The Lesson from Nazareth...before it is too late
By Fr. Labib Kobti
December 1, 1999

Dear friends:

I am afraid and I have reason to be afraid:

Yes, I am afraid that:

The settlers are watching all what is happening in Nazareth and will act soon.
Israel do not give anything for nothing. They have their own plan. They plan for years and years ahead when we do not plan for some months.

I am afraid (God forbid) that they (the Settlers invited by the government, as Sharon did during Wye River Plantation meetings in the USA)   will use the same logic and will start to build tents or settlements on different holy places (Muslims or Christians) pretending that they do have a memorial or a certain history of their religion here and there and impose synagogues, temples as they have done in Hebron,

I am afraid (God forbid) that they will do that between the Aksa Mosque and the Mosque of the Rock.

I think that our stand as Christians was a clear message to Israel: We do not want you to create a precedent (a fact on the ground) and impose a religious presence on our Holy Places.

And I see that if the Church have accepted to build a mosque and did not protest and is protesting till now, the Church would betray all the Arabs and create a fact and give Israel an example that this can done anywhere and anytime...all what they need some people to get to the spot that they want and say that it belongs to them....

Israel has the settlers and can pretend to get anything anywhere....

The Church will be innocent of anything will Israel do and on the contrary (as Patriarch Sabbah have expressed during the interview with Al-Jazeerah Satellite TV) will stand with their beloved Muslim bloodbrothers and sisters and will forgive them because some the Muslims of Nazareth and Israel did not see the future and did not stand with their brothers and sisters the Muslims in Jordan, P.A, Saudi Arabia and other Arab Countries and less with their Palestinian Christians of the Holy Land.

The lesson after Nazareth is that:

All what we need is that all the Arab Muslims and Christians start immediately a process of healing and rebuilding trust (As the Patriarch Sabbah of Jerusalem have called for during the interview with Al-Jazeerah satellite TV).....the future is worse than what we may expect and we need to stand together.

Israel got what they want:

1) They divided the Arab Christians and Muslims
2) They created a precedent and a fact on the ground beside a new logic that opens the possibility that Israel can impose any religious group to get to any place anywhere.

I  then call on my Brothers and sisters the Muslims, so as to cut the road on the Israelis, to ask Israel, before it is too late to: (Some of these things should be asked also from the P.A)

1- 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 or any Holy Place and that the HOLY PLACES will be preserved and respected FOR EVER by the Israeli governments.

The fact on the ground say that 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.
2- Restore the Safed Mosque that the Israelis have changed into a Gallery and all the Mosques and Churches that they have destroyed in more that 400 villages of the 1948 and 1967.
3- Open Jerusalem without restrictions and conditions to both Muslims and Christians worshippers who want to pray any time and where at their very Holy Places in Jerusalem.
4- Apologize for the lies that came from the office of the P.M. Netanyahoo about persecution of Christians by the Muslim Palestinians and the P.A that made head news on 1997 and 1998.
5- Stop the provocation of the settlers against Palestinian Muslims and Christians and bring them to trial.
6- Stop the provocation of the Christian-Zionists against the Palestinian Muslims and Christians and their conversion programs and plans.

7- Stop the incitement of some Sheiks and imams and fundamentalists against the Christians

8- Stop their support to the mainly Christian south Lebanon Army (SLA) against their own people of South Lebanon mainly Muslims.

9- Apologize for their claims that in 1982 that they where invading Lebanon so as to defend that Christians of Lebanon, a lie that was one of the reasons that nourished war between the Muslims and the Christians in Lebanon.

Investing now on healing the divisions between the Arab Christians and Muslims is a must before it will be too late for all of us and the only winner will be the settlers.

Your brother,
Labib Kobti