During the week covered by this review, we received 8 articles on the following subjects:
One article recounted again the story of the Australian missionary, Andrew Scott Lewis, who was forced to leave his house in Otzem after local protests were organized by Yad L’Achim. His house is now being used by the local yeshivah.
Five articles reported that anger in the city of Sderot is growing over the missionary activity of Michael Biner and his “church”. It was reported that Biner appeals to English-speaking donors by exploiting the security threats Sderot faces from Gaza rockets. However, “missionary terrorism that happens by way of trickery and deceit is much more dangerous for us than terrorism from Gaza. Our spiritual iron dome is to remove this foreign worship from the city.” Yad L’Achim organized a protest in front of Biner’s “missionary center”.
Globes, August 27, 2020; The Jerusalem Post, August 28, 2020
The first article was about a speech given from the Jerusalem Hill by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. In the speech, Pompeo referred to Jerusalem as “the city of God”, and as a result, has come under scrutiny for “showing partisanship”. Pompeo is an Evangelical Christian, and the article defined Evangelicals as “conservative Christians” who believe they have been “born again because of their personal relationship to Jesus their messiah”. For many Evangelicals, support for Israel is very important, and churches have a flag of Israel displayed alongside an American flag. President Trump has recently said that moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was mainly for the benefit of Evangelicals, who were more excited about it than Jews. The article noted that Evangelicals tend to be rightwing, while American Jews tend to be liberal.
The second article was an opinion piece from a freelance writer who works for the Land of Israel Network, who reviewed Josh Reinstein’s forthcoming book, Titus, Trump, and the Triumph of Israel; The Power of Faith Based Diplomacy. Reinstein co-founded the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, and later founded the Israel Allies Foundation, which is made up of Israel-supporting caucuses from governments around the world. In his book, Reinstein argues that diplomats need to look at Israel through a biblical viewpoint to understand the political situation. He calls Evangelical Christian support for Israel the most important wing of “faith based diplomacy”, and argues that the biggest success of faith based diplomacy was the Trump administration’s decision to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem. Reinstein says Trump has done more for Israel than any other president. He also argues that the “only path to peace comes from following the Biblical guidelines – recognizing the Jewish people’s connection to the land of Israel and ensuring the safety of its citizens.”