In spite of the Patriarch of Jerusalem’s claims that if only the 'occupation' would end, then peace will break out, the Christians of Gaza find that it is not the Palestinian heaven he promised. The Jews, blamed for all Arab ills, have obligingly left, but the angels who were supposed to run this heaven have immediately set about killing each other.
They are also attacking the tiny Christian community.
Broken crucifixes and shards from a Jesus statue have been swept up, but Gaza's tiny Christian community says the violent warning sent by Islamic militants cannot be erased.
The ransacking of Gaza's Catholic convent and an adjacent Rosary Sisters school during Hamas' sweep to power this month broke more than wood and plaster: it signaled the end of a relatively peaceful, even if sometimes uneasy relationship between Gaza's 1.4 million Muslims and 3,000 Christians.
Are there any signs of support from Christian leaders who are normally quick to condemn Israel for defending herself from attacks by (Muslim) Palestinian terrorists? Very little.
Archbishop Kelly of Liverpool has sent a letter of support to the Christian community in Gaza but there are no public statements of condemnation or concern, and only small interest in the Catholic press.
Caritas, in spite of the fact that Palestinian violence forced it to close its hospital in Gaza, never criticizes those responsible but cannot resist trying to give the impression that the Israelis are somehow responsible.
Caritas Jerusalem is continuing its humanitarian work under a very tense situation taking place in Gaza at the present time.
Yesterday, clashes were taking place in the central Eastern district of Shejayea and ten Palestinians have been killed with several score injured in military confrontations with the Israeli army. In response, Caritas is working to respond to the urgent need for emergency medical care in the affected region
And where are the ‘Christian’ ‘Peacemakers’? Not in Gaza, where they are needed. No, they are safe and sound in the West Bank, thanks to the protective presence of Israelis. There they can indulge in their favourite hobby of Jew-bashing.
Here is one Sarah Scruggs, so indulging herself in: Holy Land reflection: a historic day not sexy enough for the press.
I know it’s difficult to break the habit, Sarah – after all, it gives you so much pleasure – but you really must try. Christians are supposed to love their neighbours, not incite against them.
But Sarah finds it sexy to whine about Israelis and disapproves of criticism of Palestinian violence.
As the world follows the sensationalized stories of violence and division between Hamas and Fatah, Palestinians in this rural part of the West Bank are uniting to non-violently exert their right to live and work on their lands.
This may not be sexy enough for the press to cover, but I believe it is the stuff people and governments around the world need to hear.
How about moving to Gaza, Sarah, and protecting your fellow Christians? Or is that not sexy enough for you?
While the United Methodist Church’s call for divestment is described as “bordering on anti-Semitism”, it’s good to be reminded that not all Church leaders are similarly prejudiced.
Irene Lancaster has drawn our attention to a debate in the House of Lords on the UK’s academic boycott.
Here we meet one of the good guys in the long-running tale of good versus evil (well, how else would you describe the hatred, thinly disguised as a desire for justice, which drives these destructive initiatives against the Jews and their State?). Admittedly, and sadly, it's like a sighting of a rare bird.
He is the Anglican Bishop of Manchester, Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch.
You can read the whole debate over at Irene's blog (and it's worth reading) but here is his intervention:
The Lord Bishop of Manchester: My Lords, I declare an interest as chairman of the Council of Christians and Jews. Does the Minister agree that if any academic seminar is to be worth while, it needs to address at some stage the serious and complex issues that relate to the theology of land in the Middle East, most particularly in Israel? Until those issues are addressed, the fine line which exists between concerns about Israeli policy and where they begin to merge into anti-Semitism is a serious one, deserving of the most stringent academic exploration.
I was about to suggest that if the Jerusalem Church leaders were little wooden puppets, they would have very, very long noses by now, but let’s be charitable. Perhaps they are entering their dotage and forgetting where they left their slippers, whether they’ve had their dinner or not today, and the recent history of the country they inhabit.
On Pentecost Sunday, Church leaders of Jerusalem issued the following statement about the anniversary: "This year marks the 40th anniversary of occupation by the Israelis of land previously held by Palestinians. It is totally unacceptable for the situation to continue where the Palestinians endure daily hardships and humiliations with deprivations of international human rights, allegedly to ensure the safety and security of the Israelis, whereas we believe the security of Israel is dependent on the freedom and justice of the Palestinians."
As The Reformed Pastor put it in Hierarchs to Israel: Let Hamas Handle Security
The hierarchs’ statement can be found here ; since it’s in scanned PDF format and I don’t feel like re-typing the whole thing, I’ll just include a bit that gives the flavor:
This year marks the 40th Anniversary of Occupation by the Israelis of land previously held by the Palestinians.
Actually, it was held by the Jordanians and Egyptians. These guys don’t even remember events that they lived through.
Meanwhile, Patriarch of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah is not only forgetful of the past, but does not seem aware of what is happening around him now.
Almost eight weeks earlier, Patriarch Sabbah, in an April 3 Easter message, said that Israel must have the courage to end the occupation of the Palestinian people and allow healing to begin “in our land, in the region and in the world.”
Acknowledging the fear of Israelis that “wants to see the Palestinians as terrorists or as incapable of assuring security,” Patriarch Sabbah said that that fear has immobilized the Holy Land from breaking the cycle of dysfunction and has led to “several worldwide phenomena (that) have arisen in the world as a direct or indirect consequence.”
Yet, he said, that dysfunction will continue until the occupation continues.
Israel ceased its ‘occupation’ of Gaza, and removed the Settlers, whose presence was blamed for everything and see how peace has broken out there as a result! No dysfunctional behaviour in Gaza now, is there, Patriarch?
Poor things. After all their efforts to remove the anti-terrorist barrier and allow Palestinian mass-murderers to return to carrying out regular massacres of Israeli men, women and children, Pax Christi, Sabeel, EAPPI, etc, have been undermined by Hamas.
Hamas are an awkward lot – they will insist on telling the truth, so that all the lies told by these ‘Christians’ immediately unravel.
Here’s EAPPI waxing sentimental:
“We used to be able to see the sun rise over the Dead Sea like a big orange,” says Clemance at one of her Arabic classes with us. But now the wall is blocking the view.”
Oh, what a shame. Who cares about the lives of Israeli innocents, eh, Clemance? Just as long as you enjoy your pretty view.
And here's Pax Christi:
The Israeli government claims that this is a security barrier. But it has become a major source of oppression for the Palestinian people - an unacceptable form of collective punishment.
Meanwhile, here’s the truth from Hamas:
As part of the above criticism, Moussa Abu Marzouq was asked about the drop in the number of suicide bombing attacks ( al-‘amaliyyat al-istishhadiyya ) during the Hamas government's term. In his reply, Abu Marzouq admitted that “[carrying out] such attacks is made difficult by the security fence and the gates surrounding West Bank residents”. He stressed that the (Hamas) movement was powerless to extend any significant assistance to the West Bank, but that the actual happenings on the ground (the existence of the security fence and the gates) gave it a legitimate reason to do so (meaning that the reality formed after the construction of the security fence impairs Hamas's ability to carry out suicide bombing attacks
They've even said it on the telly.
It should also be noted that, in a television interview (November 11, 2006), Ramadan Abdallah Shalah, the leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an organization which has taken the lead in perpetrating suicide bombing attacks in recent years, also admitted that the security fence constructed by Israel was an obstacle to the terrorist organizations (the “resistance”), and that things would have been completely different had it not been there.
Ramadan Shalah interviewed by Al-Manar: “The fence is an obstacle to the resistance; without it, the situation would have been entirely different…” (November 11, 2006)
Poor Pax Christi, Sabeel, etc. Well, that's what happens if you are dishonest. Be sure your sins will find you out.
It might not come as a surprise to find Sabeel, Hamas and other anti-Semites getting on like a house on fire. After all, they understand one another so well.
Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs has turned the spotlight on this particular grubby little corner.
Eileen Fleming, the Daily Kos diarist who also contributes to antisemitic hate sites, has a new post today, an excerpt from her book about “spirituality based on love, justice, peace, nonviolence, liberation and reconciliation for the different national and faith communities.”
My Sabeel group also met with four newly elected Hamas members, but we never got to meet any terrorists.
No? Well, here’s a reminder about the genocidal intentions of Hamas in its own words. And if that doesn’t convince you, they express them in more gory fashion in this video: We will drink the blood of the Jews.
Sabeel evidently has no problems with this.
Our translator was George Rishmawi, whom I first met in June 2005 when he worked for Holy Land Trust. George is currently the Coordinator for the Greek Catholic Church Center for Holy Land Studies and he was my ‘shepherd’ when I went to Beit Jala, to meet little George the little boy on the top right of the WAWA Banner for the first time.
Mr. Zboun greeted us in English with a broad smile on his face and stated, “We welcome you to our home and the Holy City of Bethlehem. We are suppose to be terrorists, are you afraid?”
We all laughed then...
An interesting little screen shot here, of the website of this friend of Sabeel and Hamas advertised on a site which supports the likes of David Irving and lies about the the ‘Holo-haux‘.: The company you keep.