During the week covered by this review, we received 15 articles on the following subjects:
Christians in Israel
Science and Technology
The Jerusalem Post, December 18, 2014
In this article, Matan Asher states that although the current European social leftist policy regarding Israel began during the Arab oil embargo, it has since been aligned with the leftists’ ideas of “non-limited immigration, a post-national world, the ‘united in diversity’ slogan.” He suggests that this is “the main cause of anti-Semitism in Europe.”
HaModia, December 15; HaMevaser, December 19, 2014
The anti-missionary activist organization Yad L’Achim is jubilant over the fact that the missionaries’ latest attempt at fighting back – in the form of imitating Yad L’Achim’s Mechapsim [“Searching”] magazine – has failed. The Yad L’Achim magazine has caused some Messianic believers “to contact Yad L’Achim clandestinely,” says the organization, but the missionaries’ imitation magazine is “demagogic and worthless.” Yad L’Achim additionally states, “We will continue to give an appropriate answer for Jews who are lost, use every legitimate means to remove Jews from missionary cults and return them to the way of the fathers.”
Christians in Israel
Yediot Yerushalayim, December 12, 2014
The German nuns of the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary have received an award from Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat for having run a guesthouse free of charge for Holocaust survivors.
Haaretz, December 15, 2014
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was present at an Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum (headed by Father Gabriel Naddaf) held in Upper Nazareth on December 14. Netanyahu and Naddaf both spoke; Netanyahu mentioned how he and Naddaf accompanied their sons to the recruitment offices one day apart and how both sons volunteered for combat service. Netanyahu additionally spoke of the recent wave of European parliaments calling on their governments to recognize a Palestinian state, and urged them to “listen to what Hamas is saying.”
Naddaf said that “Israel is the only place in the Middle East where Christians can hold their heads up and live with pride,” but noted as well that he and his family have been harassed for two and a half years because of his activities, but the police have done nothing.
Globes, December 18, 2014
This article details a recent trip taken by the author to the churches in Gheralta, on the Tigray plateau in Ethiopia. Of particular note is the Mariam Korkor church, said by some to have been established between 500 and 700 CE, and remarkable both for having been carved into the mountain and for its well-preserved frescoes depicting biblical scenes.
The Gheralta cliffs hold many other hidden churches and monasteries, but researchers have not yet been able to sufficiently account for the particularly remote location; some are convinced that it is due to its being midway between Axum, the ancient capital of Ethiopian Christianity, and Lalibela, with its medieval churches. Others are of the opinion that the Gheralta churches were built during the decline of the Axumic empire to protect holy relics from looters.
Science and Technology
The Jerusalem Post, December 14, 2014
In this article, Sara Meric objects to the Jerusalem Nano Bible Company using Christian terminology to describe their product (“Israeli firm develops world’s smallest New Testament on nano-sized chip,” The Jerusalem Post, December 10, 2014). “Since ‘new’ always implies ‘better,’” Meric suggests that the terms “Hebrew Bible” for the Old Testament and “Christian Bible” for the New Testament be used instead.
HaModia, December 15, 2014
The Lithuanian embassy in London has recently been holding a rare works exhibition, including works by Jewish Lithuanian artists, some of whom had left for the United States before World War II and some of whom had lived in the south of France or in hiding in Paris. “The contribution of Lithuanian Jews to the cultural legacy of Lithuania is simply immense,” said the embassy representative in London.
Teva HaDvarim, December 11, 2014
A Persian-era settlement, complete with a 2-meter fortified tower, has recently been discovered in Nativ Ha’asara, near the Gaza Strip. Excavations revealed that the settlement had been destroyed “particularly violently”; among the artifacts found were weapons, storehouses complete with food vessels, and dwellings with ovens and pottery in their courtyards. Archaeologists surmise that the site was a fortified way station on the sea route, and that it was destroyed in the 4th century BCE, around the time of Alexander.
Yom L’Yom, December 11, 2014
This six-page article details a trip taken by the Yom L’Yom staff to see the alleged site of the Hasmonean tombs. They were accompanied by Amit Re’em, the Jerusalem district archaeologist at the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).
During the trip, Re’em stated that the location of the Hasmonean tombs has not been definitively located, as this is dependent on locating the ancient city of Modi’in. Re’em himself is convinced that the actual location is somewhat to the north, where ground-penetrating scanners have located a large subterranean structure, whose large and impressive architecture could in fact fit a royal burial compound, dating to the period.
Yediot HaNegev, December 12, 2014
This article repeats the story in last week’s Media Review (December 16, 2014) regarding the Dead Sea Scroll looters who were recently indicted. The six had been under observation by the authorities, and were arrested with artifacts and sophisticated equipment in their possession. “This is one of the largest looting cells to be caught in recent years,” said Amir Ganor of the Unit for Prevention of Looting at the Israel Antiquities Authority.
HaModia, December 17, 2014
A 2,800-year-old farmhouse has recently been found in excavations near Rosh Ha’Ayin. The 23-room structure, dated to the time of the Assyrian conquest, continued to function into the Hellenistic period, as a rare Alexander-era coin was found in one of its rooms. Like other farms in the area, this farm appears to have produced wine, as signified by the many winepresses found in the vicinity.
Israel Hayom; Ha’aretz, December 18, 2014
Two clay pitchers that had contained olive oil have been found in Zippori [Sepphoris] in the Lower Galilee. The pitchers have been dated to approximately 5,800 BCE. This is the earliest evidence of the use of olive oil in Israel found to date. Researchers, while admitting that this cannot be proven, nevertheless surmise that the oil came from cultivated olive species, completing the “grain, new wine, new oil” composition upon which the Mediterranean diet is still based.
HaModia, December 19, 2014
Excavations continue in Herod’s palace at Herodion. Among the remains uncovered are the arched entrance corridor (some 20 meters long and 6 wide), the anteroom, and the frescoed entrance hall. Additionally, it is intriguing that later artifacts were discovered at the site as well – particularly coins dated to the Great Revolt (66-71 CE), and tunnels dated to the Bar-Kochba Revolt (132-135/6 CE).