Elias Chacour on Relationships in the Middle East

Posted on Nov 14, 2016

At the 2007 Presbyterian Global Fellowship Conference, Father Elias Chacour, Palestinian peace activitst and Archbishop of Galilee of the Melkite Catholic Church, speaks to American Christians about relationships with Jews and Christians in the Middle East. It is worth listening to this 52-minute video again.

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Sister Monika from Jerusalem, witness of unity close to the sick

Posted on Nov 1, 2016

She draws her strength from the communion of saints.

Sister Monika from Jerusalem, witness of unity close to the sick

by François Vayne, Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre

JERUSALEM – Thanks to the support of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, the Saint-Louis Hospital in Jerusalem has been able to meet regulations and avoid closure; new double bedrooms, each with a restroom, and a new large ‘Kosher’ kitchen. The director of this establishment gives testimony of her activity in persevering in the service of interreligious dialogue near to the suffering, and of her spiritual commitment in following Christ.

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Updates from Gaza: a day-by-day support through many projects

Posted on Oct 29, 2016

Photo : © Andres Bergamini

GAZA – Interview with Sami El-Yousef, regional director of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association for Palestine and Israel.

Sami El-Yousef, you are the Regional Director of CNEWA – Pontifical Mission in Jerusalem. Could you tell us more about the history of this organization and its present-day action in the Holy Land?

The Mission was established in 1949 by Pope Pius XII as a temporary mission to aid the Palestinian people, 750.000 of whom became refugees as Israel was created in 1948. Of significance is that 30 percent of all Christians of the Holy Land became refugees then. In the first 20 years of operation, the Mission was mostly involved with the distribution of humanitarian aid and supplies. Thereafter and when it became clear that the refugee issue is becoming a long term one, the mandate was expanded to provide more sustainable support and thus the main focus became to aid the local churches in supporting communities, mostly in education, health, and social services. Pastoral support through the local churches continues to play an important element.

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Gaza unemployment world’s highest as 60% of youth find themselves jobless

Posted on Oct 29, 2016

While about 43% of PA’s expenditures are spent in Gaza, only 13% of its revenues come from Gaza

A Palestinian boy plays at a house that witnesses said was destroyed during Operation Protective Edge in the east of Gaza City. (photo credit:REUTERS)

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH, Jerusalem Post, May 22, 2015

Blockades and war have strangled the Gaza Strip’s economy and the unemployment rate is now the highest in the world, according to a report published Friday by the World Bank.

The report is to be presented to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), a forum of donors to the Palestinian Authority, at the bi-annual meeting in Brussels on May 27.

The report estimates that the Gaza Strip’s GDP would have been about four times higher than it currently is if it weren’t for the conflicts and the multiple restrictions.

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Americans, Israelis for Peace condemn settlement plans

Posted on Oct 28, 2016

APNOctober 5, 2016 – Americans for Peace Now joined its Israeli sister organization, Shalom Achshav (Peace Now), in condemning the Israeli government’s announced plan to establish a new West Bank settlement in the Shiloh Valley (full details on the announcement are here).

APN President and CEO Debra DeLee commented:

“This new plan appears to be a direct pay-off to settlers from the illegal outpost of Amona, who brazenly violated Israeli law by stealing and building on Palestinian private land. Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government worked for years to try to “legalize” these illegal actions, but ultimately were unable to find any means to do so. They are now looking to turn this rare win for the rule of law into a new defeat for the two-state solution, by exploiting the removal of this illegal outpost as a pretext to establish a new “legal” settlement, situated in the heart of the West Bank.

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New generation of Israeli ultra-Orthodox challenge old guard

Posted on Oct 23, 2016

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman sits in an employment training center in the city of Elad in central Israel. Younger ultra-Orthodox Jews are challenging tradition by entering the workforce and seeking higher education. Photo:  SEBASTIAN SCHEINER Credit: AP

By Aron Heller | AP October 4 at 2:23 AM

JERUSALEM — As the senior representative of ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel’s government, Health Minister Yaakov Litzman is unapologetic about the insular lifestyle he advocates, despite irking mainstream Israel and endangering its long-term economic prospects.

He insists that shirking compulsory military service, rejecting secular education and raising large families on state subsidies all serve the noblest of purposes: a life devoted to the study of scripture that has preserved Jewish traditions over centuries and will ultimately bring about the coming of the Messiah.

“To sit and learn is a mitzvah,” or commandment from God, he told The Associated Press. “It is the most important thing.”

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New technology unveils contents of ancient Biblical scrolls

Posted on Oct 21, 2016

Credit: ChameleonsEye via Shutterstock.

Louisville, Ky., Sep 27, 2016 / 08:44 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- For the first time in centuries, an ancient Biblical scroll could be read, thanks to a computer scanning technology that can reconstruct a clear text from damaged, unreadable material.

“This work opens a new window through which we can look back through time by reading materials that were thought lost through damage and decay,” Brent Seales, a University of Kentucky professor of computer science, said Sept. 22.

“There are so many other unique and exciting materials that may yet give up their secrets — we are only beginning to discover what they may hold,” Seales added, according to the University of Kentucky.

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St. Yves Demands the Israeli Ministry of Health to Cancel Discriminatory Health Insurance Payment Imposed on Palestinians Holding a Family Unification Permit

Posted on Oct 18, 2016

The Israeli Ministry of Health issued regulations on the 1st of August 2016, allowing Palestinians holding family unification permits to access health services with the condition of making a retroactive “initial payment”. If the person applying for family unification holds a “permanent residency”, i.e. Jerusalem ID, his/her partner need to be holding a family unification permit for 27 consecutive months and to pay an “initial payment” of 7,695 NIS to access health services. On the other hand if the applier holds an Israeli citizenship, his/her partner need to be holding a family unification permit for 6 months and pay 1,710 Nis, which constitutes a clear discrimination against the Palestinian residents living in East Jerusalem. Those new regulations are part of an ongoing Israeli policies against Palestinians aiming at denying them their basic rights, including right to health services.

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St. Yves launches “Right to exist?!” film

Posted on Oct 17, 2016

The Society of St. Yves,  Catholic Center for Human Rights, held a film launching event for its short movie entitled “Right to exist?!” at Yabous Cultural Centre, in Jerusalem. The launching witnessed the participation of Patriarch Emeritus, his Beatitude Michel Sabah, in addition to a number of diplomatic missions and representatives, civil society and church organizations as well as UN organizations.

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NY Times Bureau Chief Serves Israeli Agenda: Distorting History, Ignoring Oppression

Posted on Oct 14, 2016

The tenor is one of fatigue and cynicism, which does a disservice to readers and to the cause of honest journalism.


by Barbara Erickson, September 27, 2016

One month into his stint as New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief, Peter Baker has struck a world-weary tone: In his telling, the turmoil of Palestine-Israel is nothing more than an ancient feud, and the United Nations has grown tired of hearing about it from two intransigent leaders.

The effect of this jaded stance is to leave readers with the impression that Palestinians and Israelis face off over a level playing field and they have been doing so for millennia, two notions that serve to benefit Israel above all.

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