Criminal indictments brought in Jerusalem against four men, including the antiquities collector linked to the James ossuary, or bone box, have prompted museums and devotees of biblical archaeology to think again about the authenticity of artifacts that have turned up in recent years in Israel’s antiquities market.
The prophet Isaiah, whose words we read in Advent, gives us wonderful images of peace and of the restoration of Zion—images of the wolf living with the lamb, of waters breaking forth out of the wilderness, of a land where there shall be “no lion, nor any ravenous beast.”
Reeling from stinging criticism by Jewish leaders, officials of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) said that comments made by members of a church delegation meeting last month with Hezbollah leaders were “reprehensible” and the controversial visit was “misguided at best.”
If mainline Protestant church groups divest from businesses operating in Israel, as some say they might, it could actually harden rather than soften Israel’s stance toward Palestinians, warn prominent pro-Palestinian groups in Israel.
A conservative gadfly group has released a report asserting that mainline U.S. Protestant organizations criticize Israel for human rights practices more than they criticize any other foreign country. In response, mainline groups contested the methodology and conclusions of the report, issued by the Institute on Religion and Democracy.
A high-level summit between Jewish and Presbyterian leaders covered little new ground in a sharp, ongoing dispute over Middle East policy, but both sides promised to stay in close contact as the church considers selectively divesting from Israel.