November 1 – 2020

During the week covered by this review, we received 16 articles on the following subjects:

Christian Media / Christian Organizations 

Anti-Missionary Activity / Messianic Jews (Organizations)

Christians and the Holocaust 

Pope and the Vatican / Political Issues 

Political Issues 

Christian Sites 

Film / Christian Zionism 


Media / Christian Organizations 

Maariv Mekomonim, October 23, 2020

The Friends of Zion Museum hosted the fourth Annual Christian Media Summit, to which millions of global viewers tuned in. A total of 150 thought leaders from around the world participated, including Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and American ambassador David Friedman. The Israeli government sees the conference as central to its mission of getting information across to digital media consumers worldwide. 

Anti-Missionary Activity / Messianic Jews (Organizations)

HaMevasser, October 27, 2020; Yeted Ne’eman, October 27, 2020; HaModia, October 29, 2020

Three articles reported that the Finance Committee of the Knesset has denied tax exempt status to Messianic Jewish organization “Yachad Ramat HaSharon”. The organization is accused of attempting to convert Jews to Christianity. A Jehovah’s Witnesses organization was denied that status, too, on the same grounds. Committee chairman, Moshe Gafni, turned to Yad L’Achim when he suspected the organizations’ missionary intents, which in turn confirmed Gafni’s suspicions and brought forward evidence. Both organizations denied the charges. Yad L’Achim said that a united front against missionaries amongst Israel’s various Jewish factions was essential to the Jews’ “survival as a people”. 

Anti-Missionary Activity

Maariv – HaShavua, October 29, 2020; HaShavua BePetah Tikva, October 23, 2020; HaShavua BeBeit Shemesh, October 22, 2020

The first article reported that pamphlets were distributed to mailboxes in Petah Tikva inviting Jews to read the New Testament and believe in Christianity. 

Two more articles claimed that Or L’Achim managed to cancel a missionary broadcast scheduled to take place on the Mount of Olives at the last minute.

Christianity and the Holocaust 

HaModia, October 27, 2020

An unnamed Dutch Protestant church has confessed that it was wrong to stay silent during the Second World War in the face of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. 

Christianity and the Holocaust / Political Issues 

Haaretz, October 29, 2020

A letter has been found in the Vatican archives that was sent by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, to Pope Pius XII in 1947. Husseini asked the pope for support to stop the establishment of the state of Israel because of the threat it would pose to the Arabs of Palestine. Pope Pius XII did not acquiesce. The legacy of Pope Pius XII is currently under review, as scholars have been studying the archives to assess his involvement in the Holocaust. It has been discovered that Pius was aware, and approved, of the kidnapping of Jewish siblings whose parents were killed in Auschwitz. The siblings were kept in a monastery against the family’s wishes. 

Political Issues 

Yedioth Ahronoth, October 30, 2020

The US government is set to announce that American citizens born in Jerusalem will be permitted to have “Jerusalem, Israel” inscribed in their passports as their place of birth. Previously, it was only permitted to list the city. The move is seen as an attempt to further excite President Trump’s Evangelical base leading up to the US elections. 

Christian Sites 

Haaretz, October 29, 2020

This was a piece about the Mivdad Netofa Monastery that was built in the southern Galilee in the mid-1970s. The monastery was founded by the Dutch Father Jacob Willebrands, and the American Father Toma Farelly. On the rocky site they purchased, the monks found an ancient well in which they built an underground church. This is the main attraction of the site, according to the article, which calls it “unique and beautiful” and deems it worth a visit. A few monks now reside permanently on the site, which also contains a library and a wine press. 

Film / Christian Zionism 

Various Articles 

A number of articles discussed the documentary, “Till Kingdom Come”, made by Israeli filmmaker Maya Zinshtein. The documentary takes a look at the Evangelical American love for Israel, focusing in particular on a Kentucky church’s theological teachings and their relationship with the International Fellowship for Christians and Jews. The documentary is meant to probe “the elephant in the room”, i.e., the Evangelical eschatological belief in Armageddon (in which many Jews will die) and its impact on Israeli politics.  

One commentator called the film a “tale of love and darkness”, expressing shame at how far Israel has moved away from the support of “ingenious Scandinavian volunteers who came here because of their admiration for the idea of the kibbutz, to the Evangelical volunteers who come to help the violent land thieves working the stolen lands in the settlements.” Rabbi Tovia Singer, an “expert on Christianity”, said that there are two elements to Evangelical support. First, the belief that God’s promises are irrevocable, and that therefore the Jews remain God’s chosen people, whom Christians are required to bless in order to be blessed. Singer said this belief is quite separate from a second belief, which is that there will be tribulations and that Jesus cannot return until Jews convert to Christianity. Singer said: “We should, of course, welcome the friendship of Christian Evangelicals and we are indebted to people who support Israel. But we shouldn’t turn our head to the other way to Evangelicals who try to convert Jews. That is a price we are unwilling to pay.” CEO of the Fellowship, Yael Eckstein, said she thought the documentary reflected the political beliefs of filmmaker Zinshtein.