Conflictul din Orientul Mijlociu – O serata Strajerul – 4

Ne-apropiem acum de prezent. Sigur că între anul în care a fost recucerit Ierusalimul de către musulmani și vremea noastră, s-au întâmplat o mulțime de lucruri. S-au întâmplat, între altele, multele persecuții ale evreilor de către creștini, în toată perioada medievală. Și-apoi, pogromurile de la începutul secolului al XX-lea, în Rusia și în Balcani, care au precedat, într-un fel holocaustul. Apoi, holocaustul însuși, când 6 milioane de evrei (din cele circa nouă milioane care trăiau atunci în Europa) au murit. Asta în afară de țigani, de homosexuali, de iehoviști, de comuniști și de alte diverse minorități.

Să mergem mai departe! Câte ceva despre situația actuală. Hărțile pe care le pun acum înaintea voastră sunt hărți stranii, pe care rareori o să le găsiți în presa noastră. Avem de-a face, mai întâi cu felul în care a fost stabilită harta Israelului, readus în granițele lui, în 1948, dar nu în momentul în care a fost înființat statul evreu, ci imediat după ce a avut loc războiul cu arabii, care s-au ridicat foarte rapid împotriva lor, ca stat nou înființat.

 

Nakhba map

În a doua hartă avem de-a face cu un alt fapt care este complet trecut cu vederea în discuțiile despre Israel. Este vorba despre depopularea spațiului care avea să revină Israelului. Continue reading “Conflictul din Orientul Mijlociu – O serata Strajerul – 4”

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Yohanna Katanacho – The Trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem: Theology Faces Politics

yohanna-katanacho
Dr. Yohanna Katanacho

I want to compare between the trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem in the first and twenty first centuries. I am a Palestinian Israeli citizen. I live in Nazareth and continually commute to Bethlehem. In fact, this Christmas I am travelling with my family from Nazareth to Bethlehem. There are several roads that lead to Bethlehem. There are three major options: one in the east, one in the middle of the country, and one in the west next to the Mediterranean Sea. I shall call them: the eastern, central, and middle roads. Which road should I choose? My decision depends on the political situation, my identity, the cost of travel, time, and traffic jams. Jews don’t like to travel through Palestinian towns. Palestinians don’t like to travel through Jewish settlements. In addition, there are checkpoints on the way. These checkpoints are a potential delay depending on Identity, that is, Palestinians or Jewish. If Israeli soldiers at certain checkpoints discover that I am a Palestinian then I am a potential risk in their eyes. It means delay in my trip. In short, travelling is a political decision connected to my identity. As I reach Bethlehem, I usually come through a neighboring town called Beit-Jala. At the entrance of the town, there is a big sign saying: Israeli citizens are not allowed to enter this region by law. However, the checkpoint is not guarded by soldiers or monitored. Entering into Bethlehem is not only a political question it is also a legal question. In addition, it is a theological question. Should I break the law to enter Bethlehem? Continue reading “Yohanna Katanacho – The Trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem: Theology Faces Politics”

Pope’s homily at Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity

“This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger” (Lk 2:12).

What a great grace it is to celebrate the Eucharist in the place where Jesus was born! I thank God and I thank all of you who have welcomed me on my pilgrimage: President Mahmoud Abbas and the other civil authorities; Patriarch Fouad Twal and the other bishops and ordinaries of the Holy Land, the priests, the good Franciscans, the consecrated persons and all those who labor to keep faith, hope and love alive in these lands; the faithful who have come from Gaza and Galilee, and the immigrants from Asia and Africa. Thank you for your welcome! Continue reading “Pope’s homily at Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity”

A Blessed Christmas to You All!

Bethlehem Christmas wall

My Christmas card to you all comes at this time from the occupied and wall-surrounded fair town on Bethlehem. As does the olive wood creche below.

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Please say a prayer today for the peace of Bethlehem.

Christmas in Bethlehem – A Prayer

Father, the day Jesus was born, the day He arrived on earth as both God and man, is pictured in our minds as a peaceful time of great joy. But in the heavens, a battle was being waged, and that battle continues today.

Thank You that Jesus lived a perfect life, and that he took on the enormity of all our sin that we might love You and serve Your church. Continue reading “Christmas in Bethlehem – A Prayer”

Philip Farah – Christmas in Bethlehem: Image and Reality, 2012

mary-joseph-israeli-soldiers

If you have a miniature manger in your home today, or if you’ve heard a piece of music in the mall with “Bethlehem” in it, I — as a Palestinian Christian in whose life Bethlehem has played a big role — have a favor to ask you: Please go to your computer and do a search using these words: “Bethlehem Christmas wall.” Check out some of the articles and the images. If your curiosity is piqued, go a bit further and check out the images for “al Masara village,” or “al Walaja village,” two tiny villages near Bethlehem. I think this is an important exercise for anyone who has formed a mental image of the Little Town of Bethlehem during this holiday season.

Today, Bethlehem and the surrounding areas still have some of the holiest churches of Christianity, and they still vibrate with the prayers and celebrations of Palestinian Christians. But the Palestinians of Bethlehem, Christians and Muslims alike, are a people besieged. For Bethlehem today is surrounded by a host of physical barriers, including several miles of a concrete wall that is over 20 feet high, built by the Israeli occupation authorities. Continue reading “Philip Farah – Christmas in Bethlehem: Image and Reality, 2012”

No Way to Bethlehem?

no road to Bethlehem

Joseph and Mary making their way toward Bethlehem, only to find their route blocked by the Irsaeli West Bank barrier.

(Source, Facebook)