During the week covered by this review, we received 11 articles on the following subjects:
Israeli/Jewish Attitudes concerning Christians/Christianity
Yedioth Ahronoth, October 21, 2022
Following outrage within the American Jewish community over former US President Donald Trump’s public criticism of the community on social media, this article suggested that Trump was somehow involved with American rapper Kanye West, who made obscure anti-Semitic remarks in the media, such as, “Planned Parenthood was made … with the KKK to control the Jew population. When I say Jew, I mean the 12 lost tribes of Judah, the blood of Christ, who the people known as the race Black really are,” and threatening to “go death con 3 on Jewish people.” According to the article, Kanye has been meeting with Trump in recent weeks, and has been his avid supporter since before the elections in 2016. Kanye responded to accusations of anti-Semitism by saying that, “since I am a true Jew, I cannot be anti-Semitic.”
Hamodia, October 23, 2022
This article compared the current pre-election atmosphere in Israel to that of Eastern Europe in “darker, harsher days, during the twilight of the glorious Polish Jewry.” Jewish people have always suffered from anti-Semitism, especially during the period between WWI and WWII, but hatred increased before elections, argued the article, giving examples such as the city of Kalisz, in central Poland, where the slogan “Kalisz without Jews” was coined, and Lithuania, where the Catholic party based its campaign on a promise to overcome the “Jews and their collaborators.” None of this compares, however, to the hatred of the Zionist movement towards Rabbinical Judaism in the political arena in Israel, stated the article, calling all Jews to unite against these “enemies of the religion, who fight against the Torah and its commandments.”
Jerusalem Post, October 21, 2022
In honor of the Feast of Tabernacles, the Israel Allies Foundation published its annual list of Israel’s Top 50 Christian Allies. “The diverse list spans many continents and denominations, and includes prominent leaders … together with representation from Hollywood,” stated a press release. Former political leaders who have supported Israel were also among the honorees, as well as lesser-known leaders from various places. Dr. Tre Pennie, former Dallas Police Sergeant and congressional candidate responded to being included in the list: “My love for Israel and the Jewish people has been woven into the fabric of my being since I was a child. My grandmother was a strong Southern Baptist who believed that Jews were ‘God’s chosen people,’ and she was fond of their support of blacks during the Civil Rights movement. She trusted that I would never forget and I never did.”
Another nominee, Pastor Sándor Németh, Founder and Senior Pastor of Faith Church in Hungary, said: “For me, standing with the modern State of Israel and supporting the Jewish people in general comes naturally, and should be reflected in the life of every Bible-reading, God-fearing Christian believer worldwide a self-evident reality. And what a blessing it is to see the fulfillment of the Zionist dream, the prosperity of Jerusalem, and the mutual benefit these relations bring to the nations globally!”
Globes, October 27, 2022
This article expressed amazement that the new British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, was sworn into office by laying his hand on a copy of the Hindu scriptures, the most sacred text of “a very ancient … pagan religion” instead of the Bible. In Great Britain, the Anglican Church is identified with the State, and the King or Queen is the head of the Church. Monotheism has been an integral part of British culture for the past thousand years. In the 19th century, Jews were even banned from sitting in parliament because of refusal to swear on a copy of the New Testament. It is difficult to assess the long-term results of this fact, concluded the article, but it is essential to understand its historic and far-reaching importance. “Perhaps it is not an exaggeration to claim that our very ability to understand the world, especially the West, is put to unprecedented tests.”
Haaretz, October 23, 2022
The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced that they have discovered a piece of graffiti bearing the name of Knight Adrian von Bubenberg along with his family emblem on the wall of King David’s Tomb. Knight Adrian von Bubenberg, an admired hero in Switzerland, came on pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1466, and, apparently, despite the sanctity of the place, scribbled his name in charcoal on a wall in the Upper Room, which is traditionally identified as the place of Jesus’ Last Supper and the original meeting place of the early Christian Church. The graffiti was found as part of IAA’s research project documenting pilgrims’ inscriptions, in which more than forty inscriptions in several languages, belonging to both Christians and Muslims, were discovered.
Israel Hayom, October 25, 2022; Maariv, October 25, 2022; Haaretz, October 26, 2022
According to the Bible, the Holy Land was a frequent target for conquering empires. During those wars, settlements were often burnt down, rebuilt only to be sacked again a century or so later, leaving archaeologists today puzzling over multiple layers of destruction and struggling to figure out who destroyed what and when. Questions over the dating of ancient sites are not purely academic; they lie at the heart of the longstanding debate over whether stories inthe Bible should be considered fact or fiction. A new scientific technique based on information from the Earth’s magnetic field is helping archaeologists date their finds and reconstruct biblical conflicts that occurred in the Iron Age – from the 12th to 6th century BC during the rise and fall of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. A paleomagnetic study of twenty-one destroyed Iron Age settlements from seventeen different sites was recently published by Yoav Vaknin and colleagues at Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University.
Israeli/Jewish Attitudes concerning Christians/Christianity
Index HaEmek VeHaGalil, October 21, 2022
In light of the war between Russia and the Ukraine, Putin’s threats to use nuclear weapons, as well as the Iranian threats, some have raised the possibility of a global war of annihilation, even mentioning the word “Armageddon,” according to this article. The word is a Greek variation of the name Mount Megiddo, explained the article, noting that “it is a future event according to the Christian New Testament, in which the world known today will be destroyed, and the only survivors will be those who believe in Jesus.”
Haaretz, October 28, 2022
This was a collection of responses to an article, commented on in our previous review, claiming that new criticism to the text of the Koran led researchers to question the existence of the city of Mecca in the early days of Islam, and that some researchers have even concluded that an initial version of the Koran was compiled as a prayer book by a Christian sect of Armenian-Syrian origin opposing Christian orthodoxy during the Councils of Nicaea (AD 325) and Constantinople (AD 381). Three writers criticized the article, maintaining that the facts presented, including doubt regarding the existence of Mecca and the idea that the Koran may originally be a Christian prayer book, are inaccurate and unfounded, and are rooted in a lack of basic understanding of Islam. Another writer, on the other hand, argued that Islam was “undoubtedly a replica of Judaism and Christianity,” and that despite the inaccuracies, the article’s claims are “worth a discussion that will contribute to freeing Muslim society from dogmatic thinking.”
Epoch Times, October 25, 2022
This was a review of the book A History of the Jews, by Paul Johnson, published in 1987 and only recently translated into Hebrew. The article pointed out that many books have been written over the years about the history of the Jews but the reason for the writing of this book is surprising. In the introduction to his book, Paul Johnson, a Catholic Christian, wrote that he had become aware of the tremendous debt that Christianity owed to Judaism, and decided to write about the nation that gave birth to his faith, and to investigate the history of Judaism history, from its origins to the present day, and to make its role and importance clear. No nation was more determined than the Jews in their belief that history has a purpose and humanity has a destiny, he wrote in his book. The book is not free of errors, claimed the article, mentioning as an example the claim that Jesus was a disciple of Rabbi Hillel, but it is nonetheless very interesting even for those familiar with Jewish history.