Israeli Squatter anti-Church Terror in Jerusalem “Poisons” Papal visit

(By Juan Cole)

The Latin Patriarch in Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, has said that Israeli squatter attacks on and desecration of Christian churches has poisoned the atmosphere in advance of Pope Francis’s planned visit to Jerusalem.

Suspected Israeli extremist squatters have committed 24 acts of vandalism against Jerusalem churches in the past year, many of them in just the last month. One graffito scrawled in Hebrew on the wall of the Assembly of Bishops at the Notre Dame Center in East Jerusalem included a death threat.

Pope Francis will visit the Notre Dame Center, where the death threat was written, during his trip later in May.

The extremist Ultra-Orthodox squatters call this vandalism “price tag” attacks, i.e. they show the price of the Israeli government’s attempt to curb illegal settlements on Palestinian territory.

Twal said that the attacks are certainly a source of anxiety for all moderates.

The US State Department has begun classifying ‘price tag’ attacks by Israeli squatters as a form of terrorism.

The Arabic press openly uses the words “terrorism” and “racism” to describe the Israeli vandalism.

Although Israeli officials have pledged action to stop the attacks, so far those pledges have been largely empty and Twal says he can’t trust them until they are implemented. Those price tag vandals arrested in the West Bank have often been freed by the Israeli courts.

Hundreds of Israeli squatters are suspected of being involved in the attempt to terrorize Christian Palestinians, including followers of race-baiting American-born Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg and members of the Kach racist group founded by extremist Meir Kahane. Many of the Ginsburg followers involved in the attacks live in the squatter settlement of Yitzhar near Ramallah in the Palestinian West Bank. Two of Ginsburg’s colleagues have urged the killing of Palestinian babies because they will, allegedly, grow up to hate Jews.


Euronews: “Christian leaders in Israel call for a crackdown on Jewish nationalist ‘price tag’ attacks”

7 Responses

  1. If the settler violence is terrorism and the Israeli state supports the settlers, enables their terror and refrains from opposing it, that makes Israel a state supporter of terrorism.

    The US ought to impose sanctions on itself for its support of Israeli terrorism.

  2. Israel’s right-wing government saw fit to go along with the settler movement, but it brings to mind a theme used in Western movies about the townsfolk enlisting the aid of gunslingers who then took over the town. Lotsa luck, Bibi.

  3. It is ironic that most US evangelicals have never demonstrated the slightest interest in the welfare of Palestinian Christians who live under Israel’s harsh and illegal occupation. In contrast, in 2012 “the United Church of Canada [the largest Protestant denomination in Canada]…voted to boycott products exported by Israeli settlements on the West Bank. The foray into Middle East politics was one of 13 resolutions the UCC adopted…The resolutions also single out Israeli settlements as a principal obstacle to peace in the region, call on Israel to suspend settlement expansion, and express regret for previously asking Palestinians to acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state.”
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    • Non-evangelical Protestant denominations have expressed solidarity with Palestinian interests.

      The Quakers have had educational institutions in Palestine since 1869 and continue to do so today. They have spearheaded boycott and demonstration protests in America against the Israeli government.

      Other Protestant denominations, such as the Seventh Day Adventists, have conducted missionary activity in the West Bank.

      However, most Palestinian Christians have been either Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholic in orientation.

      • My father, born in Kufr Yassif, not far from Acre, was Protestant, due to a twist of history in the days of his grand-father who converted from Greek Orthodox to Protestant in exchange for the Protestant missionaries building a school, etc. there are hardly any Roman Catholics in the ME. All are melkites (Greek catholic).

        • There are about 80,000 Catholics in Israel/Palestine region.

          Latin-rite adherents predominate over Melkites, however the Latin-rite Catholics are concentrated in the Jerusalem/Ramallah areas.

          The Lutheran church maintains school facilities in areas near Jerusalem.

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