During the week covered by this review, we received 7 articles on the following subjects:
Globes, March 22, 2022
The waves of refugees from the Ukraine, and the manner in which each country is accepting them, result in constant comparisons between what happens overseas and what happens in Israel. When Israeli Finance Minister, Avigdor Liberman, was asked about Israel’s policy that favors Jewish refugees, he answered: “When the wave of refugees from the Middle East began, the Poles said very clearly: ‘We are willing to accept Christians only, we don’t want Muslims.’” The article aimed to check if this statement is indeed accurate. In 2015, in light of the worsening civil war in Syria, the EU countries signed an agreement regarding the dispersion of the refugees in Europe. In 2017, the European Commission sued Poland, claiming that they did not accept a single refugee from Syria. Poland claimed in their defence that accepting those refugees would have raised the chances of terror attacks thereby endangering the Polish people, but the court ruled against Poland. So where is the explicit statement made by Poland regarding accepting Christians only? In an official statement from 2015, Poland made a commitment to accept 2000 Syrian refugees, but warned that “the religious background of the refugees will affect the decision whether to accept them or not”, and prior to the agreement, Poland took in a few dozen Syrian families, all Christian.
Haaretz, March 24, 2022
Madeleine Albright, the woman who made history for being the first to serve as a US Secretary of State, died at the age of 84. Albright was born in Prague to Jewish parents who converted to Catholicism during WWII. She grew up as a Catholic, and only later in life discovered her Jewish roots, and the fact that 26 of her relatives died in the Holocaust. She was known as a tough diplomat, and was active, in promoting peace agreements in the Middle East, including the talks between Israel and the Palestinians that led to the Wye agreement. She used her clothes and jewelry to convey political messages, stated the article, and on one occasion, she wore a snake pin as a message to Saddam Hussein, who called her “unparalleled serpent”. The family confirmed that the cause of death was cancer. According to their statement, “She was surrounded by family and friends.”
Hadashot Haifa ve HaTzafon, March 14, 2022
The Gordon College of Education in Haifa signed a cooperation agreement with Katho, the Catholic University of North Westphalia, Germany to establish a center for study and research, which will focus on anti-Semitism and racism – past, present and future – and will fight modern anti-Semitism by means of education, research and teaching projects. The reason for the establishment of the center is a concerning rise in anti-Semitism around the world. “Establishing the center,” said Dr. Eli Vinokur, Vice President of the Gordon College, “… is an important statement of ‘never again’ from the Catholic Church, as well as from German academia.”
Hamakom – Ramat-Aviv, March 24, 2022
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) and United Hatzalah emergency services have inaugurated the very first emergency electric bicycle unit. The new unit, which cost $2.5 million, includes 200 emergency electric bicycles, each one equipped with life-saving medical equipment, which will enable the volunteers to respond to medical emergencies in less time, thereby saving lives. The unit was named in honor of the founder of the International Fellowship, the late Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein.
Yedioth Ahronoth, March 25, 2022; Israel Hayom, March 25, 2022
International researchers deciphered the ancient Hebrew inscription on a small lead tablet that was discovered on Israel’s Mount Ebal – the biblical “Curse Mountain”. The inscription, which was dated to the 13th century BC, includes the explicit name of God and the text of a curse written in a chiastic manner, in ancient Hebrew script. According to the researchers, it is the earliest proto-alphabetic Hebrew text ever discovered in Israel, and possibly one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in history. It is also the earliest such artifact to feature the Tetragrammaton, the four-letter name of God. “The new finding is a death blow to all bible deniers,” said Prof. Gershon Galil from the University of Haifa, “Many bible critics have claimed that in the 13th century BCE, the people of Israel did not read and write, and therefore could not have written the bible… Someone who knows how to write a text with a chiastic pattern can write anything,” he concluded.
Haaretz, March 18, 2022
One of the most significant monuments in the Ukraine is the Saint Sophia Cathedral, in the heart of Kiev. Each day of fighting, stated the article, poses a threat to this 1000-year-old structure, which has seen countless of wars and survived. This beautiful church means to the Orthodox and Slavic Christian cultures what the Sistine Chapel means to the Catholic world. The cathedral’s shape and name draw their inspiration from the Hagia Sophia church in Istanbul (used today as a mosque), and it was designed to compete with the latter’s beauty and status. Its construction was initiated by Prince Vladimir the Great and completed by his son, Yaroslav the Wise. Under their rule, stated the article, the Kievan Rus had their Golden Age, and this church is a monument to that fact. The Italians say, “As long as the Coliseum stands, Rome shall stand,” mused the article. The residents of Kiev express a similar sentiment regarding Saint Sophia: “As long as this indestructible wall stands, Kiev shall stand.” If this church is destroyed, it will be a great loss to all. This church isn’t just a tourist attraction but a manifestation of the human spirit.