During the week covered by this review, we received 17 articles on the following subjects:
Christians in Israel
Messianic Jews (Individuals)
Christians and the Holocaust
Yediot Haifa, April 15, 2016
The Virgin Mary Procession recently took place in Haifa and was attended by some 15,000 people. The event, which originally was merely a local event, has for many years been attended by international visitors as well, and the Christian community in Haifa is of the opinion that the procession could be turned into an international event drawing tens of thousands of visitors.
However, this year’s documentation of the event by the Al-Medina newspaper has drawn criticism, as in the photograph Mary appears to be holding a Palestinian flag. Wadi’a Abu Nasser, consultant to the Council of Bishops, said, “One must understand that Mary is above any political symbol.” Al-Medina editor Rashad Umari responded on his Facebook page that the photo was published as a protest to the inclusion of the Israeli flag in the procession, as they “wanted to emphasize that Mary is first of all Palestinian and not Israeli.”
HaMevaser, April 17; Israel Hayom, April 18; Maariv, April 20, 2016
UNESCO, in response to a request from the Palestinian Authority, has recently published a statement with various contentions against Israel, saying that Jews have no religious connection to the Temple Mount, and therefore refer to it throughout the document as the Al-Aqsa mosque. Prime Minister Netanyahu, in response, has stated that the decision is “absurd,” and that “UNESCO is ignoring Judaism’s unique historical connection to the site, rewriting a foundational part of human history and proving again that there is nothing it will not stoop to.” Carmel Shama HaCohen, Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, has responded by saying that Jerusalem will continue to be Israel’s capital “regardless of thousands of decisions you might make,” and Yesh Atid party leader MK Yair Lapid stated that this decision will cost more innocent lives, the responsibility for which UNESCO “will not be able to escape from.”
A letter to the editor in Israel Hayom states that by supporting this resolution for the sake of flattering the Muslim world, countries like Spain, Russia, and Slovenia “have cut off the branch upon which Christianity’s connection to Jerusalem is based,” since if the Jewish people has no connection to the Temple Mount, then “Jesus Christ did not exist either.”
The Maariv article, while admitting that one could call UNESCO’s decision “ignorant, hypocritical and anti-Semitic” nevertheless is of the opinion that by relinquishing control of the Temple Mount to Jordan after the Six-Day War and limiting Jewish access since then, the State of Israel has in fact created the climate for UNESCO’s decision to take place and therefore “why should we excoriate them?”
HaMevaser; HaPeles, April 19, 2016
Swedish Housing Minister Mehmet Kaplan has been asked to resign due to a statement he made in 2009 saying that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians was reminiscent of Nazi Germany’s treatment of the Jews during World War II. The statement was recently published by the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.
Kaplan, who was born in Turkey, was prevented from entering Israel in 2000 after he participated in the Turkish flotilla to Gaza.
Christians in Israel
Index HaEmek VeHaGalil–Nazareth Ilit, April 8, 2016
Father Gabriel Naddaf has recently requested a meeting with Police General Commissioner Roni Alsheikh on the subject of “humiliation of priests.” “We are one and we will continue to act together,” stated Naddaf, “not because we have no option but because we were born to be brothers.”
The article also mentions that Naddaf has received a request for a meeting from a Jewish orthodox group wishing to express their condemnation of the phenomenon.
HaModia, April 22, 2016
Fifteen policemen were injured at a torchlight parade in Jena, Germany, marking Adolf Hitler’s birthday, as a result of a clash between parade participants and opposing protestors.
Zman Ma’ale, April 7, 2016
Ma’ale Adumim’s city rabbi, Rabbi Yehoshua Katz, wrote an open letter to the public in response to various forms of missionary material recently distributed in the city, and wishing to alert the public that “those behind the distribution are no more than deceivers whose ulterior motive is to lead innocent or ignorant people astray.”
Messianic Jews (Individuals)
Yediot Eilat, April 22, 2016
Judy Pex of The Shelter guesthouse in Eilat has designed a Passover Haggadah highlighting not only freedom from slavery in Egypt “but the lamb who sacrificed himself for us and by so doing gave us freedom.” Pex wishes “peace, unity, salvation, and hope to all people” on this holiday.
Christians and the Holocaust
Sha’a Tova, April 14, 2016
Edwiga Izwitzka, a Christian woman who had been adopted by the policemen of the Sharett Station, was recently laid to rest by the volunteers of Zaka Tel-Aviv. Although Zaka does not usually perform Jewish funerals for non-Jews, they agreed to do so in this case as Izwitzka not only “took care to keep the feasts and customs of Israel” but was honored as Righteous Among the Nations.
Yediot Ahronot, April 19, 2016
This article reports on lectures on the Holocaust given by Noach Kliger in Graz, Austria. The first lecture, given to some 1,200 high school students, highlighted the true history of Austria after the Anschluss, as opposed to the often-stated position that Austria was a victim of Germany. The second lecture, given to 800 townspeople, covered not only the Holocaust but current event issues in Israel and the Middle East. Both lectures were very well received and were “the best attended of any meetings held by an Israeli in Graz.”
Maariv, April 19, 2016
This article covers the life of professor Jan Tomasz Gross, who has been under investigation in Poland for an article which stated that “the number of Jews murdered by Poles during World War II is higher than the number of Jews murdered by Germans.” Should the investigation rule that he has “offended the Polish nation,” he may serve a three-year prison sentence.
Gross’s books have already made him an unpopular figure in Poland, as they deal with Polish anti-Semitic acts against Jews during the war. Claiming that the Polish public is extremely ignorant on the subject of the Holocaust, Gross is convinced that the investigation against him is the result of “organizations and politicians with a nationalistic agenda.”
Gross’s conclusions remain a matter of scholarly debate in Poland.
Haaretz, April 19, 2016
A conference of more than 3,000 Islamic religious leaders took place in Morocco January 23-25 on the subject of the future of religious minorities in Islamic countries in the face of ISIS’ growing threat not only to them but to non-ISIS Muslim regimes as well. Many non-Muslim observers were present as well, including Rabbi David Rosen from Israel. The upshot of the conference was the Marrakesh Declaration, which underscores that “protecting the rights of minorities is an integral part of Islamic legacy and tradition.” Calling the initiative “an institutional Islamic alternative to ISIS,” the article nevertheless notes Rabbi Rosen’s statement that the declaration’s test will now be the degree to which it is implemented in the Muslim world.
Makor Rishon, April 22, 2016
This article reports a discovery recently made by Prof. Robert Rockaway about how the heads of the Jewish mafia in the US planned to assassinate Adolf Hitler in the 1930s. The plan was abandoned after the FBI heard rumors about the plan, due to the fear that those involved “would not be able to continue their everyday gangster activities.”
Israel Hayom; Haaretz, April 20, 2016
Twelve-year-old Neshama Spielman, on an outing with her family at the Temple Mount Sifting Project in Jerusalem’s Emek Tzurim, found a 3,200-year-old Egyptian amulet four years ago, which archaeologists have now determined bears the name of Pharaoh Thutmose III. “Celebrating Passover this year will be extra meaningful to me,” she said.