in the States, Kay Arthur stated that “if I had to choose between Israel and the States I would choose Israel. ”She says this is because God chose Israel above all the nations…I have to follow God’s heart and be dedicated to the land and the people of Israel.” HaAretz describes Kay Arthur on Christian TV as a lady who “rattles off verses from the Old and New Testament alike, convincing people of the Jewish nation’s uniqueness and the biblical basis for her gung-ho Zionism.”

The 25th anniversary of the ICEJ was briefly reported in the Jerusalem Post (May 25, 2005). The embassy is described as “being maintained by millions of Christians in 125 countries” and also as the largest Christian Zionist organization in the world. The ICEJ is said to work with other Christian Zionist groups such as Bridges for Peace and Christian Friends of Israel, who the paper notes has helped bring 60,000 Jews to Israel. Malcolm Hedding was described as “almost overcome with emotion” at the anniversary celebration.

Status of Non-Jews (Ma’ariv May 23, 2005) (Jerusalem Post May 27, 2005)

According to Ma’ariv an Israeli who was called up for national service has asked for exemption because he is a priest (Ma’ariv May 23, 2005). The article says that the unnamed man who describes himself as a “committed Christian” has a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother. The army has passed the case onto the Ministry of Interior to check when the man “converted” to Christianity. The paper says that citizenship can be disqualified and a person expelled from Israel if an immigrant converted after he came to Israel.

The Jerusalem Post (May 27, 2005) follows the story of Tabitha and Vincent Stuker who are Bible-believing Protestants, waiting to see if they will be granted permanent residence. The article gives a short biography of their families and the possibility that Tabitha’s father was a righteous gentile. Tabitha and Vincent have gathered many testimonies and say that they “love Israel and identify with the Jewish people.” In the report they state that they “have no missionary ambitions” and simply want to bring thousands of Dutch Bible-believing Christians to visit Israel. The Post ends the article by saying that “friends are scarce and foes aplenty” and therefore Israel should be “wise enough to act according to the difference.”

Israeli/Jewish Attitudes Concerning Christians (HaAretz May 24, 2005) HaAretz English Edition May 25, 2005)

“The neglected book” is the title of a feature on the importance of the Bible to Christians and Jews (HaAretz May 25, 2005 English Edition) (HaAretz May 24, 2005). The article reports on the decline of the Bible’s status in Israeli society and how this is clearly reflected by the minimum place allotted to it in High School studies. The report compares the decline in Israel and among Jews with the greatest defenders of the Bible, who it says are “Christians, especially ‘Evangelists’ in the USA.” The paper says that while there “is a fundamental debate on the state’s Jewish character…there are hardly any displays of concern about ignorance and neglect of Bible studies.”

Art and the Bible (HaAretz May 24, 2005)

A review of an exhibition in the Museum of Biblical Art, New York, appears in HaAretz (May 24, 2005). The article describes the museum’s dilemma, that although it is simply a cultural initiative many people believe it to be “right-wing and fundamental.” The paper says that in the next five years the museum will achieve independence from the Bible Society that is described as a “Christian Organization that has distributed more than 6 billion Bibles ‘that is to say the Tanach and the New Testament.’” The paper says that many in New York would like to “use the museum as an opportunity as a tool for making Christian converts,” and that because the museum is short of funds various Christian TV and radio stations have offered to come alongside in support. However, the director of he museum has turned them all down in an attempt to not be seen in engaging in religious activity. The article describes the work of two artists, one of whom made a head of John the Baptist and painted it in luminous colors, and the other who made various images of “Yeshu” and pasted them on cereal packages. There are two photos of art works of Jesus.