November 19 – 2005

Caspari Center Media Review… November 2005 # 3

During the period of time covered by this review, we received 28 articles on the subjects of Messianic Jews, Christianity and the Mission. Of these:


   2 dealt with Jewish-Christian Relations

   1 dealt with Archaeology

   4 dealt with Anti-Missionary Attitudes

   3 dealt with Israeli/Jewish Attitudes about Christians

   1 dealt with Christian Support of Israel

   3 dealt with Book Review


The remaining 14 articles dealt with different matters of Jewish or Christian interest.


Anti-Missionary Attitudes

HaModia Nov. 3, 2005; Yated Ne’eman Nov. 2, 2005


The religious Yated Ne’eman reports on the participation of French Cardinal Jean Marie Lustige in the anniversary celebrations of Nostra Aetate (Nov. 2). Yated Ne’eman comments “he is a Jew who converted to another religion after the Holocaust” and concludes by saying “it’s worth noting that ‘this convert’ was the guest of honour at the World Jewish Congress conference.”


A report about the teachers association in Israel offering free lessons in shiatsu and kinesiology in order to “calm students and bring down violence in schools” is in HaModia (Nov. 3). According to the paper, the chairman of Yad L’Achim, Dov Lipshitz warned about “turning to foreign gods” when “a year ago he wrote to the Minister of Education warning about assimilation.” The article says that in that letter he had “warned how more and more Jewish youth were falling prey to the mission.” Lipshitz says “Jewish youth do not even know how to recite “Hear Oh Israel” in full, so the problem (of assimilation) is deeply embedded in the educational system in Israel.” He also says, “it is no wonder that more and more young people find a home among the various missionary cults here.”


Israeli/Jewish Attitudes about Christians

HaAretz Nov. 3, 2005; Makor Rishon Nov. 4, 2005;


HaAretz (Nov. 3) runs a feature about Ethiopian-Israeli men who on visiting their homeland return to Israel  “with Christian brides” and subsequently “split up.” The article says that the Ethiopian men “claim their marriage falls apart because, they say, ‘it becomes clear that women marry us just to get to Israel.’” Many of the men believe that a “secret Christian organisation recommends to the women to leave their husbands and even advises them to complain about domestic violence to the police.”  An interview is conducted with one Ethiopian man, who when asked about domestic violence acknowledges,  “I give her a slap, but not to hurt her, just so she knows her place.” The interviewer contests this conduct, stating “behaviour like this cannot take place in a democratic society.” The Ethiopian man retells how “a Christian organisation based in Ramat Gan said (to his wife) to go to the police” and how one day “we tried to trick the organisation and get evidence, but they spotted us.” He also says that the Christian organisation “moved to Be’er Sheva and Eilat, now we do not know where they are.”


A feature about a visit to Magdan, a village in the former Soviet Union is written in Makor Rishon (Nov. 4). While touring the area the reporter “met two women from Alaska who came to work with “’Even Ezer’ who specialise in searching for lost Jews in order to bring them to Israel, and in doing so they usher in their Messiah.” The same article observes the art and sculptures of artist Ernest Neizvestny, who ”born to a Russian Jewish family, uses Christians motifs in his art.” There is a large photo of one of his works, a monument with a cross with the caption “Universal symbol? The eye-catching cross in the middle of the monument.” Beside this photo is a very small photo of a Star of David with the caption “Left: the dirty Star of David in the monument.” The article says that the “comparison of the two magnified (the author’s) disappointment.


Beethoven helps inspire the New Testament

Makor Rishon Nov. 4, 2005


In a critique review of the performance of the Camari Kibbutz Orchestra, Yohannan Bar Yoshefat says “that since the 19th century, religious (Christian) music can be enjoyed for being a genre in its own right” and “has released itself from its purely religious and original settings” (Makor Rishon Nov. 4).  He also says, “the lyrics naturally relate mostly to ‘Yeshu’ and Mary” and “the gap between the superior music and the inferior lyrics, which are limited and pale, is growing.” He compares this to the lyrics of “the mass” which he says “although it is the most important element in all Catholic rituals, I find the lyrics to be uninspired.”  Despite this he thinks, “composers such as Beethoven, Mozart and Bach have managed to pour into it great spiritual content.”


Christian Support of Israel

Pecks Tours Nov. 6, 2005


In a short section in Pecks Tours (Nov. 6) it says “during the ‘Feast of Tabernacles’ – a conference organised by the International Christian Embassy – 6,000 Christian supporters of Israel and 10,000 pilgrims took part in the colourful march throughout the city.”


 Jewish-Christian Relations

HaAretz Nov. 3, 2005


In a letter to the editor (HaAretz Nov. 3) Yehuda Michaelis responds to an article written by Rabbi Rosen of Ireland, in which Rosen claimed during the celebrations of the anniversary of Nostra Aetate that “there is a long way to go until the amazing change of attitudes in the Catholic church are actually implemented at every level.” Michaelis responds, “Rosen ignored the fact that neither the Rabbinate in Israel or the Orthodox are doing anything to enlighten us concerning different streams and denominations that there are in Christianity, especially within Catholicism.” Mr. Michaelis also says that “disqualifying everything Christian is sticking our heads in the sand which leads to a lack of respect.”


Anti-Semitism on Jordanian Television

HaModia Nov. 8, 2005;


In an open letter to the King of Jordan, Avi Shifran, head of the Public Relations department of the American Israel Union, writes to express his “concern and protest” concerning the intentions of a “digital media channel” to broadcast “poisonous anti-Semitic material during the feast of Ramadan” (HaModia Nov. 8). According to Shifran, one of the programmes shows a “rabbi overseeing the slaughter of a Christian child in order to use his blood for matzo.” He writes in his letter that the station “Al Shtat” is “corrupt, full of lies and hate, and although A-political, is full of anti-Jewish sentiment.”  He concludes his plea to the king by wishing him “long life, good health and that he would continue to defend this ‘holy’ cause.”