Posts made in May, 2019

PALESTINE | A brave school principal; a brave woman

Posted on May 31, 2019

Christian Peacemaking Teams, Palestine – We* were monitoring the Salaymeh checkpoint on a cold morning. Two soldiers, fully armed and wearing masks, walked passed the checkpoint and went up on the roof of an adjoining building. As children started making their way to school, the two soldiers came down and started moving towards the school area. Ofer, a settler who shows up daily at the checkpoint to harass children and human rights monitors, made his daily appearance. Suddenly, soldiers threw three sound grenades close to a small group of boys who had gathered outside the school.

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Ramadan and Iftar, a moment of meeting

Posted on May 31, 2019

The Custos of the Holy Land also arrives in Bethany, to share Iftar with the Muslim community.

A grenade blast resonates in Jerusalem. This time it is not a sign of war but of the feast of Ramadan. Rajaie Sandoka fires twice a day from this Islamic cemetery overlooking the old city to indicate the beginning and end of fasting.

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A new playing field and playground for the school of the Latin Patriarchate of Naour in Jordan

Posted on May 30, 2019

Curia - Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

by Irénée Julien-Laferrière, Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

JORDAN – Since the beginning of the year, the school of the Latin Patriarchate of Naour has been delighted by the new sports facilities put in place thanks to donations from the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher. This initiative was created to allow students to flourish in the school and make teaching more lively and friendly.

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Christian communities sign agreement to start second phase of renovation in Holy Sepulchre

Posted on May 30, 2019

Jerusalem, May 27th, 2019

More than two years after the end of the first step of the renovation of the Holy Sepulchre  Edicule, which ended with an Ecumenical Ceremony held on March 22nd, 2017, the Christian Communities in charge of the Status Quo in the Holy Sepulchre signed an agreement to start the second step of the renovation and rehabilitation of the Holiest place.

The first step of the renovation of the Edicule of Our Lord Jesus Christ started after the agreement of March 22nd, 2016. The ten months of work were managed by a staff from Greece directed by professor Antonia Moropoulou from the National Technical University of Athens, who guided both the previous studies and the restoration of the Edicule.

The work was financed by the three main Christian denominations of the Holy Sepulcher: the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, the Custody of the Holy Land, and the Armenian Patriarchate. 

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June 8th is the 52nd anniversary of the attack on the USS Liberty

Posted on May 30, 2019

Image: Alison Weir

Alison Weir

Allison Weir writes in her “If Americans Knew” newsletter:

On June 8, 1967 Israeli jets and torpedo boats tried to sink the USS Liberty, a U.S. Navy technical surveillance ship, with all men aboard. Israel did not succeed in sinking the ship, but did succeed in killing 34 Americans and injuring 175.

Surviving crew members and the families of those killed have called for a complete, honest investigation into the attack, but Israel and its partisans have called them “antisemitic” and worked to suppress their voices.

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Palestine: The Camera as a Lifeline

Posted on May 30, 2019

Christian Peacemaking Teams, Hebron – The neighbourhood of Tel Rumeida is located in the H-2 zone of Hebron, an area exclusively under Israeli military control. An Israeli military base lies nearby currently operated by the Israeli Givati brigade. The unit largely serves to provide backup for Israeli settlers who have taken over many Palestinian homes and buildings in the area and consolidated the occupied property into two major settlements. Despite these incursions, 240 Palestinian families remain in the area trying to survive.

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WCC statement reiterates call for just peace in Palestine and Israel

Posted on May 29, 2019

27 May 2019 – The World Council of Churches (WCC) Executive Committee, in a statement, reiterated its call for a just peace in Israel and Palestine. “That commitment is part of the fabric of our faith, and of the heritage of the ecumenical movement,” reads the statement. “We seek to express it by accompanying the churches, interfaith partners and communities of these lands in their witness and work for justice and for peace.”

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“Now I Can No Longer Call Myself a Zionist . . .”

Posted on May 28, 2019

A new book explores the nuances behind the opposition to Zionism and effectively dispels the myth that Jewish people who criticize Israel are “self-hating Jews.”

Laurie Zimmerman photo.2.jpgby Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman, Congregation Shaarei Shamayim in Madison

Progressive Magazine, May 10, 2019 – As the Israeli government under Netanyahu continues its path towards the far right and escalates violence against Palestinians, increasing numbers of Jews are voicing their opposition to ongoing human rights violations, the denial of basic freedoms for Palestinians, and the shunning of international law. Some are rejecting not only particular governmental policies but the basic ideology of Zionism, defined as support for a Jewish state in the land of Israel.

Carolyn L. Karcher, professor emerita of English, American Studies, and Women’s Studies at Temple University, is the editor of a new collection of forty personal narratives written mostly by American Jewish activists, scholars, and rabbis. It makes an important contribution to the growing body of literature that examines Jewish critiques of Israel and Zionism. This book will be particularly useful for Jews who are beginning to question their own beliefs about Zionism. Many of the essays trace the personal journeys of Jews who have parted ways with Zionism, describing the difficult emotional and intellectual issues with which they grapple.

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Irony: “Great democracy in the world” takes cue from “the only democracy in the Middle East”

Posted on May 27, 2019

by Samia Khoury

The US administration has never been supportive of our cause as Palestinians. And I specifically say the administration because we have a lot of support from the public, the main stream churches, the civil society, as well as many Jewish Americans. The United Nations records show clearly that it was the Veto of the US at the United Nations that has hindered the implementation of the UN resolutions that would have guaranteed our rights as Palestinians, basically the right to return to our homes from which we were evicted by force or had to flee for our lives in 1948. We were never even offered compensation, and Israel continues till this day to deny its responsibility for our plight.

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Natural history, conservation, and politics meet

Posted on May 25, 2019

O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Psalm 124:24

Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh writes on May 25 in the Palestinian Christians newsletter:

Today we concluded a week of public activities related to biodiversity (we even got live coverage on Palestine TV). We had lectures and workshops on faunal and human diversity and how to protect those. We had hands-on work in preparation of specimens for biodiversity studies. Coincidentally it was also the last week in the semester for my classes; I teach Biodiversity at Birzeit and Research methodology at Bethlehem University (both master level).

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