A district court in Israel has ruled that the documentary “The Lost Tomb of Jesus”, aired in 2007, was not fraudulent. The documentary claimed that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had children with her, some of whom were buried with Jesus in Jerusalem. A critic, Joe Zias, claimed the findings were not properly grounded and caused the film maker, Simcha Jacobovici, serious financial harm. Zias was sued for defamation, resulting in this verdict awarding the film maker over €192,000 in damages. As reported in the Jerusalem Post, the Judge did not rule that the facts in the documentary were true, only that they were based on research and were not fraudulent. So is it true that Jesus settled down with a wife and kids? I really don’t care.
Tired of squabbling about religion and other matters, the Israeli Pirate Party is leading the surge of the lesser ranked parties for the Israeli Parliamentary Election due to take place on January 22nd. Their leader, Ohad Shem-Tov, formerly belonging to a party seeking to legalise cannabis, appeared at a meeting on Dec 31st, complete with pirate hat and hook to proclaim their rights to plagiarize and sail the high seas, although they do say they are not in favour of outright piracy like high jacking ships. Arrr! You gotta hope the scurvy dogs make it to the poop deck me hearties.
Three years ago, in response to a dream he had many years before, Johan Huibers started building a replica of Noah’s ark. Johan, a Dutch construction company owner, spent over a million euro on the project. He has now asked for permission to moor the boat in London during the Olympics next year. The ship has the same dimensions as the one in the bible measuring 750 ft x 75 ft. It is planned to have model animals on the bottom deck, real animals with a viewing gallery on the next and an aviary on the upper deck. The ark will also have living quarters for Johan and his wife. Unlike the original, there will also be two conference rooms for Johan is keeping an eye on the business side of things. Some years ago, against the advice of his wife, he built a smaller, half size ark that could fit in the Dutch canals, and made not far off a million euro profit, by charging people a modest fee for admittance. He has also been talking to business associates in Israel. He claims that they say it is a Jewish Ark, not a Christian Ark and he stole it. Isn’t religion great for causing arguments? Let’s hope he gets permission to sail and it doesn’t sink on the way over to London.
In a move to try and protect the few remaining fish in the Sea of Galilee, the Israeli government has banned fishing on the lake for two years. The most sought after catch from these waters is known as St. Peter’s Fish, but most restaurants serving them today are supplied from fish farms. It’s a sad reflection of our times that it is necessary to take such drastic measures in an area that has provided a plentiful source of fish for hundreds of years. I guess all the fishermen will have to become fishers of men.