During the week covered by this review, we received 8 articles on the following subjects:
Christians in Israel
In light of International Holocaust Day, many articles discussed the state of Western anti-Semitism. Seventy-four years after the end of the Holocaust, it seems as though anti-Semitism is on the rise. Both in Europe and in the United States, violent attacks against Jews, including murder , have increased. In the first half of 2018, Germany recorded 400 anti-Semitic attacks. In the United Kingdom, 100 incidents are recorded monthly. 45% of European Jews see anti-Semitism as a big problem. 62% believe the phenomenon has grown considerably. 38% say they are considering leaving their home countries because of anti-Semitism. The Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, headed by Knesset Member Naftali Bennett, recently published its annual anti-Semitism report. The report showed that the rise of the far right is more dangerous to Jewish communities in Europe and the US, as compared to radical Islam. Professor Dina Porat, head of the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, said that the increase in anti-Semitic attacks from the far right has not replaced attacks by Muslim extremists, or radical leftists. Far right anti-Semitism has only exacerbated what is already a growing problem. One article noted the curious state of affairs in the US, wherein Jews are more likely to support BDS than Evangelical Christians. One commentator noted that in the US there is a strange alliance between the radical left and radical Islam.
In response to increasing support for BDS, a group of 38 Evangelical leaders released a statement to say that “there is no place for discriminating activities such as these”. And in Germany, a Christian organization called “March of Life”, made up of descendants of Nazis, has supported Holocaust survivors by marching with them from Tubingen to Dachau. During the first such march, Jews prayed the “Kadish” while the Christians held on to pictures of Jewish family members killed in the Holocaust. The Christians who gathered said they were compelled to act when they understood that “the Holocaust wasn’t carried out by ‘other Germans’, but by our families”.
In response to International Holocaust Day, founder of the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem, Mike Evans, wrote an op-ed about Casper ten Boom, Corrie ten Boom’s father, who after being arrested by the Gestapo and charged with hiding Jews said: “I would consider it an honor to give my life for God’s chosen people.” Evans noted that it was Casper ten Boom’s great-great grandfather’s legacy of leading a prayer meeting for the peace of Jerusalem that inspired the current Jerusalem Prayer Team, which now boasts 54 million members.
Yedioth Ahronoth, January 28, 2019
One article reported that tourism in Israel has gone up by 42% in the last two years. The most visited places in Israel last year were (in order): the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Via Delarosa.
Christians in Israel
Calbo, January 25, 2019
This article described an evening together with Father Agabus, the head of the Greek Catholic Church in Haifa. Father Agabus said that he felt Jesus touch him when he was seven-years-old. After that he pretended to preside over the mass for his family, and at the age of 12, he joined a monastery in Beit Sahour. Father Agabus finished two theological degrees in Lebanon, and one in Rome. For his Ph.D., he focused on the life of John the Baptist. The journalist asked Father Agabus whether relations between Jews and Arabs are different in Haifa than in other cities. Father Agabus answered that Haifa is his first love, and that coexistence in Haifa can provide a model for other cities. Furthermore, he commented that he had not experienced this kind of integration anywhere else. He credited Haifa’s working multiculturalism to former mayor, and friend, Yona Yahav. With regards to the recent controversy over the McJesus sculpture in Haifa he said: “all religions are sensitive about their symbols, but we vehemently oppose any violence.”