April 21 – 2010

Caspari Center Media Review – April 21, 2010

During the week covered by this review, we received 4 articles on the subjects of attitudes towards Jesus and Christianity and anti-Semitism. Of these:
3 dealt with attitudes to Jesus and Christianity
1 dealt with anti-Semitism

Attitudes towards Jesus and Christianity
Yediot Ahronot, April 13; Ma’ariv, April 13, 18, 2010
Israeli football was not above enlisting all the support (it thought) it could muster this week, in the quarter-final game between M.S. Ashdod and Nazareth Ilit. Despite the fact that this encounter was expected to be overshadowed by a far more significant match, “an ad – and a particularly provocative one – lifted it into the limelight and headlines, heating tempers and kindling embers between the super-league and national-league  teams … ‘When Ashdod meets Nazareth, even Yeshu won’t help them. M.S. Ashdod versus Nazareth Ilit in a struggle for the holy grail” (Ma’ariv, April 13). [Editor’s note: it should be remembered of course, that the “holy grail” is a legendary cup allegedly used during the Last Supper and considered to have supernatural powers. The football allusion is naturally to the championship “cup.”]. According to this article, “the provocative ad raised the ire of many people in Nazareth Ilit. ‘It’s a very bad joke,’ said the Mayor, Shimon Gapso. ‘I don’t believe that the poster is the result of ignorance or that people in Ashdod don’t know how to distinguish between Nazareth Ilit [a predominantly Jewish town] and Nazareth [a predominantly Arab town]. I don’t believe that people in Ashdod don’t know that Nazareth Ilit is the biggest Jewish city in the Galilee.” Eventually, an apology was issued, admitting that the ad was “an innocent mistake” and claiming that the intention was directed solely towards football – not “politics.” The person responsible for the ad was quoted as stating: “‘The use of Yeshu was made only because he came from the same place. Beyond that, who doesn’t ever use the expression “Even God won’t help” or “even the court won’t help”? Instead of saying that, I said, “Even Yeshu won’t help.” What do they want me to do – write the Ashdod fans and say: “Please come and support us”?’”

The ad was accompanied by a picture of Jesus with his armed outstretched and a man grasping his side. In a second piece – included in “Quotes of the week” in the paper’s sports section, one of the bytes related to the game: “Security guard: ‘Who are you?’ Shimon Gapsi: ‘I’m Yeshu and I’ve come from Nazareth (at the entrance to the stadium in Ashdod, where the mayor of Nazareth Ilit went unrecognized)” (Ma’ariv, April 18).
Haaretz, April 18, 2010
According to this report, “A German court convicted ultra-conservative British bishop Richard Williamson on Friday for denying the Holocaust in a television interview. A court in the Bavarian city of Regensberg found Williamson guilty of incitement for saying in a 2008 interview with Swedish television that the Nazi gas chambers had never existed, and ‘only 200,000 to 300,000 Jews’ had been killed by the Nazis. The court ordered the 70-year-old Williamson to pay 10,000 euros ($13,500). The Roman Catholic bishop was barred from attending Friday’s proceedings or making statements to the media.”