During the week covered by this review, we received 15 articles on the following subjects:
Status of Holy Sites
Israel Hayom, October 16, 2015
This article states that contrary to what is supposed, the recent escalation in terrorist attacks that Israel has seen is due to incitement by Hamas, and specifically by Ra’ad Salah of the northern branch of the Israel Islamic Movement, rather than being a “spontaneous,” “popular” phenomenon. Salah not only spreads the idea that “the Al-Aqsa mosque is in captivity and is in danger,” but has recently been heard attempting “to resurrect the notorious, sickening blood libel” as well. He has been heard giving voice to his dream of “an Islamic caliphate with Jerusalem as its capital.” He is “intent on causing a new intifada,” with “the match to the fire” being the longstanding idea that Israel is “doing all in its power to cause the Al-Aqsa mosque to fall.”
The article also states that some 50 years ago, the State of Israel “abandoned its most holy site to the Muslims, for whom it is the third most holy site only,” and in so doing “enabled the building of two additional mosques on the site as well.”
Yediot Ahronot, October 16, 2015
A mere 24 hours after President Abbas “accused Israel of the fictitious murder of the youth Ahmed Manasara,” his representatives submitted a request “according to which the Palestinians wish to decide that ‘the Western Wall is part of the Al-Aqsa mosque’ and that ‘Rachel’s Tomb and the Machpela Cave are part of Palestine.’”
The request, which will be put to a vote next week, was submitted by Algeria, Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco, Tunis, and the United Arab Emirates, “as the Palestinians are not part of UNESCO’s executive committee.” “We shouldn’t despair or get excited,” stated Carmel Shama-Hacohen, Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO. “They have lies and we have a moral, real and historic truth, and that is what will win. The Palestinians’ chance of Islamizing the Western Wall is identical to their chance of Islamizing the Jewish people.”
HaMevaser, October 16, 2015
“Ever since the Six Day War, Israel has had to deal with foreign media slanted against it,” states this article. It goes on to specifically mention incidents from the BBC, AP, The New York Times, Haaretz, and The Guardian in which either the headline, the content or both were misleading and/or erroneous, and gives the delegitimization campaign, ignorance, lack of context, and lack of historical knowledge as possible reasons for this phenomenon.
Agenda, September 17, 2015
This article is a profile of Nora Biton, the main representative for the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews in Eilat. Biton’s main sphere of activity is as part of IFCJ’s “With Honor and Fellowship” program, which aims to provide low-income elderly people with necessities they may be lacking, but particularly to “eliminate the loneliness” for people who may not have any relatives in Israel. Although the work is sometimes hard and “some cases do not leave her,” Nora continues in the work.
The IFCJ has also “adopted” the Golden Age club in the Colaire community center in the city, and assists in financing various programs, particularly those aimed at people who might otherwise not leave their house.
Yediot Tel-Aviv, October 16, 2015
The Bnei Yaffo Orthodoxim sport club in Jaffa is an “island in a sea of nationalism and racism” as its soccer team consists of Jews, Christians, and Muslims who “come to play together and have a good time.” “True friendships have been made here between Jews and Arabs beyond the soccer field,” says Rami Mansour, owner of the team for the past eight years. “I have never seen a political argument here. The concept of ‘coexistence’ is lived out here daily.”
Yediot Yerushalayim, October 16, 2015
This article is an interview with Vera Baboun, mayor of Bethlehem since 2012. Baboun spoke about her attempts to keep the peace in Bethlehem in the face of the recent unrest. She stated, “If you look for the reason for the unrest you need to look in the State of Israel. My [people] don’t initiate actions—they only respond to the Israeli government’s actions.” Other topics covered were “the intolerable situation in the refugee camps”; Baboun’s attempts “to stabilize unemployment”; and the decline in tourism.
Yediot Tel-Aviv, October 16, 2015
Mona Masarawa, 33, is a religious Muslim working as a mathematics teacher at the Tichonet high school in north Tel-Aviv. While admitting that what happens outside the school is what frightens her—she “is afraid to enter malls”—she has seen a change in some of her students who no longer regard her with suspicion. “I am here as an ambassador to decrease the fear of the ‘other’ and the ‘different,’” says Masarawa. “I think the conflict will be solved only when people are tolerant and respectful towards each other.”
Zman Ma’ale, October 8, 2015
Some 2,000 attendees at the All Nations’ Convocation Jerusalem recently held a meeting in the Elephant Park in Ma’ale Adumim, where they prayed for the success and flourishing of the city. Mayor Beni Cashriel spoke to those present about the city’s history, its present development, and its needs for the future.
The meeting came about as a result of Pastor Tom Hess’s long friendship with Cashriel, and Hess’s scholarship contributions to the city.
Yediot Ahronot, October 11, 2015
This article is an open letter from the Christian Friends of Israel organization, speaking for its more than 200,000 members, and expressing its sadness of the recent increase in terror in Israel. Stating that—contrary to the world—it “will not be silent,” it mentions how the organization has enabled more than 125,000 Jews to immigrate to Israel and how it restored Moses Montefiore’s windmill [a famous Jerusalem landmark]. The letter mentions how the organization’s presence in more than 40 countries enables it to “fight lies and disinformation” and calls upon Christians worldwide to stand with Israel. The letter ends by saying, “The people of Israel still lives!”
The Jerusalem Post, October 9, 2015
In this article, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein surveys the persecution of Christians. Citing the 2014 World Watch List, the article states that “9 out of 10 countries on the list for persecution of Christians, are Muslim.” In Western countries, the fact that Christians are “beleaguered” is something “relatively new” that both Christians and Jews need to come to terms with. According to Pew Research, Christianity and Islam will be “on a near par” numerically by 2050, “perhaps for the first time in history.” In addition, the gay marriage ruling in the US Supreme Court has placed Christians, “for the first time since white people arrived in America,” “on the opposite side of the cultural norm.” Adlerstein emphasizes two elements key to the issue: “for Jewish organizations to be morally responsible and show their concern and support for those being persecuted,” and “that politicians acknowledge anti-Christian atrocities.”
Status of Holy Sites
Haaretz, October 15, 2015
This article is of the opinion that rabbis urging their students to ascend the Temple Mount is a deliberate provocation with the intent of removing any Muslim connection to the Temple Mount, as
the ordinary ruling of Jewish law forbids such ascent and places prayer at the Western Wall instead. Therefore, Jews must be forbidden entrance to the mount, and “sovereignty must be shared with the Palestinians and Jordanians” since “it is in practice a Muslim site”; “appeasement must begin from the Temple Mount, and there is no other option.”
Chadashot HaBayit, September 30, 2015
The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of greater Boston led an interfaith study tour to Israel in the latter half of August. One of the sites visited was the Galilee Medical Center, where the group toured the armored emergency room and underground emergency passage, and enjoyed a view towards the Lebanese border from the top of the surgical building. Dr. Mas’ad Barhoum, head of the center, said, “We place great importance on the visits from US organizations that have taken upon themselves to assist in developing our medical center, the goal of which is equal care for every patient.”
The Jerusalem Report, October 14, 2015
In this article, Dale M. Haynes of California contends that as the English word “church” originates from the Greek kuriakon, it is incorrect to use it to translate the more common word ecclesia—which, to first century listeners, would have been equivalent to the Hebrew kahal, for “audience,” and is the word most likely to have been used in “upon this rock I will build my ‘church.’”
Kol Ha’Ir Ashkelon, September 11, 2015
An ornamented 1,800-year-old sarcophagus, recently discovered at an Ashkelon building site, was covered over with building debris and the discovery site covered with concrete. The sarcophagus is some 2 tons in weight and is covered with ornamental carving on all its sides, including the carved relief of a man on the lid. The Israel Antiquities Authority was alerted to the proceedings at the site, and the two contractors responsible for the site are under investigation.
Many artifacts have been discovered in Ashkelon in the past, particularly in the 1960s, and some homes even became “tourist sites.”
Haaretz, October 15, 2015
“A new study strongly suggests that humans living in the Galilee first domesticated fava beans more than 10,000 years ago,” states this article from Haaretz. This development is important as scientists have been less successful following the development of legumes than that of wheat. The conclusion is the result of thousands of charred beans having been found in three adjacent sites in the Galilee, and the sheer volume is what suggests domestication, since “wild legumes tend to stay dormant in the soil,” says Valentina Caracuta, leader of the study for the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot. Another reason to suspect domestication, according to the article, is the fact that very few grain seeds were found on the site.