April 22 – 2022

During the week covered by this review, we received 18 articles on the following subjects:

Political Issues

Jewish/Christian Relations

Pope and the Vatican

Anti-missionary Attitudes

Book Reviews


Political Issues

Israel Hayom, April 11, 2022; Shacharit, April 12, 2022

The seizure of the Little Petra Hotel by the group “Ateret Cohanim”, in the midst of an 18 year-long legal battle with the Greek Orthodox Patriarchy, on which we reported in our previous review, is igniting hostilities in Jerusalem. According to the articles, “Palestinian officials in Jerusalem threaten that the entry of Jewish residents into the Petra hotel complex near the Jaffa Gate in the Old City could ignite a new crisis in the capital… It already seems that among the Palestinians there will be those who will choose to take advantage of the issue… as an excuse to confront Israel”. Basma Karesh, the hotel manager’s daughter, said in an interview that the incident caused her to change her perception of the country. “I am an educator and a school principal in East Jerusalem,” she said. “I teach coexistence and peace. I have never looked at Jews as rivals… and I do not want to feel that way… certainly not to raise my children to hate.”


Israel Hayom, April 12, 2022

The family of the late Amir Khoury, the Greek Orthodox Policeman who was killed during the terrorist attack in Bnei Brak, have criticized the Joint List party leader, Aymen Odeh, for calling on Arab Israelis not to serve in the security forces. “He does not represent us, and we expect him to retract his statement,” they announced to the press.


Jewish/Christian Relations

Shacharit, April 12, 2022

On the same subject, the city of Bnei Brak formally approved a decision to name a street after First Sergeant Amir Khoury. Despite the fact that Bnei Brak is an Orthodox city, and Amir was a Christian, the decision was approved unanimously. “We formed a very tight bond with the Orthodox community in Bnei Brak,” stated Jeries, Amir’s father, “we experienced a sense of unity, such as we had not seen in years… The decision to name a street after our son warms our hearts.”


Zman Hatzafon, April 7, 2022; Zman Maala, April 7, 2022

This article was “A salute to two families who gave the State of Israel the most precious of all – the Fallah family and the Khoury family, whose sons, Yazan and Amir, sacrificed their lives in order to save Jewish citizens of Israel”. The recent wave of terrorist attacks has made it extremely important to express our great commitment to the Christian community in Israel, declared the article. Many Israelis do not differentiate between a Muslim Arab and a Christian Arab when it comes to their attitude toward the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Although they speak the same language, the religious, emotional and ideological approach is different. The Christian community in Israel considers the establishment of the State of Israel and the return of the Jewish people to their homeland to be a definite proof that God did not abandon Israel, but rather illustrated to the whole world that the Jews are the chosen people who have returned to their land through divine intervention. Amir is the result of this ideology and religion of love for the people of Israel as a divine command. This is why he sacrificed his life for us, and he learned it from his father, who served as a senior police officer for many years.


Jerusalem Post, April 13, 2022

This article was an opinion written by Rabbi Pesach Wolicki, executive director of Ohr Torah Stone’s Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation, who expressed concern that “Over the past few years, while the world has been understandably distracted by other headline-grabbing problems, there has been a dramatic rise in the persecution of Christians”. This is a Jewish problem, he maintained. “If the measure of collective victimhood in the face of attack is, ‘Had I been there, it would have been me,’ then the conclusion is inescapable. In today’s world, an attack on Christians is an attack on Jews… In the 21st century, are there any enemies of Christianity who are not at least as passionately enemies of the Jews and for the same reasons? …If those who murder Christians would kill Jews too, it is because they hate all that we share; all that Jews and Christians together represent”.


Globes, April 15, 2022

As we reported last month, 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.”


Pope and the Vatican

Various articles

According to news sources, Pope Francis is planning to visit Jerusalem in June, in order to meet with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, who has voiced support for the Russian invasion of the Ukraine. Although there was no official announcement regarding the nature of the potential meeting, Pope Francis has decried the killing of children and other defenseless civilians in Ukraine, and told a crowd of 25,000 people, who gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his customary Sunday noon appearance, that the attacks must stop “before cities are reduced to cemeteries”.


Anti-missionary Attitudes

Kol Hair Bnei Brak, April 6, 2022; Mekomi Dati, April 7, 2022

As mentioned in our previous review, Or L’Achim anti-missionary organization warned the public regarding MP3 players containing “forbidden missionary materials” that were handed out in the streets of Tel Aviv.


Haderech, April 13, 2022

This article was talking about the danger of “cults”, which according to the article “is a phenomenon mostly associated with the missionaries and the Christian Church”. An example that was given is the Messianic Jews, which according to the article, are not Jews and have no right to be in Israel under the Law of Return.


Book Reviews

Iton 77, March 31, 2022

This was a review on the book “Tancred; or, The New Crusade” (1847) by Benjamin Disraeli –  Earl of Beaconsfield, who served twice as Britain’s Prime Minister and played a central role in the creation of the Conservative Party. The article described Disraeli as an “educated Jew, in a white robe, that joined the Order of the Dominican Brothers”, who considered Christianity to be a continuation of Judaism, and the “Jewish race” to be superior. The article discussed Disraeli’s life at length, and the apparent Hebrew translator’s admiration of Disraeli’s writings. One of the ideas stressed in the book, stated the article, is religious tolerance. Tancred, the hero, is a Christian who adores the “Jewish race”, but also respects other faiths. He leaves his parents and retraces the steps of his Crusader ancestors to the Holy Land, hoping to understand the roots of Christianity.


Segula, April 8, 2022

This was a review on the book “When Christians Were Jews: The First Generation.” by Paula Fredriksen. For the Israeli reader, “Yeshu” has been considered “one of us” for a long time now, announced the article. Books in Hebrew about him have established in detail the Jewish roots of his message. The same roots that echo in Jewish literature and even in rabbinical tradition. He was a Jew who was loyal to the Law of Moses, to the Temple and to his people, consequently he offered a more moral lifestyle and a messianic expectation not unlike the one prevalent in those days in Israel. How did the disciples change from being Jews expecting redemption to the founders of a new religion? Asked the article. “This original manuscript, that deals with the books of the New Testament in chronological order, suggests an understanding of the difference between a generation waiting for a coming salvation to a generation growing in the shadow of the disappointment from it. Dynamics of expectation of salvation.”


Haaretz, April 15, 2022

This, too, was a review on the book “When Christians Were Jews: The First Generation.” by Paula Fredriksen. “The Christian appropriation of Passover had dire and bitter consequences. The date of Passover became a bloody period in the unfortunate history of Christian-Jewish relations, especially that of the Middle Ages and beyond. In her book ‘When the Christians Were Jews’, Paula Fredriksen tries to explain why the members of the New Testament deviated from the historical reality and shaped a story that is a myth,” explained the article, and continued to argue that it is very unlikely that the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin took place on the night of the Seder after the Passover sacrifice. According to the article, this book contributes a lot to this discussion.