June 30 – 2006

Caspari Center Media Review… June 2006 #3


During the period of time covered by this review, we received 39 articles on the subjects of Messianic Jews, Christianity and the Mission. Of these:


8 dealt with anti-missionary attitudes

4 dealt with Israeli/Jewish attitudes about Christians

2 dealt with Christian support of Israel

1 dealt with book/film/exhibition reviews

2 dealt with Israeli/Jewish attitudes about Jesus

3 dealt with Jewish/Christian relation

7 dealt with The Da Vinci Code


The remaining 12 articles dealt with different matters of Jewish or Christian interest.



Anti-missionary attitudes

HaTzofeh June 23, 26, 2006; HaModia June 22, 26 2006


Pink Floyd guitarist Roger Walters was the subject of an article in HaTzofeh (June 26). According to HaTzofeh, Mr Walters, “not only interfered in Israeli internal affairs with his pro-Palestinian comments” but also “crudely and freely promoted a religion that murdered us for two-thousand years.”  According to the author this is because “each time the concert was advertised they never hesitated to say that it was being held at the foot of the Latrun Monastery.”


HaTzofeh (June 23) carries a feature about a German convert to Judaism who now runs a religious Jewish school. Doris Goldschmidt says, “in Judaism alone I found meaning… it’s the real thing.” Goldschmidt, who “studied at a Lutheran school,” retells her quest for spirituality. “While at the school I asked one of the missionaries why we need to pray to Yeshu if we can directly pray to ‘G-d blessed is His name.’” Goldschmidt says “the missionary didn’t answer me and just looked at me in a strange way.” According to Doris Goldschmidt one day in class “the missionary said that you must beware of Jews.” The article says, “at that point she decided to stop going to the mission.”


In a feature in the religious HaModia (June 22), author Israela Meir relates how she distributed Shabbat candles. “A secular lady said to me ‘you are a missionary!’” A discussion follows and Israeli Meir tells the lady that a missionary is someone who “wants to convert people to another religion…and I am trying to bring you to your religion, rekindling the flame of Judaism that is flickering in your heart.”


HaModia (June 26) claims “victory to Yad L’Achim” in an article that says, “Beer Sheva regional court allows Yad L’Achim to demonstrate against the mission in Arad.” The report says, “The missionaries lost because they are caught out time and time again contradicting themselves.” It also says “the missionaries were ordered to pay 2500 NIS in court costs and warned by judge Gad Gideon not to file a complaint like this again.”



Israeli/Jewish attitudes about Jesus

Globes, June 23, 2006; National Geographic, May 1, 2006


Globes (June 23) reports that the Advertising Standards Association (ASA) has determined that the Nike advertisement featuring English footballer Wayne Rooney standing in a “Yeshu pose covered with blood in the format of an English flag” has “created a storm” and “hurts the feelings of Christians.” Globes observes, “complaints started coming in just a few hours after it was broadcast.”


The Israeli editor of the Hebrew edition of National Geographic (May 1) addresses her readership by saying that when she heard that National Geographic would be exposing “sensational information about the New Testament” she wasn’t sure “how many non-Christians would be interested.” The editor say that the programme about the gospel according to Judas Iscariot “did not deal with religion” but rather “dealt with a rare archaeological discovery that sought to seek how much historical truth influenced humanity.” She asks rhetorically if there would have been “Christian persecution towards Jews” had the document been exposed two thousand years ago.



Christian support of Israel

HaAretz June 26, 2006


According to HaAretz (June 26) “hundreds of Evangelical churches around the USA prayed for former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.” Earl Cox “a popular American Christian radio personality” is quoted; “the world may have forgotten Ariel Sharon but God has not.”



Israeli/Jewish attitudes about Christians

Jerusalem Post, June 23, 2006; HaAretz June 23, 2006


A short feature in the Jerusalem Post (June 25) focuses on South African Megan Isaacs, a “Christian volunteering with handicapped children for the love of Zion.” Isaacs says that she “first discovered her love for Israel when she met a group of elderly Evangelical Christians.” She says that through such a meeting she realized that “my steps were guided to being in the right place at the right time.” The paper notes that she volunteered for “Jerusalem Summit Africa” which was “sponsored by two Christian evangelical organizations.”


There is also a short feature in HaAretz (June 23) which reports about retired Cambridge Anglican vicar David Kitching who “is determined to spread the word about a plan that he believes will bring peace to Jerusalem.” Rev. Kitching proposes that sovereignty over Jerusalem’s Old City and several nearby holy sites be “jointly shared by agreed-upon representatives of the three (monotheistic) faiths.” He is quoted “I believe we will only get peace in the world when there is peace in Jerusalem.”



Book/film/exhibition reviews

HaAretz, June 21, 2006


“Michelangelo VeTikrat HaApifior.” Translated from the English, Michelangelo and the Pope’s ceiling,” Ross King, D’vir Publications – 394 pages 

HaAretz (June 21) reviews  “Michelangelo VeTikrat HaApifior,” Ross King’s new book tells the story of the four years it took to paint the Sistine Chapel. The review says the book depicts Michelangelo’s ill health, financial difficulties, domestic problems, and inadequate knowledge of the art of fresco.” But the greatest achievement of the book is “how he depicts the atmosphere in which it was painted; the dirt and dust, the plaster, the drops of paint…” On the other hand the review says “there is not enough discussion concerning aesthetics and interpretation.”



Jewish-Christian relations

Jerusalem Post, June 25, 2006


The Jerusalem Post (June 25) reports that the US Episcopal church has “taken a significant pro-Israel turn” by “adopting a resolution repudiating anti-Jewish interpretation of the New Testament.” The paper reports that the resolution directed the church’s liturgical commission “to assist members of the church to address anti-Jewish prejudice expressed in and stirred up by portions of liturgical texts.” Opponents of the resolution “objected” because they said that the bill “implied that the text of the New Testament was inherently anti-Semitic.”