During the week covered by this review, we received 6 articles on the following subjects:
Christians in Israel
Ma’ariv, August 12, 2014
A statue has recently been raised in Budapest portraying Hungary as a World War II victim and Germany as the aggressor. The Jewish community in Hungary has protested the raising, saying that it is “an attempt to whitewash Hungary’s history.” Another statue was raised in 2013 to Admiral Miklos Horthy, prince regent of Hungary during World War II, concerning the degree of whose cooperation with the Nazis authorities have still not agreed. The Hungarian government has recently amended the constitution to say that Hungary was a conquered country between 1944 to the fall of Soviet Russia; the implication is that it was not responsible for its actions during those years. However, the Hungarian government has also declared 2014 to be a year dedicated to Holocaust memorial; the president has visited Auschwitz and the vice-prime minister has attended a conference on anti-Semitism.
Jan Mainka, editor of the Budapest Times, is convinced the government is trying to curry favor with the far-right political party Jobbik or to strengthen Hungarian patriotism; however, the fact remains that “overt instances of radical nationalism and institutionalized anti-Semitism” are currently more common in Hungary than any other European country.
Globes, August 15, 2014
This article is an analysis of the “gorgeous mosaic” of religions that used to exist in the Middle East before the unification attempts of various empires, such as the Muslim empire from the 7th century AD onwards. The Yazidis are a surviving remnant of this mosaic, believing in the “worship of angels”- namely that God gave dominion over the world to seven serving angels, the chief of whom was Lucifer, the Malak Tawus (the ‘King Peacock’- his Yazidi function does not include his Judeo-Christian function).
Wahhabi Islam attempts to “purify” Islam from the previous thousand years’ impurities, seeing all that is different from the original Islam as darkness. This concept penetrated the literature of Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic State (IS).
Christians in Israel
Israel Hayom, August 15, 2014
A ceremony was held this week to mark the graduation of 30 Christian Arabs from a course preparing them for service in the Israel Defense Forces. Ofir Akunis, a vice-minister in the prime minister’s office and the government official responsible for Christian recruitment, said “this is an historic day, on which an alliance is strengthening in the face of the radical Islamic threat.” Father Gabriel Nadaf, founder of the Israeli Christians Recruitment Forum, thanked the government for its “assistance and cooperation.”
B’Ruach Glilit, July 31, 2014
This article recommends four churches located around the Sea of Galilee for those seeking an unusual tour during the summer. Of particular interest is the Church of the Beatitudes, with the eight beatitudes in Latin in stained glass windows and the halls surrounding the church providing an outlook over the sea; the Church of the Loaves and Fishes, floored in beautiful mosaics; the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter, which also commemorates the miracle of the 153 fishes; the Church of St. Peter’s House in Capernaum, through whose transparent floor one can see Peter’s mother-in-law’s house; and the Orthodox Church of the Twelve Apostles, with its red domes.
HaModi’a, August 10, 2014
Pew Research Center has recently held a survey regarding the degree of sympathy for various religious groups in the American public, with the result that Jews head the list at 63%, and Muslims at the bottom, at 41%. It is interesting to note that there was no correlation between the numbers- evangelical Christians, for example, placed Jews highly, but Jews did not do likewise; it is also interesting to note that in spite of the generally high ratings, the ratings in favor of Jews were higher among Caucasians than among African-Americans or Hispanics.
Matzav HaRuach, August 8, 2014
A lintel in Hebron, depicting three carved menorahs- one upside down in memory of the destruction of the Temple- has recently been stolen, and replaced by an arch with plain stone.