During the week covered by this review, we received 6 articles on the following subjects:
Maariv, October 13, 2019; The Jerusalem Post, October 13, 2019; The Jerusalem Post, October 11, 2019
The first article reported that Evangelical Christians and Jews gathered together around the synagogue in Halle, Germany, which was recently attacked by a gunman on the holy day of Yom Kippur. In attendance was also Christian theologian and leader, Professor Heinrich Bedford-Strohm.
The second article explored the psychology of anti-Semitism, noting that a 2017 German federal government report claimed that 40% of Germans hold to “modern anti-Semitic views” when they agreed to the following statement: “Based on Israel’s policies, I can understand people having something against the Jews.” The author appealed to Jewish philosophers who have connected modern anti-Semitism with a pathological guilt that developed after the Holocaust. The author argued that this explains the “manic-obsessive preoccupation with Israel”. It was further argued that this form of modern anti-Semitism is especially pernicious when present among German leftists, who otherwise believe they are immune to “Jew-hatred”.
The third article explored the strengths and weaknesses of the recent UN report on global anti-Semitism. The report helpfully identified the range of sources from which anti-Semitism has issued (white supremacy, neo-Nazism, radical Islam, and leftism). It also discussed BDS without taking a clear stance on it, noting the pros and cons of the BDS movement, and the variety of attitudes within the movement itself. However, the report was missing an honest exploration of: the UN’s own complicity in spreading anti-Semitism, the high presence of anti-Semitism in the Muslim world, the integral relationship between anti-Semitism and Western ideology, Christian anti-Semitism, and the presence of anti-Semitism in socialist parties.
Mishpacha, October 10, 2019
This article gave the history of Yad L’Achim, noting that it got its start years ago when “priests” from the “Rotterdam Monastery” in Jerusalem were caught evangelizing Jewish immigrants. One man pretended to be interested and was given an address to go to, where he was told he could join a mass baptism. The baptism apparently never happened, as the man brought with him an angry crowd that shamed the Jews who wanted to get baptized. Then it is said these Jews “understood their mistake” and “returned to the God of Israel”. The article reported that missionaries in Israel receive hundreds of millions of shekels from foreign churches, and have set up 171 missionary centers across the country. Five thousand Jews have converted, but without the work of Yad L’Achim, it is said this number would have surpassed 100,000.
Yad L’Achim has also worked to save Jewish women who are caught in unhappy marriages in Arab villages. Yad L’Achim helps to hide these women, rehabilitate them, and provide them with economic and legal help.
Israel Hayom, October 18, 2019; The Jerusalem Post, October 18, 2019
The 64th Jerusalem Parade took place this Sukkot, with some 70,000 participants from across 50 countries. The first article reported that about 5,000 Israel-loving Christians participating in the march were in Israel to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles event organized by the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem (ICEJ). The head of the ICEJ, Jürgen Bühler, said: “This show of solidarity from thousands of supporters of Israel from all over the world marching in Jerusalem is the best answer to anti-Semitism in the world.”
The second article noted that for the very first time, a delegation of Egyptian Christians also arrived for the Feast of Tabernacles. It is difficult for Egyptians to attend, as they are viewed with suspicion both within their home country, and by Israel, who took months to process the 23 visa requests. Twenty-two visas were eventually granted, but only days before the planned travel date. Only 16 people ended up making the trip. One of them, Yohanna, said: “It is time to stop all evil, the force of the devil that is hate and bad relationship between Egypt and Israel. When I walk in the streets in Israel and talk with the Jewish people, they do not believe I am here. But here I am. It is time again to be of one flesh, for the wall between us to drop down again. It is time to love and worship together.” ICEJ vice president, David Parsons, said that there has been a rising interest in Israel from Christians in Arab countries. He surmised that this may have to do with the fact that the current Coptic Orthodox Pope has encouraged pilgrimage to Israel.