May 3 – 2006

Caspari Center Media Review… May 2006 #1


During the period of time covered by this review, we received 22 articles on the subjects of Messianic Jews, Christianity and the Mission. Of these:


1 dealt with Israeli/Jewish Attitudes about Christians

6 dealt with Jewish-Christian Relations

6 dealt with Israeli/Jewish Attitudes about Jesus



The remaining 9 articles dealt with different matters of Jewish or Christian interest.



Israeli/Jewish Attitudes about Christians

HaAretz May. 4, 2006


HaAretz (May 4) runs a feature about Pope Benedict’s taste in fashion. Author Lior Rabinovitch observes, “Millions of Catholics follow in the Popes footsteps and purchase designer labels.” An ipod Nano and open-top Mercedes are listed among the Pope’s possessions and Rabinovitch asks rhetorically “what would Saint Peter think about this?” He writes, “The Reformation was among other issues a revolution against the extortion that took place in the Catholic Church.”  The author says “through his image and his personality the Pope represents the embodiment of the trinity more than any other person on earth… every item of his clothing symbolises something to the Christian believer.”



Israeli/Jewish Attitudes about Jesus

HaTzofeh May 1, 2006; HaAretz May 2, 2006; Makor Rishon Apr. 12, 2006


Four articles in the religious weekly magazine Makor Rishon (Apr. 12) focus on the National Geographic programme “The Gospel of Judas” and respond to articles written in the Israeli press the previous week. Author Uriya Kenig writes “Just because the author of the New Testament saved on ink and didn’t fill in all the details, we have suffered at the hands of Christians through the crusades, inquisitions and other rather uncomfortable events.” The author also says “no such matter will acquit us or dictate (positive) attitudes from Christians to us… if Yeshu would curse Mel Gibson they would persecute us.” He also responds to the recent research that claims Jesus walked on a slab of ice on the Sea of Galilee. Kenig says, “If That Man (Jesus) had gently slipped eastward and arrived in Syria then today we would hear blood libels that we were watering down their humus with the blood of Christian children.” Two other articles focus on the blood libel. One says, “it has not been so much the sin of the (blood) libel, but rather the sin of generalisations: One Jew did something bad years and years ago and all the Jews are guilty.”


A lengthy opinion piece by Sharon Rubeck in HaAretz (May 2) endeavours to put together a picture of Judas Iscariot by comparing the Gospel of Judas, parts of the New Testament and The Aurea Legenda. Rubeck says, “in contrast to the Gospel of Judas The Aurea Legenda had great impact and influence on the people of its day.” The article says, “The picture of Judas painted in the New Testament is not consistent and is only partial.” It says, “Each Gospel gives a different reason why Yeshua was handed over… Matthew focuses on Judas’ avariciousness as the motive for the betrayal and in Luke Judas betrayed his Lord because Satan got into him.” The author asks rhetorically “Why did Yeshua, who knew that Judas would betray him, choose him as one of His disciples?” Romans 8:31 is quoted and throughout the article Jesus is referred to as “Yeshua.”

Jewish/Christian Relations

HaAretz English & Hebrew editions Apr. 28, 30, 2006


An article about the possible beautification of the Second World War pontiff Pius XVII is the subject of both language editions of HaAretz (Apr. 30). The short articles note “his actions during the Holocaust have made him a source of controversy” and quote various comments from Cardinals concerning their attitude to Pope Pius XVII. The paper reminds it’s readership that the Custos of the Holy Land Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa said in a Tel Aviv lecture that “the Pope did not adopt a courageous stand against the Nazis.” An opinion piece in both language editions of HaAretz (Apr. 28) calls Father Pizzaballa’s statement “courageous” quoting him, “the Church had failed to shape the conscience of believers because so few of them chose to object to the Nazi atrocities against the Jews.” The anonymous author notes that Father Pizzaballa “prides himself on his fluent Hebrew” and concludes, “it is to be hoped that Father Pizzaballa’s statements… harbinger a change which is long overdue, in the Vatican’s position.”



Different Matters of Jewish or Christian Interest

Yediot Ahronot May 4, 2006


The largest secular tabloid, Yediot Ahronot (May 4) reports about an international project “run within the framework of the Foreign Office.” Under the title “The Book of Books in 100 Languages,” Yediot Ahronot says “everyone who so wishes can write a verse in his language and his handwriting (in a book in his own country), and later all the books will be collected together and exhibited in Hevel Adulam.” The paper notes, “The process has already started in several countries.” It is reported that in the Israeli village of Maghar “Druze, Muslim and Christian leaders have participated in the project.”