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Debate: Palestinian Christians and the Wall

December 24, 2006

Catholic World News: Archbishop of Canterbury denounces wall around Bethlehem

The wall, said Dr. Rowan Williams, represents something “deeply wrong in the human heart.” It symbolizes “the terrible fear of the other, of the stranger, which keeps us all in one kind of prison or another.”

Sunday Times: Archbishop attacks Israel over Bethlehem barrier

THE Archbishop of Canterbury turned his sights on a new political target yesterday, accusing Israel of hindering pilgrimages to Bethlehem, the town where Jesus was born.

(…)

“It is undoubtedly a fact that suicide bombing attacks have gone down since the barrier was erected but the human cost that we have seen has to raise the question: what alternative is there now? How does the long-term security implication of the barrier work out?”

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, who is with Williams on a pilgrimage to the Middle East, said he and his fellow archbishop shared concerns about the barrier.

“Of course we understand the fears of the Israelis of the attacks that have occurred. We have also seen at first hand the way in which that barrier has actually stifled the town of Bethlehem and induced a kind of despair among its people who feel they are under occupation,” he said.

FrontPageMag: The Dark Fate of Christians Under Palestinian Rule

Yes, it’s a shame a fence had to be built to protect Israelis from invasion by murderers from the Palestinian Authority. These murderers have come from Bethlehem as from elsewhere in the PA. On February 22, 2004, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the terrorist group associated with current PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction, dispatched Muhammed Za’ul from Bethlehem to Jerusalem. He detonated a bomb strapped to his body on Egged bus No. 14A in Jerusalem, killing eight and wounding more than 60, 11 of them high school students. On March 29, 2003, Iat Alacharas, 23, from Dehaisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem killed two civilians and injured 22 when she detonated her explosives belt at a supermarket in Jerusalem’s Kiryat Yovel neighborhood. On April 1, 2004, the IDF raided the Dehaisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem to arrest a number of terrorists, including Palestinian Security personnel who were planning to carry out attacks against Israeli civilians. Twelve terrorists, most of them from Fatah Tanzim, had hidden in a psychiatric hospital, which act is itself yet another violation of international law. The October 16, 2005, terrorist attack that killed two cousins, Matat Rosenfeld Adler and Kineret Mandel, as well as 14-year-old Oz Ben Meir, was perpetrated by men who fled to the Bethlehem village of El-Aroub. We could go on and on. Access to Israel from Bethlehem must be controlled.

Merry Christmas, Mayor Batarseh. Merry Christmas to all those Christians allowed to practice their faith in Israel, and to all those who suffer under Palestinian rule. Peace on Earth, and may peace reign in Israel, thanks to its life-saving fence.

See also:
Anglicans for Israel: A Challenge to Dr Rowan Williams
Melanie Phillips: Peace on earth, but hatred towards Israel
Unam Sanctam: Christmas Message of Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
The Pilot: Pope, Israeli official discuss problems of Christians in Holy Land

Related Posts:
Theme: Plight of Christians in the Holy Land

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