"Al-Bushra"

Seeking truth and justice

FOSNA Fall 2019 Newsletter

Posted on Oct 22, 2019

 

Image: Kali Rubaii, FOSNA

Kali Rubaii, FOSNA

Kali Rubaii, Development Coordinator, writes:

I am excited to share with you our annual fall newsletter. In this issue, we reflect on this year’s successes so far: our Counter CUFI action in D.C., our growing Palestinian Narrative Training program, and our many calls to action.

 

 

 

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Support the Right to Boycott

Posted on Oct 21, 2019

We want to share with you this important action alert from Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), a coalition of Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant organizations that includes the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns. Together we work to transform U.S. policy in ways that will bring justice and peace for all people and countries in the Middle East.

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Personal Interview with Buma Inbar

Posted on Oct 21, 2019

Social TV Israel – Buma Inbar, one of the founders of the Joint Palestinian-Israeli Bereaved Families Forum and the Alternative Memorial Day ceremony, is a bereaved father who devotes his activities to humanitarian work. In a personal interview, he talks about escorting patients from Gaza and their families to Israeli hospitals, humanitarian activities for children, and doing peace for peace between Palestinian society and Israeli society.

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An Open Letter to the Consul General of the United Kingdom

Posted on Oct 21, 2019

Image: Samia Khoury enjoying the Birzeit countryside in 1948

Samia Khoury enjoying the Birzeit countryside in 1948

Samia Khoury writes from East Jerualem

The following Headline appeared in Al-Quds, our local Arabic newspaper, on Friday, October 18. 2019: “Britain joins the Palestinians in the olive picking season”.

It is quoting the Consul General of the United Kingdom in Jerusalem Mr. Philip Hall, that for the sixth consecutive year the UK has been supporting the Palestinians during the olive picking season. It is an opportunity for the staff of the consulate and other international volunteers to take part in this activity which is very vital for the Palestinian economy, over and above its cultural and social significance. He further emphasized the violence of the settlers in this season, and that fifteen diplomats from the Consulate and other international representatives were able to help the farmers in the Makhrour Valley where a Palestinian restaurant was recently demolished so that the settlers could start another building there.

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Archaeological Excavation at a Byzantine Church in Ramallah

Posted on Oct 18, 2019

Christian Media CenterStones are scattered, silent, but somehow yelling that Christians should not abandon this land quenched by the precious blood of Christ.

Fr ELIAS AWAD Priest of the Greek Orthodox Parish – Ramallah “As Christ has told us, ‘And you will be my witnesses on this earth until I come.’ Here we are steadfast in our land and holy places. We must stay here, to maintain our presence in the land of Christ.”

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War returns to Syria

Posted on Oct 18, 2019

Christian Media CenterBr FIRAS LUFTI, ofm Minister Friars Minor Syria, Lebanon and Jordan “We were hoping that the war would end, and instead another dramatic chapter is opening up from the north, from Turkey’s side.”

War is back in Syria. Or rather, it never completely disappeared. And it is the Kurdish people, hit by the invasion of Turkey, who are paying the price. Once again, the tragedy of the civilian victims and evacuees, hundreds of thousands, of a people who had already known – and fought – the terror of the Isis. Whole families are fleeing from the bombs..there is also a Christian community of different expressions…there are Armenians, Chaldeans, Assyrians.

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Choosing Life by Rosh Hashanah 5790: We have one decade left to “fix” the climate

Posted on Oct 17, 2019

“R. Chanina b. Dosa exclaimed: Master of the Universe, the whole world is in distress…whereupon rain fell.”  ~ Talmud, b.Taanit 24b

We are in the third week of 5780, the week of Sukkot, when we pray for the water cycle and the fertility of the land. Our Sukkot prayers are focused right at the level where weather, the day-to-day changes everyone likes to talk about, turns into climate, the thing we need to do something about. In ancient Israel it was a time of great joy, but also great danger – if the rain didn’t start to fall when it was needed, the whole society could quickly face famine.

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Settlers use crowbars to beat up rabbi, 80, who was aiding Palestinian olive harvest

Posted on Oct 17, 2019

Image result for adam keller peace activistIsraeli peace activist Adam Keller writes from Tel Aviv:

Octogenarian Israeli activist and four foreigners injured in northern West Bank when assailants arrived with crowbars, went on to burn hundreds of trees, Yesh Din says…

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Signature of an agreement between the Custody of the Holy Land and Italian Institutions

Posted on Oct 17, 2019

Custodia Terrae Sanctae

The signature is part of the agreement signed by the three major Christian communities, custodians of the Holy Place and responsible for the Status Quo in the Holy Sepulchre, to start the second phase of restoration of the foundations of the Edicule and the floor of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre.

 

Jerusalem, 8 October 2019

On Tuesday 8th October at 6.00 p.m. at the Custody of the Holy Land, a framework agreement was signed between the Custody of the Holy Land and “La VenariaReale” Foundation Centre for the Preservation and Restoration of the Cultural heritage of Turin in collaboration with the Department of Classical Studies of  “La Sapienza” University of Rome.

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Archbishop Pizzaballa attends opening of “The Latins of Cyprus” exhibition in Nicosia

Posted on Oct 17, 2019

Editor’s Note: Latins = Roman Catholics

NICOSIA – On Thursday, October 10, 2019, H.E. Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, attended the opening the “The Latins of Cyprus” exhibition, organized by the House of Representatives at the initiative of the Latin Community in Cyprus. The exhibition, which takes place at the Castelliotissa Hall in Nicosia, aims to highlight the presence and achievements of the Latin Community in Cyprus throughout the centuries.

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Pope appeals for dialogue for northeast Syria

Posted on Oct 16, 2019

Pope Francis appeals for honest and transparent dialogue to solve the current military crisis in northeast Syria.

By Linda Bordoni | 13 October 2019

Pope Francis on Sunday renewed his appeal to all parties involved in the current military offensive in northeast Syria and to the International Community to “sincerely engage, with honesty and transparency, on the path of dialogue in order to seek effective solutions.”

Image: Residents of Akcakale near the Turkish border with Syria flee violence

Residents of Akcakale near the Turkish border with Syria flee violence (AFP or licensors)

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Visit of a Delegation from the International Society for Oriental Christians – Germany

Posted on Oct 16, 2019

Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch

On October 8, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received a delegation from the International Society for Oriental Christians, at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus. The delegation included Mr. Hanna Afrim, Paulos Kurt, Heinz Neff as well as journalists and authors.

During the meeting, His Holiness welcomed the delegation and appreciated their positive attitude and support of the Syrian people who [are] winning the fight against terrorism and conspiracy. He emphasized the importance of this visit to observe the reality and visit the diverse projects of the Patriarchate in order to offer the support and aid for the Syrian people who are still attached to their land and country.

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How Israeli doctors enable the Shin Bet’s torture industry

Posted on Oct 12, 2019

From approving brutal interrogation techniques to writing false medical reports, doctors in Israel have taken an active role in the torture of Palestinian prisoners.

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A New “Way of the Cross” for Jerusalem

Posted on Oct 11, 2019

Christian Media CenterUntil today, the route taken by Jesus to Calvary was marked by metal discs and Roman numerals. Now, next to them, it will be the strength and emotion of the sculpture that will describe each station of the Way of the Cross in Jerusalem. The new bronze sculptures representing the first nine stages of the Passion have been inaugurated along the Via Dolorosa (the remaining five will be placed in the Franciscan chapel inside the Holy Sepulchre). The primary objective is to allow the millions of pilgrims who travel through it to go back in time for a moment, up to two thousand years ago.

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The Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land in Jerusalem

Posted on Oct 11, 2019

Christian Media CenterOn October 8 and 9, the Christian Information Center in Jerusalem welcomed the members of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries for this semester’s meeting, which aimed to reflect on important issues of the Church in the Holy Land.

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The Use of Technology to Treat Children with their Mother’s Voice

Posted on Oct 11, 2019

Christian Media CenterThanks to the efforts of the Italian Alfredo Bijonjo, who developed a technology: “Voice of Mama”, Caritas Baby Hospital in Bethlehem will receive this technology [the only hospital in the West Bank to do so]. The device transmits the mother’s voice and vibration directly to the newborn incubator, without electromagnetic radiation.

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Samia Khoury: Yom Kippur

Posted on Oct 9, 2019

Image: Samia Khoury

Samia Khoury

Samia Khoury writes from East Jerusalem:

Today is Yom Kippur in the Jewish calendar, and it has been so quiet in the whole area, especially that there is a  Jewish settlement Neve Yacov built after 1967 adjacent to our neighborhood.  Of course, Israel refers to it as a northern  neighborhood of Jerusalem.  And since I had not written for a long time,  I decided to reflect on that day.  To start with I looked up what the day stands for so that I am sure the information I already have was correct, and that is exactly what I found.  A day of fasting and atonement, and the holiest day in the Jewish Calendar. 

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Life under occupation: B’Tselem field researcher stopped at checkpoint over B’Tselem reports in his car

Posted on Oct 9, 2019

On 4 August 2019, Israeli soldiers stopped B’Tselem field researcher Nasser Nawaj’ah at a military checkpoint near the Palestinian village of Khirbet Susiya, the South Hebron Hills, when they saw he had B’Tselem reports in his car. One of the soldiers at the checkpoint claimed that they had to obtain confirmation that the reports do not constitute incitement material. About 10 minutes later, after the soldiers consulted with their superiors, Nawaj’ah was allowed to go.

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Rick Steves’ The Holy Land: Israelis and Palestinians Today

Posted on Oct 9, 2019

Image: Rick Stevens: American travel writer, author, activist and television personality

Rick Stevens: American travel writer, author, activist and television personality

This hour-long special (produced in 2014) weaves together both the Israeli and the Palestinian narratives. In Israel, we go from the venerable ramparts of Jerusalem to the vibrant modern skyline of Tel Aviv. In Palestine, we harvest olives near Hebron, visit a home in Bethlehem, and pop into a university in Ramallah. We also learn about security walls, disputed settlements, and the persistent challenges facing the region.

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Sisters of Incarnate Word organize first spiritual retreat for “Daughters of St. Anne” women’s group in Gaza

Posted on Oct 9, 2019

GAZA – On Monday, September 30, 2019, the Sisters of the Incarnate Word organized the first spiritual retreat for 18 of “Daughters of St. Anne” women’s group, which took place at the Holy Family Parish in Gaza.

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Pax Christi: The Threat of War with Iran

Posted on Oct 9, 2019

June 25, 2019 – We are currently witnessing the escalation of threats and the misuse of power between the United States and Iran that has the potential to lead to war.

The U.S. backed out of the Iran nuclear deal, against the advice of allies; inflicted and continues to inflict harmful sanctions on Iran’s economy; orchestrated a cyberattack; and sent air craft carriers, bomber planes, and troops to the Middle East. Iran shot down a U.S. military drone and continues to increase its stockpile of low-enriched uranium, a component of the nuclear industry. It was reported that last Thursday, President Trump had initiated and then subsequently called off an air strike on Iran in retaliation.

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Maryknoll, Oct. 8, 2019: Middle East Notes

Posted on Oct 9, 2019

Please note: Opinions expressed in the following articles do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.

  • Churches for Middle East Peace wrote to President Trump outlining their recommendations for U.S. policies that would help bring about a just and lasting end to the conflict in Israel Palestine.
  • Judy Maltz reports in Haaretz about a new survey showing that Arabs are more open to political cooperation with Jews than Jews are with Arabs.
  • Bryan Bowman reports in The Global Post about a letter to Congress sent by dozens of U.S. progressive groups asking Congress to protect the right to boycott.
  • Reuters reports that Palestinians in the Jordan Valley vowed to hold onto their land that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to annex.
  • Sarah Algherbawi reports in The Electronic Intifada that Israeli snippers are stopping medics from reaching wounded children at the border fence until it is too late.
  • Julia Conley reports in Common Dreams that U.S. Education Secretary DeVos threatens to cut funding for Middle Eastern Studies Programs for ‘portraying Islam too positively.’
  • Churches for Middle East Peace news bulletins.
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From the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Dot-com crash, George Kiraz has consecrated his life to the promotion of the Syriac culture. With ecumenical repercussions

Posted on Oct 9, 2019

Interview by Martino Diez | OASIS, Christians and Muslims in the Modern World 

Image: Martino Diez and George Kiraz

Martino Diez and George Kiraz

Martino Diez – In the introduction to your New Syriac Primer you write that “Syriac can be a passion (or madness!), not just a language” (p. xx). Where does this passion come from?

George Kiraz – When I was a little child in Bethlehem, my father used to send my sisters and me to study Syriac with the local priest. And of course, kids don’t like to do extra-work in the summer… My father used to give us 2,5 qurūsh (piasters) as a weekly allowance for studying Syriac, with that sum you could just buy an ice cream! Later, however, my father told me that the priest had asked if I could join the gudo, the liturgical choir. This implied to learn more Syriac and that’s where the passion began. Of course everybody in the church was saying to me “good boy”, shātir, maybe this had also its weight at the beginning. Then the passion turned into madness.

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Open Letter from a Syrian Priest to Pope Francis

Posted on Oct 8, 2019

Image: Father Elias Zahlaoui (Zahlawi)

Father Elias Zahlaoui (Zahlawi)

Forwarded to Al- Bushra by Paul Larudee

Damascus, September 14, 2019

Holy father,

This is the tenth letter I, a simple Catholic priest, allow myself to write to you from Syria on this day of September 14, 2019.

I am addressing it to the representative of Jesus Christ only, not to the President of the Vatican City.

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Yom Kippur Challenge

Posted on Oct 8, 2019

Image: Rabbi Alissa Wise, Acting Co-Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace

Rabbi Alissa Wise, Acting Co-Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace

As Yom Kippur begins [the evening of October 8th], Rabbi Alissa Wise writes, “It’s time for all of us to ask ourselves: Who do we want to be in the year to come? What do we want to take on, and what do we want to leave behind?”

She continues:

“I want to take on Goliaths.

“Like Microsoft, which gave $31 million to AnyVision, a shady Israeli company that uses facial recognition technology to surveil Palestinians in the West Bank.

“Like the Anti-Defamation League, which maintains that Jewish support for Palestinian human rights is as big a threat to Jews as white nationalism.

“Like Christians United for Israel, the largest Zionist organization in the U.S., which frames the oppression of Palestinians and Jewish ethnic supremacy in Israel as necessary for bringing about the “end times” – and whose leaders have the ears of those in the highest echelons of power in the U.S.”

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One of the Last Gatekeepers of Aboud

Posted on Oct 2, 2019

by Xavier Abu Eid* | This Week in Palestine

In 1870, Victor Guerin, the French explorer and author of La Palestine, described Aboud as a village surrounded by water wells, valleys with lemon trees, pomegranates, and olives. The “city of flowers” as known by its people, is a breathtaking village located around 30 kilometers northwest of Jerusalem. Inhabited from ancient times, Aboud was part of the summer path taken by the Holy Family on their way from Jerusalem to Nazareth, it welcomed Queen Helena on the way from Jaffa to Jerusalem in search of the Holy Cross, and it provided refuge to Saint Barbara as she came to Palestine after being persecuted by her family for converting to Christianity.

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HOW TECH STARTUPS ARE FIRING UP THE PALESTINIAN ECONOMY

Posted on Oct 1, 2019

Al-Bushra note: According to Wikipedia (in a write-up first posted in 2009 with the most recent revision on 24 September 2019), the plan was for two mosques and an Orthodox Christian church. By 2017 at least eleven percent of the residents are Christians.

Image: Megan Giovannetti

Megan Giovannetti

By Megan Giovannetti | OXY author

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE

Palestinians are taking their economic future into their own hands, riding on an explosion in tech startups.

Ahmad Ramahi’s success has been a long time coming. Eight years after he graduated from Ramallah’s Birzeit University and jumped into entrepreneurship against the odds in a battered economy, Ramahi’s business-to-business crowdsourcing delivery and logistics company, WeDeliver, has turned into the fastest-growing startup in the Palestinian territories. Operating throughout the occupied West Bank, it is enjoying double-digit growth since its launch earlier this year and is the first startup to boast of a Palestinian angel investor.

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Rosh Hashana: A Holiday of Hope

Posted on Oct 1, 2019

by APN 09/09/19

Barbara Green is a long-time activist and volunteer with Americans for Peace Now

I groaned when asked to write a peace parsha for Rosh Hashana this year.  It gets harder each time. The reasons for optimism fade almost daily. With a critical election looming in Israel and an American president who calls Jewish Democrats disloyal, it’s tempting to just walk away from the Israel issue and our longstanding struggle for an end to the Occupation and the creation of a Palestinian state.  Every once in a while, I remember the feeling of euphoria after the signing of the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn in 1993. We used to make a gesture — thumb and forefinger a scant millimeter apart — and say to ourselves, “Peace is this close. It can never go back to the way it was.” Didn’t really happen that way, right?

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U.N. Panel: Violence based on religious grounds must end.

Posted on Sep 27, 2019

Isabelle Senechal|Ryan Di Corpo

September 27, 2019 – The European Union and representatives from seven countries denounced the worldwide persecution of Christians on Sept. 27 at the United Nations. The panel discussion, held during the 74th session of the U.N. General Assembly, was co-hosted by the permanent missions of Hungary and Brazil.

The event, “Rebuilding Lives, Rebuilding Communities: Ensuring a Future for Persecuted Christians,” addressed both recent episodes of violence against Christians and continuing efforts to ensure religious freedom internationally.

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Is Peace Possible?

Posted on Sep 27, 2019

As part of its work on justice and peace, the Justice and Peace Committee of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, has published a book entitled “Is Peace Possible?” The first part of the book addresses the question of who the Palestinian Christians are. Head of Justice and Peace Committee Patriarch Michel Sabbah believes that if the intentions are good, peace is just around the corner.

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