'We must never become accustomed' to the Holy Land occupation [CNA]


#1

Jerusalem, Jan 20, 2017 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The 50 year-long of occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza by Israel must be at the attention of every Christian and demands resolution, the chair of the Holy Land Coordination said Thursday.

“Our Coordination has called for justice and peace every year since 1998, yet the suffering continues. So this call must get louder. As Bishops we implore Christians in our home countries to recognize our own responsibility for prayer, awareness and action,” Bishop Declan Lang of Clifton, chair of the Holy Land Coordination, wrote in a Jan. 19 statement. The statement was signed by another 11 bishops, including Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces.

The communique marked the conclusion of an annual week-long pilgrimage to the Holy Land by the group, made up of bishops from Europe, North America, and South Africa. The Holy Land Coordination is encouraged in its work by the Holy See as it supports the local Church in Palestine and Israel.

Full article…


#2

A remarkable statement, first inasmuch as Gaza is not occupied by Israel at all. Israel and Egypt blockade Gaza to prevent weapons from coming in. But they let in non-military supplies. Unfortunately Hamas uses non-weapons as weapons even so. Israel allowed in a huge amount of concrete, supposedly to build and rebuild structures in Gaza. But Hamas used the concrete instead to build tunnels into Israel, including under Israeli schools so its terrorists could kill school children.

Secondly, when is creating “Apartheid states” a good thing? There are only two places in the Middle East where Jews and Arabs co-exist in the same space; Israel and the west Bank. Jews can’t own land in Jordan, Syria, Gaza. Perhaps these folks have it 180 degrees wrong. Perhaps requiring Jews and Muslims to live together in the West Bank can lead to peaceful co-existence just as it is in Israel. There is absolutely no good reason to encourage Islamic exclusivity further.


#3

I was thinking along the lines of the 1400 year occupation a fact I will never grow accustomed to.


#4

The return of the Holy Places in East Jerusalem to Islam is not an issue for Christians to embrace at all.

The Cenaculum, where Our LORD had His Last Supper, was a mosque until 1967. If international pressure drives Israel out of the area, it will be one again, and possibly many other such sites.

ICXC NIKA


#5

Another excerpt:

The bishop also stated that we have a responsibility to oppose the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The settlements are home to some 600,000 Israelis. Under international law, the settlements are considered illegal, though Israel disputes this.

The settlers’ “de facto annexation of land not only undermines the rights of Palestinians in areas such as Hebron and East Jerusalem but, as the UN recently recognised, also imperils the chance of peace,” Bishop Lang stated.

So, our Church leadership acknowledges that the settlements undermine rights of people.

Encouraging are the words of Donald Trump this morning, even though his proposed policies appear to say the opposite. He spoke of the billions of dollars spent protecting foreign lands while our own people in need of many things. He spoke of billions in aid for other nations while our own people suffer.

If one checks to see the major recipient of that aid, then we can find a nation that does not uphold our values, and the Bishop obviously agrees. Why do our tax dollars continue to support a nation that is not poor and does not need our aid? Why have we pledged (by Obama) 38 billion dollars more over the next few years?

Will President Trump live by his word, or will he follow the path of hypocrisy, the one traveled by Washington for so long?


#6

Possibly you can tell us why it is important to create yet another Arab apartheid state in the Middle East? Why is it important that the West Bank be free of Jews, as is the case in the other two “Palestinian” states of Jordan and Gaza?

Remember that Arabs and Jews can both buy land and live in the West Bank. Arabs can buy land in Israel. Jews cannot buy land in Jordan or Gaza.

And nobody questions that if a “Palestinian state” (the third one) is created in the West Bank, it will be dominated by Hamas, a terrorist organization that shoots rockets at Israeli civilians. What is the important reason why Hamas should be enabled to kill Jews along a longer border?

Perhaps the present situation is the best available; one in which both Arabs and Jews can live in an area. Will that result in peace between them? Perhaps not, but there isn’t a better solution available, and over time there is a chance of it.


#7

#8

Good Morning Ridgerunner,

Ideally, those states would be created by the citizens of those states. It is certainly not important nor desired that more unjust states would be created.

Jews could own land in those other nations until those other nations reacted to Israel refusing Arabs of the rights to their own homes and properties following the 1967 war. Those were acts of retaliation.

Remember that Arabs and Jews can both buy land and live in the West Bank. Arabs can buy land in Israel. Jews cannot buy land in Jordan or Gaza

.

This is not true. If people of the West Bank were treated justly, then the Bishop would not be saying the settlements are unjust. Your statement about ownership is speaking of a rarity, in a very limited area. The ongoing home demolitions speak for themselves.

And nobody questions that if a “Palestinian state” (the third one) is created in the West Bank, it will be dominated by Hamas, a terrorist organization that shoots rockets at Israeli civilians. What is the important reason why Hamas should be enabled to kill Jews along a longer border?

If injustice follows justice, then the new injustice will have to be addressed. You have not addressed or acknowledged the current injustice focused on by the Church.

Perhaps the present situation is the best available; one in which both Arabs and Jews can live in an area. Will that result in peace between them? Perhaps not, but there isn’t a better solution available, and over time there is a chance of it.

The “present situation” involves the unjust confiscation of land and resources from people. The “present situation” involves a people occupied and resources controlled, and having no vote in what the occupying government does. The opinion you state, “best available” is not on the side of the Church on this one, Ridge.

The better available is this: Allow the Palestinians the right to sue for return of their resources and for ability to form their own state. The present situation involves ongoing confiscation of property by an oppressive government, and the Church hierarchy says it is unjust.

It is apartheid.


#9

It’s not apartheid at all, except in the Arab states, and the Palestinian states of Jordan and Gaza.

The “church hierarchy” is not made of the handful of churchmen cited. They can be just as wrong on political issues as anyone else. And in my opinion, they are.

Arab owners in the West Bank are not expropriated except in situations of security need, and then it’s like our own “eminent domain” in which the state must prove the need and compensate the owners. The owners, whether Jewish or Arab, can indeed sue the government to deny the security need or to claim money compensation just like here in the U.S. That’s how it really works. A very large part of the West Bank is desert, without any clear owners. There are courts that attempt to determine whether ownership claims are valid. Validity can be established even by Ottoman documents or by continuous actual possession. That is not dissimilar to the recognition or non-recognition of French or Spanish land grant claims in the Louisiana Territory a hundred and more years ago. I have, myself, examined titles based on those old grants. There were courts established for those too. Some were accepted as valid and some were not.

But it’s true that Israel does not accept the claims in Israel itself of those Arabs who left Israel in 1948 so the Arab states could drive out the Jews. Nor does Israel accept those Arabs now as citizens of Israel. Only those Arabs (and their descendants) who remained are citizens of Israel.


#10

Here’s one of those “poor” Palestinians who bought 70 acres in the West Bank (and not in the desert either) and built his modest hovel on it.

bing.com/images/search?q=munib+masri&qpvt=munib+masri&qpvt=munib+masri&qpvt=munib+masri&FORM=IGRE

Oh! The poor disenfranchised fellow!! :rotfl::rotfl:


#11

The article remains factual regardless of the narrative you present, which is flawed.
We have the local Bishop saying it is an injustice, and his position is to be held with higher regard for Catholics.

You do not have the same scope of the situation, Ridge. There are only two nations that see the legitimacy of the settlements, Israel and the U.S.

Within the U.S., all Jewish groups are against settlements, this note was concerning the group with the closest split:

Conservative Jews say three-to-two that settlements hurt rather than help Israeli security (36 and 23 percent, respectively), making them the group closest to split.

washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2013/10/03/8-fascinating-trends-in-how-american-jews-think-about-israel/

Scroll down in this one to the part about attitudes toward settlements. It would be a better poll if they had actually asked if they approved of the settlements, but here it is:

pewforum.org/2013/10/01/chapter-5-connection-with-and-attitudes-towards-israel/

Therefore, the position you are promoting is not only against that of Church leadership, but against the majority of American Jews. This minority opinion taking precedent mirrors the U.S. stance toward apartheid South Africa. If President Trump listens to majority opinion, our policies toward Israel will change drastically. For a more recent poll:

American Public Views on How the U.S. Should React to Israeli Settlement Construction
• Overall, 31% recommend that the U.S. limits its opposition to words, 27% recommend that the U.S. do nothing, while 27% recommend economic sanctions, and 10% recommend taking more serious action. It is notable that among Democrats, more people (49%) recommend either imposing economic sanctions or taking more serious action, than those recommending doing nothing or limiting U.S. opposition towards (46%).

google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwi1u6TV2tHRAhUB5GMKHeAQA4gQFggjMAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.brookings.edu%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2016%2F07%2F2015-Poll-Key-Findings-Final-1.pdf&usg=AFQjCNG27-fqzssCKj9YYEAfUvrnsVlIgA&sig2=FOGQyDT5iRsEDkxwcXTdJA&cad=rja

You can see in the same article, 66% of Americans want us to lean toward neither side concerning the peace process, and I agree. As with South Africa, the tide is turning toward justice.


#12

Arguing polls, particularly taken from the uninvolved, is not arguing facts. I am totally unimpressed with that.

Most Americans polled also approve of homosexual marriage, but that does not obligate me to think it’s right to do so, and I don’t.

Sometimes perspectives of one group reflect their realities more than the perspectives of others who are not confronted with those realities. About 64% of Israelis support the settlement policy in the West Bank. Of the remainder, some favor only a temporary freeze, and a distinct minority favor a permanent freeze. Almost none favor abandoning the settlements that are there.

Now, why would that be, and why would it be different from what, let’s say, a Jew in NYC thinks about it. First of all, the Israeli is right there. His country is only nine miles wide at its narrowest, and a third Palestinian (read Arab Muslim) state along that border could be catastrophic. That’s about a 15 minute drive for a tank, and less than one day’s march for a soldier. For a rocket, it’s seconds. Israelis know what happened when they left Gaza, because they experience the rockets from there. The Jew in NYC doesn’t worry about his kids’ school being hit by a rocket, or his wife being butchered in a city bus by a terrorist. (mostly)

I have never seen a poll of all American bishops asking whether they would favor establishment of a Palestinian state governed by Hamas within just a few miles from every part of Israel. But I doubt they would support that if put that way. Sure, it’s easy to say “oh there should be a peaceful solution”. But where in the Arab world is there a peaceful solution to anything? Do you think Hamas is a better bunch than Assad, who has so far killed something like 400, 000 of his fellow Syrians and has, through that and emigration, reduced the population by about half?

Or do you think ISIS would be good to have within nine miles or less of your home? I doubt you would. And neither do Israelis think it would be good to have Hamas within minutes of their homes. They, more than anyone, know what those Arab terrorist groups are like. It’s all very well to sit in the security of the west and condemn Israeli Jews for wanting to stay alive.

And why does Egypt blockade Gaza? After all, they’re brother ARabs and Muslims, right? They blockade Gaza because it’s a terrorist haven and they don’t want them able to get arms because they kill Egyptians with them.

Anybody who wants to put Hamas closer to more of Israel (or Egypt, or anywhere) is misguided or insouciant to human tragedy or both.

But again, why should Jews be ousted from the West Bank in particular? There is no better reason to exclude them from it than there was for blacks to be excluded from “white” neighborhoods.

South Africa? The whole Arab world is next-of-kin to South Africa. Israel isn’t.


#13

One quick story. The Palestinian guy, the one with the mansion near Nablus. He thought it would be a good idea to team up with an Israeli supermarket owner to bring good stores into the West Bank, selling mostly produce. A lot of good jobs would have been created and it would bring quality food into the Arab and Jewish communities as well.

But the Arab authorities in the West Bank wouldn’t approve it, and why? Because a Jew was involved.

The irony of it is that Arabs and Israeli Jews actually deal with each other all the time. Lots of Palestinian Arabs work in Israel for Israeli wages. Lots of trade goes on between them. It’s just not healthy to talk about it. And why? Because if you’re too overt about it, terrorist groups will kill you. They’ll turn a blind eye to it if they’re bought off, but you can’t appear open in your dealings with Jews.

A fellow I know is related to a former mayor of Nablus. That mayor was an Arab Muslim Palestinian. He worked out a deal with Israel whereby screened Palestinians could work in Israel freely and trade openly with Israelis. He was assassinated by an Islamic terrorist group for that, so all the Arabs lost their jobs and their markets.

I think it was Golda Meir who opined that peace in the area could only come when the Arabs love their own children more than they hate Jews. Lot of truth to that.


#14

Maybe they shouldn’t have moved to the West Bank and stolen land that did not belong to them. Why should they be rewarded for this crime?


#15

No, not at all. One, or even some or several, bishop(s) saying something does not mean that “our Church leadership” is doing anything.

I’m just clarifying so you will be at least when X bishops say something you disagree with.

Encouraging are the words of Donald Trump this morning, even though his proposed policies appear to say the opposite. He spoke of the billions of dollars spent protecting foreign lands while our own people in need of many things. He spoke of billions in aid for other nations while our own people suffer.

If one checks to see the major recipient of that aid, then we can find a nation that does not uphold our values, and the Bishop obviously agrees. Why do our tax dollars continue to support a nation that is not poor and does not need our aid? Why have we pledged (by Obama) 38 billion dollars more over the next few years?

Will President Trump live by his word, or will he follow the path of hypocrisy, the one traveled by Washington for so long?


#16

The Church leadership that is involved in the pertinent area has made statements about injustice.

We can listen to them, or we can listen to Netanyahu and the parties that benefit from the settlements. Which party do you prefer to trust?


#17

I’m just saying that the term “Church leadership” generally has a higher weight in people’s minds than referring to a few or one bishop(s) does. “Church leadership” sounds like almost all bishops in the world.


#18

Good Morning

And you seem not to be impressed by the facts as viewed by the local Bishop, and the group of Bishops from North America, Europe, and Africa.

Sometimes perspectives of one group reflect their realities more than the perspectives of others who are not confronted with those realities. About 64% of Israelis support the settlement policy in the West Bank. Of the remainder, some favor only a temporary freeze, and a distinct minority favor a permanent freeze. Almost none favor abandoning the settlements that are there.

Well, Israelis benefit from the settlements. Their opinions are predictable. They see the settlements as just.

Or do you think ISIS would be good to have within nine miles or less of your home? I doubt you would. And neither do Israelis think it would be good to have Hamas within minutes of their homes. They, more than anyone, know what those Arab terrorist groups are like. It’s all very well to sit in the security of the west and condemn Israeli Jews for wanting to stay alive.

Israelis have legitimate concerns, but the settlements decrease security, they do not increase security. Settlements are unjust, and naturally trigger anger.

And why does Egypt blockade Gaza? After all, they’re brother ARabs and Muslims, right? They blockade Gaza because it’s a terrorist haven and they don’t want them able to get arms because they kill Egyptians with them.

The Egyptian military is bought and paid for by the U.S. It will be very interesting to see if President Trump will discontinue aid to Egypt, the second-ranking recipient of U.S. “aid”.

Look Ridgerunner, you have the right to your own opinion, and you are on the side of those who see settlement activity as just. I agree that it would be dangerous to have terrorists access to Israel; it would be an injustice that needs addressing, and does need addressing. Why do you not consider the injustices carried out against Palestinians, only those against Israel?

I say that we need to address the justice issues on both sides, and President Trump started out saying the same. Obviously, he was taken aside by the likes of people like John Bolton, (a big fundraiser for him) who has an extreme bias toward Israel, and now it looks like our policies are going to put us lock-step with the Netanyahu government. Problem is, is this putting “America first”? Does supporting an unjust regime aid our own security? It does not. Answer me this: if the U.S. was not supporting Israel with 4B+ in military aid every year, would 9/11 have been more likely to happen, or less so? It behooves us to realize that our support of injustice does make us more of a target.

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.

George Washington

The U.S. is obviously entangled with Israel. Let us look genuinely at the situation: Barack Obama promised 38B to Israel, then supported refraining from a UN vote against the settlements, which is a vote in favor of U.S. security. Netanyahu and his allies in the U.S. government (congress) opposed the U.N. abstention, and such opposition is essentially a vote against the security of our nation.

It would be unwise and unjust to continue to support the settlements, and Bishop Lang agrees.


#19

Yes i agree. I would have a lot more respect for the muslim position if they acknowledged some remorse for the Arab invasions of Eastern Christendom, including Europe.

It seems too many times that Islamic wins are by God’s glory and planning and Islamic losses are injustices to be amended.

That kind of thinking only goes one way and creates conflict.


#20

Good Morning,

Under this same thinking, as a Caucasian I need to apologize to black people for slavery, even though I was never involved (nor none of my ancestry).

The status of East Jerusalem could be worked out if there were some even-playing people on all sides. Resources and sites can be shared.


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