by Dr. Theresa Newell, August 11, 2015
Recently Israeli archeologists from Bar Ilan University uncovered what is believed to be the gate of the city of Gath, home of Goliath, the giant that David slew in the Valley of Elah. The area of the find lies between Jerusalem and Ashkelon. It is thought to be the largest gate ever found in Israel. Along with the gate, a large city is being unearthed showing an iron foundry dating from 3,000 years ago, which could account for the weapons of iron the Philistines used to keep the children of Israel under their thumbs.
The city of Gath is believed to have been the largest city in the area in the 10 - 9th centuries BC. The city was occupied until about the ninth century BC, when it is said it was destroyed by Hazael, king of Damascus.
by Dr. Theresa Newell, July 2, 2015
I met Charles Gardner, a Christian journalist from England, at CMJ’s Christ Church Guest House, Jerusalem in the Fall of 2013. His enthusiasm for the Land and his love for the Jewish people struck me immediately. His latest book, Peace in Jerusalem, has recently been published by Olive Press and is available on Amazon. (Use the CMJ USA Amazon Smile button on our home page to order).
As the back page blurb on the book headlines: “Here is a Middle East peace process that does not involve politicians or bureaucrats!” Gardner combines the miracles he witnessed at the second At the Crossroads conference held at Christ Church in May 2014 with the history of the founding of Israel. Over 70 invited church leaders, many with Muslim-backgrounds, from around the Middle East, shared their testimonies of coming to faith there. They prayed and worshipped together with Israeli Messianic Jewish leaders in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 19: 23-25 had quickened the spirits of the Rev. David Pileggi, rector of Christ Church, and other leaders in Jerusalem several years ago – It read:
“A highway would go between Egypt and Assyria; then Egyptians shall worship with Assyrians . . . Israel shall rank with Egypt and Assyria and shall be a blessing in the center of the world . . . So the LORD of Hosts will bless them . . . Egypt my people, Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my possession.”
Having charted the role played by Britain – and especially its Christians – in the restoration of the Jewish people to their ancient land, I think it’s only fair to record for posterity the vital contribution made by our Antipodean friends from Down Under.
You may recall me saying how UK evangelicals, and in particular the now international society CMJ (Church’s Ministry among Jewish people), were at the forefront of efforts to persuade the British Government to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish homeland in the Middle East. This resulted in the so-called Balfour Declaration of 1917 and became a practical possibility just nine days later when General Allenby’s forces took Jerusalem from the Turks.
But without the brave ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand) forces this could surely not have happened, and the Jewish people remain forever in their debt.
Against all odds, the legendary charge of the ANZAC light horse brigade completed a victory in the Battle of Beersheba that might not otherwise have been possible and paved the way for the subsequent capture of Jerusalem, bringing the centuries-old Ottoman Empire to an ignominious end in the process.
As it happens, April 25 is ANZAC Day which this year marks the centenary of the landing on Turkey’s Gallipoli Peninsula of Australian and New Zealand forces, who subsequently conducted a brave eight-month long campaign against fierce opposition, losing 8,000 of their men, and has since been marked as a day of remembrance for all 60,000 ANZACs who fell during World War I.
I have just had the immense privilege of sharing, with hundreds of school children in my home town, the story of how Jesus, a Jewish rabbi, celebrated Passover with his disciples shortly before his trial after booking a large Upper Room in Jerusalem’s Old City for the occasion.
I had to re-tell the story dozens of times to a total of more than a thousand pupils aged six to eleven over seven days as part of engaging the kids with Christian teaching about Easter – that we see it as the fulfilment of Passover and which also happens to coincide with the Jewish festival this year.
They sat in rapt attention as I explained how, at this ‘Last Supper,’ Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew) instituted what has become known to Christians as Holy Communion. But it was a Passover meal much like that celebrated by Jews today, except that when it came to the third of the traditional four cups of wine poured out (known as the ‘cup of redemption’), he made the startling declaration: “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
We believe he was about to be sacrificed as the ultimate Passover Lamb, of which all previous feasts were only a foretaste. And he added that he would not drink again of the fruit of the vine “until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God” (Mark 14.24 New Testament).
Anti-semitism is on the rise. We have reported on it here (see Anti-Semitism on the Rise) and in a recent newsletter. If you are not yet convinced, Google "anti-semitism" under their "News" tab, and count the number of postings within the last day.
And here is another shocking example of how close to home--or our universities--the ugly truth lies. Read the article here:
Forward.com, February 28, 2015
by Dr. Theresa Newell, Chairman of CMJ-USA Board of Directors
Among the 12 who were murdered this week at the satirist magazine office in Paris was Jewish caricaturist Georges Wolinski, 80. Wolinski came to France from Tunisia as a teen. The editor of the magazine and many on his staff were also killed in the attack by masked men yelling Islamist slogans.
According to Le Monde, the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices is the bloodiest to have taken place in France since 1835. It was also noted in a Wall Street Journal op-ed article (“France and the New Charismatic Jihad,” January 8, 2015, A11) that France has “more policemen and security officers per capita than any other Western country.” Can they contain, monitor and check Islamic activity in their own country? (the writer asks).
And how does such terrorist activity affect the European Jewish community? Reuel Marc Gerecht, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, writes in the op-ed cited above that there is a clear connection between the two. He contends that the rise of European anti-Semitism has been allowed to continue unchecked and “is practiced by both Muslim and non-Muslim Europeans... Western anti-Semitism, traditional Islamic suspicion of Jews, and anti-Zionism have congealed.”
As a proof of Gerecht’s contention, a news report on the same day stated that the Palestinians had been granted membership to the International Criminal Court (ICC) of the United Nations –- even though Palestine is not a sovereign state! Neither the US nor Israel –- both sovereign states and full members of the UN -- are members of the ICC. Palestinian membership on the ICC would begin April 1, but the court’s registrar said on January 7 that jurisdiction would date back to June 13, 2014. Palestinians have stated that they plan to bring criminal charges against Israel for its actions during the Hamas/Israeli fighting last summer once they are members of the ICC.
Editorial cartoons indicated that this assassination of the editors of Charlie Hebdo magazine was an assassination of a free press, a principal value of any democracy and of western civilization. The WSJ shows a coffin with a writing pen inside, draped with the blue, white and red flag of France.
Cartoon by David Gothard, Wall Street Journal, 7 January 2015
A Pittsburgh, PA paper’s editorial cartoon expressed a similar theme:
Cartoon by Randy Bish of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 7 January 2015
The people of France are outraged. Will they make the connection between this barbaric assassination at Charlie Hebdo headquarters in Paris and the unchecked rise of anti-Semitism and violence against European Jews?
And will we pray and raise our voices at such a time as this to stand with the Jewish people?
Archaeologists find possible site of Jesus's trial in Jerusalem.
David Pileggi and Israeli archaeologist Shimon Gibson are quoted in a recent Washington Post article about the opening of that archaeological site at the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem's Old City.
The Rev. David Pileggi, minister of Christ Church, an Anglican congregation whose complex includes a guesthouse and heritage center near the museum, said the discovery... confirmed "what everyone expected all along, that the trial took place near the Tower of David." (Washington Post, 4 January 2015)
Read the article here:
"Part of Herod's Palace sits underneath a section of the Christ Church compound. Wouldn't it be interesting if Jesus actually stood where we are!" said a member of CMJ Israel's staff.
by Charles Gardner
The World War I British officer who gave the order to lay down arms in 1918 is the subject of a year-long exhibition in Jerusalem opening this week. On the 50th anniversary of his death, Lt. Gen. Sir William Dobbie’s life is being celebrated at Christ Church, an Anglican community with strong links to the family and located within the ancient walls of the Old City.
|Soldier of Christ: General Dobbie pictured with his wife and daughter|
When in 1929 riots broke out in what was then part of the British Mandate of Palestine as Arabs became anxious about growing Jewish immigration, the then Brigadier Dobbie – a distant cousin of T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia fame) – successfully brought calm to the situation as he sought God’s guidance!
With very few troops and widespread disorder throughout the country, the career army officer and devout Christian was faced with a dilemma. Rejecting outright such suggestions as placing the country under martial law or requesting RAF bombing raids on Arab villages, Dobbie turned to prayer. It was hardly a textbook tactic but, when reinforcements arrived, he spread his men very thinly to cover as wide an area as possible, and the violence ceased in the early stages before things got out of hand.
by Dr. Theresa Newell, Chairman of CMJ-USA Board of Directors
Recently I attended a meeting at the local Jewish Community Center where a senior State Department official said that rising hostility and prejudice against Jews is reaching levels not seen in decades, particularly in Europe. The speaker Ira Forman is the State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.
In his report Forman cited data from the end of last year showing that 29% of European Jews polled said they had considered leaving their countries because of perceived anti-Semitism. The countries with the highest percentage thinking of leaving were Belgium (40%), France (46%), and Hungary (48%). It was noted that France has the largest population of Jews in Europe, about 400,000. Muslims make up 7.5% of France’s population, the largest in a European country.
In the September 29th issue of The Wall Street Journal’s front page, a headline read “In Struggle Against Mideast Jihadist, Europe Puts Its Own on Trial.” The story’s dateline was Antwerp, Belgium, where members of a group named Sharia4Belgium will go on trial for recruiting for and fighting with jihadists in Syria and Iraq. The article noted: “Belgian authorities say roughly 300 Belgians . . . have traveled to Syria, a disproportionate number for a country of 11 million.”