Posts made in December, 2019

Muslim women spread Christmas cheer in Gaza

Posted on Dec 31, 2019

Image: Palestinian women wearing face veil, niqab, make Santa-themed Christmas toys in the northern Gaza Strip

Palestinian women wearing face veil, niqab, make Santa-themed Christmas toys in the northern Gaza Strip

Writing by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Editing by Maayan Lubell and Andrew Cawthorne

GAZA (Reuters) – Muslim women in the Palestinian Gaza Strip have been hand-crafting gifts for the approaching Orthodox Christmas as part of a project to empower a traditional community.

Their Santa Claus dolls, toy Christmas trees and red-and-white puppets come into high demand over the holiday season in Gaza, Bethlehem and Italy.

Though most of Gaza’s 2 million population are Muslim, around 1,000 are Christian, mostly Greek Orthodox, who celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7.

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Was I human today?

Posted on Dec 30, 2019

It’s a known fact that if you are a Palestinian,  you shouldn’t expect to be treated as a human at the checkpoints.

by Azeeza Salameh. CPT Hebron

December 21 [2016?] was a special day for me. I passed through Checkpoint 56 in H2 area of Hebron, without the soldiers stopping me, searching my bag and checking my ID. It is one of the checkpoints that leads to Shuhada Street, which used to be the main artery of Hebron. It’s been  mostly closed to Palestinians since 1994, and the closure became complete after the second Intifada in 2000.

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Opinion: The Jewish National Fund Should Stop Trying to Kick a Palestinian Family Out of Their Home

Posted on Dec 30, 2019

Haaretz – The JNF used to symbolize the hope for planting and rebuilding. Now it is acting as a proxy for settler groups bent on evicting a family of 18 from their home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan

Image: Rabbi Michael Marmur

Rabbi Michael Marmur

by Rabbi Michael Marmur, Chair of the Board of Rabbis for Human Rights

I moved to Jerusalem more than 35 years ago. I walk to my office most days, and my route often takes me past the outskirts of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. It is there that a drama as sad as it is superfluous, as cruel as it is crazy, has been playing out for three decades. It is one case among many, and as I mark the holiday of Hanukkah in peace and security, it is on my mind.

The Sumreen family lives in Silwan. Since 1991 they have been involved in a legal struggle with the Jewish National Fund, backed by the settler group Elad and various other agencies committed to consolidating the Jewish presence in Palestinian neighborhoods of Jerusalem. These groups have been trying to have the Sumreens evicted by arguing that some members of the family were “absentees” – that is, civilians who lived in an enemy country – as a result of which their property was confiscated by the state, which then sold it to the JNF.

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TWIP December 2019: Palestinian Christians

Posted on Dec 30, 2019

Palestinian Christians are featured in the December issue of This Week in Palestine. The article by Patriarch Michel Sabbah appears on Al Bushra, but you will find links to all the articles listed below.

Message from the Editor of This Week in Palestine

In his article published in the current issue of This Week in Palestine, His Beatitude Patriarch Michel Sabbah asks: “Who are we Palestinians? Who are we Christian Palestinians? What is our future? Will there be future generations of Christians in this land?” You’ll find the answers in his and other articles that focus on Palestinian Christians, the theme of this month’s issue.

The articles within these pages touch on many topics, such as the alarming rate of emigration by Palestinian Christians. Read Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb’s take on that. Other topics include the breach of the Status Quo with the local churches – an article not to be missed by advocate Ass’ad Mazzawi; the 800-year-old presence of the Custody of the Holy Land, its mission and accomplishments; the Palestinian Christian national movement since the turn of the last century, another must-read article; and many other topics on equality, justice, and actions taken by patriotic Palestinian Christians that challenge the narrative of so-called Christian Zionism.

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The Future of Christian Palestinians

Posted on Dec 30, 2019

by Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah

Who are we Palestinians? We are those who have lived in Palestine generation after generation, through the change of conquerors, states, and regimes. Who we are today is who we were yesterday. The entire history of this land named Palestine, or Israel, or Canaan, or whatever, is our history. We are the Palestine of today, yesterday, and tomorrow.

Who are we Christian Palestinians? We are very simply Palestinians who are believers in Jesus Christ. Our faith goes back to the days when Jesus himself was here in this land. We were all born here in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. Here is our faith and our history. Christian Palestine is also a part of the history of all Palestinians – Christians, Muslims, Jews, or Samaritans (the small community that is still present today in the Palestinian city of Nablus). The history of each is the history of all because all Palestinians belong to all of Palestine, to the land as well as to the history and its various religions. At the time of Jesus Christ, we spoke the same language as Jesus – Syriac or Aramaic – with all the people of Greater Syria. Then we spoke Greek, with the Byzantine Roman empire. Then we spoke Arabic after the Muslim Arab conquest. Palestinian Muslims today were largely the same Syriac (or Greek) Christians who converted to Islam. Christians and Muslims, we belonged and we still belong to the same people and share the same history.

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Uncle Mikel’s pictures are preserved in Bethlehem collective memory

Posted on Dec 29, 2019

Christian Media Center

Veteran photographer from Bethlehem
“Bethlehem is… my home, my soul and my life.”

In black and white, Maurice Mikel provided a way of capturing scenes from life, by using his camera lens – to document people, places, and events with fidelity. He holds the pictures in his hands, which have been taken during the last decades, and remained printed in the collective memory. In black and white, he reveals glamorous behind the scenes shots of events that happened in the land he loved.

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Christmas speech of Archbishop Pizzaballa to His Majesty King Abdullah II

Posted on Dec 27, 2019

Photo: ©Royal Hashemite Court

Photo: ©Royal Hashemite Court

Your Majesty King Abdullah II

Your Highness Prince Ghazi

This year, as with every year, we meet to celebrate Christmas with you. Christmas is the main feast for the Christians in the Holy Land. On this occasion, it is wonderful to see how many gather around the Christian community to wish them well, to show solidarity and affection.

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Samia Khoury: Women are doers who give us hope

Posted on Dec 27, 2019

Samia Khoury

by Samia Khoury of East Jerusalem

As 2019 comes to a close, I send a message of hope for 2020. Let me start by bringing up the election of Ms. Mira Rizek, the National General Secretary of the YWCA of Palestine as the World YWCA president during the November meeting of the World Council in Johannesburg, South Africa. The event is one of the highlights of our year, because I feel that, maybe, it was a good omen for the recognition of Palestine through this great and oldest women’s world movement whose priorities have always included important issues as human rights, refugees, climate change, disarmament, among others, often long before they were considered issues on the United Nations platform.

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Bethlehem is Scarred by Brutal Israeli Occupation, While the World Acquieses

Posted on Dec 26, 2019

O little town of Bethlehem,
How miserable we see thee lie!
Above thy 28 ft. concrete separation wall of hatred,

Palestinians cower in fear and sleepless nights.
The silent stars are witness
to thy dark and somber streets

Where the light shineth not,
And the everlasting darkness of occupation
Hangs heavy on the oppressed and occupied.

Nazi-like Zionist hatred and violence of the past 71 years
Kill hope and instill fear in every Palestinian’s heart.
And nothing but arrests, theft, torture and killings
Are fears that meet thee every single minute
Of every single day, and every single night.

Some seven weeks back I attended a colloquium presentation delivered by a member of the religion faculty at the university where I [had] taught for 42 years. Known for his scholarship and excellent teaching skills, the presenter was reporting on the results of a trip he undertook last summer to study innovative techniques on the teaching of biblical Hebrew. Prior to his trip to Occupied Palestine, I shared a CP column I’d written summarizing Ilan Pappé’s tome under the title The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (“71 Years Later Zionist Terrorism Is Alive and Well”, April 19, 2019, CP) and another scholarly article about Israel’s brutal violation of human rights, its theft and desecration of Christian monuments and churches, and its outright hatred and demonization of Palestinians in general, and Christian Palestinians in particular.

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CPT: NEW INCIDENT REPORT: Highlights from the 3rd Quarter of 2019

Posted on Dec 26, 2019

“If all the settlers come to attack us, we still won’t leave the house. It’s been our home for generations, and my grandparents built its old walls.” – Hazem Abu Rajab
This latest CPT Palestine report contains articles, photos, and data about:
  • Abu Rajab House
  • Settler Activity
  • Home Invasions
  • Beit Kahil
  • South Hebron Hills
  • Netanyahu’s Visit
  • Use of Force
  • Detentions & Arrests
  • Restriction of Movement
  • Harassment of Human Rights Observers
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