Catholic official worried about Israel attacks

FILE- In this Sept. 4, 2012, file photo, a Catholic monk stands in a doorway of the Latrun Trappist Monastery where Israeli police say vandals spray-painted anti-Christian and pro-settler graffiti and set the monastery's door on fire, in Latrun, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel. After a series of attacks on Christian holy sites in Israel, Roman Catholic church officials recently issued a rare "declaration" calling on Israeli leaders to take action against vandalism and violence.(AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)

ed note–2 comments tobemade here–

1) Sorry to be so glib here, but WHAT DID YOU EXPECT, PADRE???

The time for the Catholic Church to recognize the danger posed to its places of worship and other holy sites in Palestine was 100 years ago when this mad dream of bringing the Jews back to the holyland was first being discussed. If the Church–and more importantly, its leader,  had been a little more up to date in their ‘Judaic studies’, they would have seen this thing coming from a mile away. Now, like stupid farmers who listened to the coaxing arguments of foxes who offered to guard the henhouse for free, they are coming to understand the nature of problem they are facing, but again, as we said earlier, a century too late.

2) The problems faced by Christians viz a viz ‘Islamists’ (referenced at the end of this piece) are nothing but BS. Muslims and Christians have lived side by side peacably in the Holy Land for over a thousand years. It is the Jews who are the problem, they and their control over Christian countries in bringing about this ‘clash of civilizations’ between the Christian and Islamic worlds that is causing friction between the 2 peoples.

JERUSALEM (AP) — After a series of attacks by vandals on Christian holy sites in Israel, normally tight-lipped Roman Catholic officials are beginning to speak out, publicly appealing to authorities to take a stronger stand against the violence.

The Rev. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, one of the church’s top officials in the Holy Land, said he is worried about relations between Jews and Christians in the Holy Land. He believes the blame can go all around.

“I think the main atmosphere is ignorance,” Pizzaballa told The Associated Press in an interview.

Because the local Christian population is tiny, “we do not exist for the majority … They have other priorities,” he said. “On the other side, we as a minority maybe didn’t invest enough energy and initiatives” to reach out to Israeli Jews.

That may be changing following this month’s attack on a well-known Trappist Monastery in Latrun, outside Jerusalem. Vandals burned a door and spray-painted anti-Christian graffiti on the century-old building with the words “Jesus is a monkey.” Suspicion has fallen on extremist Jewish West Bank settlers or their supporters, who are believed to be behind a series of attacks in recent years on mosques, Christian sites and even Israeli army property to protest moves against settlements.

In response, the church’s top officials, including Pizzaballa, the “custos,” or custodian of Catholic holy sites, to issue a rare “declaration” calling on Israeli leaders to take action.

“Sadly, what happened in Latrun is only another in a long series of attacks against Christians and their places of worship,” the Catholic leaders said. “What is going on in Israeli society today that permits Christians to be scapegoated and targeted by these acts of violence?”

It said authorities should “put an end to this senseless violence and to ensure a ‘teaching of respect’ in schools for all those who call this land home.”

Israeli leaders swiftly condemned the attack, and police vowed to bring the vandals to justice. Nearly two weeks later, there have been no arrests.

The monastery was targeted shortly after Israel evacuated an illegally built West Bank settler outpost. In recent months, two other monasteries and a Baptist church were vandalized. It is not clear why the vandals have targeted Christian sites. For years, Christian clergymen also have been spat at by ultra-Orthodox seminary students in Jerusalem’s Old City.

There are about 155,000 Christian citizens of Israel, less than 2 percent of its 7.9 million people. About three-quarters are Arabs, and the others arrived during waves of Russian immigration over the past 20 years. They are split between Catholicism and Orthodox steams of Christianity. Tens of thousands of Christian foreign workers and African migrants also reside in Israel.

Pizzaballa said he recognizes the attacks do not reflect the views of most Israelis, and he welcomed the condemnations by Israeli police, politicians and mainstream rabbinical authorities.

But he said Israel must do more.

“It’s important not just to condemn, but also to work, to take initiatives to stop this phenomenon,” he said.

Far “more serious,” he said, was an incident in July in which an Israeli lawmaker ripped up a copy of the New Testament in front of TV cameras after Chrisitan missionaries mailed him the book. The lawmaker, Michael Ben-Ari, is now the subject of an ethics probe in parliament.

“This is a member of the Knesset. He is a representative of Israeli institutions,” Pizzaballa said.

Even if the delivery of the book was a “provocation,” he said, “you cannot rip the New Testament in front of the cameras and throw it in the trash and ask that the New Testament be banned from the country. This is unacceptable for every Christian believer.”

He pointed to the recent uproar in the Muslim world over a movie that mocked the Prophet Muhammad as an example of how explosive and hurtful religious hatred can be.

Pizzaballa’s words carry extra weight because of his strong ties with Israel. Pizzaballa, 47, has lived in the country for two decades, speaks Hebrew and has been a faculty member at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is scheduled to complete his term as custos next year.

Jews and Catholics have had a fraught relationship over the centuries. It was only in 1965 that the Vatican rejected the long-held charge that the Jewish people were responsible for killing Jesus. The actions of Pope Pius XII during World War II still remain a sensitive diplomatic issue between Israeland the Vatican. Critics have long contended that Pius could have done more to stop the Holocaust, when 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis. The Vatican says Pius used quiet diplomacy to save Jews.

Israel and the Vatican have made inroads in recent years. The late Pope John Paul II established diplomatic ties with Israel in 1994, and his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, has promoted interfaith dialogue.

Pizzaballa acknowledged the difficult past but said Israelis have little understanding about modern Christianity or “the reality of the Christians in the country.”

While Christianity was born in the Holy Land, Christians’ situation here is fragile. In Israel, the number of Christian citizens has remained about the same for 20 years, with the influx of Russian immigrants balancing out some emigration by Arab Christians.

The West Bank has seen its Christian population dwindle over the years to roughly 50,000 people today, less than 3 percent of the population, the result of a lower birthrate and increased emigration in search of a better quality of life. Just one third of Bethlehem, the traditional birthplace of Christ, is Christian today, down from 75 percent half a century ago.

In the Gaza Strip, ruled by the Islamic militant group Hamas, the situation is even more precarious.

Fewer than 3,000 Christians live among 1.7 million Muslim residents, and their numbers have rapidly shrunk in recent years because of turmoil in the territory.

A Christian activist — who ran Gaza’s only Christian bookstore — was stabbed to death after Hamas took power in 2007. The killer was never found. In recent years, several Christian institutions were attacked by suspected Muslim hardliners. In at least two cases, including the torching of the local YMCA, assailants were caught and sentenced to prison.

Pizzaballa said Hamas has ensured that local Christians can worship freely, but nonetheless the environment is uncomfortable.

“You feel the pressure in the society and the life of the Islamic regime,” he said.

  1. #1 by Ingrid B on 09/20/2012 - 9:34

    The vatican/successive popes/papa`s recognise the occupying, parasitic entity, so, let them suffer the indignities, as the Palestinians have suffered, with nary a papal condemnation..

  2. #2 by annebeck58 on 09/20/2012 - 9:34

    How ridiculous for the Vatican to finally see this.
    But, don’t forget; all of the world has been pretty well brainwashed (even Turkey believes they are not against Izrahell, per-se). So, at least it’s being figured out, I guess?

    But, how much is left of Palestine, now that the globalists (USA, included) have done all they can to make it IzraHELL?

  3. #3 by annebeck58 on 09/20/2012 - 9:34

    btw; pressed it on my blog, too.

  4. #4 by NAeem on 09/20/2012 - 9:34

    Wasn’t it in 1958 correct me if im wrong that the cathloic church stopped being an anti semite and since that day the zionists have done their very best to destroy it.

  5. #5 by CK on 09/20/2012 - 9:34

    Rothschild owns the Vatican, so the Pope has to watch what he says. The idea that “blame can go all around” is BS. Reach out to Israeli Jews? They spit on Christians over there. The Scofield Bible should have been rejected as heresy 100 years ago. The church should have opposed the creation of a Jewish state from the beginning. Christians helped create this monster. Now the monster is on the verge of blowing up the planet.

  6. #6 by annebeck58 on 09/20/2012 - 9:34

    That’s my opinion, too, Ingrid.
    Of course, now that they’ve figured it out (finally), I guess their knowledge and irritation can be put to good use. Perhaps they will finally be on the side of Palestine?
    Then again, they may as usual, do nothing but whatever is in their own best interest while ignoring the Palestinian plight, altogether. I’d expect the latter to be the case.

    My own mother is Catholic, and when I told her I’d leave CT for TX to go to a Church of Christ university, I was essentially cut off and left to my own devices. I’d expect nothing more, or less, from the papacy.

  7. #7 by Blake on 09/20/2012 - 9:34

    Hamas places no restrictions on Christians’ freedom of religion. Christian families in Gaza play a huge role in the education, health, in all aspects of life in Gaza even though they are a tiny minority. Christian schools are some of the best schools in Gaza and in fact many leaders of Hamas send their children to Christian schools. Muslims make up the majority of these Christian run/financed schools. Isolated attacks on Christians are swiftly condemned by Hamas and action is taken against the perpetrators.

    Some Christian Palestinian leaders: Constantine Zreik; George Habash; Nayef Hawatmeh; Emile Habibi; Hanan Ashwari; Afif Safiyeh; Zuhdi Tarazi; Edward Said. Many of the prominent poets; novelists & artists are Palestinian Christians. Many of the resistance to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine were Christians (& some Native Jews as well in addition to Muslims).

    Cities who reserve mayoral positions for Christians (WB): Ramallah (female mayoress who is a member of Hamas); Berzeit; Bethlehem; Zabadeh; Nazerath; Jifna; Ein Arik; Aboud; Taybeh; Beit Jala & Beit Sahour. 6 of the 88 seats of the PA are reserved for Christians – far greater than the proportion of the population.

  8. #8 by kelly on 09/20/2012 - 9:34

    “On the other side, we as a minority maybe didn’t invest enough energy and initiatives” to reach out to Israeli Jews.”

    What would it matter if you reached out or not?……Israel despises anyone they deem not to be the ‘Chosen Ones’

  9. #9 by lolathecur on 09/21/2012 - 9:34

    in order to understand the truth in the scripture you must look up and understand the meanings of these words. they will be found in Strongs bible dictionary with corresponding verses where they are used. get to studying now! here are the words: Yahakobe, Yhuwdiy, Yehoodawee, Ioudaismos, Idudaios, Dath, Yehhodeeth, Yahad. do not let liars decieve you..please consider this very important subject.

  10. #10 by PATTY on 09/21/2012 - 9:34

    Totally agree with Ingrid, comment #1. ” Let them suffer the indignities, as the Palestinians have suffered…” The Catholic church has done nothing to help the Palestinians whose places of worship are always vandalized and whose lives are snuffed out for Jewish sport. I feel no sympathy for Christians in Israel.

  11. #11 by SHAFAR NULLIFIDIAN on 09/21/2012 - 9:34

    Catholicism is Jew Lite
    The late and lamented Jay Cee had no intention of founding a New Relgion. He was seeking a return to the pre-Babylonian Captivity Judaism.

    Some where in the distant past I learned ( from the nuns in high school in the early 1950s when the specialism of Catholicism was the rule “There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church” ) They were Judeans went taken in slavery to Babylon, but were the Jews upon their return. Some strange transition occurred while there and Interest banking became their thing. Is it just coincidence that Jay Cee drove the “money changers” (interest charging money lenders and currency exchangers) from the temple and just four days later these thugs conned dunbmass Pontius Pilate into crucifying him as a revolutionary. The firt charges aagainst him was tantamount labeling him an anti-Semite
    Knowing that was of no concermn to Pontius the Pilate, they “punked” him into claiming he was an “existential threat” to Rome. Plus ça change (plus c’est la même chose)

    Then… it wasn’t long before another Jew, but more well traveled than the pupiks in Jerusalem, Big Paully, di tutti capo de Taurus, broke with the family in Jerusalem, and went free-lanching.He was the televagelist of his day. He had be ideas, big plans. But , Raully was too pushy, and the “powers that be In Rome did a Bugsy Siegel” on him. paullyu ideas actually did come to fruition, but not until nearly thee hundred years when “Di tutti capo de tutti capos”, Connie the Convert made the “new thing” the state religion and did an ethnic cleansing of those that didn’t “buy into the plan”with the News from Nicea. Being a ‘believer” was an offer one could not refuse.

    The Western World has become the Renfeld to Israel’s Nosferatu. Zionism is just the latest manifestation of the millenia years long history of these vampirish tribalists

  12. #12 by Ingrid B on 09/22/2012 - 9:34

    @SHAFAR NULLIFIDIAN, love the way you tell it..

  13. #13 by annebeck58 on 09/22/2012 - 9:34

    Ain’t that a kicker, Blake?
    Yes, Hamas does not stop anyone from “celebrating” his own religion, in any way.
    The Zionist chosen-ones do this.
    Yet, Christian Zionists (hello, oxymoron) believe it’s Hamas that’s the problem?
    It is ALL in the translation (via MSM), as well as other MSM sources AND our APE-PAC owned Congress. Insanity.
    And stupidity.

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