National Geographic: ‘Hours before the tomb was to be re-sealed, the original limestone burial bed was revealed intact’
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.Read More
A government task force focuses on deporting activists with the movement, and preventing them from entering Israel.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.Read More
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.Read More
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.
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
While about 43% of PA’s expenditures are spent in Gaza, only 13% of its revenues come from Gaza
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.Read More
“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
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.”Read More
October 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.
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.”
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.