During the week covered by this review, we received 7 articles on the following subjects:
Christians and the Holocaust
Haaretz, January 10, 2022
Israel contains hundreds of biblical sites; some of them have been identified as such by archaeologists, and some are considered biblical because people believe them to be so. This article discussed whether we can rely on the bible to be an accurate tour guide. Prof. Israel Finkelstein, an archaeologist from Tel Aviv University, explained how identifying locations mentioned in the bible, or in any ancient text, is based on three principles. The first one has to do with the preservation of the names in Arabic. For example, Anatot (birthplace of Prophet Jeremiah) was identified as being in or near the Arab town of Anata. The second principle is geographic logic. For example, if a place is specified as being located near Jerusalem, its location will not be determined to be in the Galilee. The third principle has to do with archaeological findings consistent with the time period of the location. Finkelstein also remarked that identifying places is a major part of historical geography, and that visiting historical locations while reading the story in the bible is an emotional experience that connects us to our past.
Christians and the Holocaust
Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2022
Italian Catholic and Jewish leaders condemned an incident in which members of the right-wing extremist group, Forza Nuova, put a flag with a swastika on the coffin of Alessia Augello, a former member of the group, and gave Nazi salutes. The incident happened outside the St. Lucy church in central Rome, after a religious funeral. Rome’s Catholic archdiocese said in a statement that none of the priests at the parish of St. Lucy, including the one who presided at the funeral rite, had any idea of what would take place outside the church beforehand. The statement put out by the diocese called the flag “a horrendous symbol that cannot be reconciled with Christianity” and said that the incident was an offensive example of “ideological exploitation” of a religious service. The police stated that they were investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.
Word from Jerusalem, December 31, 2021
ICEJ ordered 30 new portable bomb shelters to be delivered to Israeli border communities vulnerable to rocket fire from Gaza and Lebanon. ICEJ has donated a total of 155 portable bomb shelters to Israeli communities under rocket threat.
Kol Hair Bnei Brak, January 12, 2022; HaShavua B’Yerushalayim, January 12, 2022
As reported in our previous review, according to the Yad L’Achim anti-missionary organization, Jews for Jesus rented an office in downtown Jerusalem. Yad L’Achim claimed to have material showing that “one of the leading missionaries in the country”, chosen to head the office, had declared that in all his years in Tel Aviv, one thing bothered him: “When will we get to Jerusalem? When will we bring the Christian gospel here?”
“No less serious is the fact that the office rented to the missionaries is owned by the Jerusalem Foundation, which was set up to promote the development of the capital,” said Yad L’Achim in a statement, adding that its calls to the Foundation went unanswered. “It is clear to us that the Jerusalem Foundation made an innocent mistake and was unaware that its facility would be used by missionaries. We hope that, as a result of this exposure, the Foundation will move quickly to evict them,” they concluded.
Hamevaser, January 14, 2022; Shacharit, January 16, 2022
Yad L’achim has distributed a film warning parents to protect their children and monitor online materials they are exposed to, claiming that “missionaries will be taking advantage of the fifth coronavirus wave to reach out to bored youngsters quarantined at home”. According to Yad L’achim, during the previous lockdown, one of the “leading missionaries in Israel” openly proclaimed that the lockdown would be used to preach Christianity to children, which is forbidden by Israeli criminal law. Yad L’achim’s legal department is reportedly preparing to file an official police complaint against the missionaries.