December 1 – 2014

During the week covered by this review, we received 10 articles on the following subjects:


  • Christian Zionism
  • Anti-Missionary Activity
  • The Pope and the Vatican
  • Status of Holy Places
  • Miscellaneous
  • Book Reviews
  • Archaeology


Christian Zionism

Zeh Mah Yesh; Index Ha’Emek VeHaGalil–Shavuon Afula, November 14, 2014


These articles are a reiteration of the story from last week’s review (November 25, 2014) about a delegation of fifty people from the Papua province of Indonesia who recently visited the city of Afula. They were received by the mayor and vice-mayor, who showed the city to the delegation members, thanked them for their support of Israel, and invited them to participate in the city’s 90th anniversary celebration, which will take place in 2015. The members of the delegation stated that they were “excited and proud to be in the Holy Land” and presented the mayor and vice-mayor with traditional headdresses.


Zman Yerushalayim, November 21, 2014


A “historic event” recently took place at the Arena in Jerusalem. The event was held by “Shalom Israel–Asia Pacific” and the Helping Hand Coalition, an organization that works to help Holocaust survivors in Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu, Minister Yair Lapid, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, and others addressed the audience, 8,000 of whom were Holocaust survivors and World War II veterans from around Israel. Of particular note was the speech given by Pastor George Annadorai of Singapore, who spoke eloquently in support of the Holocaust survivors in Israel, called upon Christians worldwide to support Israel, invited Christian leaders to participate in the 70th Israel Independence Day celebrations, and asked for Israel’s forgiveness in the name of Christians worldwide for their silence during the Holocaust.


Anti-Missionary Activity

Chadashot Shelanu–Ashkelon; Chadashodati-HaSharon, November 14 ,2014


These articles are a reiteration of the story from last week’s review (November 25, 2014) stating the warnings given by anti-missionary activist organization Yad L’Achim regarding unusual missionary activity. This activity consisted of the distribution of a music player containing a non-erasable narrated version of the New Testament, as well as evangelistic material for soldiers, designed with the military colors. Yad L’Achim collected the material and the players from the recipients and clarified the purpose of the distribution to them.


The Pope and the Vatican

Yediot Ahronot, November 28, 2014


For this six-page article, Henrike Zimmerman interviewed Pope Francis at the Vatican. This is the first personal interview the pope has given to an Israeli newspaper.


Pope Francis described his battle to halt the Islamic caliphate, and how there are more Christian martyrs today than in the early centuries of the church. He spoke against the violence in Jerusalem and called on all sides to act for peace, saying, “Building peace is hard, but living without peace is a nightmare.”


When speaking of Jerusalem, the pope did not want to express a personal view, but said that the Vatican’s view is that Jerusalem should be “the city of peace and faith,” the capital of all three religions. He spoke of his good memories of his trip to Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority in May, and said that he “saw things he didn’t know existed.” He said, additionally, that it is important for Christians to visit Israel since “everything began there,” and that “anti-Semitism is a sin, and you cannot be a true Christian without recognizing your Jewish roots.” Regarding the possible opening of the Vatican archives, Pope Francis said that a treaty between the Vatican and Italy from 1929 prevents the opening of the archives, but that personally he sees no reason they shouldn’t be opened as soon as the “legal and bureaucratic” issues are taken care of.


The article ends by quoting Francis on how he wants to be remembered: “I would be happy if they said, ‘He was a good man. He did the best he could. He wasn’t so terrible.’”


Status of Holy Places

Sha’a Tova, November 20, 2014


This article tells the story of F. Haller, daughter of a former chief rabbi of Safed, who visited David’s Tomb on Mount Zion some 30 years ago, and was told at the time by a guard that one of the halls beneath the tomb contains the tombs of other kings of Judah as well. The article states that this story is important due to “the continued Christian efforts to gain control of the entire mountain.”



The Jerusalem Post, November 25, 2014


Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz, speaking at the annual Zionist Organization of America Justice Louis D. Brandeis award dinner, promised to introduce “tougher sanctions on Iran” should the current deal, which he predicted would be a failure, fall through. He further said that if Israel decided to act against Iran that it would be “the greatest service to US national security that any country could provide.”


Senator Cruz was invited to the dinner to accept the Dr. Bob Shillman award, given to legislators with a consistent pro-Israel record. Cruz accepted the award from Prof. Alan Dershowitz.


Book Reviews

Makor Rishon, November 28, 2014


Shmuel Faust reviews Amos Oz’ new book, The Gospel According to Judas, recently published by Keter.


While stating that the book can have many interpretations, Faust nevertheless says that it is “a paean to treachery,” as every character is a traitor or suffers from someone else’s treachery. Oz states obliquely that the suppression of the Judas Gospel—causing Judas Iscariot to be portrayed as a traitor rather than as Jesus’ most faithful disciple—was “a historic mistake,” just as, in his opinion, the Zionist mistake ended in the prevention of universal peace.


Faust speaks very warmly of Oz’ artistic ability, comparing the book to a piece of classical chamber music where even the stray cats have a symbolic meaning.



Haaretz, November 25, 2014


The moat and the “Kishleh”—the Ottoman jail—in the David’s Citadel fortress have been excavated and are now open to the public. Among the discoveries are an ancient rock quarry, a Second Temple era mikveh (Jewish ritual bath), a water channel carved in rock, secret passageways, a large staircase, and Hasmonean and Herodian era water pools. The “Kishleh” is of particular note as fighters in the Jewish underground organizations were imprisoned there and carved their marks in the walls.