May 10 – 2006

Caspari Center Media Review… May 2006 #2

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:


4 dealt with Anti-Missionary Attitudes

1 dealt with Jewish-Christian Relations

5 dealt with Israeli/Jewish Attitudes about Jesus

2 dealt with Israeli/Jewish Attitudes about Christians

1 was a Book/Film Review


The remaining 15 articles dealt with different matters of Jewish or Christian interest.



Anti-Missionary Attitudes

Emtza HaDerech Apr. 24, 2006; Ma’ariv May 11, 2006;


According to Emtza HaDerech (Apr. 24) a teacher is suing a religious school in Hadera, “because she claims she was fired when the management discovered that she and her husband were attending Christian meetings.” The paper says, “The management says that she was leading a double life and that she resigned on her own initiative and received 20,000 NIS compensation.” According to the report “she started going to Christian meetings when her non-Jewish husband attended and would come back with a positive attitude.” According to the short report the principal “had proof that she was attending Christian meetings” and the woman “did not deny it.”


Israeli soldiers serving at the Stella Maris army base, which has been built on the site of an old crusader church, are “demanding that a huge cross engraved on the walls be covered up.” (Ma’ariv May 11). The paper says “the soldiers serving at the base intend to file a complaint” and “it could bring about an unprecedented struggle between the Rabbinate and the Christian church in Haifa.” Archbishop Elias Shakur is quoted “they should take the soldiers who are bothered by the cross and put them in another place, every religion has it’s own symbols and tolerance is crucial.”



Israeli/Jewish Attitudes about Christians

HaAretz May 7, 2006


HaAretz (May 7) reports about the “failure of the German church to prevent the broadcasting of MTV’s satirical series ‘Popetown.’” The paper says the series “disparages Pope Benedict XVI and also ridicules Yeshu.” There is a picture from the series of an obese cartoon depicting a papal figure.



Israeli/Jewish Attitudes about Jesus

Kol Ha’Ir Apr. 28, 2006; HaShikma Apr. 10, 2006; Ratsui U’Matsui Apr. 12, 2006; Arim Apr. 12, 2006; HaTzofeh May 10, 2006


“The relationship between Easter eggs and Yeshu” is the subject of an article in Kol Ha’Ir (Apr. 28). Author Yonaton Sidon first describes Lent as “commemorating Yeshu’s forty day fast in the desert… and thus it is forbidden to eat meat, eggs and sweet things.” He says “the consumption of chocolate eggs and bunnies is totally a pagan concept, eggs are an ancient sign of fertility and the fact that they are chocolate and you can eat them at Easter is because it was forbidden to eat them during Lent.”


The same article appears in two different journals and deals with the issue of Jesus’ name and date of birth (HaShikma Apr. 10, Ratsui U’Matsui Apr. 12). The author “Yeshu was called Yehoshua (Joshua) and “Christians get really insulted when He is called ‘Yeshu’ because the word an acronym of ‘May His Name be Erased From Memory.’” The article also says that in the Gemara Jesus is called “That Man” and is “depicted as an observant Jew who celebrated Passover, prayed and made pilgrimages to the Temple.” It notes “the Last Supper was a Passover Seder” and “instead of getting married and suffering like a good Jewish boy at the mother-in law’s, he chose to be with his mates at Passover and look what happened to him.” It concludes that according to Christian tradition Jesus was “born 2 BCE, lived for 32 years, and was crucified in 29 CE.


An article from Arim (Apr. 12) reports on the National Geographic programme about the gospel of Judas. Throughout the article Jesus is referred to as “Yeshua.” The author says, “It is difficult to come to any concrete absolutes about the life and death of Yeshua of Nazareth.” He says, “each one of the four Gospels enhances a different aspect of the life of Yeshua,” and “much of the Gospels is a polemic that occurred between Yeshua’s disciples.”


In a political critique about socialism (HaTzofeh May 10), Ehud Kamatz says “it’s no coincidence that the biggest movement in history that opposed wealth (obtained by fraud) and riches was Christianity, yet it is Christianity that is fraudulent because it presents itself as a continuation of Judaism, and has therefore stolen from Judaism, which is in direct opposition to the Jewish commandment ‘thou shall not steal.”



Christian Support of Israel

HaAretz May 5, 2006

HaAretz (May 5) has a feature about Christian pastor Dr. John Hagee. The article reports about John Hagee’s new project which “works on behalf of Jews in Israel” in which “there is one objective; American support of Israel.” In an attempt to “refute suspicions that Hagee wants to convert Jews” Hagee quotes Romans 11:1 and Romans 15 and says, “(According to these Scriptures) it is my obligation to help the Jews.” The author observes, “Hagee’s theology is clear and decisive. He is not trying to convert Jews.”



Book/Film Review

HaAretz May 5, 2006


New Religions and the Nazis – Karla Poewe; Abingdon; Routlege Publishers

A review in HaAretz (May 5) reviews the English edition of the book “New Religions and the Nazis” by Karla Poewe. The book “examines the contribution of new religions to the emergence of Nazi ideology in Nazi Germany” and asks the question “was Christianity, like Judaism, also a victim of Nazi ideology?” The review calls Poewe’s book “a deep, interesting and informative research” in which “Christianity is presented, contrary to popular opinion, as almost an equal casualty of Nazi ideology, rather than being partially responsible for the annihilation of Jews.”