May 3 – 2010

Caspari Center Media Review – May 3, 2010


During the week covered by this review, we received 4 articles on the subjects of Messianic Jews and Christian Zionism. Of these:

2 dealt with anti-missionary activity

1 dealt with Christian Zionism

1 was a book review


Much of this sparse review relates to the TV interview given by Asher Intrater.



Anti-missionary Activity

HaShavua BiYerushalayim, April 29; Sha’ah Tova, April 29, 2010

According to these two reports, Asher Intrater was given unlawful sanction to engage in blatant missionizing on Israel TV recently: “‘We don’t normally get such extensive amount of time for an exclusive interview on such a popular media channel – especially in light of the fact that we aren’t even talking here about a confrontation with someone else, as usually happens on such programs.’ This was the description given by one of the missionary of his summary of the most prominent programs one of the electronic-media channels in Israel which hosted a top missionary. For 25 minutes, Intrater – a top-ranking missionary and leader of a missionary sect in the Jerusalem area – was hosted on the program and preached his missionary propaganda to the viewers and listeners.” Immediately Yad L’Achim got wind of the upcoming interview, the organization began applying pressure on the TV-channel administration to block the program, simultaneously sending letters to the PM’s office and the Education, Public Relations, and Communications Ministers, requesting that the program either be stopped or given the proper balance. Possibly in reaction, the broadcasters insisted on being allowed to produce the original show, claiming, according to these articles, that “‘Intrater will be introduced as a private individual and not as the leader of a Messianic congregation.’” “As could have been expected, the truth become apparent from the first moment of the show. ‘Asher Intrater,’ said the interviewer, ‘is a Messianic Jew and the leader of a Messianic congregation in the environs of Jerusalem. In the first part of the program, Intrater answered various questions regarding Christian ceremonial practices, and immediately afterwards was asked about the activities of the mission and its leaders in a series of questions that certainly did not fall into the category of ‘only his personal life-story.’ How many do you number? Are you the leader of the organization? How do your organizations exist? Where does the money come from? How much can one donate?, etc.” Following a protest to the channel’s legal representative, the latter informed Yad L’Achim that “‘No missionary activity took place during the program.’” In response, Yad L’Achim’s lawyer issued a letter “in which he listed the misdemeanors committed by the interviewer and missionary alike, the most prominent being the praise and laudation bestowed upon ‘that man’ pronounced throughout the show” – as well as an exposure of the “lies,” foremost of which being that “eternal deception with which every missionary commences when he comes to preach to innocent Jews: ‘We are not Christians, we are Jewish.’” In support of Yad L’Achim’s claim of missionizing, the organization’s lawyer adduced the hour the broadcast was aired – a time when many children were likely to have been watching. He further asked for an apology from the media and assurances that such an event would not happen again in the future.


Christian Zionism

Yediot Ahronot, April 28, 2010

This article, entitled “Keeping the money” (the Hebrew constituting a pun on “keeping” and “Christians”), looked at the recent national-religious leadership’s ruling that receipt of funds from Christian Zionists is absolutely prohibited, opening with the statement: “They educate their children to keep the Torah and commandments in the most observant style: absolute faith in One God, ritual purity, and an expectation of the coming redemption and a yearning for the third Temple. But the funding, in many cases, comes from the place furthest from Judaism – evangelical Christian organizations with a missionary bent who await Jesus’ return from the dead and, with the return of the Jews to their homeland, their mass transformation into believers in another God, his virgin wife, and his crucified son.” A sidebar reviews the history of evangelical Christianity.

Book Review

Haaretz, May 2, 2010

Oren Kessler reviewed Mosab Hassan Yousef’s account of his Hamas childhood and conversion to Christianity (Son of Hamas, Tyndale House): “‘Son of Hamas’ is Yousef’s memoir of his upbringing as Hamas royalty, his imprisonment in Israel as a young man, and his betrayal – first of nation, then of faith. Yousef’s antipathy for Islam and fervent embrace of his new creed are constant motifs throughout the book. Readers who can past the sermonizing, alternately purple and breezy prose and recurrent factual errors will be rewarded with a handful of absorbing vignettes of the exploits of jihadists and spies. Those, however, with less patience for Christian proselytizing and unapologetic Islamophobia – or expecting a sophisticated analysis of spy-craft or geopolitics – will be sorely disappointed.”