Skip to comments.Dropping the Mask [Bishop of Jerusalem]
Posted on 07/27/2006 5:04:37 PM PDT by sionnsar
American Christians who support Israel are often accused of not caring about Christians in the Middle East. This is not true for two reasons. We do care; we just understand that in war, innocents often suffer. This has been true in every war ever fought. We do not like this fact, we would instantly remove it if we could but it is a fact and only God can change it.
The other reason is this: some Middle Eastern Christians are some of the most contemptible people in the world. For example, here is a letter from Riah Abu El-Assal, the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem:
For the past forty years we have been largely alone on this desert fighting a predator that not only has robbed us of all but a small piece of our historic homeland, but threatens the traditions and holy sites of Christianity. We are tired, weary, sick, and wounded. We need your help.
We have seen and we have been the recipients of the generosity of our American and British friends. We cherish the support of everyone throughout the world who stands with us in solidarity. Daily, I hear from many of them who express outrage at the arrogant and aggressive positions of President Bush, Secretary Rice, Senator Clinton, and Prime Minister Blair. I am saddened to realise just how much the deserved prestige of the United States and Britain has declined as a result of politicians who seem to devalue human life and suffering. And, I am disturbed that the Zionist Christian community is damaging Americas image as never before.
Little more than a week ago, we were focused on the plight of the Palestinian people. In Gaza, four and five generations have been victims of Israeli racism, hate crimes, terror, violence, and murder. Garbage and sewage have created a likely outbreak of cholera as Israeli strategies create the collapse of infrastructures. There is no milk. Drinking water, food, and medicine are in serious short supply. Innocents are being killed and dying from lack of available emergency care. Children are paying the ultimate price. Even for those whose lives are spared, many of them are traumatised and will not grow to live useful lives. Commerce between the West Bank and Gaza has been halted and humanitarian aid barely trickles into some of the neediest in the world.
Movement of residents of the West Bank is difficult or impossible as security measures are heightened to break the backs of the Palestinian people and cut them off from their place of work, schools, hospitals, and families. It is family and community that has sustained these people during these hopeless times. For some, it is all that they had, but that too has been taken away with the continued building of the wall and check points. The strategy of ethnic cleansing on the part of the State of Israel continues.
This week, war broke out on the Lebanon-Israeli border (near Banyas where Jesus gave St. Peter the keys to heaven and earth). The Israeli governments disproportionate reaction to provocation was consistent with their opportunistic responses in which they destroy their perceived enemy.
In her recent article, The Insane Brutality of the State of Israel, American, Kathleen Christison, a former CIA analyst says, The state lashes out in a crazed effort, lacking any sense of proportion, to reassure itself of its strength. She continues, A society that can brush off as unimportant an army officers brutal murder of a thirteen year old girl on the claim that she threatened soldiers at a military post (one of nearly seven hundred Palestinian children murdered by Israelis since the Intifada began) is not a society with a conscience. The situation as it has come to be called, has deteriorated into a war without boundaries or limitations. It is a war with deadly potential beyond the imaginations of most civilized people.
As I write to you, I am preparing to leave with other bishops for Nablus with medical and other emergency supplies for five hundred families, and a pledge for one thousand families more.
On Saturday we will attempt to enter Gaza with medical aid for doctors and nurses in our hospital there who struggle to serve the injured, the sick, and the dying.
My plan is that I will be able to go to Lebanon next week - where we are presently without a resident priest - to bury the dead, and comfort the victims of war. Perhaps as others have you will ask, What can I do? Certainly we encourage and appreciate your prayers. That is important, but it is not enough. If you find that you can no longer look away, take up your cross. It takes courage as we were promised.
Write every elected official you know. Write to your news media. Speak to your congregation, friends, and colleagues about injustice and the threat of global war. If Syria, Iran, the United States, Great Britain, China and others enter into this war - the consequence is incalculable. Participate in rallies and forums. Find ways that you and your churches can participate in humanitarian relief efforts for the region. Contact us and let us know if you stand with us. I urge you not to be like a disciple watching from afar.
There it is. Nothing about Hamas, nothing about Hezbollah. Nothing about Israel trying to defend itself against enemies which would like, more than anything in the world, to wipe it off the map, enemies which are only "perceived" anyway.
Shouldn't we care about Palestinian lives? Of course we should. We should also care about Jewish lives which this loathsome man clearly does not. If anyone would like to make the case that the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem is not as virulent an anti-Semite as exists in the world, feel free to do so in the comments section.
Easy for you to say, Johnson. You live half a world away. It's just as easy for me to say this as it is for western Christian liberals to decide how much Israel should be permitted to defend itself. They don't live there either.
When we read of someone spouting off like this, with this degree of divergence from reality, our first instinct should be to follow the money. I'd bet a case of Guinness that someone is paying this guy to destabilize the region.
Or how about:
"Peace" Through Anti-Semitism
By Joseph D'Hippolito
FrontPageMagazine.com | February 9, 2005
If Israelis and Palestinians ever achieve peace, it likely will not result from the efforts of the Holy Land's most prestigious Christian prelates.
In "Patriarch of Terror," Front Page Magazine exposed the anti-Semitism of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, and his collaborationist relationship with Yasser Arafat. Sabbah, however, is not alone.
The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Irineos I, and his former spokesman, Father Atallah Hanna, have used even more virulent rhetoric in their own collaborationist campaign. That rhetoric includes supporting suicide bombing, charging the Jews with deicide and advocating their expulsion from the Holy Land...
What pains me is that this, um, person..., took over in part from Bishop M. Tehqani-Tafti, the first (and so far only) Iranian bishop of Iran (author of "The Hard Awakening").
Night and day, the two. And the Middle-East deserves better than what it has today. IMHO.
I don't know these Patriarchs and their ilk, so I am tossing the question to a few FRiends...
Full of lies. If you want to know what the place was like in the 19th Century, read Mark Twain, who was there. In the 7th Century the Arabs swept through the area like a plague of locusts and left a land that had been fertile since the time of David to revert to the nomadic state that Abraham knew.
I believe that Irenaios is no longer Patriarch of Jerusalem -- what the tenor of his replacement is, I have no idea.
One thing is certain -- Western ideas of tolerance and seeing both sides of an issue have little place in the Middle East or the Balkans. Christian, Jew, Moslem -- none of them are particularly nuanced in their rhetoric and attitudes.
I suspect that this is a product of Islam's intolerance and the reactions of Christians and Jews to it, since when the region was under Christian rule during the time of the Eastern Roman Empire, the culture was fairly cosmopolitan by contemporary standards.
The Patriarch of Jerusalem is not Irineos I but rather His Beatitude Theophilos III. Irineos I was removed by the Synod of the Patriarchate which action was confirmed by the other Patriarchs. Irineos was a crook among other things. Unfortunately, the Jerusalem Patriarchate has been something of a snake pit for a very long time. The hierarchy has tended to be ethnic Greeks while the lower clergy and laity Palestinians. The claims are that the Israelis have been less than accomodating to Orthoidox Christians and have discriminated against them at every turn. I know that this has been true in some cases involving ancient Christian sites but it looks to me as if the Patriarchate has made a bundle off its land holdings especially in Jerusalem. My suspicion is that until relatively recently the secular politics of the Patriarchate were dictated by the politics of its flock. Lately, with the rise of Hamas, other Islamist groups, the new Patriarch and the virtual tidal wave of Palestinian Christian emmigration, matters seem to have toned down a bit. At one point, some years back, however, the Patriarchate was heavily influenced by Georges Habbash, a leading Palestian Christian terrorist who thought Arafat was too peaceful.
"Garbage and sewage have created a likely outbreak of cholera as Israeli strategies create the collapse of infrastructures."
This little bit of idiocy is especially ironic, since it is the state of Israel that built nearly all of the infrastructure enjoyed by the Arabs who occupy Samaria and Judea.
6: And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7: For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
If you do not like war, you need to prepare for heaven.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.