March 10 – 2016

During the week covered by this review, we received 12 articles on the following subjects:

Political Issues
Interfaith Dialogue
Book Reviews

Political Issues

Israel Hayom; Maariv, March 2, 2016

On March 1, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki demanded of the Human Rights Council in Geneva that the international community “bar settlers from entering their countries,” “that they boycott settlements and their products,” that they “threaten the conquering entity with economic sanctions,” and that the security council “come to a decision regarding the settlements, based upon the international community’s consensus of opinion that they are illegal.”

Danny Danon, Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, has stated in response that “this is pure anti-Semitism. The Palestinian foreign minister’s demand to mark Jews is reminiscent of the marking of Jews during dark periods of history. All countries of the world must denounce the Palestinian foreign minister and send a clear and sharp message regarding anti-Semitism.”

Additionally, MK Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party, is organizing a protest demonstration in front of the Human Rights Council building in Geneva, together with the Christian lobby for the Land of Israel, Stand With Us, the European Jewish students’ organization, the international Jewish students’ organization, the Switzerland-Israel friendship association, and the World Zionist Organization. The demonstration is to take place in the middle of March. Lapid is specifically protesting the Human Rights Council’s “failure to fulfill its job in an objective and effective manner, its hypocrisy and its slanted view of Israel.”

Interfaith Dialogue

Modi’in News, February 25, 2016

The Yachad High School in Modi’in has recently hosted an interfaith event to mark the Day of Tolerance. The 10th to 12th grade students listened to Jewish rabbis, Christian ministers, Muslim sheikhs, and Druze imams explain the elements of their respective faiths, as well as answering students’ questions. The school has stated that each of the speakers emphasized that “tolerance and accepting the other are central values of their religion.” As part of the day a 20-year-old olive tree, a gift from the religious clerics from the north of Israel to the school, was planted in the courtyard. School principal Sagiv Elbaz stated, “The Day of Tolerance is part of the school’s vision for ‘seeing the other’ and for coexistence.”

Yedion Afula VeHa’Amakim, February 26, 2016

The Mukabala Church recently hosted an interfaith event organized by “Walking Together Towards a Common Future.” Father Marco, the church’s priest, was present, together with Obad Nur, head of the Mukabala municipality. Of particular note is the flute quartet from Sarid and Tivon that performed, as well as the candlelit procession by the church’s children.

Other activities are planned to take place at Mukabala during the rest of the year.

Book Reviews

HaBitachon, February 29, 2016

This article reviews The Beginning of the Modern Era in the History of the Land of Israel: The Time of the Egyptian Rule (1831-1840), edited by Eli Miller, Ariel Publishing, May 2015.

This book wishes to shed light on the nine years of Egyptian rule in Israel during the 19th century, and particularly emphasizes the foundations laid during that time for a modern state, such as military conscription, secular laws, the limits placed on the Muslim kadis’ power, and other measures taken in an attempt to integrate minorities into the life of the state. The chapter on Jewish history is particularly illuminating, as it reveals that 60% of the Jewish population in Israel at the time came as a result of immigration, this being perhaps due to the improvement in personal safety. All in all, “the reader follows the events as a historical novel, with enjoyment and broadening of knowledge.”


Israel Hayom; Haaretz, March 2; Yediot Ahronot; Maariv, March 3, 2016

An exhibition opened on March 4 at the Israel Museum, focusing on artifacts from the 400-year period during which Canaan was part of the ancient Egyptian empire, and showing the close trade relations between the two areas, as well as the immense cultural impact Egypt had on Canaanite culture. The artifacts exhibited are on loan from such museums as the Paris Louvre, the New York Metropolitan Museum, the Vienna Art History Museum, and the Egyptian Museum in Torino, as well as items from the Israel Museum’s own collection, and include triumphal inscriptions, gold jewelry for men and women, cosmetics, mirrors, as well as other stone and pottery articles. “This exhibition surveys a decisive, albeit forgotten, chapter of the ancient civilization,” said James Snyder, the Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum.

HaPeles; Haaretz; The Jerusalem Post, March 3, 2016

A rare and well-preserved 1,600-year-old winepress and bathhouse have recently been discovered in Jerusalem’s Schneller compound. The winepress includes a pressing area paved with white mosaic, surrounded with cells for storing the vines and perhaps the manufacture of differently flavored wines as well. The bathhouse includes terra cotta pipes for warming the water, as well as some clay bricks. As some of the bricks are inscribed with the name of the Tenth Roman Legion, archaeologists surmise that the winepress and bathhouse belonged to a manor house auxiliary to the community of Tenth Legion veterans known to have existed in the area before the end of the third century CE.

This excavation follows the salvage dig done on the site some six months ago. The Schneller compound had functioned as an orphanage from 1860 to the Second World War, when it became a British army base. In 1948 it was handed over to the Haganah, and subsequently functioned as an IDF army base until 2008.