February 23 – 2011

Caspari Center Media Review – February 23, 2011

During the week covered by this review, we received 3 articles on the subjects of attitudes towards Christianity, Christian Zionism. Of these:

1 dealt with attitudes towards Christianity

2 dealt with Christian Zionism

2 dealt with art


This week’s Review looked at John Hagee’s Christian Zionism.

Attitudes towards Christianity

Haaretz, February 17, 2011

According to this brief report, “Hundreds of people attended two concerts in Jerusalem’s Old City yesterday to protest the city’s surrender to ultra-Orthodox pressure. The city had cancelled a music festival planned to be held in Old City churches and synagogues this month due to Haredi groups’ demands. One of the protest organizers said people had donated thousands of shekels at the concerts to continue the public campaign.”

Anti-missionary Activity

HaMevaser, February 21

In response to the “increasing missionary activity” in Ashdod, Yad L’Achim are planning a “unprecedented” protest demonstration due to take place with police permission at 19:00, “the time when the place sees widespread missionary activity… Firm evidence exists concerning the widespread missionary activity of the Christian sects of Messianic Jews and Jehovah’s Witnesses being conducted in full arrogance at different places in Ashdod … Recently, a sharp rise in the number of complaints reaching the organization [Yad L’Achim] has occurred. It transpires that, in addition to the preaching engaged in by many conducted by the Messianic Jews, they also are not averse to going out to central public places and operating there as home visitors and distributors of preaching material to passersby and in the mail boxes … In a ‘holy call’ issued last week to the religious and ultra-Orthodox population of the city, the public was called upon to join together in a mass demonstration ‘in the face of the awful activity towards destruction of the Messianic Jewish missionary community, which engages in hunting souls and converting them to Christianity.” The call was signed by a long list of prominent Rabbis, all of whom have promised to participate in the demonstration. Free transport will be available from various part of the city for those wishing to take part.

Christian Zionism

Israel HaYom, February 18; Jerusalem Post, February 18, 2011

Members of the Japan-based Makuya movement visited the Knesset recently “during a visit to the legislature to show their support for Israel. They greeted [Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin] by singing ‘Hevenu Shalom Aleichem’ accompanied by accordions. Makuya, a Japanese term that refers to the Holy Tabernacle, is a Christian sect that emphasizes a return to Hebrew sources and strongly supports Israel” (Jerusalem Post, February 18).

John Hagee was cited amongst the “dubious contributors” to the “Im Tirtzu” movement in Israel in a recent Israeli TV program (Israel HaYom, February 18): “Hagee has been caught in the past when stating that Hitler’s deeds were according to God’s plan … such statements did not stop members of ‘Im Tirtzu’ taking money from him’ … In the program Drucker commented on the fact that ‘Netanyahu is a close friend of minister Hagee …’ While these claims aren’t new – they’ve been made by supporters of the ‘New Israel Fund’ (with the addition of the epithet ‘anti-Semite’ in reference to Hagee), they attest to classic ignorance, and perhaps more than that. Hagee’s full quote should be hunted down, however. It was made in the context of a sermon on the dry bones prophecy of Ezekiel 37 in relation to the return of the Jews to their land. Hagee noted that this would come about in two ways: one through fishers, the other through hunters (on the basis of Jeremiah 16). The fisher is the one who draws with his bait – in the Zionist case, according to Hagee, Herzl, who drew the Jews to come to Israel. Those who went founded the State and those who did not – experienced the Holocaust. The hunter, Hagee continued, compels you by force of a rifle. Like Hitler … You can agree or you can get angry. But whichever the case, it is clear that Hagee does not justify Hitler. Moreover, in every simple monotheistic theological scheme, God is the one who ‘forms light [good] and creates evil [sic]’ [Isa. 45:7], since otherwise we would end up with a dualism which divides the world between two deities. Furthermore, even within certain parts of Orthodox Judaism the idea is accepted that wickedness and iniquity are the rod of God’s anger and the staff of His wrath … Hagee has met with every prime minister of Israel since Begin, including Rabin and Peres. He has contributed to numerous organizations, including the University of Ben Gurion, Nefesh beNefesh, and others. He is a prominent supporter of Israel and responsible for a huge theological shift in the church’s attitude towards the Jewish people and Israel. So what is the problem in accepting donations from him?”


Haaretz, February 21 (Hebrew and English editions), 2011

The “Vanilla Sex” exhibition cancelled a few months ago at the Jaffa Museum is now due to be held at a Tel Aviv design store. “A photograph by Eldad Pnini – which was inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’ and features naked women in suggestive poses, as well as the crucifixion of one woman – drew strong protests, especially from local Christian communities.”