Saturday, August 04, 2007

The 'cleansing' of Christians from the Holy Land

Amidst reports of appalling persecution in the Palestinian territories, Arab Christians are leaving in a mass exodus due to their inability to practice their religion in freedom and peace.
They endure individual loss of job or property, their churches are firebombed, Christian-based centres are destroyed, and there are beatings, torture, forced marriages, sexual harassment, and extortion. Converts from Islam are most in danger, and are ‘often left defenceless’ by Palestinian police and governmental authorities to face the fanatic Mohammedans who believe their conversion merits death. The holy city of Bethlehem, which in 1948 was nearly 80 per cent Christian, is today barely 12 per cent.

And what is the world saying about this religious cleansing? What is the world doing about it?

Abraham Foxman, US director of the Anti-Defamation League and a Holocaust survivor, sees the pogrom for what it is. He said: “I stand here tonight as an American Jew and as a survivor of the Holocaust to say to you that 'never again' was a pledge that the Jewish people learned with great pain and sadness. But 'never again' is not limited to Jewish pain and suffering.”

Indeed it is not. But it is curious how the systematic persecution of a distinct religious group is equated with the political plight of the Palestinians. A new forum called the ‘Council of Religious Community Leaders in Israel’ was inaugurated in Jerusalem last month. Its purpose is to improve inter-religious dialogue and to promote issues of common interest to all the religions in Israel. Representatives from the Jewish, Muslim, Druze, Greek Orthodox and other Christian denominations, Bahai, Ahmadiyya and Samaritan faiths attended the conference.

At the meeting, the religious leaders adopted the following covenant:

Covenant of the Heads of the Religious Communities in Israel

We, the Heads of the Religious Communities in the State of Israel, having come together to establish a council for cooperation between us, declare our faith in the Creator of the Universe who rules His world with grace and mercy, and who demands that we human beings live with each other in peace and respect.

Therefore, we hereby declare:

We are committed to doing all we can in order to fulfil this important command, especially in the Holy Land which is so dear to all of us.

First and foremost, we declare our commitment to the sanctity of human life and denounce all violence against the innocent, especially when this is done in the name of religion, which constitutes sacrilege.

In order to establish peace and mutual respect among the various religious communities in our country, we must educate our children and our communities accordingly, and avoid any affront to the sensibilities and beliefs of others.

The holy sites are a legacy from the past, which requires their preservation as religious and cultural heritages. This also is in accordance with the law of the state regarding the preservation of the holy sites; the integrity and special character of the holy sites must be safeguarded, and they must be protected from all violence and desecration. It is our responsibility, as religious community leaders, to strengthen this approach and to call upon our communities not to harm the holy sites of other religious communities.

Accordingly, and in keeping with the religious commandments and prohibitions of the various faiths, free access must be guaranteed for all believers to their holy sites, and the relevant authorities must assure this.

Our religious heritages teach that peace and tranquility, doing what is right and just, are the commandments of the Holy One Blessed Be He, and as religious community leaders we bear the responsibility to be attentive to the cries of the weak among us and to work together for a just and fair society.
Bearing a prayer to the One Most High, we thank the Creator of the Universe who enabled us to gather today in order to work together and bring a blessing to all the inhabitants of the State of Israel.


So there you have it. A bland statement of the blindingly obvious, in terms to which no-one could object, not least because it avoids all definition of the character of the ‘Creator of the Universe’, the meaning of ‘grace and mercy’, and exegesis of ‘innocent’, ‘right’ and ‘just’. Allah is YHWH is Yeshua, and if this verbiage is anything to go by, he is far more concerned with the bricks and mortar of the holy sites and buildings than he is with the flesh and blood of the ‘cleansing’ of Christians from the Holy Land.

And that is not the God of the Bible; it is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; it is not the God revealed to mankind in Jesus...

8 Comments:

Blogger shergar said...

I, for one, welcome our new Muslim overlords. Check out this job description. "The British Muslim Forum is a national organisation, established in March 2005 to represent and address the community needs of Muslims in Britain. As part of our revolutionary Mosques ‘remodelling’ programme which is currently operating with Mosques in the West Midlands and East Midlands we are now looking to appoint a Mosques Capacity Development Officer based in London. The new officer will be responsible for the development of 10-15 Mosques in the Ealing, Newham, Waltham Forest, Slough, High Wycombe areas of the City."

4 August 2007 at 11:40  
Blogger Peter Kirk said...

You Grace, you shouldn't confuse Israel with those Palestinian territories which are no longer under its occupation and control. The persecution you refer to is in the Palestinian territories, but the declaration you quote is about Israel. Christian Arabs in Israel, such as the large community in Nazareth, are generally allowed to get on with life peacefully, although as Arabs they still feel second class citizens in Israel and have grievances about land they lost in and around 1948.

4 August 2007 at 12:14  
Blogger Didactophobe said...

The persecution faced by Christians in the Holy Land is abominable. The hand-wringing liberals of today conveniently forget that the Crusades began as a response to just this kind of Muslim aggression.

I weep with despair at the blandness of the declaration from the 'Heads of the Religious Communities in Israel'. Only one of these faiths has followers who see it as their duty to torture and murder anyone who disagrees.

According to Surah 109, the god of the Qur'an is not the God of the Bible. I agree.

4 August 2007 at 12:53  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Peter KIrk,

His Grace thanks you for your lecture, and seeks to reassure you that he is most definitely not confusing 'Palestinian territory' with Israel.

4 August 2007 at 13:18  
Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Only one of these faiths has followers who see it as their duty to torture and murder anyone who disagrees.

This may be true now, but surely His Grace has experience from both directions of how it used to be true of Christians as well.

4 August 2007 at 16:15  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

Would this be the same Abe Foxman as shrieked and wailed about Mel Gibson's film? Yes, it would. He has no interest in Christian suffering except when he can use it to further his own agenda. I don't say he's wrong to be anti-Muslim, but let's not pretend he's pro-Christian. He isn't: he's anti-Christian.

4 August 2007 at 16:21  
Blogger Roger Pearse said...

I have been scanning the "History of the Patriarchs of the Coptic Church of Alexandria" for the web (at http://www.tertullian.org/fathers). From the 6th century onwards it is an eye-witness account. Naturally it deals with Moslem overlords. I would suggest that people might like to read some of it. This isn't a plug for my site; but if you want to see what Christianity in a Moslem state is like, through the eyes of those on the receiving end, quite aside from contemporary issues, it is invaluable.

4 August 2007 at 21:09  
Anonymous Voyager said...

And what is the world saying about this religious cleansing? What is the world doing about it?

Your error Your Grace is in assuming politicians are even nominally Christian - look how much consternation it arouses to hear a political leader actually "prays".

The political-media class is Proto-Marxist. They have their English degrees with the smattering of sociological interpretation of characters, plots and vocabulary; and the inchoate and swirling ideas teetering on the cusps of historical materialism; and they emerge half-baked from refractories into the wider world hugging the guy rope which will tether them to a post-Junior Common Room experience in those pantheons of modernity - the BBC trainee programme, or a Think-Thank where they can polish party prejudices for their classmates inside the BBC, before graduating to some latterday rotten borough...all the while secure in their educated knowledge that money is the fount of all life and Marxism is the guide to the rungs on the ladder indicating how to push those higher up off the ladder and clatter higher while avoiding the snakes that take one to the bottom.

In this game of snakes and ladders the Proto-Marxist has no room for God or a Resurrected Christ, but lives purely the life of a pig devouring what is before him and oblivious to what lies ahead

6 August 2007 at 06:58  

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