During the week covered by this review, we received 7 articles on the following subjects:
Haaretz, February 21, 2022
The heads of the three largest churches in Jerusalem sent a letter to the Israeli Minister of the Environment, Tamar Zandberg, requesting that the plan to expand the national park outside the Old City walls onto church-owned lands be reconsidered. “In recent years, we cannot help but feel that various entities are seeking to minimize, if not eliminate, any non-Jewish characteristics of the Holy City by attempting to alter the status quo in the holy mountain,” the church leaders wrote. “They have failed due to the objection and lack of cooperation from the churches. After their attempts failed, they resorted to statutory powers by advancing a plan to declare vast parts of the mountain as a national park… This is a brutal measure that constitutes a direct and premeditated attack on the Christians in the Holy Land, on the churches and on their ancient, internationally guaranteed rights in the Holy City. Under the guise of protecting green spaces, the plan appears to serve an ideological agenda that denies the status and rights of Christians in Jerusalem.”
Haaretz, February 22, 2022
The Israel Nature and Parks Authority said that it was withdrawing its plan to expand the national park outside the Old City walls onto church-owned lands, following the letter sent by the local church leaders. “There is no intention of advancing the plan in the planning committee, and it is not up for discussion without coordination and communication with all relevant officials, including the churches, in the area regarding the correct way to preserve this special area,” they announced.
Matzav Haruach, February 25, 2022
David Borg, an American Jew, is running for congress in Nevada for the Republican Party. Borg is the leader of the Maccabee Task Force (a group that encourages pro-Israel students on campuses), as well as one of the founders of Christians United for Israel, and a cousin of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (whose name was Borg before it was changed to the Hebrew “Barak”). He announced his candidacy for the seat currently held by Democratic Rep. Dina Titus, who is not supportive of Israel.
Israel Hayom, February 22, 2022
Israel’s chief rabbis want to exhume the body of a woman said to be a Christian missionary who pretended to be Jewish from a Jerusalem cemetery. “All efforts must be made to move her to a non-Jewish plot,” said the representative of Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau. “If that’s impossible, a fence should be placed around the grave.”
Hamodia, February 23, 2022; Shacharit, February 23, 2022
The office of the IDF Chief of General Staff, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, sent a letter to Yad L’Achim responding to the organization’s concerns that Christian missionaries are seeking to convert soldiers. The IDF Chief of Staff’s Office stated: “According to IDF orders, it is forbidden to distribute propaganda… Enforcing the issue is the responsibility of the direct commanders, and disciplinary measures are taken when soldiers act against army regulations. In any event, these missionary organizations have no access to the army and hold no activities on army bases.” Yad L’Achim expressed satisfaction that the IDF Chief of Staff sees eye-to-eye with it on the “problem of Christian missionaries” operating in the IDF and that he is committed to punishing those who violate the rules.
Jerusalem Post, February 24, 2022
This article was written following the launch of The Jerusalem Post’s new Christian World portal, which is designed to “make the best of Israel – its past, present and future – available and accessible to our wonderful friends and allies in the Christian community,” according to Rabbi Dr. Ari Lamm, CEO of Bnai Zion and one of the partners in the project. “It is often tempting – and certainly emotionally justifiable – to glance around us and see enemies on all sides,” said Lamm. But he added that when the Jewish people spend all of their energy “exclusively trying to counter those who hate us or convince them to stop hating us,” they are missing the opportunity to connect with their friends. “It is our obligation to look around the world for friends who can help us transform society across the globe for the better – who can help us, once again, to build something extraordinary that will inspire the world,” Lamm said, adding that “in 2022… there is actually not just hatred of the Jewish people, but organized love of the Jewish people and Israel. And it is primarily coming from our friends and allies in other communities of faith, particularly from Christian communities throughout the world.”