March 10 – 2010

Caspari Center Media Review – March 10, 2010

During the week covered by this review, we received 2 articles on the subjects of attitudes towards Christianity and Christian Zionism. Of these:
1 dealt with attitudes Christianity
1 dealt with Christian Zionism
This week’s Review includes a report on action taken to prevent Jews spitting at Christians.

Attitudes towards Christianity
Haaretz, March 5, 19, 2010

According to this report, “Shocked by growing reports about Ultra-Orthodox Jews spitting at Christians in Jerusalem’s Old City, a group of Anglo residents is now mobilizing against this ugly practice. Although such incidents reportedly have decreased since a council of Haredi rabbis issued an official condemnation in January in response to the public outcry, Christian and Jewish activists agree the problem is unlikely to disappear anytime soon … For years, there have been incidents of Haredi youths spitting at Christian clergymen in the Old City and near the Mea She’arim neighborhood, according to several Jewish and Christian residents of Jerusalem. One cleric said told a European news site that the spitting was ‘almost a daily experience.’ In late 2009 such incidents started to mount, provoking a growing number of complaints and increasing press coverage. The Haredi Community Tribunal of Justice subsequently published a statement condemning such acts, calling them a ‘desecration of God’s name.’ Christian leaders met in January with Foreign Ministry staff and representatives of the Jerusalem municipality and the Haredi community to tackle the problem … Kronish, of the Interreligious Coordinating Council, said the spitting is rooted in ‘penned-up anger’ about the long history of Christian anti-Semitism. ‘The Haredim give their children a distorted education, which is conducive to such behavior,’ he said. Despite the recent decline in spitting incidents, he asserts the ‘underlying fear and ignorance is still there’ and can only be combated if people learn about the other. ‘People fear the unknown,’ he explains. ‘The unknown is the Christians and the reasons we’re doing this educational event with Yedidya is because people felt: Gee, we really don’t know who these Christians are over there in the Old City. We don’t know anything about them – we live here in Baka, they live over there behind those walls. It’s time for us to know more about them’ … Yedidya, which was founded in 1980 by a group of British and American immigrants, currently plans three events. The first, a lecture, is scheduled for March 15 and will take place in the synagogue … The shul also plans to organize visits to Jerusalem’s Christian communities. ‘The majority of congregants – even if we’re from abroad – is certainly ignorant of the Eastern and Orthodox churches that are here,’ Katz said. ‘In order for people to sympathize they have to know whom they are sympathizing with.’ Around Easter, Katz is hoping to create what she calls a ‘human corridor.’ Marching with the Armenian community while they carry a Cross would be inappropriate for an Orthodox congregation, the Buffalo, New York, native explained. Rather, she’d like her community to ‘simply stand, to make a corridor – no words, no speeches – so that they [the Armenian clerics] can walk from [the Church of] St. James to [the Church of] the Holy Sepulchre. Nothing big, just to show there are people who care and don’t find this kind of behavior acceptable.’”
Christian Zionism
Calcalist, March 4, 2010
This week, Netanya Academic College welcomed Pastor John Hagee, “one of the large contributors to the College. Hagee … was pleased to disclose that the College had named the dormitories built through his donations after him.”