Posts made in September, 2015

Uri Avnery: The Ministry of Fear

Posted on Sep 26, 2015

Uri Avnery, Peace Activist and Founder of Gush Shalom

Uri Avnery, Founder of Peace Movement Gush Shalom

Stoking Holocaust memories is a national industry. Children are sent to visit Auschwitz, their first trip abroad. The last Minister of Education decreed the introduction of Holocaust studies in kindergarten (seriously). There is a Holocaust Day – in addition to many other Jewish holidays, most of which commemorate some past conspiracy to kill the Jews

(Gush Shalom) Tel Aviv, September 26, 3015 – “We have nothing to fear but fear itself,” said President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He was wrong.

Fear is a necessary condition for human survival. Most animals in nature possess it. It helps them to respond to dangers and evade or fight them. Human beings survive because they are fearful.

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YMCA Jerusalem Youth Chorus and St. Jean Baptiste Choir

Posted on Sep 25, 2015

September 25, 2015 – In honor of the pope’s visit, a chorus of Jewish, Christian and Muslim singers delivers a very special performance. Presented by New York Life

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The Uprooted and Unwanted: A Sermon for Tzedek Chicago’s First Yom Kippur Service

Posted on Sep 25, 2015


[The establishment of the State of Israel] created what is now the largest single refugee group in the world and our longest running refugee crisis. Millions of Palestinians now live in their own diaspora, forbidden to return to their homes or even set foot in their homeland. Two and a half million live under military occupation in the West Bank where their freedom of movement is drastically curtailed within an extensive regime of checkpoints and heavily militarized border fences. And nearly two million live in Gaza, most of them refugees, literally trapped in an open-air prison where their freedom of movement is denied completely.

by Rabbi Brant Rose

(Shalom Rav) Chicago, September 25, 2015 – Like you, I’ve been profoundly horrified by the refugee crisis that has resulted from Syria’s ongoing civil war. The reports and images and statistics continue to roll out every day and the sheer level of human displacement is simply staggering to contemplate. Since 2011, over half of that country’s entire population has been uprooted. At present, there are more than 4 million Syrian refugees are registered with the UN. Another 7 million have been internally displaced. Experts tell us we are currently witnessing the worst refugee crisis of our generation.

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Armenians and displaced Iraqis from Mosul visit Our Lady of Lourdes grotto in Na’our

Posted on Sep 25, 2015

( Na’our, Jordan, September 25, 2015 – Parish priest of the Catholic Armenian community in Jordan Fr. Bogus Nahabedian on Thursday, September 24, paid a pilgrimage trip to Our Lady of Lourdes grotto in Na’our accompanied by members of the Armenian parish community as well as a number of Iraqis displaced from Mosul and villages of the Nineveh plain.

Fr. Rif’at Bader presided over the Mass, which was attended by Armenian and Iraqi communities, with the participation of Fr. Nahabedian and Deacon Piero Zarkanian. Hymns in Armenian and Arabic were sung during the Mass.

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Pope Francis’ address at Ground Zero 9/11 Memorial in New York

Posted on Sep 25, 2015

Pope Francis speaks at Ground Zero 9/11 Memorial - AFP

Pope Francis speaks at Ground Zero 9/11 Memorial (AFP)

(Vatican Radio) September 25, 2015 – In an address to an Interreligious Meeting at the Ground Zero Memorial in New York, Pope Francis said on Friday (25th September) “we can and must build unity on the basis of our diversity of languages, cultures and religions.” Speaking at the site of the September 11th terrorist attacks, he told those present that “together, we are called to say “no” to every attempt to impose uniformity and “yes” to a diversity accepted and reconciled.” The Pope described Ground Zero as a place where “we shed tears” and mourn those who were the victims of a “mindset that knows only violence, hatred and revenge.”

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Pope Francis to the UN : concerted action in service

Posted on Sep 25, 2015

Pope Francis addressing the United Nations - AFP

Pope Francis addressing the United Nations (AFP)

by Christopher Altieri

(Vatican Radio) New York, September 25, 2015 – Pope Francis addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations on Friday morning at UN headquarters in New York. Though it was the 5th time a reigning Pontiff addressed the body, it was the first time in history that a Pope has done so during the annual “heads of state and government” session that opens the work of the Assembly each year in the Fall. So, it was another historical first.

Pope Francis’ speech to the UN was, like the other of his addresses, which he has already delivered during the course of this visit, remarkable for its content, tone, and structure: neither shying away from frank recognition of serious problems both within the UN body and in the present order of international affairs, nor striking a scolding or heavily didactic tone, the Holy Father’s address was once again in essence a word of encouragement.

Delivered in Spanish, the Holy Father’s public address followed a private meeting with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon. The Pope’s remarks dealt briefly and efficiently with the protocol of greetings, salutations, anniversary mentions and establishments of historical context. Even when he was going about that necessary work, however, he was already preparing his audience for the real radical labor of thought, in which he engaged and to which he called his audience – which included dozens of heads-of-state and/or government .

The characteristic of Pope Francis’ thinking on display in his UN discourse was its rootedness in the quintessentially Catholic intellectual tension of et-et (both-and), which eschews the straits of dichotomy and explodes the shackles of binary categorization. At perhaps no point was this characteristically Catholic tension in thinking more clearly on display, than in Pope Francis’ daring assertion of the natural environment as the subject of proper rights in the created order – rights which demand to be respected in positive law. “First,” said Pope Francis, “a true ‘right of the environment’ does exist,” and he went on to articulate the twofold reason that compels us to recognize the truth of the claim. “We human beings are part of the environment,” he explained. “We live in communion with it, since the environment itself entails ethical limits which human activity must acknowledge and respect.”

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Pope expresses closeness to Muslims for hajj tragedy

Posted on Sep 25, 2015


(Vatican Radio) September 25, 2015 – Pope Francis has expressed feelings of closeness to his Muslim brothers and sisters.

The Pope’s words came before the homily during the celebration of Vespers in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. Turning his attention to the stampede that on Thursday killed more than 700 pilgrims and injured at least 863 during the annual hajj pilgrimage on the outskirts of the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia as Muslims around the world marked the start of the Eid al-Adha holiday.

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Vatican flag at the United Nations

Posted on Sep 25, 2015

The Vatican flag was raised without fanfare  at the UN for the first time on Sept. 25, 2015

The Vatican flag was raised without fanfare at the UN for the first time on Sept. 25, 2015

(AFP) United Nations (United States), September 25, 2015 – The Vatican flag will be raised for the first time at the United Nations on Friday ahead of Pope Francis’ address, but there will be no ceremony, the Holy See’s mission said.

UN member states adopted a resolution allowing the Vatican and the Palestinians, which both have non-member observer status at the United Nations, to fly their flags.

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Pope Francis’ visit to the USA: Reflections from Jerusalem

Posted on Sep 25, 2015

Email from Samia Khoury in Jerusalem, September 25, 2015

I was glued to the television for the last two days watching the visit of the Pope to the USA. Both his addresses at the American Congress, and the United Nations were excellent. He alluded to so many crucial issues that were bound to trigger a lot of thinking on part of the legislators, and world representatives. But what drew my attention most was his reference to The Golden Rule, and immediately I remembered that way back in 2002 I had written an article for the Witness magazine on the subject, so I hope you do not mind my sharing it with you again. Some of you at that time were not even on my list, but all my articles for the Witness magazine, most of which still remain as pertinent as ever are posted on my old blog.

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Pope Francis Addresses the United Nations — Five Points to Keep in Mind

Posted on Sep 24, 2015

by Kevin Clarke

(America Magazine) September 24, 2015 – On Friday, September 25th, 2015 at 8:30 a.m, Pope Francis will address the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Here’s five points to keep in mind as Francis becomes the fourth pope to address this international forum:

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