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Home arrow Blog arrow February 2009 arrow February 22, 2009

February 22, 2009
February 22, 2009: Images and Memories, Nightmares and Dreams
Press Release from the "Assembly of the Catholic Bishops in the Holy Land"

We, the members of the "Assembly of the Catholic Bishops in the Holy Land" deplore and condemn with utter dismay the repulsive attacks on our Lord Jesus Christ and on His Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, carried out on Channel 10 of the Israeli television.


In these days, during a night show on Channel 10, a series of horrible offenses were launched against our faith and consequently against us, Christians. The show directed its attacks to the holiest figures of our Christian belief in an attempt, as the director of the show himself specifically declared, to destroy Christianism. In so doing, Channel 10 was used to desecrate the holiest figures of Christianism offending hundreds of thousands of Christian Israeli citizens and of many millions of Christians all over the world as well.


The Catholic Bishops in the Holy Land consider such program a symptom of greater problems disturbing the society, such as intolerance, refusal to accept and respect the other and inherent hatred. More important, the Heads of Churches view this recent incident in the larger context of continuous attacks against Christians throughout Israel over the years. Only a few months ago, copies of the New Testament were publicly burnt in the yard of a synagogue in Or Yehuda. Since years, Christianity has been doing a lot to stop some manifestations of anti-semitism, and now Christians in Israel have to find themselves victimised by a low profile manifestation of anti-Christianism?


While condemning this and all other intolerant acts, we call on all concerned parties to investigate the matter and to take the necessary actions in order to put an end to such horrible desecration of our faith. It is unconceivable that such incidents have to occur in Israel which hosts some of the holiest shrines of Christianity and which rely to a great extent on pilgrimage from Christian Countries.


Therefore, we ask the Israeli people and its Authorities to take the appropriate measures against such unacceptable offense and its perpetrators. At the same time, we urge Channel 10 to acknowledge its responsibility and to officially and publicly apologise for this incident and never to allow its repetition.


We want also to express our understanding and appreciation to the deep reaction of our Christian Communities and Institutions as well as to the many reasonable representatives of Moslems and Jews who were themselves shocked and appalled and expressed their dismay and protest at this fact. Actually such programs have nothing to do with freedom of expression, art and entertainment. They can only work against national integration and harmony in our society.


We call on them all to exercise the utmost seriousness and restraint and to follow their Ecclesial Authorities in dealing with this very important and delicate matter.


Jerusalem, February 18, 2009.
 
His Beatitude Fouad Twal,   Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
His Beatitude Michel Sabbah,  Emeritus Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
His Excellency Elias Chacour, Greek Melkite Archbishop of Akka
His Excellency Paul Sayya,  Maronite Archbishop of Haifa
His Excellency Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo,  Latin Patriarchal Vicar / Israel
His Excellency Pierre Melki,  Syrian Catholic Patriarchal Exarch
His Excellency Yousef Jules Zerey, Greek Melkite Patriarchal Exarch
His Excellency Butros Mouallem, Emeritus Greek Melkite Archbishop of Akka
His Excellency Kamal Bathish,  Emeritus Auxiliary Bishop of Latin Patriarch
Fr. Pier Battista Pizzaballa, ofm,  Custos of the Holy Land
Msgr. Rafael Minassian,  Armenian  Catholic Patriarchal Exarch
Fr. Paul Colin, Chaldean Catholic Patriarchal Exarch
Fr. Pietro Felet scj, Secretary General


 The offending You Tube is in Hebrew, with Arabic sub-titles, but the images speak for themselves:
اذاعي اسرائيلي يسخر من السيد المسيح والسيدة العذراء
 






The above caused me to recall what I wrote on July 22, 2007 and October 18, 2007:


“In a nutshell, there is a deep schizophrenia in the Holy Land; what we see, hear and talk. Zionism is the original sin; Zionism is an untouchable icon. You can curse Mohammad, you can curse Mary, but not Zionism.”- Professor Albert Aghazarian, July 19, 2007 during Sabeel’s 2nd International young Adult Conference in Jerusalem:

 40 Years in the Wilderness: 40 Years of Occupation




On page A3 of the July 20, 2007 edition of Haaretz that deep schizophrenia was printed in black on newsprint. The page was filled with looking back two years ago at the ‘disengagement’ from the Gaza Strip, which in reality was a redeployment for Israel continued to maintain full control of air, water and sea borders.

The Gush Katif evacuees from the Gaza Strip-who settled there illegally under international law have documented and commemorate what the state destroyed; and under international law, should never have built.
 
Soldiers in the Kissufim area say some evacuees come back to the roadblock, stand silently at what once was the entrance to the Gush Katif  settlement and stare into the distance, with tears in their eyes.

The evacuees are also:

 “Planting the desire to return. Rabbi Kobi Bornstein, a former resident of Neveh Dekalim and leader of the anti-disengagement struggle, says, "we are not talking about breaking through fences, but about planting the desire in the people of Israel to return there." Bornstein is sure the Jews will return.

“The willingness to return if possible comes to the fore in the video interview project that Mordi Kirshner is doing for the Settlers' Committee (the umbrella organization of the evacuees). He has filmed 160 out of 300 planned interviews. "We give the person a chance to tell his (or her) story," he says. Kirshner copied the framework from the taping of survivors' testimonies for the Steven Spielberg Holocaust Videotape Archive. He says he treats the interview as testimony.
“The interviews reveal a sense of betrayal felt toward the man seen as the patron of Gush Katif (Ariel Sharon) and disappointment with Israeli society after the disengagement. Many interviewees reported dreams of seeing their former homes and waking up in the morning with a sense of happiness. “


So, I wonder do the settlers even have a clue about the truth and the near 60 years of pain of those who were forced to flee in 1948?

Palestinians left in droves for fear of death by the hands of the Zionists who came to claim their homes and property, and which resulted in creating 750,000 refugees who have now multiplied into the millions; and all have been denied the inalienable right to return to their legally owned property.


On October 18, 2007, I wrote a dream: Wake Up Time from the Holocaust Hangover




"First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they attack you; and that's when you win."
-Gandhi


 

[Jerusalem, July 22, 2007] I had no clue when I gave 'birth' to my website, exactly two years ago to this day, what I was really doing, but, after my first of five journeys to Israel Palestine and listening to many of the people who live here and seeing with my own eyes the facts on the ground and feeling in my own gut a little of what life is like under occupation, I got VERY PISSED OFF and had to DO SOMETHING!

My government and mainstream media do NOT tell the truth and the spin they spin makes me want to puke. Not all members of the internationally recognized transparent democratically elected members of Hamas are terrorists and democracy cannot be spread through the barrel of a gun.

Criticizing the Israeli government is not anti-Semitic, just as dissenting from the neo-con ideology is not unpatriotic; in fact it is much more in line with our founding fathers;

"Soon after I had published the pamphlet "Common Sense" [on Feb. 14, 1776] in America, I saw the exceeding probability that a revolution in the system of government would be followed by a revolution in the system of religion.
The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion."-Tom Paine

But what really gets my Irish up, is that so many American Christians have no clue about the Christian Exodus from the Holy Land which began in 1948 when innocent people were forced to flee from their homes for fear of their life after they learned of the barbaric terrorism perpetuated by Zionist imperialist in the massacre at Deir Yassin.

"Early in the morning of Friday, April 9, 1948, commandos of the Irgun, headed by Menachem Begin, and the Stern Gang attacked Deir Yassin, a village with about 750 Palestinian residents. It was several weeks before the end of the British Mandate. The village lay outside of the area that the United Nations recommended be included in a future Jewish State. Deir Yassin had a peaceful reputation and was even said by a Jewish newspaper to have driven out some Arab militants. But it was located on high ground in the corridor between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and one plan, kept secret until years afterwards, called for it to be destroyed and the residents evacuated to make way for a small airfield that would supply the beleaguered Jewish residents of Jerusalem.

By noon over 100 people, half of them women and children, had been systematically murdered. Four commandos died at the hands of resisting Palestinians using old Mausers and muskets. Twenty-five male villagers were loaded into trucks, paraded through the Zakhron Yosef quarter in Jerusalem, and then taken to a stone quarry along the road between Givat Shaul and Deir Yassin and shot to death. The remaining residents were driven to Arab East Jerusalem.

"That evening the Irgunists and the Sternists escorted a party of foreign correspondents to a house at Givat Shaul, a nearby Jewish settlement founded in 1906. Over tea and cookies they amplified the details of the operation and justified it, saying Deir Yassin had become a concentration point for Arabs, including Syrians and Iraqis, planning to attack the western suburbs of Jerusalem. They said that 25 members of the Haganah militia had reinforced the attack and claimed that an Arabic-speaking Jew had warned the villagers over a loudspeaker from an armored car. This was duly reported in The New York Times on April 10.

"A final body count of 254 was reported by The New York Times on April 13, a day after they were finally buried. By then the leaders of the Haganah had distanced themselves from having participated in the attack and issued a statement denouncing the dissidents of Irgun and the Stern Gang, just as they had after the attack on the King David Hotel in July 1946. A 1987 study undertaken by Birzeit University's Center for Research and Documentation of Palestinian Society found "the numbers of those killed does not exceed 120".

"The Haganah leaders admitted that the massacre "disgraced the cause of Jewish fighters and dishonored Jewish arms and the Jewish flag." They played down the fact that their militia had reinforced the terrorists' attack, even though they did not participate in the barbarism and looting during the subsequent "mopping up" operations.

"They also played down the fact that, in Begin's words, "Deir Yassin was captured with the knowledge of the Haganah and with the approval of its commander" as a part of its "plan for establishing an airfield."

"Ben Gurion even sent an apology to King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan. But this horrific act served the future State of Israel well. According to Begin:

"Arabs throughout the country, induced to believe wild tales of "Irgun butchery," were seized with limitless panic and started to flee for their lives. This mass flight soon developed into a maddened, uncontrollable stampede. The political and economic significance of this development can hardly be overestimated." [1]

The Christian Exodus from the Holy Land has escalated in recent years to reduce their numbers from 20% of the total population of the Holy Land, to less than 1.3% since 1948. The reasons for the exodus of the most well educated and consistently nonviolent members of society are the now 40 years of occupation and oppression that has resulted in lack of economic opportunities, The Wall which divides them from their land, resources, families and holy sites and the increasing sense of hopelessness that fuels militancy and the growth of fundamentalism within all three branches of Father Abraham's offspring's.

Palestinians are inherently peaceful people who have been made to pay for the sins of The Third Reich and it is way past time for the world to WAKE UP from the holocaust hangover that has allowed America's best friend in the world to become the biggest bully on the planet.

International Law demands that occupation is to be temporary, maintain the status quo, not pilfer the resources of the occupied, nor transfer the occupier's population into occupied territory. But Israel does not adhere to international law; they follow the law of the jungle.

American media reports much about Islamic fundamentalism, but not on the inherently anti-Semitic cultish and escapist theology of Christian Zionism or the ultra-Orthodox Jews of the Holy Land. On July 19, 2007, Haaretz reported "The end of Zionism" regarding the increasing numbers of youth who refuse to serve.

"Some young people explain their evasion of service by their loss of confidence in the leadership, the cases of corruption and the state's abandonment of its soldiers. But there is also an accumulated weariness with the state of war, which has already lasted 60 years, and many young people, along with their parents, are no longer willing to sacrifice their lives on the altar of the settlers' expansionist dreams.

"After all, 25 percent of those eligible for the draft never serve at all (11 percent receive exemptions for yeshiva studies, 7 percent for health reasons, 4 percent reside abroad and 3 percent have a criminal record). Of those drafted, 17.5 percent do not complete a full three years of service. The sharpest rise in the number of draft-dodgers is among the ultra-Orthodox. In 1974, they comprised only 2.4 percent of those eligible for the draft. Today, the figure is 11 percent.

"Against this background, it is shocking to learn that yesterday the Knesset decided to extend the so-called Tal Law…a cynical, immoral law that absolves a significant portion of Jewish Israelis from the need to either do army service or work for a living. The fact is that 80 percent of ultra-Orthodox men do not work; instead, they live on government grants and stipends and the earnings of their wives.

"The secular donkey does not merely bear the military and economic burden; it also continues to expand the scope of government support for ultra-Orthodox education, including even the most extremist strains. About two months ago, the Knesset, by a large majority, approved the so-called Nahari Law, which compels the municipalities to grant equal funding to ultra-Orthodox schools that are not part of the official education system. These are extremist institutions…they do not teach mathematics, English, nature, science, civics, geography or history. In other words, they deliberately fail to train their graduates for a life of work and productivity. So these graduates have no choice but to cling to the coattails of ultra-Orthodox activists. And where will the new funding for these extremist schools come from? [2]

Every day the U.S.A. provides over $7,023,288.00 to the Israeli government and military and over $108 Billion since 1948. "Generous as it is, what Israel actually got in U.S. aid is considerably less than what it has cost U.S. taxpayers to provide it. The principal difference is that so long as the U.S. runs an annual budget deficit, every dollar of aid the U.S. gives Israel has to be raised through U.S. government borrowing."- Richard Curtiss [3]

On July 19, 2007, in the Old City of Jerusalem, Professor Albert Aghazarian, addressed nearly three dozen international and Palestinian youth and this reporter who had gathered for Sabeel's 2nd International young Adult Conference: 40 Years in the Wilderness…40 Years of Occupation...

He said two things that have not left my conscience since: "In a nutshell, there is a deep schizophrenia in the Holy Land; what we see, hear and talk. Zionism is the original sin; Zionism is an untouchable icon. You can curse Mohammad, you can curse Mary, but not Zionism…Do your best, and as long as you give it your best shot, don't worry about the rest."

But injustice is unsustainable and all things must pass...

"There is a time for everything; a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace." –Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 7, 8

1. http://www.deiryassin.org/mas.html

2. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/883868.html

3. http://ifamericansknew.org/stats/usaid.html#source





   
 
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