Posts made in October, 2016

‘Original limestone bed’ on which Jesus was buried said uncovered

Posted on Oct 31, 2016

National Geographic: ‘Hours before the tomb was to be re-sealed, the original limestone burial bed was revealed intact’

Fredrik Hiebert (left), National Geographic’s archaeologist-in-residence, filmed at the tomb of Jesus, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, October 2016 (National Geographic screenshot)

Research team claims extraordinary discovery was made as they completed first work in centuries in cave revered as Jesus’s tomb at Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre
By Ilan Ben Zion* October 31, 2016, 2:35 pm in the Times of Israel

Conservationists working at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem claim to have found the original limestone bed on which Jesus was laid to rest.

The dramatic discovery was reported by National Geographic, which has been partnering with a team of experts working at the church, the holiest place in Christendom as the traditional site of Jesus’s crucifixion and burial.

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Is Israel ramping up crackdown on BDS activists?

Posted on Oct 31, 2016

A government task force focuses on deporting activists with the movement, and preventing them from entering Israel.

In recent months, Israel has stepped up measures to prevent activists from entering Israel and the occupied territories [Getty Images]

by Alex Kane

Ramah Kudaimi expected to be questioned when trying to cross the Israeli-Jordanian border this July. She wears the hijab and her parents were born in Syria – factors bound to attract the attention of Israeli border authorities.

Kudaimi hoped to cross into the occupied West Bank to join an interfaith delegation of people of colour and indigenous people who wanted to witness life on the ground in Palestine.

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Uri Avnery: The Triumph of Sisyphus

Posted on Oct 30, 2016

gush shalomShimon Peres used his new-found world-wide celebrity to serve as a fig leaf for the Netanyahu government and its policy of occupation and oppression, while adored abroad as the Man of Peace.

by Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom

DAVID BEN-GURION was not buried in the Great of the Nation portion of the national cemetery in Jerusalem, but next to his wife’s grave in Sde Boker, the Negev settlement he loved.

Shimon Peres, his pupil and follower, was not buried next to his wife’s grave in Ben Shemen, the place she loved. But in the Great of the Nation plot.

That’s all the difference.

I DID not take part in the hullabaloo that accompanied the funeral. All in all, it was quite ridiculous. Everybody who had once shaken his hand or exchanged a few words with him felt obliged to write about him at length, expressing his profound insights. Most of it was sheer nonsense.

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It’s not the flotilla, it’s Gaza

Posted on Oct 29, 2016

Op-ed: The women’s boat to Gaza is another unpleasant and inconvenient reminder that we cannot keep talking about tunnels and rockets as if that’s the entire deal while starving a population and preventing a way out of the strip.

Women on the Zaytouna-Oliva yacht. ‘The message will remain long after they are gone, against decision makers’ interests.’

by Ariela Ringel Hoffman

It’s been called a flotilla, but even someone like me with no knowledge whatsoever on naval affairs understands that it’s not the Sixth Fleet. Just a small yacht travelling in the sea for a month on its way to Gaza. A nutshell with 13 women on it, as well as an al-Jazeera reporter who did her best to add a dramatic dimension to the event. “The women are prepared for any scenario,” she said to the cameras, which caught two-three women on the deck behind her, enjoying the warm Middle Eastern sun.

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Samia Khoury: Flotilla gave hope to people of Gaza

Posted on Oct 29, 2016

Palestinians waiting for women’s boat in Gaza Photo: EPA

by Samia Khoury

From past experience with other Freedom Flotillas sailing to Gaza, I am not certain whether those women human rights activists were sure that they will be able to reach Gaza.

Yet their determination to challenge the blockade gave hope to the people of Gaza that they are not being abandoned and forgotten.

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Updates from Gaza: a day-by-day support through many projects

Posted on Oct 29, 2016

Photo : © Andres Bergamini

GAZA – Interview with Sami El-Yousef, regional director of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association for Palestine and Israel.

Sami El-Yousef, you are the Regional Director of CNEWA – Pontifical Mission in Jerusalem. Could you tell us more about the history of this organization and its present-day action in the Holy Land?

The Mission was established in 1949 by Pope Pius XII as a temporary mission to aid the Palestinian people, 750.000 of whom became refugees as Israel was created in 1948. Of significance is that 30 percent of all Christians of the Holy Land became refugees then. In the first 20 years of operation, the Mission was mostly involved with the distribution of humanitarian aid and supplies. Thereafter and when it became clear that the refugee issue is becoming a long term one, the mandate was expanded to provide more sustainable support and thus the main focus became to aid the local churches in supporting communities, mostly in education, health, and social services. Pastoral support through the local churches continues to play an important element.

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Gaza unemployment world’s highest as 60% of youth find themselves jobless

Posted on Oct 29, 2016

While about 43% of PA’s expenditures are spent in Gaza, only 13% of its revenues come from Gaza

A Palestinian boy plays at a house that witnesses said was destroyed during Operation Protective Edge in the east of Gaza City. (photo credit:REUTERS)

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH, Jerusalem Post, May 22, 2015

Blockades and war have strangled the Gaza Strip’s economy and the unemployment rate is now the highest in the world, according to a report published Friday by the World Bank.

The report is to be presented to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), a forum of donors to the Palestinian Authority, at the bi-annual meeting in Brussels on May 27.

The report estimates that the Gaza Strip’s GDP would have been about four times higher than it currently is if it weren’t for the conflicts and the multiple restrictions.

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Christ’s Burial Place Exposed for First Time in Centuries

Posted on Oct 28, 2016

“I’m glad that the atmosphere is special, there is a hidden joy,” said the patriarch. “Here we have Franciscans, Armenians, Greeks, Muslim guards, and Jewish police officers. We hope and we pray that this will be a real message that the impossible can become the possible. We all need peace and mutual respect.” –Thephilos III, the Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem

The shrine that houses the traditional burial place of Jesus Christ is undergoing restoration inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Photograph by Oded Balilty, AP for National Geographic

By Kristin Romey, National Geographic, PUBLISHED October 26, 2016

Jerusalem – For the first time in centuries, scientists have exposed the original surface of what is traditionally considered the tomb of Jesus Christ. Located in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem, the tomb has been covered by marble cladding since at least 1555 A.D., and most likely centuries earlier.

“The marble covering of the tomb has been pulled back, and we were surprised by the amount of fill material beneath it,” said Fredrik Hiebert, archaeologist-in-residence at the National Geographic Society, a partner in the restoration project. “It will be a long scientific analysis, but we will finally be able to see the original rock surface on which, according to tradition, the body of Christ was laid.”

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Americans, Israelis for Peace condemn settlement plans

Posted on Oct 28, 2016

APNOctober 5, 2016 – Americans for Peace Now joined its Israeli sister organization, Shalom Achshav (Peace Now), in condemning the Israeli government’s announced plan to establish a new West Bank settlement in the Shiloh Valley (full details on the announcement are here).

APN President and CEO Debra DeLee commented:

“This new plan appears to be a direct pay-off to settlers from the illegal outpost of Amona, who brazenly violated Israeli law by stealing and building on Palestinian private land. Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government worked for years to try to “legalize” these illegal actions, but ultimately were unable to find any means to do so. They are now looking to turn this rare win for the rule of law into a new defeat for the two-state solution, by exploiting the removal of this illegal outpost as a pretext to establish a new “legal” settlement, situated in the heart of the West Bank.

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Extremism, dialogue and peace are focus of Christian-Muslim joint communiqué

Posted on Oct 27, 2016

151126 World Council of Churches logo

World Council of Churches – Interreligious dialogue and cooperation provided the basis of talks on 30 September and 1 October 2016 addressing the theme “Towards an Integrated World,” a series of high-level discussions among the Muslim Council of Elders led by the Grand-Imam of Al-Azhar, based in Cairo, and representatives of the World Council of Churches (WCC), its member churches and ecumenical partners including the Lutheran World Federation.

The joint meeting at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva was followed by a public lecture at the WCC Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, Switzerland, where the Grand Imam spoke on “The Role of Religious Leaders in Achieving World Peace.”

Photo: Peter Williams/WCC

A joint communiqué adopted by participants in the Geneva sessions pledged a continuation of practical cooperation among religious communities.

The statement added: “The overriding concern of the meeting was peace, and particularly the role of religions, religious leaders and faith-based organizations in creating a culture of peace and practices of peacemaking. As children of Abraham, we agree that humanity was created to share the gifts of love and compassion, peace and mercy, honesty and sincerity.”

At the end of the meeting, both parties agreed to continue and convene a following meeting in 2017 in Cairo, Egypt.

Read full text of the joint communiqué of 01 October 2016

Download high resolution photos from the joint meeting

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