July 23 – 2005

Caspari Center Media Review………… July 2005 # 3

During the period of time covered by this review, we received 30 articles on the subjects of Messianic Jews, Christianity, and the Mission. Of these:

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


The remaining 11 articles dealt with different matters of Jewish or Christian interest.

Messianic Jews (HaModia Jun. 6, 2005)

According to the religious daily HaModia (Jun. 23, 2005) more than 400 Philippine foreign workers received a video about “that man” in order to “watch the movie with the old and sick people that they have come to Israel to look after with the intent of ‘bringing them to that dubious faith.’” HaModia reports that this came to the attention of Yad L’Achim after they received a tract put out by the “missionary congregation Mount Carmel” in Haifa, of which the “notorious missionary David Davis” is the head. Rabbi Dov Shalom Lipshitz has written to the Ministry of Interior “urging him to take immediate action.”  Lipshitz says in his letter “the situation is very grave, there is no doubt that these foreign workers will exploit the sick and old in order to force them into Christianity.”

Christian Support of Israel (HaAretz Jun. 20, 2005)

Inspired by Exodus 33, two businessmen, a Christian and Jew believe that the possibility of finding significant quantities of oil in Israel is “closer than ever” HaAretz (Jun. 20, 2005). One of the men, John Brown, is described as a “born again Catholic” who had a “mystical revelation” concerning the location of oil in Israel, which he believes to be between Haifa and Tel Aviv. Brown, who calls his business “Zion Oil,” says “this was the location of the tribes of Ephraim and Menashe in Biblical times.” Tuvia Luskin, his Jewish partner is also described as having a “religious revelation” as to the probable location of oil.

The quarterly Nativ (June 2005) contains a 5-page article by James Vineyard, the Chairman of Christian Friends of Israel, Oklahoma, USA in which he expands on five Scriptural points, why “Christians should stand against the disengagement plan and love and support Israel.” In the article Mr. Vineyard shares how he “researched the Scriptures to see what it means to bless Israel.” He explains that “Israel is the apple of God’s eye” and that replacement theology has been the “platform for much anti-Semitism.” He also says “those who bless Israel shall be blessed” and that although “I am a Westerner my heart is in the East and that my ‘fate’ is tied up with yours (the Jewish people).”

Makor Rishon (Jun. 17, 2005) publishes an article about Richard Hellman, the president of the Christian Israel Public Action Campaign (CIPAC) in the USA. Over the last period of time Mr. Hellman is “investing much effort” to explain to the American public why the American government “should increase support for Israel” and why the disengagement plan “will harm America.” The article notes that CIPAC is “based on the Bible and founded with the objective of helping Israel and the Jewish people.” It also says that Hellman, “as a matter of principle, will not criticize Israel” and therefore instead “warns America of the dangers of the US encouraging Sharon’s disengagement plan.”

Israeli/Jewish Attitudes Concerning Christians (Duet Jun. 2005; Mishpacha May 25, 2005; Jerusalem Post Jun. 24, 2005)

An Israeli with a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother went to the IDF enlistment office requesting exemption from army service because “I am a priest” Mishpacha (May 25, 2005). The man claims that he is entitled to army exemption because Yeshiva Jews engaging in religion and study are entitled to exemption, and therefore “the same rules should apply” to him. The army is verifying that he has indeed been ordained as a priest and should this be the case then his enlistment will be postponed and reviewed in a year’s time.

Duet (June 2005) features an interview with Father Elias Shakur, a Catholic Arab priest in who holds a master’s degree from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, in Biblical and Talmudic studies. Father Elias says he embarked on his studies because it was important for him to “know how religious Jewish people think.”  When asked if there was anything that Father Elias did not like about the Talmud he responds that he doesn’t like the “attitudes towards Gentiles” and the fact that “they call Yeshua ‘Yeshu.’ There is an injustice here and an unfair verdict towards Him.” He has visited a Concentration Camp and says that he was “horrified at the thought” that “if I was a Jew in Germany I too would have been taken to the camps.” Father Elias, whose family lost their home during the War of Independence, says, “I have forgiven the Israeli soldiers but I would still like to see justice and be returned to my home.”

An article in the Jerusalem Post (Jun. 24, 2005) contains a report by Robert Everett, an ordained pastor in the United Church of Christ, about mainline Protestant liberal denominations in the US who have “breathed new life into the teachings of contempt for Jews” in their “indiscriminate support of Palestinian theologians such as Naim Ateek.” Everett says that Ateek, president of Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theological Center, is “recycling the deicide charge against the Jews” by using “religious figure of Biblical passages to delegitimize Israel.” According to Robert Everett, Ateek compares modern-day Israel with ancient Rome and says that the Israeli government is a “crucifixion system operating daily.” Everett concludes by saying that the liberal Protestants “who are tolerant and silent” towards these attitudes, should “remove the speck from their own eye before pointing out the speck in the eye of Evangelical Christians who love Israel.”

Jewish-Christians Relations (HaAretz English edition Jun. 20, 2005; Jerusalem Post Jun. 19,21, 2005)

Pope Benedict XVI has suspended the planned beatification of French priest, Rev. Leon Dehon, while the Vatican investigates allegations of anti-Semitism HaAretz English edition (Jun. 20, 2005) Jerusalem Post (Jun. 19, 2005). In his 1898 social catechism Rev. Dehon wrote; “the Jews have maintained their hatred of Christ” and have “fought the action of the church everywhere.” In the same article, the papers note this suspension to be a “highly unusual move” and “another indication that the German-born Benedict XVI is intent on not offending Jews.”  It is also noted that Pope Benedict XVI, during his two months in office, has “gone out of his way to reach out to Jews.”

Different matters of Jewish or Christian Interest. (HaAretz Jun. 20, 2005)

With the help of modern technology, experiments will be conducted to see if the handwriting in the “Codex Sinaiticus” will be more discernable HaAretz (Jun. 20, 2005). HaAretz says that the “Codex Sinaiticus” is one of the oldest Christian documents that contain portions from the Brit HaHadasha, (New Testament) and the Brit “HaYeshana” (“Old” Testament). According to the paper the scientists hope to discover how “documents written in Hebrew, Aramaic and other ancient languages found their way to the middle of the Sinai desert.”