During the week covered by this review, we received 9 articles on the following subjects:
Calcalist, June 29, 2020; Haaretz, July 1, 2020; The Jerusalem Post, July 1, 2020
The Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council has decided to shut down God TV’s Hebrew speaking Christian channel “Shelanu”, which had recently signed a seven-year deal with cable company HOT. The Council said Shelanu did not disclose its intention to proselytize to Jews on its license application. HOT decided it would not apply for a new license. Regional director of God TV in Israel, Ron Cantor, said the channel would be moving online. Shelanu initially complained the decision was politically motivated and unprofessional, and that they hoped the decision would be reversed in order to prevent diplomatic breakdown with hundreds of millions of Evangelicals from around the world.
HaShavua BeHolon, June 25, 2020; Merkaz Ha’Inyanim, June 29, 2020; Iton Shacharit, July 3, 2020
The first article reported that bus company, Kavim, terminated the employment of a driver who regularly preached to his passengers and tried to convert them to Christianity. Passengers complained that they were being taken advantage of. Yad L’Achim received many complaints, as well as videos that were passed along to Kavim.
The last two article reported that hundreds participated in a demonstration in front of the house of Australian missionary, Andrew Scott Lewis, who has been accused of trying to convert Jews in a number of different ways. One person at the demonstration yelled, “How can we sit quietly while those who practice foreign worship try to contaminate the Holy Land and the Jews in it?” Or L’Achim said that during the pandemic there has been an uptick in missionary activity in the south of Israel.
The Jerusalem Post, June 29, 2020; Yedioth Ahronoth, July 2, 2020; Israel Hayom, July 2, 2020
The first article was an opinion piece arguing that Israel needs to be attuned to the shifting political landscape in the United States, and not only ally itself to rightwing Evangelicals. While Israel should be grateful for Evangelical support, if President Trump loses the election in November, Evangelicals will lose their political power. For its long-term health, Israel needs to build connections with the “other side of the US ideological and cultural divide”.
The last two articles reported that Evangelicals are putting pressure on President Trump to give the green light to Israel’s annexation of parts of the West Bank. Prominent Evangelical leader, Mike Evans, said Trump cannot win the next election without Evangelical support, and risks losing the Evangelical vote if he walks back his support for annexation. Evans said that Evangelicals will work to push any of Trump’s advisors out of the White House who are advising against annexation. He said, “[Trump] has done everything we’ve wanted over the last three and a half years, and we don’t think this will change.”