Archive for the ‘Theology’ Category

10:30 mass in Read,Ontario

October 20, 2017

READ

They ‘re all over eastern Ontario
our poor famine Erin relatives
“indigent Irish” on the ship’s manifest
and both sides of the family.
That’s us: who do we think we are indeed?
We walk the Mick graveyards
Erinsville, Centreville and now Read
Catholics here since 1854
What were the odds that our decidedly urban Toronto family
Had mother and father relatives here in Read?
Did Mary O’Brien know Joanna Wringe?
We’ll never know.
Tired of the graveyard I wander into 10:30 mass.
The aging priest now has 3 parishes to tend
He does his best with Matthew’s wild gospel of the wedding feast and the raging host
However he misses  badly.”It’s abbout the KINGDOM, padre!
The church like most of these  parishes are right-to-life obsessives
The only issue it seems.
The  building  is musty, baroque and uninviting
The parish is spread out this morning
I walk to communion hemmed in  by stained glass windows bearing  those Irish names Ryan,Walsh, Shannon, Egan Lacy, Gandon, Hart
And here am I on this October morn very happy to be home among them.

 

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High Holy days

October 2, 2017

Yom Kippur ended on Saturday and like many I had a lot to atone for, simply a Catholic struggling to be a Christian. Catholicism coming out of Judaism always tipped a hat to original sin and brother Immanuel Kant wisely said,” Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made.”No proof needed here.

YOM
So we stumble on, mostly with the wisdom of guys like Sam Beckett;”Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” 
During the High Holy Days of Judaism culminating in Yom Kippur I pay attention, at least intellectually. I was infected by this felicitous virus as a kid growing up in a Jewish area. I had my pre-teen mind blown during Sukkot (this  week, Oct 4-11) when I observed in amazement Greenberg’s sukkah, the mini-fort topped with branches down the street.
We had nothing like this in Catholicism.
Originally Sukkot was a harvest festival which symbolized temporary quarters during the 40 years of exodus. Today it is more of a breather after the heavy introspection of Yom Kippur.
Enough already.
I followed the prophetic utterances from Israel about Yom Kippur, the great day of atonement. The secular Jews were way more religious than the putative rabbinical leaders who could never confront the obvious: atonement without mentioning occupation is meaningless.
One blistering article by Israeli commentator B.Michael will suffice. It is almost shocking in its ferocity. He echoes Rabbi Heschel’s warning about the prophets’ anger:
Prophecy is the voice that God has lent to the silent agony, a voice to the plundered poor, to the profane riches of the world. It is a form of living, a crossing point of God and man. God is raging in the prophet’s words.

The prophet’s word,” Rabbi Heschel once wrote, “is a scream in the night. While the world is at ease and asleep, the prophet feels the blast from heaven.”

Another time in Volume 2 of The Prophets ( The Prophets are Morally Maladjusted) he wrote:

“The prophet is a person who suffers from a profound maladjustment to the spirit of society, with its conventional lies, with its concessions to man’s weakness…. The prophet’s maladaptation to his environment may be characterized as moral madness (as distinguished from madness in a psychological sense).”

 

B.Michael and another secular israeli writer, Gideon Levy are the true prophets of Israel today attempting to wake a terrible government from their spiritual indolence and their brutal treatment of the original indigenous, Palestinians.

Listen to B.Michael:

 

The masquerade on Yom Kippur, on the other hand, is a much more serious business than Purim. Everyone puts on a disguise on this day too, but only one mask serves everyone – the righteous man’s mask. Not a mustache, not a cowboy, not a princess, not Wonder Woman. Only righteous people.

 

But this time, when the holiday is over the masks don’t drop, and the people in disguise continue to believe that they are pious saints. To be accurate, I’m not referring to secular folk who suddenly fast on Yom Kippur and even attend Kol Nidrei prayers. Those for whom the cantor says the phrase: “By the authority of God and the permission of the congregation we allow praying with sinners.” There’s nothing wrong with what they’re doing, and they’re not really in disguise. As far as they’re concerned, this is merely traditional folklore, or a seasonal burst of the fear of God. I’m talking about those who take this business seriously, who see themselves as observing the commandments. Servants of God. Good Jews. Some of them, of course, make their living off the public – synagogue bums and parliament bums. People who whitewash abominations, others’ and their own, fraudsters and money grabbers, religion scalpers, religion pimps and others who make a living off the Torah.

 

Those righteous folks should be reminded, somewhat briefly, of Moses Ben-Maimon’s penetrating words, that “anyone who sets his heart on dealing with the Torah, and does no work, and makes a living off charity, is blaspheming the Lord and desecrating the Torah, stamping out its light, and taking his life from the next world … this man is doomed to rob the public” (Maimonides, Laws of Torah Study 3). But far, far worse are the pious people of the occupation. The thousands of empire thugs, whose brutality has no limits. The myriad of Torah-sanctioned villains, who live off the robbery and eviction, the exploitation and deceit, the trampling and oppression. All those malevolent souls, who even when fasting, their jaws continue to grind the flesh of the poor man’s lamb. There is no longer any hope for that lot. They are destined to drag us all to hell, and no disguise will help.
Whew. Amen.

 

Days of Awe: Standing with whom? pt 1

September 25, 2017

So it’s Rosh Hashanah, the Day of Judgment and Remembering, and we of the Jewish persuasion are beginning ten days of intensive reflection that culminates in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. We are urged to engage in self-examination, both of our personal lives and of our behaviors and attitudes in the complex world in which we live and contribute. This introspection and renewal involves taking personal responsibility for our destiny and the destinies of our communities, being unsparingly honest, and actively apologizing and forgiving. I love this part of my tradition because words are not enough; there are no Hail Marys, there is no forgiveness from on high, and at the end of the day, we actually have to DO better in our relationships with ourselves and our world. If you are a spiritual person, you have to work on that too in the here and now; there is no backup heavenly place where everything will come out fine.

As a secular Jew who finds our traditions and culture part of the bedrock of my psyche, I am obsessed by a topic that is most fraught and perilous in the Jewish community. We are besieged by forces right and left with the message that Judaism is Zionism and uncritical support of Israel is a core Jewish value, in fact the only nonnegotiable ticket to community acceptance. For these reasons at this time, I cannot ignore my relationship to Israel/Palestine. For me, this annual introspection invites an honest evaluation of history in all its voices, a recognition of the behavior and policies of the pioneers and fighters who created the State of Israel, an examination of the foundations of modern political Zionism and its current day consequences, and ultimately a willingness to express regret and apology. This is a perfect topic for the Ten Days of Awe and fully within our prophetic tradition which is focused on issues of justice.

settler

So, how do we define ourselves as Jews in the Diaspora while living in the era of a hyper Jewish nationalism? For the me the first step is examining the realities and framing of history and claiming it in our own voice. The Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, in his A History of Modern Palestine, notes that early Zionism was a European phenomenon with a clear disregard for indigenous populations. Early Zionists relied (cautiously) on the goodwill of colonial powers. (The Jewish homeland could have been in Palestine, Argentina, or even Uganda.) The Zionists carved out territory in Mandate Palestine as a haven from European persecution (which was an understandable motivation given the pogroms and anti-semitism of the time), and this became a clearly settler colonial movement when it focused on a national revival in the land of Palestine for Jews at the exclusion of the people actually living there. This was both an intellectual concept focused on the predicament of European Jewry (which was largely described as endless persecution and anti-semitism despite Spinoza, Marx, Freud, Einstein, etc.,) and also a practical solution for getting rid of the Jews in Eastern Europe and plopping them someplace else.

Alice Rothchild

The Unholy Huckster

September 3, 2017

The prosperity Gospel—believe in Jesus and you’ll be rewarded in every way.This guy fills arenas with this nonsense.

iOSTmages

The no cross theology too another hit in Houston.

By Travis Gettys / Raw Story
SJoel Osteen’s reputation was submerged in the wreckage left behind by Hurricane Harvey — and at least one pastor says the televangelist got what he deserved.

John Pavlovitz, head of North Raleigh Community Church in North Carolina, said the “prosperity gospel” minister had discredited his faith by tweeting out banal platitudes as locals mosques and furniture stores offered shelter from the hurricane that flooded Houston.

“You’ve experienced the wrath of millions of people who watched the week unfold and determined they were witnessing in you and your megachurch’s response to the hurricane—everything they believe is wrong about organized Christianity,” Pavlovitz said, “its self-serving greed, its callousness, its tone-deafness in the face of a hurting multitude, its lack of something that looks like Jesus.”

The North Carolina pastor said Osteen’s critics had found his social media expressions of “thoughts and prayers” hollow and disingenuous, and they were disgusted by his self-serving excuses for his “late and underwhelming act of kindness performed under duress.”

“Don’t wait for an invitation, you don’t wait to be shamed by strangers, and you don’t make excuses,” he said.
“I imagine you feel like this has been a rough week,” Pavlovitz wrote. “It hasn’t. You’ve had the week you probably should have had, all this considered. You’ve had the week that was coming long before rain ever started falling in Houston.”

He urged Osteen to learn from the experience and understand why his critics have questioned his theology.

“They rightly recognized that mansions are not places that servant leaders emulating this humble, foot-washing Jesus occupy,” Pavlovitz wrote. “They correctly saw the massive chasm between the ever-grinning, your ship is coming in, name it and claim it prosperity promise that is your bread and butter—and the difficult, painful, sacrificial ‘you will have trouble’ life that Jesus and those who followed him lived in the Gospels.”

The pastor hoped Osteen would follow the example set by his fellow Houstonians and turn away from his “coddled, cozy, stock photo existence.”

“You had a difficult week, but you are safe and dry, and despite the criticism and pushback, blessed with more abundance than most people will ever know,” Pavlovitz wrote. “That’s good news for you. I don’t hold any of that against you.”

 

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“The even better news, Pastor Osteen, is that you are alive,” he added. “You are still here and you have a chance now to show people that Christianity is far more than their greatest fears about it, much better than the worst they’ve seen of Christians, and more beautiful than the ugliness they’ve experienced in the Church.”

 

The Christian Right pt 1

August 9, 2017

http://www.pbs.org/now/transcript/transcript_hedges.html

 

On the surface it appears to be incongruous that the Christian right would rally behind a slick New York real estate developer who is a very public serial philanderer and adulterer, has no regard for the truth, is consumed by greed, does not appear to read or know the Bible, routinely defrauds and cheats his investors and contractors, expresses a crude misogyny and an even cruder narcissism and appears to yearn for despotism.

 

SHOP

So writes Chris Hedges

Indeed it does seem strange until you begin to analyze religion under turbocapitalism. Consumer culture destroys prophetic religion. It empties the great symbols of Christianity (and Judaism) beyond recognition. Conumerism, along with nationalism, class division and tribalism literally take the prophetic dynamite out of biblical faith. They leave behind a gutted version best summed up by the old Protestant hymn, “No cross, no crown.” Reloigion becomes a mere add-on to the consumer lifestyle.It never seems to impact on daily living and social practices.

RAD

This ersatz Christianity denies the radical nature of Jesus’ politics, the preferential option for the poor and excluded. It allows a a man like Republican Paul Ryan to actually say as a putative Catholic that his greatest influence is the high priestess of selfishness Ayn Rand

 

Hedges insists that Trump-like values are actually those of the Christian right:

In fact, these are the very characteristics that define most of the leaders of the Christian right. Trump has preyed on desperate people through the thousands of slot machines in his casinos, his sham university and his real estate deals. Megachurch pastors prey on their followers by extracting “seed offerings,” “love gifts,” tithes and donations and by selling miracle healings along with “prayer clothes,””self-help books, audio and video recordings and even protein shakes.

 

Pastors have established within their megachurches, as Trump did in his businesses, despotic fiefdoms. They cannot be challenged or questioned any more than an omnipotent Trump could be challenged on the reality television show “The Apprentice.” And they seek to replicate their little tyrannies on a national scale, with white men in charge.

 
The personal piety of most of the ministers who lead the Christian right is a facade. Their private lives are usually marked by hedonistic squalor that includes mansions, private jets, limou

 

Donald Trump’s ideological vacuum, the more he is isolated and attacked, is being filled by the Christian right. This Christianized fascism, with its network of megachurches, schools, universities and law schools and its vast radio and television empire, is a potent ally for a beleaguered White House. The Christian right has been organizing and preparing to take power for decades. If the nation suffers another economic collapse, which is probably inevitable, another catastrophic domestic terrorist attack or a new war, President Trump’s ability to force the Christian right’s agenda on the public and shut down dissent will be dramatically enhanced. In the presidential election,

FAs

 

Trump embraces the white supremacy, bigotry, American chauvinism, greed, religious intolerance, anger and racism that define the Christian right.

 

Orthodox not Zionist

July 31, 2017

 

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Neturei Karta International
Jews United Against Zionism

Statement by Neturei Karta International at the Al-Aqsa rally 
Toronto – Saturday 29, 2017

 

We apologize that, due to the religious restrictions of the Jewish Sabbath, we cannot speak to you on the microphone, but we are here to express our solidarity with the Palestinian people in general and to protest the recent Zionist aggression on Al-Aqsa.

Apart

From the day the Zionist movement was founded, the greatest rabbis opposed it and fought against it. This is because Judaism teaches that Jews are not allowed to rule over any part of Palestine. Jews are presently in exile and must live peacefully under the governments of other nations.

Gurion 2

To this day, the central anti-Zionist rabbinate in Palestine, the Edah Hacharedis of Jerusalem, continues to refuse any form of recognition of, or co-operation with the state of Israel. Anti-Zionist Jews frequently pay for their opposition to the state by being arrested, beaten and, at times, murdered. These rabbis speak out strongly against every Zionist provocation.

 

This is especially true when it comes to the site of Al Aqsa, the Temple Mount. Already in the 1920’s, militant Zionist groups claimed the Western Wall and the Al Aqsa compound, but in October 1929 the chief rabbi of the Eidah, Rabbi Sonnenfeld, of blessed memory, published an open letter in English and Arabic saying:

 

The Jews do not want, in any way, to take that which isn’t theirs. And they certainly don’t want to contest the rights of the other inhabitants to the places held by them in which they regard with honor and consider holy. And in particular there is no foundation to the rumor that the Jews want to acquire the Temple Mount. On the contrary, from the time that we were exiled from our land, it is forbidden for any Jew to set foot upon its holy grounds.

 

More recently, on October 12, 2015, the Rabbinical Court of Jerusalem issued the following declaration:

 

Trembling has seized us as nationalist movements are once again attempting to ascend the Temple Mount, and to campaign for free Jewish entrance to the Temple Mount. Already back in 1967, the members of our Rabbinical Court, of blessed memory, warned in the name of the Torah that it is a severe and grave sin to enter the Temple Mount nowadays, and that whoever enters the Temple grounds is liable to Divine punishment. They repeated this admonition many times over the years, and all great rabbis, both in the Holy Land and abroad, ruled similarly. Now we have come to reiterate this ban, and we declare that the Torah cannot be changed.

Al A aUnknown

 

According to Jewish belief Jews may not even enter the Temple Mount or Al Aqsa, so certainly they have no right to control the site or regulate who enters. Orthodox Jews in Palestine as well as around the world are opposed to the recent step taken by the Zionist government to anger the Palestinian people and spark a new wave of violence.

 

In general, we wish to say: the State of Israel has no right to govern over any part of Palestine. None of their actions represent world Jewry, and certainly not the Jewish religion.

 

And Zionist provocations are not limited to Palestine. Right here in Toronto, there is a group of Zionist extremists who constantly seek to intimidate the Arab and Muslim community as well as anti-Zionist Jews from speaking up and voicing their opinions. We can only conclude that their goal is to forment hatred between Jews and Muslims. That is not the way of the Torah. These people may call themselves Jewish, but they do not speak for Jews at all.

 

We pray for the complete dismantlement of the Zionist state. We pray that this should take place peacefully, without any bloodshed or suffering to anyone. May we all reach the time when our peoples live in peace with each other, as in times past.

 

Ultimately, let us pray for the revelation of G-d’s glory, when all of mankind will join to serve G-d together, Amen.

 

Free free Palestine, Free free Palestine.

Judaism Yes, Zionism NO

For more information: http://www.nkusa.org

Costly solidarity part 2

June 22, 2017

Palestinian Christians call World Council of Churches
 and the ecumenical movement to ‘costly solidarity’
in this seemingly ‘impossible moment”
Our Call

Jus44
“God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6)

 
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness (Justice), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me”. (Matthew 5:10-11)

 
As we stand in front of this “impossible moment”, it gives us no pleasure to say that “we told you so” eight years ago when we declared the moment as a Kairos moment! We stand facing the impossible, but we have not lost hope, since as followers of the Risen One, we are the people of hope. However, we need you and we need you now more than ever. We need your costly solidarity. We need brave women and men who are willing to stand in the forefront. This is no time for shallow diplomacy Christians. We urge you to hear our call and adopt the following:

 

Kairos

 
1. That you call things as they are: recognize Israel as an apartheid state in terms of international law and in agreement of what a person like Desmond Tutu said and as the UN ESCWA report said: “Israel is guilty of imposing an apartheid regime on the Palestinian people”. We are disturbed by the fact that States and churches are dealing with Israel as if the situation were normal, ignoring the reality of occupation, discrimination and daily death in the land. Just as churches united to end apartheid in South Africa and whereby the WCC played a courageous and pivotal prophetic and leadership role, we expect you to do the same!

 

apartheid
2. That you unequivocally condemn the Balfour declaration as unjust, and that you demand from the UK that it asks forgiveness from the Palestinian people and compensates for the losses. We ask that churches and Christians to support the Palestinians in their request for justice. It was his infamous declaration, after all that laid the ground for the concept of an ethno-religious state – the very same thing our region is suffering today.

 

balfour
3. That you take a clear and the strongest theological stand against any theology or Christian group that justifies the occupation and privileges one nation over the other based on ethnicity or a covenant. We ask that you adopt and live the theology suggested by Kairos Palestine and that you organize conferences to bring awareness towards this end.

ZIO
4. That you take a stand against religious extremism and against any attempt to create a religious state in our land or region. We ask that you support us in combating the foundations of extremism and that you seek our council when acting against religious extremism so that you do not jeopardize and harm our standing here.

 
5. That you revisit and challenge your religious dialogue partners, and that you are willing to even withdraw from the partnership if needed – if the occupation and injustices in Palestine and Israel are not challenged.

 
6. That you lead campaigns for church leaders and pilgrims to visit Bethlehem and other Palestinian cities on this side of the wall in cooperation with Palestinian tourist and pilgrimage agencies, in response to recent attempts by Israel. We ask that you publicly challenge any attempt by Israel or other Christians that discourage pilgrims from visiting Palestinian places.

 

Tours
7. That you defend our right and duty to resist the occupation creatively and nonviolently. We ask that you speak in support of economic measures that pressure Israel to stop the occupation and go further to support sport, cultural and academic measures against Israel until it complies with international law and UN resolutions urging the ending of its occupation, Apartheid and discriminations, and accepts refugees to return to their home land and properties. This is our last peaceful resort. In response to Israel’s war on BDS, we ask that you intensify that measures.

 

Free P
8. That you create lobby groups in defense of Palestinian Christians. We ask that you publicly and legally challenge Christian organizations that discredit our work and legitimacy.

 
9. We therefore propose as a matter of the greatest urgency that you create a strategic program within WCC similar to the Program “To Combat Racism” to lead efforts to lobby, advocate and develop active programs towards justice and peace in Palestine and Israel and work on maintaining the presence of the Palestinian Christians through supporting their organizations, church work and peaceful efforts.

 
As faithful witnesses, we acknowledge, affirm and continue the long standing prophetic tradition, especially the one started by the Amman Call and articulated in the Kairos Palestine document. We fully grasp the pressure church leaders are facing here and abroad not to speak the truth, and it is because of this that we are raising this call.

 
Things are beyond urgent. We are on the verge of a catastrophic collapse. The current status-quo is unsustainable. This could be our last chance to achieve a just peace. As a Palestinian Christian community, this could be our last opportunity to save the Christian presence in this land. Our only hope as Christians comes from the fact that in Jerusalem, the city of God, and our city, there is an empty tomb, and Jesus Christ who triumphed over death and sin, brought to us and to all humanity, new life.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Cor. 4:8-9)
12 June 2017

Costly solidarity in Palestine Pt.1

June 19, 2017

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Palestinian Christians call World Council of Churches

Occ 17

and the ecumenical movement to ‘costly solidarity’
in this seemingly ‘impossible moment”

 

This will be part one of an evangelical wake up call to slumbering Christians in Canada, the USA and Europe.

 

Our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land have been waiting far too long for some tangible expression of solidarity.
The Canadian bishops have twiddled their thumbs as Palestine burns.Their limp abstractions about peace in Israel/Palestine is never followed up by any serious discipleship.

Like so many Catholic institutions and indeed other major Christian bodies seem immobilized by the predictable blowback of tribalists in the Jewish community and the biblical illiterates who espouse Christian Zionism.
When we discuss the Middle East we are neither pro-israel or pro-Palestine. We are simply pro-justiceJustice is a central concern of Jesus’ call of the reign of God. we need not be overly concerned about some negative criticism. The cross can never be denied.
2000 years ago Jesus warned us:

Jus44

 
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. Matt.23: 23, 24
Open letter from The National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine (NCCOP) to the World Council of Churches and the ecumenical movement

 

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Cor. 4:8-9)”
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. (Isa. 1:17)

 
Background

 
As we meet this month in Bethlehem in occupied Palestine, we are still suffering from 100 years of injustice and oppression that were inflicted on the Palestinian people beginning with the unjust and unlawful Balfour declaration, intensified through the Nakba and the influx of refugees, followed by the Israeli occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem and Gaza and the fragmentation of our people and our land through policies of isolation and confiscation of land, and the building of Jewish-only settlements and the Apartheid Wall.

 

 

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We are still suffering because of one political declaration from a Western Empire, based on a twisted theological premise. Even some churches and few Christian leaders supported the establishment of the colonial state in our land, and totally ignored – even dehumanized – the nation, our people that had already existed here for centuries and paid the price for atrocities committed in Europe.

 
Hundred years later with thousands of lives lost, towns and villages razed from the face of the earth – though not our memory –, millions of refugees, thousands of homes demolished and continued incarceration of prisoners, our Nakba goes on.

 
Hundred years later and there is still no justice in our land!

 

Discrimination and inequality, military occupation and systematic oppression are the rule. Today, we stand in front of an impasse and we have reached a deadlock.

 
Despite all the promises, endless summits, UN resolutions, religious and lay leader’s callings – Palestinians are still yearning for their freedom and independence, and seeking justice and equality. Humanly speaking – we have reached the “moment of impossible”, as Emeritus Latin Patriarch Sabbah said recently:

 
Could it be that we have reached this “impossible moment” because things were built from the very beginning – a hundred years ago – on an unjust premise? Should we expect that such an unjust declaration will create anything but strife and destruction?
Today is also an opportunity to remember the Amman Call which was proclaimed ten years ago. We are thankful to those who stood with us back then in costly solidarity; those who stood for truth and justice. We are also concerned that ten years later the situation has been worsening on on the ground and still deteriorating. Like other initiatives advocating end of occupation, the Amman Call did not achieve its goals in building and achieving just peace and we must ask ourselves today – why?

 
We are also concerned by Israel’s systemic assault on Palestinian creative resistance, and on our partners worldwide who use this method to pressure Israel to end the occupation. Many new laws were issued in Israel and around the world to oppose this creative non-violent resistance unlawfully, and to stop all effort towards peace. Not only is this an attack on the freedom of conscience and speech but it is also an assault on our right and duty to resist evil with good. Israel is even now trying to prevent pilgrims from visiting Bethlehem – the city of Emmanuel!

 
While we are grateful for the ‘costly solidarity’ articulated in the Amman Call and exercised by many churches around the world, we are concerned that some churches have weakened their positions in the last ten years as a result of this manipulating pressure. Many still hide behind the cover of political neutrality, not wishing to offend their religious dialogue partners.

 
Finally, we meet in an environment of religious wars and persecution in our region. Religious extremism is on the rise, and religious minorities have paid a heavy and painful price. We thank you for your efforts towards the refugees and towards ending the conflicts in our region. We also thank you for your support of persecuted Christians in places like Iraq and Syria.

 
As we stand in front of this “impossible moment”, it gives us no pleasure to say that “we told you so” eight years ago when we declared the moment as a Kairos moment! We stand facing the impossible, but we have not lost hope, since as followers of the Risen One, we are the people of hope. However, we need you and we need you now more than ever. We need your costly solidarity. We need brave women and men who are willing to stand in the forefront. This is no time for shallow diplomacy Christians. We urge you to hear our call.

The messianic vision

June 13, 2017

Weiss

Daniella Weiss, the voice of the the extreme most religious zealots settlers appeared on Israeli radio when Trump descended on Israel.

 

Evidently the Hebrew Scriptures are apparently a real estate deal.

She began by saying that Trump will bring no change because even Trump the great deal maker cannot undo what was agreed upon between God and the Jewish people when He promised “us” the Land of Israel. Then she stated that now there are 750,000 Jews living in Judea and Samaria, and not one of them can or will ever be removed.

 

Such was the justification of the atheist Ben-Gurion in 1937 when asked by Sir Robert Peel what gave  Jews the right to all of Palestine Palestine, given that the Palestinians he interviewed all had land deeds from the Ottoman Empire. He then asked  the Jewish leader where he was from. Russia. Then the atheist leader simply held up up the Bible.Case closed.

Papp
“What about three million Palestinians?” Weiss  was asked and she made it clear that they are not part of the messianic vision that she holds.

 

Jewish nonviolence: “The world is watching.”

May 31, 2017

lana Sumka is the director of the Center for Jewish Nonviolence who works out of Belgium. She is also a “Jewish Jew” not an Israeli who turns her back on injustice, not a tribalist originally from America who has a hard time reconciling what Israel has become.

SUMK

Sumka is a Jewish hero one committed to ending the Israeli occupation. She was the first by being the first Jewish person to receive an honorary Bethlehem “passport” as part of the international Open Bethlehem campaign.

None of this prevented her from being manhandled by israeli soldiers whom she was taught were superheroes “who’d protect me from harm.”
She recently described her journey in Haaretz from being young and Jewish in the USA 70s to her present role as an anti-occupation activist.
While the rest of the world was preparing for the new American president’s first visit to Israel, in a small village called Sarura deep in the West Bank, 130 American, Canadian, European and Australian Jews were standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Palestinians, taking blows from Israeli soldiers.

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Sarura was a Palestinian village in 1999 and on the pretext of it being “a military firing zone,” 700 were evicted.In 2001. Across from this village the extremist settlers moved in and established an illegal outpost now linked to the electric and water grid. Last week, a coalition of Palestinians, Israelis and Diaspora Jews came together to reclaim Sarura. We called the project “Sumud: Freedom Camp. ‘ Sumka describes her “awakening.”

Like many Jews around the world, it took time for me to realize I couldn’t reconcile this reality of Israel’s occupation with the Israel I thought I knew. For me, it took living in Israel for seven years, studying and eventually traveling in the West Bank every day to witness first-hand the rise of settlements and the on-going displacement of Palestinians to reach a conclusion that terrified me, and that I had not been able previously to accept.   Israeli policy in the West Bank is based on racial and ethnic discrimination in which Jewish rights and Jewish access to land are privileged over and at the expense of Palestinian rights and Palestinian access to land.

SUM

There is no moral case to be made that justifies the separate legal systems, the unequal access to basic resources, the impunity that settlers enjoy or the constant harassment, violence, and displacement that Palestinians face. There is certainly no Jewish case to be made for this. Two years ago I founded the Center for Jewish Nonviolence to bring Jews from around the world to join the Palestinian grassroots nonviolent movement on the ground, alongside our Israeli counterparts.
On May 20 at midnight the brave IDF moved in to dismantle the camp and manhandle the protestors.

But oh how things have changed. Israel can no longer hide what it has been doing for decades.The computer, cell phones, cameras, Facebook has shattered the mendacious israeli narrative and exposed the stunning persistent cruelty of a settler colonial state.

The presence of hundreds of Jewish Americans, Europeans and Australians changed the equation. We linked arms, stood shoulder to shoulder – Palestinians, Israelis and Diaspora Jews – and took out our cameras.  Rabbis, Jewish academics, Jewish day school graduates, Jewish summer camp counselors were all there, filming and livestreaming to our friends, family and communities back home, and the Israeli army knew it.  When these confrontations happen to Palestinians alone, the Israeli army can count on no one watching. We were there to make sure the world was watching.

This brave woman concludes:

It will take more than busloads of American Jews standing in solidarity in the West Bank to end the occupation. But tonight, my Palestinian, Israeli and Jewish American friends are sitting around a campfire drinking hot tea, showing the world an alternative to the status quo. When we turn our privilege into power for our oppressed sisters and brothers, and when we value justice and shared humanity over displacement and discrimination, we win.