September 14 – 2006

Caspari Center Media Review………….September #3, 2006


During the week covered by this review, we received 23 articles on the subjects of the Pope, Christian Zionism, anti-Semitism, archaeology, Christian tourism, missionary and anti-missionary activity, Christians in Israel, Jews, and Jewish-Christian relations. Of these:


  • 2 dealt with Christian tourism
  • 1 dealt with archaeology
  • 1 dealt with the Pope
  • 2 dealt with Christians in Israel
  • 2 dealt with Jewish-Christian relations
  • 3 dealt with Christian Zionism
  • 1 dealt anti-Semitism
  • 3 dealt with missionary and anti-missionary activity


The remaining 8 articles dealt with various matters of Jewish and Christian interest.


The majority of themes continued from the previous weeks – the Anglican meeting with Israel’s chief Rabbis, the Scientology baptisms, Israel’s encouragement of Romanian tourism, anti-Semitism in Britain, the indiscriminate nature of the war/Christian sites, and the missionary “attack” on the Yad L’Achim headquarters.


Jewish-Christian relations

Jerusalem Post, September 6; Haaretz, September 6, 2006

A new line noted in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s meeting with the Chief Rabbis, reported in the Jerusalem Post (September 6), remarked on the fact that the commitment to dialogue with Israel has raised opposition amongst Arab Anglican leaders. Quoting Bishop Riah Abu al-Assal of Jerusalem: “Senior people of the Church of England informed me that the whole event came to appease Rabbi Jonathan Sacks [Chief Rabbi of Britain], Israel and the Jewish lobby because of what happened at the Synod of the Church of England regarding the issue of divestment” [see previous Review].


Christian Zionism

Iton Yerushalayim, September 1; Yediot Aharanot, September 10; Iton Kol HaEnek v’haGalil, September 8, 2006

Despite the definite wind of change in favor of Christian Evangelicals, not all people can easily divest themselves from the implications of the Christian past. In an article in the local Iton Yerushalayim (September 1), a complaint by Mina Penton of the city council asserted that “The Christians are stealing the show in the Jerusalem March [not to be confused with the Gay Pride March; the Jerusalem March is held during Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles; ed.] … Out of 5000 marchers, 2000 are Christians.” [Whether these statistics are accurate remains to be determined.] While Penton was anxious to preserve the Jewish nature of the State, the municipality responded that the March was open to all and that there are millions of Jews in Israel and the diaspora a Penton was free to encourage more Jews to participate in the March.


Missionary activity

Sha’ah Tova, July 14, 2006

Yad L’Achim has reportedly (Sha’ah Tova, July 14) uncovered a plan by “representatives of the mission in Israel” to purchase real estate from Jewish landowners to the tune of tens of dunams in Moshava Migdal, close to Tiberias. Against the declared purpose of the deal – to develop a hotels and resort area – Yad L’Achim charge that the project is merely a disguise for missionary activity amongst Jewish tourists. The rationale behind Yad L’Achim’s opposition derives from the sense of the sanctity of the Land (Jewish land), a principle linked to the prohibition against selling property to non-Jews.


Christians in Israel

Iton Kol haEmek v’haGalil, September 8, 2006 

The importance of Nazareth in the recent war has been regularly emphasized in the Israeli media on several counts, not the least being its status as a historic Christian site with a sizable Christian population – and the effect of the damage it sustained on Christians worldwide. Celebrating 50-years since its foundation this year, Nazareth Ilit [Upper Nazareth, with a majority Jewish population] went in search of a logo for the event.  A competition was held in which 70 contestants participated. The local regional paper, Iton Kol haEmek v’haGalil (September 8), reported that a local Arab resident, a graphic artist, Tony Batchish, was awarded the prize. In his speech thanking those who voted for him, Batchish blessed them in Yeshua’s name. “All I wanted to do was to thank the people who voted for me, and I blessed them through Yeshua … I don’t understand what the problem is. I didn’t use the word ‘Yeshu’ because that’s an invention of the Ultra-Orthodox and is an acronym standing for ‘May his name and memory be blotted out’” [see previous Reviews]. Opposition to the winner was voiced not only on account of his mention of Yeshua, but also because he was an Arab representing a Jewish town, and because the logo did not include any Jewish symbols, such as the Star of David and the menora. [Its actual design was not in fact described in the article.]