During the week covered by this review, we received 18 articles on the following subjects:
Christians in Israel
HaModia, May 24, 2016
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and French Premier Manuel Valls recently met to discuss a French proposal for a conference to further negotiations with the Palestinians. At this meeting Netanyahu stated that Israel would “be happy to hold direct talks with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, in which all subjects would be put on the table.” Netanyahu also expressed “his appreciation for Valls’ strong stand against anti-Semitism and his dedication to reaching peace,” and for Valls’ statement that France’s recent support of the UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem “was a mistake.”
HaShavua B’Petach Tikva; Iton Shacharit, May 20; Iton Shacharit, May 23; Kol Ha’Ir Bnei Brak; HaShavua B’Yerushalayim, May 25; Yom L’Yom; Sha’a Tova (x2), May 26; HaEda; Yediot Modiin, May 27, 2016
Yad L’Achim reports that thousands of flyers were recently distributed in Petach Tikva, and many activists were sent to the area to distribute material to counter them. Yad L’Achim stated that this activity is done “since the groups involved believe that the more Jews convert to Christianity, the sooner Jesus will be revealed as messiah,” and are therefore “all the more dangerous.” Additionally, a widespread campaign “to hunt Jewish souls” is planned in Jerusalem and the center region, including flyers, street signs, and a telephone campaign. Yad L’Achim warns the public against these phenomena and directs them to call the organization’s hotline when necessary.
A campaign organized by the Jews for Jesus organization in Modiin has also caused controversy, and the volume of complaints has caused city council member Michael Harlap to investigate the legal side of the matter with the attorney-general’s office. Other residents, however, consider this issue “hysteria” and call upon their fellow residents to simply “say no and move on.” Dan Sered, CEO of Jews for Jesus in Israel, stated, “We are not missionaries … it is completely fine to disagree, but each person is permitted to spread his belief. We are in a democracy.”
Christians in Israel
Maariv Mekomonim; Index HaEmek VeHaGalil-Nazareth Ilit, May 20, 2016
The allegation of sexual harassment against Father Gabriel Naddaf has been dropped, and the person in question confessed that he invented the charge at the instigation of people who oppose Naddaf. However, one of the attorneys involved in the case claims that this confession comes as a result of threats from people close to Naddaf, and that the name of the person in question was leaked by the police, putting him in danger.
The Jerusalem Post, May 23, 2016
Noam Bedein of the Sderot Media Center is convinced that a key element in fighting “the enemy’s propaganda machine” is not only in supplying key supporters and their communities with the “reliable, up to the minute” material they need to articulate Israel’s position, but in supplying them with “a source of excitement and a moving experience to keep them going.” Bedein considers his own part in this to be “presenting the best and most beautiful sides of Israel through the art of photography, combined with telling the true story of Israelis living along the border with Gaza,” thereby “connecting entire communities to Israel through the power of richly illustrated storytelling.”
Makor Rishon, May 27, 2016
This article covers the dialogue program that has been taking place between the Ohalo College of Education in Katzrin and the Alice Solomon College in Hanover, Germany, in which students from each location visit their counterparts’ country and learn about “the mutual burdens and hard traumas.” Fourteen German students spent ten days touring in Israel with the students from Ohalo, and while sites visited emphasized the Holocaust, this year’s trip had the added subject of the recent influx of refugees into Germany and the societal changes resulting from this.
While some of the subjects covered in the visit were difficult, the general consensus of opinion appeared to be that despite—and especially because of—the past, dialogue and “knowing the other side” is essential, and the younger generation “will be able to make something new.”
HaMagazine Ashdod, May 11, 2016
This article is a biography of Adv. Eli Necht (32), who has recently drawn media attention, especially in his hometown of Ashdod, for having been granted membership in an international human rights organization. He acts as a non-political entity to increase support for Israel among the international community, and looks forward particularly to seeing the results of cooperation with Christians United for Israel and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.
The article also takes care to note how remarkable it is that Necht should have accomplished all this after having suffered a serious stroke as a high school student, being hospitalized for a year, and going through a long recovery process.
HaModia, May 23, 2016
The US ambassador to Romania has expressed strong criticism of the management of Romania’s central bank, as a new coin put out by the bank bears the image of Mihail Manoilescu, known for his anti-Semitic sentiments during World War II. The Romanian government, however, has stated in response that the coin forms part of a series of coins depicting past governors of the bank, and that Manoilescu served as governor in 1931, “when the country was in a severe financial crisis.”
The Jerusalem Post, May 27, 2016
In this letter to the editor, Martin Stern of the United Kingdom objects to Terri Morey’s letter to the editor from May 25. While admitting Morey’s letter to be “well argued,” Stern disagrees with Morey’s contention that Messianic Jews are still Jewish, citing the examples of Cardinal Lustiger and Bishop Montefiore, regarding whom “no one could claim that the religious affiliation of either was to Judaism.” Stern does, however, take care to note that he has no objection to Messianic Jews “setting themselves up as a separate religion.”