February 9 – 2015

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

  • Anti-Missionary Attitudes
  • Christian Tourism
  • Christians in Israel
  • Miscellaneous
  • Archaeology

Anti-Missionary Attitudes

Yom LYom; Shaa Tova; Beit Mashiach, January 29, 2015

These articles reiterate the story from the February 3, 2015, Media Review about the anti-missionary activist organization Yad L’Achim sending an urgent protest to the Defense Minister. This protest concerns an event organized by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem honoring Israel Defense Force (IDF) soldiers who took part in Operation Protective Edge, as “the soldiers were forced to listen to an evangelistic speech from an American preacher” and “were sent to the event directly from their bases,” contravening the IDF prohibition of missionary activity.

Christian Tourism

HaIr Kol HaIr, January 30; HaModia, February 2; The Jerusalem Post, February 5, 2015

An exhibition titled By the Rivers of Babylon will open this week at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem. The main articles on display are some 100 palm-sized tablets from Al-Yahudu, the main Jewish settlement in Babylon after the exile, the oldest of which is dated to a mere 15 years after the destruction of Jerusalem. These tablets, inscribed in Akkadian, are being described as “the Qumran scrolls of the Babylonian exile period,” as they depict daily transactions in the Judean community. “We have real documentation of the Judean exiles’ daily life in Babylon after the destruction of Jerusalem,” said Dr. Filip Vukosavovic, the curator of the exhibition.

The exhibition will also include arrowheads and sling stones used in the battle for Jerusalem, ancient documents describing military attempts to repel the Babylonians, a replica of the declaration of Cyrus, and a Babylonian Talmud printed in Germany right after the Holocaust. The exhibition is planned to be on display for at least a year.

Christians in Israel

Magazine HaMoshavot, January 30, 2015

This four-page article tells the story of Karen and Elisabeth Kinle, who are the first members of the Christian Bethel Community in Zichron Yaakov to have gone through teachers training at the Oranim College. The Bethel Community, originally from Germany, arrived in Israel in the 1960s as part of their deep conviction that the Jews are the chosen people and it is their job to do as much as they can to protect them.

The Kinle sisters see education as a vocation. “I think that as a teacher I can have the best influence on the younger generation. I educate for values rather than grades,” says Elisabeth. Karen and Elisabeth both asked to do their practicum at Shlomi, the community’s school in Zichron Yaakov. When asked how the community’s school is different, they unanimously answered, “Faith. We believe in the New Testament and implement faith in the classroom as well.”

Karen and Elisabeth enjoyed their time at Oranim, and made many friends there. The Shlomi headmistress is satisfied with the training at Oranim as well, and stated that they will be sending other students to study there in the future.


HaPeles, January 30, 2015

On January 29, the government of Portugal declared that the descendants of the Jews expelled from Portugal in 1496 would be eligible for Portuguese citizenship. Cabinet speaker Luis Marques Guedes also stated that this declaration would be in effect even if the persons in question should be citizens of another country, although applicants would need to prove descent and go through a four-month approval process, including being checked by the authorities of the Jewish community of Portugal.

This decision was unanimously approved by the Portuguese parliament in 2013, and is part of an attempt by Portugal to make reparation for the medieval inquisition and expulsion. This reparation process began with then-President Suarez’ apology in 1988 and the Catholic leader’s apology in 2000.

Globes, February 2, 2015

A legal decision has now been reached concerning the ownership of some 9.5 dunams of land in the Bahai Ridouan Gardens in Akko. The land had been the object of a dispute between Maliha Mussa Bahai, Nahar Bahai Amsalem and Asmat Bahai Azal, on the one hand, and the Israel branch of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahais of the United States, on the other. The land had been sold to the assembly in 2006, and Bahai, Amsalem and Azal were suing for compensation, as the land had originally belonged to Baha’allah, their grandfather, who founded the Bahai religion. The assembly, on the other hand, states that the land was always owned by and operated for the sake of the community, and that any private names on official papers were a technical necessity, as the legal entities of the religion were not yet in place.

Judge Daniel Fish of the Haifa District Court ruled in favor of the assembly.


Israel Hayom, February 2, 2015

The inspectors of the Unit for Prevention of Theft of the Israel Antiquities Authority have recently apprehended a cell of antiquities looters who operated in the Ashkelon National Park. The suspects were caught red handed in the looting a 1,500-year-old Byzantine grave.

Ashkelon was one of the important ports in ancient Israel, and was continually inhabited throughout the Canaanite, Iron, Hellenistic, and Roman periods.