Response by Fr. Labib Kobti
Nov. 24, 1999

 See News below, please:

1-The Vatican would not say something if it is not 100% true. The Vatican credibility is very important, proved that it is the most accurate and the most respected in the world. The visit of different presidents of the world, prove the importance of the Vatican in the world. The Vatican sources of information are not the mainstream sources. The Vatican would not say things that could compromise its credibility in the world.

2- The Vatican became an important source of JUSTICE in the world. That bothered a lot of powerful countries, and felt they need to put pressure on the Vatican and till now they have not succeeded to change the Vatican stands: Iraq, Cuba, San Salvador, Kosovo, Bosnia, Turkey, Cypress, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon etc... of  country because of its moral stands with the TRUTH. The TRUTH is to be served if we want justice and peace.

3- Israel have showed in the past in many ways its intention in dividing the Arabs. The Religious nerve is the most sensitive. They used it in the past, they used it this time in Nazareth.

4- The Arabs Christians and Muslims are also responsible of what have happened we cannot put all the blame on Israel but we need to say it clearly as the Vatican have said: Israel have set "the foundation to foment division".

5- Usually when somebody or some government say something that Israel do not like, Israel insists for an apology and the person or the government even they know that they have said all the TRUTH, they come under pressure to apologize. Israel used its tactics of anti-Semitism and holocaust to put pressure on anybody who dares to say anything about Israel.  I hope that the Vatican will not feel anytime that way and apologize on the all the TRUTH that was said.

6- A look to the very recent past, and asking some questions may help us to see why the Vatican have clearly said that.

a- In before and specially in 1982 Israel have invaded Lebanon and said to the world that it is going to defend and protect the fragile Christians against the Muslims and protect them. A lot of countries unfortunately applauded and stood with Israel. Israel created the SLA. Now nobody believes Israel on this issue on the contrary they point some fingers on Israel for the divisions in Lebanon.

b- In October 1997 a report was released by the office of Prime Minister Netanyaho accusing the Muslims of persecuting Christians in Palestine. The Mass media published it all over the world and people started to move against the persecution of the Christians in the Holy Land. The report was found baseless and untrue. Why then the Office of PM Netanyahou released an untrue report?

c- In October 1998 an other repost was released with about the same accusations. Then the report was found also untrue and baseless. Why such reports come from the Israelis to the world media?

d- On the issue of Nazareth: the problem was so minimal and could be resolved very easily. The Israelis waited more than two years. In fact, these were the years of elections (Mi:1997- 1998 to mi:1999) and every party wanted to get the most from the Muslims of Nazareth who are the majority and give the most of their promises. Israel brought the issue of ownership of the land to the court, an Israeli court decided and an Israeli government did not recognize the court decision on the land beside the Annunciation basilica in Nazareth.

What is the reason behind all what happened in Nazareth?

Israel do not look with great enthusiasm on the unity that Nazareth had for five decades. Nazareth is the capital of the Palestinian Arabs of 1948.

Nazareth had presented a candidate for Prime Minister, the first ever in the history of Israel.

The Arab Palestinians have become a strong force in the Knesset and they are increasing in number and in political commitments.

From Nazareth as a rock force some Arab deputies with some Israeli one went to visit some Arab Countries (Syria, Egypt, Jordan) and they have stood with some Arab rights that the government do not want to hear.

Dividing the Arabs from inside is the best way to get to the Arab Palestinians. In fact, dividing them using the religious sensitive nerve is the best way to get through.

They will not divide the Palestinian Christians and the Palestinian Muslims, they will divide the Moderate Muslims and the fanatic ones. They same way they did with Hamas and PLO.

The Israelis after all recognized that they have did wrong and showed a sign of apology for how things turned. Foreign Minister Levy who have not been on the scene before came now to said the Vatican "accusations are very grave," and that "Our efforts were aimed at defusing the dispute and reducing the
tension between the faiths, particularly in Nazareth."

Oh what a kind way to say things innocently and put the ball on the others.

Why Israel is so generous for Nazareth, when it has destroy more than 400 mosques and churches on the villages that have captured and evacuated the population? And Why the Israeli authorities is preventing the Moslems from liberating their Waqf properties all over Israel, while in Nazareth the Israelis became very "generous"?

Why Israel do not give back the Mosque of Safed to the Muslims?

Why the Israeli authorities do not do much to stop the continuos anti-Christian incitements?

Why Israel do not make a clear written STATEMENT that they will not permit to any Jewish group to come and make any settlement at the Masget Al Aksa and the Dome of the Rock and that these HOLY PLACES will be preserved and respected FOR EVER by the Israeli governments?

 They are making a lot of changes under and around Haram El Sharif, they are making a lot of declarations that can be interpreted as a promise for a building of a Jewish Temple. Some Jewish groups have even displayed a Jerusalem without Harm El Sharif with a Jewish Temple. At Disney they did not even mention these Muslim religious places and they have never shown any clear intention on the future of our Holy Places, Christians or Muslims.
Why Israel, if they are for harmony ("Our efforts were aimed at defusing the dispute and reducing the tension between the faiths, said Levy) do not open Jerusalem without any restriction to our beloved Muslim bloodbrothers and sisters to go and pray at Harm El Sherif in Jerusalem at any day and any time they want, and open Jerusalem for both Muslims and Christians worshippers who want to pray at their very Holy Places in Jerusalem?
Why Israel do not Give the RIGHT OF RETURN to all Palestinians so as to come back to their home country, the country of their fathers and their Prophets without restrictions and without selective lists. Jews of Russia, USA, Poland, Ethiopia....have not more rights than the Palestinians?
Why Israel do not stop the provocation of the Christian-Zionists against the Palestinian Muslims and Christians and their conversion programs and plans?

Fr. Labib Kobti,
For more about Nazareth, please visit

Here is the News:

November 24, 1999

TEL AVIV ( - Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy
criticized the Vatican on Tuesday for saying the Israeli's
government decision to allow the building of a mosque in
Nazareth has stirred religious tensions between Christians
and Muslims.

In October, Israel entered the dispute over a plot of land
next the Church of the Annunciation which Christians wanted
to use to build a plaza to accommodate pilgrims while
Muslims wanted the disputed site for a huge mosque. Israel
allowed the local Islamic trust to build a smaller mosque
on the site for which the cornerstone was laid on Tuesday.
Disagreements over the decision have led to the Vatican
saying Pope John Paul II will skip Nazareth during his
landmark visit next year and a boycott closing of churches
throughout the Holy Land on Monday and Tuesday.

Critics say the government's decision has led to an
increased feeling of vulnerability of Christians in the
Holy Land and about their capacity to provide adequate
protection and access to holy places and to safeguard the
rights of religious minorities. The Vatican directly
attacked Israel, saying it bore responsibility for
"creating the basis for instigating division."

Levy said the Vatican's accusations were very grave. "Our
efforts were aimed at defusing the dispute and reducing the
tension between the faiths, particularly in Nazareth," he
told Israel radio. "The act (of unveiling the cornerstone)
was done by agreement, and if it was done by agreement, all
these unfounded statements are simply the opposite of the