Christian leaders protest Israeli police mistreatment of pilgrims at Church of Holy Sepulcher

Our friends at Catholic Near East Welfare Association are reporting that Christian leaders in the Holy Land have protested Israeli police mistreatment of pilgrims at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher during the May 4 Holy Fire ceremony.

CNEWA links to the statement by the leaders, who said: “We understand the necessity and the importance of the presence of security forces to ensure order and stability, and for organizing the celebration of the Holy Fire at the Church of the Resurrection. Yet, it is not acceptable that under pretext of security and order, our clergy and people are indiscriminately and brutally beaten, and prevented from entering their churches, monasteries and convents.”

Easter this year was celebrated May 5 on the Julian calendar, used by the Greek Orthodox and many Catholic parishes throughout the Palestinian territories and Israel. Following a directive from the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, within two years all Eastern Catholics and the Latin Patriarchate in the Holy Land will officially adopt the Julian calendar date.

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12 Responses to Christian leaders protest Israeli police mistreatment of pilgrims at Church of Holy Sepulcher

  1. Duane Lamers says:

    I wonder whether we’re getting the whole story regarding the Holy Fire incident.

    To say nothing of that mishmash of protocols that must be followed by clergy and laity of the different rites and belief and the petty jealousies that developed a millenium ago and continue to be nourished by all these Christians.

    Enough already!

  2. Jim says:

    Gosh Duane, I don’t know. Maybe 20 yrs ago TV showed a video of kids throwing rocks at Israeli Soldiers. The soldiers retailated by holding a kid down and using larger rocks to break the kid’s arms. That was followed by a news black-out by the Israeli government because they didn’t like the publicity of how they were treating protestors in the Arab/Christian lands they were occupying. I wrote a letter to the Israeli ambassador explaining that my mother grew up in NAZI occupied Europe and I had obseved how we treated our native people when we occupied land formerly belonging to them. We finally managed to subdue the Native Americans. When peace finally came we had a broken people that we still don’t know how to fix. I never got an answer back from him but more and more settlements are being constructed on land that is supposed to belong to the Palistinians. Still there is hope. There is a book called “The LemonTree” I’ve been wanting to read that talks about peace and reconciliation.

    Africa has ?? solved some of it’s problems through what has been called “Truth and reconcilliation” but nobody seems to be ready for that.

    Any new agency which tries to telll the whole truth here gets lambasted to the point where they wish they never thought of the idea. I think that’s what happened to public radio when they featured the author of the Lemon Tree. That’s pretty much how I saw it- and I’m not particularly a fan of public radio for a lot of reasons.

  3. Douglas May says:

    Contrary to the belief of many naïve Americans, the Israeli government has often harassed Christian clergy and laity, especially if they also happened to be Palestinian. The Israeli government feels it can get away with this as both the US and the EU protest verbally with little or no action to follow. When will we wake up and hold Israel accountable as we would any other government for human-rights abuses?

  4. Jim says:

    Thanks Doug.
    That’s a good question. Pro- Israeli sentaments are so strong that it would be political suicide to begin to hold them accountable. Accountabitlity will only happen when people hear the truth long enough from enough sources they begin to understand the situation as it has existed beginning in 1948. We blush at how we gathered Japanese during WW II and put them in detention camps. That’s what happened to Palistinian land owners – many of them given less than 15 minutes to pack their belongings before they were taken to the “camps”. Our Japanese were given the right to return to their homes but these people will NEVER be given the right. It’s much like we did to the native americans here in our “manifest destiny” AND just as we kept pushing back the native american on land we had alotted to them the Israelis continue to settle on land promised to be the new homelands of Palistinians-many of them Christian Arabs. We know it, we talk some about it but we do nothing. I believe Israel recieves the largest package of our foriegn aid of any country in the world and a lot of that money goes into enforcing what exists.

  5. hermittalker says:

    ISRAEL plays the David but is Goliath in destroying “Them,” Palestinians, Christians and does it all with US tax money while no one with Power at 1200 or Congress does anything, Tragic

  6. Fr. Val Zdilla says:

    I have been to Palestine and Israel. I have seen the Israelis who are soldiers mistreat Christians, especially the original Arab Christians and those of the ancient Christian traditions. Sad it is rarely reported. I want to be clear that this discrimination was not a view held by most Israeli citizens either. It was always a government representative.

  7. JJ says:

    ‘Oh, Israel! ‘Oh Israel! ~ What Have You Done’

  8. Please stop trying to equate the OT Prophets’ call to Israel’s conversion and Jesus replacing them with Church and His Body as Temple with the State of Israel. IF their citizens asked them to stop using Violence to end Violence they would change. of course USA using violence everywhere since 1914 WW1 and still does with Moving Target “Enemies” costing millions of lives, millions more refugees and billions in Treasure is not a good model

  9. Jim says:

    First of all AP, My mother lived under NAZI occupation and was liberated by US “violence”. I am well aware of its cost in terms of civilian casualties. I talked to my mother’s neighbor whose aunt and cousin were casualties of a buzz bomb which was aimed for Antwerp. It came down in the street in front of their house rather than blowing up in the air as intended by my father’s anti aircraft battery.

    I e-mailed this to a freind of mine who said, “I find this very hard to believe. To me it smacks of propaganda from Israel haters.” Later, “I have enough battles to fight right here in Minnesota.” He explained that the law signed yesterday authorizing same sex marriage ahd Obama’s HHS mandate were enough to take on in terms of a threat to religioius liberty.

    Archbishop Lori, in his explanation of the Second Fortnight for Freedom which is being sponsored by the USCCB, made reference to those issues and the issue of immigration as well.

    No circumstances directly affect our own relgious freedom than those highlighted by Archbishop Lori.


    It is my belief that if we value our own relious freedom we must speak out for it whether religious freedom is under attack in Vietnam, China or by one of the allies to our nation.

  10. Jim: ;My experience is of the British Empire in its narrow UK now using its police and armed forces to murder, imprison and hold Star Chamber trials until quite recently as the remnants of their division of this nation of Ireland. Israel is testimony to their version of the Final Solution with the UK and France setting up a totally bogus State in 1948 which neither the Vatican nor Ireland recognised at first based on their moral compass. The harsh reality is now de facto accepted even as the civilised world is resisted trying to see the two State solution OR force Israel to grant the same decent human rights Hitler stole from them. We are all well aware that Hitler murdered Jews but the PC culture does not recognise the Catholic Polish Dutch bishops and clergy who were murdered and a few Protestants for opposing Nazism. Meantime we are still trying to defend Pius X11 – BXV1 refused to enter a site in Jerusalem that still dishonours his saintly bravery to save Jews, thank God some Jewish scholars are wising up through research. I am delighted your parents were liberated, one wonders at the pettiness of the US-British Allies and how their rivalry perpetuated the war. Churchill’s distrust of the French, totally unjustified caused slaughter in one savage episode, same as Thatcher’s immoral destruction of a ship the Belgrano sailing away from their own Malvinas islas. not to mention her savagery in the NI Hunger strike that was part of her rejection as PM eventually, BTW I am not an Israeli hater, I am a Consistent Ethic of Life believer and a professor of the Humanities who has read my history and fear for this civilisation as it tumbles over the cliff culturally and morally lead by the MSM, the Bent Lefties lead by a totally socially a-moral political POTUS and his fellow- atheistic Humanists in the West and kissing China’s ring for cash and saying nothing about the Red Dragon’s persecution of the only force with the moral strength to oppose it, the RC Christian Church not its pet Monkey Patriotic Church.

  11. Brendan Gormley says:

    The Catholic responses posted to the article on this board are disheartening and show a deep vein of anti-semitism that will prevent the Church from prospering until it is utterly and decisively purged of it. Here we have no recounting of specific facts as to the so-called May 4 incident, but an objective observer would concede it may possibly have involved disorderly conduct on the part of some Christian participants. Indeed, it is well established that there have been riots between Christian denominatinons in the Church of the Holy Sephulcher numerous times, including in recent years. Moreover, a person who respects the sovereign authority of the Jewish state will not turn every individual instance of professional misconduct by Israel’s police or military officers into an indictment of Israel’s government and Israeli policy as a whole. I am not suggesting that Israeli law enforcement’s conduct is above reproach in the May 4th incident or otherwise, but the critics on this board don’t appear to be interested in an even-handed discussion of this specific incident. Instead, they compare the Palestinians favorably to the Israelis in the aggregate, and denigrate the history of the Jewish state as a whole. There is no mistaking that their motivation for this is not a commitment to human rights but rather a hatred for the Jewish state and an evil desire to contest its sovereignty despite its necessity for the security of the world Jewish population. If these are my so-called fellow Catholics, I categorize them as “false claimants to the title of brother” until they repent.

    Ironically, the Israeli electorate has displayed a greater commitment to democratic institutions and the rule of law than the Palestinians, who elected the anti-democratic Hamas overwhelmingly and without hesitation the moment its ticket appeared on the Gaza ballot. But I hesitate to make that point because it obscures the bigger one– The jaded participants on this board won’t take an individual excess on the part of Palestinian officials or terror groups as indicative of the Palestinan cause as a whole, yet they are doing that very thing to the Israelis– In the absence of specific facts no less! To be sure, Christian Palestinians possess a distinct political and cultural identity, but I have seen their clergy take cheap shots at Christian Zionists and the Israeli government in public statements and I have known American Palestinian Christians who are anti-semitic in marked contrast to many Lebanese Christians, so even Palestinian Christians are at times embroiled in behavior that is not Christlike and makes things very difficult for the Israelis. The Israelis have had a better relationship with Evangelical Zionists and Lebanese Christians in recent decades than they have with Palestinian Christians or Roman Catholics. This casts doubt on the portrayal of all conflict between Israel and said groups as bona fide religious persecution. Indeed, postings on this board clearly demonstrate some of the trouble originates within our own Church. The belief that we have the right to destabilize Israel because supercession invalidates all Jewish institutional authority is dangerous and absurd from both a theological and human rights standpoint. It has no place in our Church.

  12. hermittalker says:

    BG How can you logically write what you wrote on here and defend it rationally, or biblically from Jesus’ point of view. I lived for a sabbatical in Israel years after spending a week there after the Six Day War; also visited my N Ireland family and saw the reality after seeing US media spouting anti-Irish and anti-Catholic UK news releases, same as Israeli propaganda and US evangelicals equating ISREAL with biblical prophecy even after Jesus tells us HE is the TEMPLE, His followers are the NEW JERUSALEM and the PROMISED LAND is REVELATION’s new Jerusalem when HE comes back.

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