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Palestinians Paint Murals in Jerusalem, Looking Israeli Occupation in the Eye

Posted on Jan 24, 2020

A total of 150 colorful murals are planned for Silwan, and when completed, will drastically alter the neighborhood’s appearance: ‘The staring eyes say to people we see them and they should see us too’

by Nir Hasson, HAARETZ Correspondent

“Here there is graffiti of a bird, a very beautiful bird,” the young guide from the Ateret Cohanim Jewish settler organization explained to a group of Israeli visitors. During the Sukkot holiday in October, they strolled through the narrow streets of the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, followed by heavy Border Police security. The guide explained that the bird is “one of the symbols of Palestinian liberation, of freedom” and said “I’d say it’s beautiful in the way that Hitler’s paintings are beautiful.”

The tour run by Ateret Cohanim, which works to evict local Palestinians from their homes, is designed to showcase the growing Jewish settlement there. One of the visitors asked the guide about the big beautiful mural being not far from the Jews’ homes, “It’s a symbol that, even if it looks very, very aesthetic, we know what it says. Now let’s go into the ancient synagogue where there’s a place to sit and have a drink,” the guide replied.

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Annual report for the Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability

Posted on Jan 24, 2020

Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh writes in his newsletter Palestinian Christians

The new annual report for the Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability is 29 pages long (lots of accomplishments) and was just posted on our website. Click to download the report:

As the preface says: “This report highlights the amazing accomplishments in the calendar year 2019 in education (of thousands), conservation (protection of natural areas), research (30 publications), and community service would not have been possible without you to whom this report is presented: donors (individuals and institutions), staff members, volunteers, executive board, and partners (in governmental and nongovernmental entities).”

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Samia Khoury’s Reflection on January 19, 2020

Posted on Jan 24, 2020

Samia Khoury

Samia Khoury shares her reflections on a Sunday in East Jerusalem.

As the weather was so bad on Sunday, I did not even contemplate going to church and opted to watch the weekly service from one of the Christian churches on Palestine TV. January 19, being the Armenian Christmas, the service was from St. James’ Armenian Cathedral in the Old City of Jerusalem. So as I was listening to the chanting and not understanding one word, my thoughts took me back to the day my mother passed away in the early hours of January 19, thirty four years ago, when the funeral was on that afternoon.

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The church in Gaza: home of kindness and brotherhood

Posted on Jan 24, 2020

HE Mgr PIERBATTISTA PIZZABALLA, ofm
Apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
” We are not a large number, but we are like salt… This salt gives food a new flavour, and that is our role as Christians. First, we must stay here and bring dynamism, dialogue, encounters and courage for the future to rebuild a society as strong as it was before, as we have always done in the past.”

The Christian presence in the Holy Land is characterized by the depth of its roots. The Church has been at the service of the human being throughout the centuries regardless of religion or belief. In Gaza, Sister Delphina, head of the Community of the Sisters of Charity, who assists about seventy disabled Muslims in their homes, tells us: “I live for them every day, and the greater the effort we make for them, the greater the joy … I feel what every mother feels for her children.”

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Cardinal’s book on celibacy barely acknowledges Eastern Catholic tradition of married priests

Posted on Jan 23, 2020

Cindy Wooden – Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The controversy surrounding retired Pope Benedict XVI’s contribution to a new book on priestly celibacy demonstrates just how much both substance and appearances matter.

And, as far as substance goes, the book paid scant attention to the uninterrupted presence of married priests in all but two of the Eastern Catholic churches.

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Middle East Council of Churches releases statement on fate of kidnapped bishops

Posted on Jan 23, 2020

23 January 2020

The Middle East Council of Churches issued a statement related to the case and fate of two Archbishops, Boulos Yaziji and Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim, who were kidnapped on 22 April 2013.

“Over the past couple of months, many worrying reports and claims regarding the case and fate of the two Archbishops Boulos Yaziji and Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim who were kidnapped on April 22, 2013 in the western countryside of Aleppo – Syria, went viral in media outlets,” reads the statement.

Middle East Council of Churches releases statement on fate of kidnapped bishops

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Macron berates Israeli security men in tussle at Jerusalem church

Posted on Jan 22, 2020

By John Irish

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – “Go outside,” French President Emmanuel Macron demanded in English in a melee with Israeli security men on Wednesday, demanding they leave a Jerusalem basilica that he visited before a Holocaust memorial conference.

The French tricolor has flown over the Church of St. Anne in Jerusalem’s walled Old City since it was gifted by the Ottomans to French Emperor Napoleon III in 1856.

France views it as a provocation when Israeli police enter the church’s sandstone complex, in a part of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.

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Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.—Where Would He Stand Today on the Palestine-Israel Situation?

Posted on Jan 22, 2020

By: John Mason/Arab America Contributing Writer

Martin Luther King (MLK) famously wrote from a Birmingham, Alabama jail where he was imprisoned for protesting segregation, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

Had MLK lived longer—he was shot down by an assassin’s bullet in 1968—we wonder how he might have characterized the extreme situation today of Palestinians under Israeli occupation. We also wonder what he might have said about today’s U.S. lopsided policy favoring Israel.

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The Activists Who Have Saved 1,000 Pets from Syria’s War Zones

Posted on Jan 17, 2020

by Stephen Starr | OZY

When Sedra Ayoub Agha and her family fled Damascus in August 2015, she was heartbroken. Not only because she was fleeing her life and home, but also because she had to leave her beloved cats, Rose and Jack, behind. These irreplaceable companions had helped Agha through the loss of another feline that went missing when the war started in her neighborhood. “We left the area, but she jumped out of the car because she was scared,” says Agha. The cat was never found. “I was very sick because of the sadness. That’s why my father bought Rose and Jack for me.”

People fleeing war often have no choice but to leave their pets behind. Without their primary caretakers, cats and dogs often end up on the street, abandoned or abused. But even shelters are at risk. Ernesto’s Sanctuary in Aleppo was destroyed in November 2017, killing several cats and a dog (the clinic was later revived in another part of the city). The dire situation has spurred a brave group of pet lovers to take action.

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Formal Reception in Honor of the Diplomatic Body in Syria

Posted on Jan 16, 2020

Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch

His Holiness Patriarch Aphrem II affirmed that despite the insistence of many to create violence and war in Syria, good will is going to prevail and peace will reign again. He greeted those who offered many sacrifices for their countries and spoke about the sanctions imposed on Syria.

January 16, 2020 – On the occasion of the New Year 2020, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II invited their Excellencies the Ambassadors, Charge d’Affaires and Diplomatic Representatives of Foreign Missions in Syria to a Formal Reception at the Patriarchate in Bab Touma.

The reception was attended by His Excellency Dr. Faysal Mokdad, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister, as well as the ambassadors or heads of missions of various countries.

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