“‘Jesus was a Jew’: Presenting Christians and Christianity in Israeli State Education,” by Orit Ramon, Inés Gabel and Varda Wasserman; Lexington Books, 254 pp. $95
During the reception ceremony for the new Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, this past December, we heard the news: a religious Jew had tried to set fire to the church at Gethsemane, at the foot of the Mount of Olives. Once again a religious-Zionist Israeli Jew had acted with violence against Christians in the Holy Land. This time, guards at the church caught the offender while he was in the act. Those attending the ceremony could guess the future course of events: He would be diagnosed as mentally disturbed. Indeed, in the vast majority of cases of violence against Christians in Israel, the offenders are absolved of responsibility by way of a psychiatric diagnosis.