Posts made in March, 2019

Israel has only one halfway house for Palestinians. Its future is in jeopardy.

Posted on Mar 26, 2019

Image: Eloise Blondiau

Eloise Blondiau

by Eloise Blondiau*, America, the Jesuit Review

In April, hundreds of Palestinian Melkite Catholics will gather for Good Friday services at the chandelier-adorned Church of Our Lady in Haifa. They will celebrate just across the kids’ soccer pitch and the cobblestone courtyard from the residence of 15 prisoners serving the final portions of their prison sentences. Many have been convicted for serious criminal offenses like murder, arms dealing and drug trafficking.

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What you can do to help after the terrorist attack on New Zealand mosques

Posted on Mar 25, 2019

by Saadia Ahmad*, America Magazine, the Jesuit Review

Terrorist attacks like the one that took the lives of at least 50 at two mosques in New Zealand often leave many of us traumatized, angry and in despair, feeling almost helpless to provide comfort and relief. Earlier this winter, the students in my conflict resolution class had asked how we could address the violence and hatred that seem so entrenched around the globe. The answer starts at the community level. That is where most of us have the most influence.

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African American pastor witnesses shared struggle—and hope—in Palestine

Posted on Mar 23, 2019

by the Reverend Everett Mitchell, Senior Pastor of Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church in Madison, Wisconsin (formerly Assistant District Attorney of Dane County, Wisconsin)

Bright Stars of Bethlehem – I recently returned from a Bright Stars trip to Palestine. Allow me to share my take-aways with you.

Although I had previously visited Israel, this trip was different.

During the past trip, we mainly focused on historic and Biblical sites in Israel.

During this trip, however, we spent much of our time in and around Bethlehem, Palestine. In this walled-off city, we had the opportunity to interact with many families in the region and to listen to the everyday struggles of Palestinian people. We also witnessed, first hand, the hope that resides in the dreams and talent of the youth. We visited local schools and colleges, attended cultural performances, and enjoyed laughter-filled moments with these young people.

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City of David: How would David feel?

Posted on Mar 23, 2019

 Samia Khoury writes from Jerusalem:

My Dear Friend, the Reverend Elizabeth Knott, sent me the 2019 Presbyterian Lenten Devotional which has been very meaningful for me during this season while I am still recovering from my latest fall. I found the last paragraph of the March 19 reflection specially meaningful in view of what is happening in the area around Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem where so many Palestinian homes continue to be demolished or confiscated for the creation of the city of David.

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A Texas Lutheran on access to holy spaces in Jerusalem

Posted on Mar 23, 2019

Texas Lutheran Ann Hafften writes:

In the past couple of weeks, the issue of access to holy spaces in Jerusalem has been highlighted in the news. Earlier this month, Israel closed off access to the Haram al-Sharif (“the Noble Sanctuary”), also known as the Temple Mount, to Palestinian Muslims who sought to pray at its Al-Aqsa Mosque, and prohibited entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City for all except its residents. The order provoked physical clashes in Jerusalem and rebukes from Muslim leaders locally and globally.

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Sami El-Yousef, CEO of LPJ, reflects on successful youth employment program in Gaza

Posted on Mar 23, 2019

Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, March 18, 2019 – GAZA – From March 13- 14, 2019, Mr. Sami El-Yousef, Chief Executive Officer of the Latin Patriarchate, visited the Gaza Strip and met with 20 of the beneficiaries of the youth employment program implemented by the Latin Patriarchate and funded by the German Lieutenancy of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem.

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Fr. Yousef Matta, new Greek Melkite Catholic Archbishop of Galilee

Posted on Mar 23, 2019

GALILEE, March 18, 2019 – The Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land extends its warmest congratulations to Fr. Yousef Matta on the occasion of the decision by His Holiness Pope Francis ratifying his election as Archbishop of Acre, Haifa, Nazareth and the entire Galilee of the Melkite Greek Catholics.

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Pope’s Day in Israel

Posted on Mar 22, 2019

On Thursday, March 14, the Apostolic Nunciature in Israel received civil and religious authorities to celebrate the sixth anniversary of the pontificate of Pope Francis.

The following took part in the meeting: on behalf of the Government and the State of Israel, the Minister for Regional Cooperation Tzachi Hanegbi; ambassadors, members of the diplomatic corps, Ordinaries and faithful both Catholic and of other Christian communities, as well as of other religions. The guests were received in the hall of the parish of St. Anthony in Jaffa, by the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, by the Secretary of Nunciature, Mgr. Marco Formica, and by the members of the Nunciature.

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The Mystery Gate

Posted on Mar 19, 2019

Christian Peacemaker Team, Hebron, March 13, 2019 – As friends gather around the room, smiling and laughing, remembering stories from the past, the phone rings. Another child was just grabbed off of the street less than 400 metres away. As we had just discussed the importance of taking time to enjoy life, rather than diving into work at every possible chance, four people decide to grab cameras and walk out into the rain. When we arrive at the gate of separation between the settlers and Palestinians, the soldiers had already disappeared into the military base with the child.

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Will Christchurch be our wakeup call??

Posted on Mar 19, 2019

Paul Larudee (2010).jpgPaul Larudee writes:

Below is a powerful article by a dear friend, Rifat Audeh. Rifat and I met in Lebanon a decade or so ago, and we both were participants in the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which was attacked by Israeli forces, with dozens of casualties and ten deaths, despite the fact that we were unarmed. Rifat created an award winning film about this, which is still being shown in many places.

These are only two of the facts that Rifat fails to mention. While his murdered cousin was Muslim, Rifat and extended family are Palestinian Christians.

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