Posts made in May, 2020

Four ‘Blank’ Dead Sea Scrolls Actually Have Text

Posted on May 31, 2020

A new analysis revealed what scientists believe is a passage from the book of Ezekiel.

The 16 purported fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Museum of the Bible might be fakes, but at least four such fragments housed at the University of Manchester in the UK are the real deal. For decades, those fragments were presumed to be blank, but a new analysis has revealed the existence of actual text, most likely a passage from the book of Ezekiel.

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Churches’ Role in Forming the Movie Ratings System, Plus Violence within Our Land

Posted on May 29, 2020

Nashville and The Apostle are films that demand contemporary reflection. One, though set in the American south, may also evoke awareness of the brutality of military occupation in Palestine. The other is pertinent to last weekend’s dark day in Arizona. Both are teaching moments in a time of unresolved conflict, confusion and public anguish.

by James M. Wall

In search of movies to recommend during this self-isolation period, I found a Wall Writings posting that discusses two movies. (Note: parental discretion essential)

The films are two of my favorites, Nashville and The Apostle.

It was posted January 12, 2011, and like any posting, it reflects the author’s mindset at the time.

In this case, I wanted to note our periodic violent events, our national religious differences, the popularity of Nashville-style music, and my personal involvement in the motion picture ratings system.

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Churches Against Annexation

Posted on May 29, 2020


Israel is considering whether to annex large parts of the West Bank as early as July 1, with the U.S. government supporting and coordinating the annexation. What does this mean? How will this impact the daily lives of Palestinians and the prospect for peace?

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Ancient underground rooms discovered near the Wailing Wall

Posted on May 29, 2020


The archaeological excavations of the Israel Antiquities Authority near the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem have uncovered some underground rooms hidden under a floor…they are remnants of different historical periods, the oldest of which dates back to the first century AD.

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The attention of the Custody of the Holy Land for its employees despite the Coronavirus

Posted on May 29, 2020


The economic consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic have not spared even the Custody of the Holy Land, especially since the pilgrimages have completely stopped and external funding has decreased.

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Seven Reasons for Opposing West Bank Annexation

Posted on May 28, 2020

1. It is illegal

By unilaterally annexing the West Bank, Israel would be violating international law, and might suffer punitive consequences.

International law experts, including prom inent Israeli experts, are all but unanimous in considering the West Bank to be occupied territory, and in endorsing the view that international law prohibits the acquisition of territory by force, and extending the sovereignty of the occupying state onto that territory (which is the definition of annexation). This principle has been adopted and reiterated in the United Nations charter and in numerous UN resolutions, and affirmed by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Other countries have violated this principle and suffered severe international consequences, whether military action, diplomatic pressure, or economic sanctions. Indonesia, Morocco, Iraq and Russia are examples. Israel is already facing legal proceedings in the ICJ for violating these laws by establishing settlements in the West Bank. If Israel officially annexes these settlements, it will make the case against it at the ICJ much stronger.

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The Vatican objects to Israeli plan to annex Palestinian territory

Posted on May 27, 2020


Image: New housing units being built in the Israeli settlement Efrat are seen on the hillside overlooking a Palestinian village near Bethlehem, West Bank, May 10, 2020. The Vatican issued a statement May 20 stating concerns about an Israeli plan to unilaterally annex a large portion of land in the West Bank. (CNS photo/Debbie Hill)

New housing units being built in the Israeli settlement Efrat are seen on the hillside overlooking a Palestinian village near Bethlehem, West Bank, May 10, 2020. The Vatican issued a statement May 20 stating concerns about an Israeli plan to unilaterally annex a large portion of land in the West Bank. (CNS photo/Debbie Hill)

by Gerard O’Connell, America’s Vatican correspondent | May 20, 2020

The Holy See today expressed its opposition to an Israeli proposal to annex parts of the Palestinian territories in defiance of international law and the United Nations resolutions governing the territories.

The Israeli annexation plan was included in the agreement for a power-sharing government made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his former rival, Benny Gantz of the Blue and White party.

The Vatican communicated its opposition to this plan in a statement sent by its press office to the international media after Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican’s secretary for relations with states, spoke by phone with Saeb Erekat, the chief negotiator and secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, on May 20.

According to the statement, Mr. Erekat phoned the archbishop to “inform the Holy See about recent developments in the Palestinian territories and of the possibility of Israeli applying its sovereignty unilaterally to part of those territories, further jeopardizing the peace process.”

The new statement reiterated the Holy See’s long-held position that “respect for international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions is an indispensable element for the two peoples to live side by side in two states, within the borders internationally recognized before 1967.”

It said, “The Holy See is following the situation closely and expresses concern about any future actions that could further compromise dialogue.”

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The JNF is behind this Palestinian family’s eviction and we need your help to stop it

Posted on May 27, 2020


Ilana Lerman writes:

On June 30, the Sumarins, a Palestinian family in East Jerusalem, is going to court to try to hold onto their ancestral home — perhaps for the last time.

The Jewish National Fund (JNF), through its subsidiary organization, Himanuta, is seeking to evict this family of 18 from their home in Silwan.

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Register Today: Churches Against Annexation Webinar with Rev. Munther Isaac and Father Jamal Khader

Posted on May 25, 2020




Palestinian Voices: Annexation and its impact on the Christian Community in Israel/Palestine

Thursday, June 4, 2020 | 11am-12pm EDT

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World Quds and Biodiversity days coincide

Posted on May 22, 2020

Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh writes in today’s Palestinian Christians newsletter:

Today/Friday for the first time that I recall is Al-Quds/Jerusalem Day coinciding with World Biodiversity Day. The former is on the last Friday of Ramadan (lunar calendar) when we all should think of the besieged colonized brutalized city under attack almost daily since its western half was ethnically cleansed in 1948 and its eastern half occupied in 1967. World Biodiversity Day reminds us of our connections to all living things. For me Jerusalem symbolizes human diversity (under attack) and earth biodiversity (also under attack).

My 88-year-old mother remembers her school friend (they were both studying to be teachers) Hayah AlBalbisi was killed with students she was teaching at the Western Jerusalem village of Deir Yassin April 1948 (one of >33 massacres committed to drive all Palestinians out). This set the stage for Judaisizing Jerusalem and Palestine. Yet my earliest childhood recollections are of my mother passing our used clothes and food to refugees in the 1960s with a big smile on her face.  My grandmother’s side of the family is from Nazareth, and I wish I could take my mother one more time to visit that occupied town. We will never forget; we will liberate Palestine and refugees will return. Palestine will be returned to what it once was: multiethnic, multicultural, multireligious. My mother and I deeply believe in this human and natural diversity.  She also takes care of nature even at her advanced age. She used to take us as kids to the field collecting wild plants (medicinal, herbal). From her I learned to love diversity in humans and nature.
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