During the week covered by this review, we received 4 articles on the following subjects:
Haaretz, September 15, 2019
This was an article about Evangelical Christians who come to the West Bank in order to volunteer their labor in Jewish settlements, in jobs such as picking grapes. They view the area of Judea and Samaria as an inseparable part of Israel, having been returned to Israel by divine mandate and as a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Mike Evans, founder of the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem, is quoted as having said: “Do we think that giving up Judea and Samaria is going to bring peace? No way.” Palestinians, meanwhile, fear that political annexation will mean the loss of their land and homes.
Not all Jewish settlers are welcoming to the Evangelical volunteers, who are sometimes greeted with suspicion because they are seen as having an agenda – either to convert Jews, or to hasten the return of Jesus (which will result in the damnation of many Jews).
HaDerech, September 12, 2019; Mebit, September 13, 2019
The first article reported that a three-day “missionary conference” in the Haifa Congress Center, which was protested by Or L’Achim activists, resulted in the baptism of 20 Jews. Heading up the protest was a representative from ultra-Orthodox political party, Shas.
The second article was about a missionary shop set up in the city of Dimona, in the “Merkaz Hadash” (“New Center” area), with workers who claim to be Jewish. The store offers free water and coffee and has missionary materials. It targets citizens from a Russian background, especially those whose connection to their Jewish heritage may be tenuous, thus becoming “easy prey for missionaries”.
Epoch Times, September 17, 2019
This was an interview with Paula White-Cain, President Donald Trump’s spiritual advisor, who has known Trump since 2001. The piece discussed how the two met, and how after seeing her sermons on TV, Trump invited White-Cain to meet with him and his family. White-Cain said that Trump views his presidency as a calling from God, and that already in 2012, he was considering running for president. Some 25-30 pastors gathered together, asked Trump questions, and prayed for 6 hours. The following day, Trump asked White-Cain what she had heard from God, and White-Cain responded that Trump could give excellent service to the nation, but that the time was not yet ripe. In 2015, Trump felt that the time had come and that he was called by God to make a change. White-Cain said in the interview that Trump’s resolve to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem was the result of his faith. When asked why Trump does not attend regular church services, White-Cain replied Trump is like many modern people. He does not feel the compulsion to go to church, but talks to God frequently.