During the week covered by this review, we received 9 articles on the following subjects:
The Jerusalem Post, March 9, 2017
On Wednesday, March 8, the Arab League voted unanimously to pass a resolution “denouncing the proposed relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem.” The resolution stated that such a move would be “an explicit assault on the rights of Palestinians, all Muslims and Christians; a serious violation of international law; that it would contribute to an implosion of the two-state solution and the promotion of extremism and violence.” Jibril Rajoub, a senior Palestinian official and Fatah official, recently warned, “An embassy relocation would be tantamount to ‘a declaration of war against Muslims’.”
U.S. President Donald Trump continues to emphasize plans to relocate the embassy, but he has also recently implied that the move may be postponed. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has initiated a national campaign in support of Trump’s pledge. Barkat has also stated that by relocating the embassy the White House would be “sending a clear message to the world that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.”
HaShavua B’Holon Bat-Yam, March 2, 2017
A Jewish family in Bat Yam were recently shocked to discover Christian wording on the prayer shawl their son was to wear for his bar mitzvah shortly before the ceremony was to begin. However, the ritual articles were replaced with others belonging to the synagogue. As the family “refused to cooperate and report the shop which is selling Christian articles bearing an innocent disguise,” HaShavua B’Bat-Yam is requesting the public’s help in providing information on the subject.
The Jerusalem Post, March 8, 2017
A delegation from Christians for Israel International (CII), led by CII chairman Leon E. Meijer and accompanied by Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs, chief rabbi of the Netherlands, met with President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday, March 7. At the meeting the group told Rivlin that they will be initiating a Jerusalem unity campaign among churches and Christian organizations worldwide, as CII “unconditionally supports the governance of the undivided city as the capital of the Jewish State of Israel.” They also described the organization’s three-fold aim: “Explaining the place of Israel in the Bible and God’s special connection with Israel and the Jewish people; praying for Jerusalem; and trying to comfort the Jewish people and bring them to Israel.” Rivlin, whose ancestors came to Jerusalem in 1809, said that Jews coming to Israel “were not coming to be imperialists, but coming home,” adding that since Jerusalem’s reunification it has become “a microcosm of diversity where every faith can worship freely.” Rivlin also expressed his hope for “the day when Jerusalem would not only be defined as the city of peace, but would indeed be the city of peace.”
CII was founded in the Netherlands in 1979. It differs from the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) in that it does not operate within Israel, while the ICEJ operates both within and without Israel.
The Jerusalem Post, March 9, 2017
In this article, Tuly Weisz, director of Israel365 and publisher of Breaking Israel News, wishes to express appreciation to a number of Christian organizations, “who are following in the footsteps of Queen Esther to stand with Israel ‘for such a time as this’,” in the face of rising anti-Semitism and growing threats to the State of Israel. Weisz quotes Rev. Rebecca Brimmer of Bridges for Peace, who said, “God has given the Christians a pivotal role…since we have been chosen by God to be alive in this time in history when God is fulfilling His prophetic word to the nation and people of Israel in the sight of the entire world.” Weisz cites the use Christians United for Israel (CUFI) has made of the words “For Such A Time As This” on clothing articles, and the seminars on anti-Semitism, entitled “For Such A Time As This,” operated by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem all over the world.
The Jerusalem Post, March 10, 2017
The extensive restoration project at Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher has been completed (see Media Reviews November 2016 #1, February 2017 #2, March 2017 #1), and an inauguration ceremony will take place on March 22. The Latin Patriarch said, “The inauguration ceremony will be a sign of unity, bringing together all of the communities, authorities and representatives of the Churches of the Holy Land, as well as many members of religious orders, faithful and benefactors.”
The project began in May 2016, and the last of the scaffolding will soon be taken down. The restoration team’s final stage of work is focused on strengthening the structure against seismic movements in order to preserve the tomb in case an earthquake occurs.
Israel Hayom, March 6, 2017
The National Library will soon be showing a 400-year old scroll of the book of Esther on its website. The scroll is unique in the detail of its illustrations and the violence depicted in them, as well as its degree of wear. Dr. Yoel Finkelman, curator of the library’s Judaism collection, stated that the purpose behind the violence in the illustrations was apparently that “the hope that God would use the same violence toward Christians if they injure Jews.”
The scroll was commissioned in 1617 from Moshe Ben-Avraham Pescarol by Mordecai Ben-Eliyahu HaLevy from Brissilo, Italy, and is written on 27 vellum sheets. The library owns a large collection of Esther scrolls from Jewish communities all over the world, the oldest of which was written in a Jewish dialect of Arabic in the 14th century.
Haaretz, March 9, 2017
The Tower of David Museum is planning a number of tours in the coming months, specifically to do with the different communities in Jerusalem, such as the Karaites (March 16), the Husseini and Nashashibi families (May 11), and the Belz Hassidim (July 27). Of particular note are the tours on the Armenian community (April 20), the Ethiopian Christians (June 29), and the Messianic Jews (August 24). For more information please contact *2884 or tod.org.il.
HaModia, Iton Shacharit, March, 8, 2017
An unusually well-preserved Roman road has recently been found near Beit-Shemesh during construction for laying a water line for Ramat Beit-Shemesh. According to Irena Zilverbod, leader of the dig from the Israel Antiquities Authority, the road connected the settlements to the bigger ‘Caesar’s Way,” which is dated to the time of Hadrian, specifically connecting Eleutheropolis (Beit Guvrin) and Jerusalem. Coins have also been found between the paving stones – a coin of Pontius Pilate (29CE), a coin minted in Jerusalem from the time of Agrippa I (41CE), a coin from year 2 of the Great Revolt (67CE), and an Ummayad coin.