During the week covered by this review, we received 8 articles on the following subjects:
Christians in Israel
Maariv, November 2, 2018; Makor Rishon, November 2, 2018; Iton Shacharit, November 6, 2018; Israel Yahom, November 8, 2018
Mass shooter Robert Bowers, who murdered 11 Jews during a Shabbat service at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, has pleaded “not guilty” to the crime. If convicted, however, Bowers is expected to face the death penalty.
Anti-Semitic incidents in the US are on the rise. Police in California reinforced security at a variety of Jewish institutes after a defamatory inscription was found on the walls of a synagogue. In addition, spray painted inscriptions calling for the “death of all Jews” were found in a historic synagogue in Brooklyn, where a political event was canceled in the wake of the discovery. The incident provoked a sense of fear, especially in light of the Pittsburgh attack. Just a few weeks ago, in Brooklyn Heights, a 62-year-old man wearing his prayer shawl was attacked and beaten by a Limousine driver. The Anti-Defamation League has reported that in 2017, after Donald Trump’s first year in office, there was a 57% increase in Anti-Semitic incidents across the US.
The attack in Pittsburgh prompted an inter-religious gathering at Temple Emmanuel in New York, where Jewish, Christian, and Muslim leaders gathered in show of solidarity. The leaders asked that something be done to prevent a future disaster. Cardinal Timothy Dolan said at the event: “I thank God for the blessed dialogue between religions we have in this city. We get along, we cooperate, we love each other, and this is how it will continue.” Two Muslim-American organizations campaigned to raise money for the victims of the Pittsburgh shooting and their families. So far, they have raised $140,000.
The final article reported that a study published in Germany showed that a third of Germans hold to anti-Semitic opinions. About 31% of Germans said that Jews still have too much influence. 29% said they believed Jews used “dirty trick” in the workplace. 40% said that they believed it was “possible to feel a lack of sympathy towards Jews because of the State of Israel.”
The Jerusalem Post, November 1, 2018; Globes, November 8, 2018
According to David Parsons, Vice President of the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem (ICEJ), investing in Israel is “biblical.” The ICEJ accordingly brought OurCrowd, a crowdfunding platform geared towards Israeli tech and innovation, to engage with Christians at the Feast of Tabernacles. OurCrowd CEO, Jon Medved, said he believed Christians see in Israeli innovation and development the fulfillment of prophecy, and that therefore there is a place for a venture capitalist firm to engage Christians interested in micro-investments. A similar vision encapsulates Calev Myers’ ARISE organization, which seeks to counter BDS activity by drawing in Christian investors. Myers said BDS activists are trying to link investment in Israel with abuse of human rights, so in response, Myers commissioned a report to show that investment in Israel actually advances human rights. The report will go out to 500 Christian businesses. ARISE has further organized a meet-up between Christian investors and Israeli startups in Tel Aviv. In advance of the event, Myers asked Christian business people to answer 10 questions related to the types of technology they would like to invest in, and then cross-referenced the information with the Israel Export Institute in order to bring the right Israeli start-ups to the meet-up. Myers said he believes for-profit investment fostered a deeper interest and long-term relationship with Israel. He also said: “We decided not to fight BDS with their own tools. You cannot boycott the boycotters. We will win the fight by encouraging investment and building new business ties to Israel.”
The Jerusalem Report, November 1, 2018
This article reported that the organization “Genesis 123” has formed a new Evangelical Christian team of about 500 runners, who plan to take part in the Jerusalem Marathon in 2019 for charity. The initiative is called “Run for Zion,” and the President of Genesis 123, Jonathan Feidstein, expects to raise as much as $1.25 million, which will be donated to Israeli charities. The event’s tagline is: “Bless Israel with every step.”
Christians in Israel
Globes, November 8, 2018
The Municipality of Tel Aviv has taken legal action to shut down a number of improvised church gatherings, which have been meeting illegally in a number of buildings in the southside of the city. The churches have gathered without the appropriate permits and have caused disturbance to neighbors. Three court rulings have been issued against the gatherings, but it seems that the churches have continued to meet up in spite of these rulings.