The Israel Ministry of Tourism has launched a slick (and slimy) new website
dedicated to Pope Benedict XVI’s first Papal visit. Israel is a Jewish state and to produce a site and video presentation
which promotes the "holiness" of Christianity at the expense of Jewish identity is a sham and a shame. Talk about replacement theology! The video
repeatedly hails jesus as lord and savior, while Israel is reduced to a "modern, democratic state" on the cutting edge of Hi -Tech, Bio Tech and Agri-Tech (oh, I forgot... there was Jewish content... I caught a glimpse of what appears to be a Chief Rabbi bowing to the Pope).
Investigative journalist Toby Klein Greenwald has the full scoop for us in her article, All for the Pope:have we no red lines?
Yishai and Malka Fleisher of A7 radio are fuming and have also been covering this issue in a number of shows...here
... and here.
It was also reported on Israel National News
that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that, "It is possible to bring an additional one million tourists per annum to Israel in the near future."
Netanyahu said he believe that Christian historical sites have a great unrealized potential that could assist the Israeli economy in general, and the development of the Galilee in particular. The Prime Minister has previously raised the need for a comprehensive plan that would lead to a revolution in the tourism sector by rehabilitating various sites, increasing incoming tourism, creating jobs and increasing revenues.
The Jerusalem Post
also reported on an increase in Christian pilgrims, but the stats were a bit suprising...
"Last year, more than a million incoming tourists defined themselves as Catholic, 300,000 as Protestant, 360,000 as "other Christian," and 75,000 as Evangelicals, according to the Tourism Ministry statistics that were released during a tour of Christian holy sites in Nazareth ahead of the Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the Holy Land next month."
Hmmmm...the evangelicals seem to have come up a bit short... Does this mean that Catholics are our new best friends?
While you ponder that question, take a look at the video (which is also on YouTube) and if it offends you, write to the Minister of Tourism at firstname.lastname@example.org