Monday, 27 August 2012

Catholic Church hypocrisy and its propaganda war against Israel as seen in two separate articles

The Catholic Church, despite the efforts of popes in the last 50 years such as John Paul II, is still institutionally anti-semitic and wages a constant propaganda war against the State of Israel. The Latin Patriarchate is one example. There are others such as Radio Maria in Poland or the Asia News website which is published from within the Vatican and which can always be relied on to slant its articles against Israel.

It is interesting to compare two articles by the Latin Patriarchate:

The first article tells of a rare attack by a few Israeli youths on palestinian arabs, to which the whole Israeli establishment reacted with disgust and outrage. Such violence against innocent people are not the norm in Israel. But every society has its misfits, its criminals, its racist thugs. The shame is not that such people exist, they exist everywhere, but that a society tolerates them. Israel is not such a society. Even the supposedly extreme settler movement has condemned racist attacks on arabs outright.

 However in arab society such racist behaviour towards jews and christians is accepted by the majority population. This has led to approximately one million christians being ethnically cleansed from Iraq in the last 10 years. And Egypt has seen over a quarter of a million christian copts flee abroad in the last two years as well due to ongoing state sanctioned violence, kidnappings and forced conversions to islam.

The second article recounts a mass attack on a christian institution where the attackers are not identified. The attack was by a mob of palestinian arabs, the third occasion in two years on this christian institution. Attacks and intimidation of christians by palestinian arabs it  should be noted are not rare but have resulted in a steady reduction in the numbers of christians living in palestinian arab controlled areas of Judea and Samaria (West Bank). 

Where christians once made up around 10-15% of arabs inhabitants of Judea and Samaria (West Bank), they now number only 3%. The same goes for Bethlehem under Palestinian Authority control where intimidation and land confiscations from christians has reduced the number of christians living there from 70% down to 3% now. Strangely, the established churches, the Anglicans, the Catholics, and others such as the Quakers all have nothing to say about this, no reports of 'racism', no condemnation of the perpetrators of such attacks.  The christian cheek is well and truly turned to attacks when muslims are involved.

The first article is the lead story on the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem website despite there being no direct relevance to this christian order. 

An article about a mob attack on a Latin institution in which a christian was hospitalised and a number wounded comes fourth on the list of articles on the 27th August. Of four articles on the 24th August, the one about the attack comes second after one about twinning of parishes. 

The prioritiy of the Latin Patriarchate is skewed in favour of a negative report about Israel which has no relevance to the christian order, and against a seemingly very relevant report to christians of another serious and large scale violent attack directed at catholic christians of this order, one of a series of attacks, which in this case caused a number of injuries. 

It is hard not to see an intention to bury the report of muslim violence against christians amongst other reports whilst headlining an article that has little relevance to Latin christians, but which involves jews.

The language used in the reports is also relevant. In the article published on the 27th August about Israelis attacking a palestinian the article's first part seems to blame the Israeli educational system, calls the attack by Israelis a "racist lynching" which was condemned by the Latin Patriarchate, etc etc. The second part of the same article glides into recalling another attack reported on the 24th August without identifying who the perpetrators were. There is no mention either of any palestinian notables or politicians who condemned the massed and repeated attack on a christian institution. This is strange because the Palestinian Authority is not known for its reticence in condemning any attacks (whether true or invented by 'Pallywood'), so long as they can be linked to jews. Surely one palestinian could be found to condemn this "racist lynching" of christians by a mob?

Without careful reading of the article of the 27th August we could easily think that, after what was written previously being about violent Israelis, it was Israelis who similarly attacked the christians. There was nothing in the writing to dispel this impression. 

But this was an attack by palestinian muslim arabs on christians, almost certainly racist in nature. The tone in the latter part of the article is not condemnatory but understanding, of emphasising good relations and parenting. There is no condemnation of racism by muslims or palestinians or of using emotive language such as "lynching". 

The second article about the arab attack on christians when referring to the attackers has in the last paragraph a vague condemnation by agreement, not identifying the perpetrators or of those who were condemning the violence:

 All agreed in condemning these events and to take necessary measures to prevent recurrence.   The importance of good neighbor relations was emphasized between the residents of the housing complex and their Muslim neighbors.
The anodyne description of 'events' does not compare with the description of a "racist lynching", does not even identify the attackers apart from another vague illusion at the very end of the article which mentions the developing of good relations with muslim neighbours.

It's hard to believe the Catholic Church hierarchy as being changed much since Vatican II, but rather as being an institution of which its clerics still peddle the same hatreds (albeit expressed more carefully as anti-settler, or intoning against rare happenings of jewish violence). 

This is even when Israel is the only country where christians are protected amongst a sea of anti-christian persecution and ethnic cleansing. 

It might be too much to expect that Israel would get some gratitude from the Vatican or its representatives, for being the only place in the middle east to give christians full protection and rights. But it is unnaceptable that there is a constant propaganda effort against Israel by Catholic clerics and their media. This happens whilst they all but ignore the real and constant arab and islamic inspired racism and terror directed against christians in all arab countries.

Even Pope Benedict when he came to Bethlehem, rather than defend his people there, he made do by attacking Israel. Similarly the Roman Bishop of Westminster at Christmas could only find condemnation for Israel's security barrier that helped to stop wave upon wave of palestinian arab suicide bombings against Israeli citizens.

The good Bishop obviously hadn't read this:
There have been incidents of tension between Christians and Muslims in Beit Jala since the Palestinian Authority took over in 1995. Many Muslim families from Hebron and other parts of the West Bank moved to Beit Jala and illegally seized privately-owned lands. Christian residents who tried to prevent Tanzim gunmen in Beit Jala from firing at the Israeli settlement of Gilo were beaten by the gunmen who were also accused of raping and murdering two sisters. There have been reports by Christian women in Beit Jala of being harassed by Muslim men from the village of Beit Awwa in the Hebron area.Muslim and Christian political leaders say that the violence is mostly the result of “personally motivated” disputes and deny the existence of an organized anti-Christian campaign.
He obviously hadn't heard about the waves of attacks on churches in Palestinian Authority territories after the Pope made a speech referring to the violence of the founder of Islam, Mohammad.

A lone Catholic voice has published an account of the sufferings of christians in Palestinian Authority territories:

"What do you mean by difficulties between Israel and the Vatican? We Christians in the Holy Land have other problems. Almost every day – I repeat, almost every day – our communities are harassed by the Islamic extremists in these regions. And if it's not the members of Hamas or Islamic Jihad, there are clashes with the 'rubber wall' of the Palestinian Authority, which does little or nothing to punish those responsible. On occasion, we have even discovered among our attackers the police agents of Mahmoud Abbas or the militants of Fatah, his political party, who are supposed to be defending us."

Fr. Pizzaballa is an authority. He represents the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, the institution to which the Holy See has for seven centuries entrusted the care of Church property in the land where Jesus lived.

He speaks Hebrew and understands Arabic. And he told the "Corriere" that he has "a list of 93 cases of injustice of various kinds committed against Christians in the region of Bethlehem between 2000 and 2004."

And on the very day this public protest appeared, another case of anti-Christian violence was reported in Taibeh, the ancient city of the Bible known as Ephraim, a village east of Ramallah.

In Taibeh on Sunday, September 4, thirteen homes inhabited by as many Christian families were attacked and burned, the streets devastated, a statue of Mary demolished.

Maybe the Church believes that it can make allies of muslims by attacking Israel and jews. If if the case of the approximately one million ethnically cleansed christians of Iraq, and Egypt , is anything to go by, the thawing of relations has not happened yet. 

The Latin Patriarchate articles reflect an institutional anti-semitism, of selectively reporting news which show Israel in a bad light, of playing down a report that was very relevant to christians but which however did not involve jews. The full ire of the church is reserved for jews. This is in stark contrast to the Church attitude to those who are not jewish and whose muslim authorities have not intervened to help the Latin Patriarchate institution when it was attacked on a number of occasions. For them there is only understanding, a lack of criticism and 'good neighbourliness'. 
There is no condemnation of the Palestinian Authority which has overseen its own ethnic cleansing of christians, never recovers confiscated christian lands,  which does not intervene to help christians in distress and under attack.

The hypocrisy of a Catholic Church which can not come to terms with jews and the democratic Jewish State, the only country in the middle east where christians can sleep at night in safety will in the long term only serve to reduce good will towards leaders of christianity in Israel. This is surely not the best policy in a region where amongst terrible hatred for christians, Israel shows it is the only powerful friend that christians have. The Catholic Church takes for granted the jewish sense of justice, the abhorrence of racism and of a determination that all who live in Israel should be free no matter what their race or creed. 

Hatred of jews and hypocrisy are the hallmarks of the Franciscan Order. If they think they will buy their way out of racist islamist hatred for them by helping in the unjustified attacks on Israel, they have not been looking around the Palestinian Territories, the middle east and the wider muslim world.

The Catholic Church continues its two thousand year old default mode of blaming jews for all ills and taking the side of those who seek to be enemies of the Jewish People.

Jews have managed to survive institutional Church hatred for thousands of  years, but with the clerics who represent christian interests, God help christians in the middle east.  They won't be around very much longer (apart from in that hated jewish country of Israel of course).


“Responsible education as a response to violence”


JERUSALEM – On Sunday, seven teenagers were arrested by Israeli police after assaulting young Palestinians three days earlier in Jerusalem.  It was a case of racist lynching, added to the recent violent events this week in Bethphage, escalating fears of the resurgence of violence. The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem calls us to condemn all violence and focus on youth education for tolerance.
 On  August 16 around midnight in Ben Yehuda, Jerusalem’s lively neighborhood, a dozen Israelis assaultred three young Palestinians. One of them, Jamal Junali was in a coma and  transferred to the Hadassah Hospital where he was revived.
The culprits were quickly identified with the help of surveillance cameras and interviews with witnesses.   They will probably be tried and the case would have ended there. One of the young offenders, age 17, after acknowledging his actions, said he had no regrets. Violence as perpetrated by this young man has caused a stir in Israel. The press and particularly the Israeli media widely echoed this case, drawing much attention to it. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the act as “contrary to our values” while the State President Shimon Peres admitted his “shame” and “disgust”. Yesterday, The Jerusalem Post reported the visit of the President of the Knesset, Reuven Rivlin to the young Jamal Junali saying: “It is hard to see you lying in the hospital because of an unimaginable, outrageous act …..” I came here in the name of the State of Israel, in order to apologize and express anger over what happened.”  Jamal’s mother said to the  press, “ I pity their mothers. Who could be proud of a child who does a thing like this?”
Everyone seems to fear the recent rise in violence as the region has been shaken by the fratricidal war in Syria that doesn’t seem to end, and the Iranian threat is burdensome.
Condemn violence and educate our young people
Bishop Shomali, Auxiliary Bishop of Jerusalem is also concerned about the violence.  On Wednesday he accompanied Patriarch Fouad Twal to Bethphage to support the people of this Christian neighborhood in Jerusalem who were stone-throwing victims earlier this week. “The violence of recent days make us wonder about the education that young people have received” confided the Bishop. “Everyone has a share of responsibility in their education,” he said. “Parents should educate their children to discover the difference with tolerance and mutual respect.” Bishop Shomali concluded: “The Peace of tomorrow will be measured with the energy that each of us will give today in the education of our children.”
Amélie de La Hougue

Violence in a Christian residential complex in Jerusalem


Bethphage –The Episcopal Commission for Media of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land condemned a violent incident in the Christian housing complex of Bethphage in Jerusalem. 

This occurred on Monday, August 20, from 8:00 p.m. to midnight when a group of fifty boys attacked the residential complex for 79 families which is part of  a project of the Franciscans of the Holy Land. Following a brawl between young people of the Christian area and some neighbors,  friends were called and they all attacked the complex, yelling, throwing stones, smashing cars and windows of houses.    A number of residents were injured and one had to be hospitalized for treatment. ”They do so because they know that we will not respond with violence!” protested David Josef, a father of five children, as he emphasized: “This is the third time this happened to us in two years …”
The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal, the Custos of the Holy Land, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, ofm and Auxiliary Bishop of Jerusalem, William Shomali accompanied by  Priests and Franciscan Friars visited Bethphage on Wednesday morning to show their solidarity with the residents. They heard the complaints and sentiments expressed by the population and saw first-hand the damage resulting from these unlawful actions.
All agreed in condemning these events and to take necessary measures to prevent recurrence.   The importance of good neighbor relations was emphasized between the residents of the housing complex and their Muslim neighbors.

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