October 7 – 2010

Caspari Center Media Review – October 7, 2010

During the week covered by this review, we received 4 articles on the subjects of attitudes towards Christianity, anti-missionary activity, Christian Zionism, and Christian tourism. Of these:
1 dealt with attitudes towards Christianity
1 dealt with anti-missionary activities
1 dealt with Christian Zionism
1 dealt with Christian tourism
This week’s Review was a sparse miscellenia.
Attitudes towards Christianity
Ma’ariv, October 3, 2010
In a feature article looking at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Carmit Sapir-Witz quoted a Cabbalist researcher, Prof. Haviva Fadia, as saying that: “‘Religion contains several foci of sanctity: the sanctity of time, the sanctity of man, and the sanctity of place. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are three religions which all have an association through their relation to the same Scriptures. The New Testament, the Old Testament [sic], and the suras in the Quran taken from Jewish midrashim. When we talk about places, it’s very significant that they are extremely physical and concrete. It’s not merely on the imaginary or symbolic plane. In fact, we’re talking about territories in which people wish to live – or at least die. When you have a holy place, the wish to live and the wish to die there are the same thing.’”

Anti-missionary Activities
HaMevaser, October 3, 2010
According to this report, “Last week, a Christian center in the heart of East Jerusalem was opened which serves organizations which have been pronounced missionary organizations by Rabbis. The center is located in a building owned by the Jewish philanthropist Erwin Moskowitz … The dedication ceremony of the Christian missionary offices – which was held, to the shame of our hearts, on the great day of Hoshanna Rabba – was accompanied by a demonstration conducted by Orthodox Jews who came to protest against the opening of the center and carried placards saying ‘mission = Holocaust,’ ‘No to Christian missionary center in the heart of Jerusalem,’ etc. The demonstrators and activists against the center, which according to them serves as a missionary center under the aegis of Christian supporters of Israel, noted to this paper that a special committee established in the Chief Rabbinate, under the sponsorship of R. Hacohen Kook, R. Yehuda Deri, chief Rabbi of Beersheva, and R. She’ar Yashuv Cohen, chief Rabbi of Haifa, had previously determined that these are missionary organizations with whom it is forbidden to cooperate in any way. Activists against Christian organizations in Jerusalem, including former councilwoman Fenton, noted that this is an international evangelical Christian organization operating under the aegis of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. They claim that this constitutes serious damage to the owner … because it is being used for a use which contravenes the Torah and halakhah.” The center is said to house the offices of the umbrella organization for lobbies across the world, including the Knesset Christian Lobby, and to “serve as a convenient and pleasant place for Christian Zionists, as well as constituting a realization of the New Testament.” The invitation to the dedication was issued by Christian Friends of Israel, whose director is said to have responded: “‘We are not talking about a Christian organization, despite the fact that it includes well-known Christian figures from around the world. I do not need any license to work. Anyone who has a complaint should come to me personally. The organization has no connection with the mission. It has delegates from 18 countries, Jews and Gentiles, as well as Christians. I work hard to find as wide a support as possible in Israel. No one who works for the missionary will enter here.’ At the same time, he added that in his opinion, it is important to cooperate with Christians in establishing a coalition for Israel. According to him, ‘There is no Rabbi who permits provocation of Christians, despite the fact that they have a large amount of Jewish blood [on their hands] from the past. But we have enough to deal with with the billions of Muslims who are our greatest enemies at present.’”
Christian Zionism
Jerusalem Post, September 24, 2010
Under the headline “Having a blast,” this collection of notes included the report that, “The intermediate days of Succot are flooded with tours around the country, with Jerusalem as probably the most magnetic of destinations. Jerusalem is popular not only with Jews … but also with Christians, thousands of whom come at this time under the auspices of the International Christian Embassy’s Feast of Tabernacles.”
Christian Tourism
Haaretz, September 28, 2010

According to this report, “El Al will fly Christian Nigerian pilgrims to Israel on behalf of the airline TAT Nigeria. The flights will start at the end of October. Between 10,000 and 12,000 pilgrims are expected on some 20 flights over two to three months, with one round-trip flight a week. El Al will provide a 747-400 for the flights, on a ‘wet lease,’ in which El Al provides the plane, crew, maintenance and insurance. The El Al symbol will be removed from the planes and the flights will have Nigerian flight codes and numbers for security and secrecy. The pilgrims come to Israel for a week and visit the holy places. This is not the first time El Al has made such arrangements to fly Nigerian pilgrims, and Israir also flew some 15,000 Nigerians on 60 flights in early 2009. El Al declined to comment.”