Archive for the ‘holy land’ Category

Benedict’s Hasbara Mission

May 14, 2009

While “hasbara” translates most directly as “explanation,” what it has come to mean in practical terms is “any mechanism for making brutal, racist Israeli policy and practice seem palatable to the world.”

Benedict XVI validates war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu, May 14, 2009 near the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth. During Netanyahu’s first term as Israeli Prime Minister he pitted Muslims against Christians by approving construction of a Mosque on the site of the Annunciation.

***
… as one [Israeli] government adviser told the Haaretz newspaper: “We have become pariahs in so many places around the globe. Promoting the Pope’s visit to the state is part of changing that.”

Pope’s ‘Pilgrimage’ Mired in Politics

05/14/2009

By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth

… Before he arrived in the region, the Pope declared that he was coming as a “pilgrim of peace”, with his staff accentuating that his role would be spiritual rather than political.

In truth, however, Pope Benedict’s visit was mired in politics the moment he agreed, at the invitation of Shimon Peres, the Israeli president, to step into this conflict-torn region.

The two popes who preceded him to the Holy Land appear to have better appreciated that point.

The first, Paul VI, made a hurried 12-hour stop in 1964, before the Vatican and Israel had established diplomatic relations, to conduct a Mass in Nazareth. During that time he did not utter the word “Israel” or formally meet with an Israeli official.

The second, John Paul II, came to the Holy Land in radically different circumstances: for the millennium, when hopes were still bright for the peace process. The Vatican had recognized Israel a few years earlier and the pontiff worked hard to soothe long-standing Jewish grievances against the Catholic church.

But he is also remembered by Palestinians for his bold move in joining Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, on a visit to the Deheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem, where he cited UN resolutions against Israel and graphically described the “degrading conditions” under which Palestinians lived.

A decade on, the degrading conditions of occupation have worsened considerably and hopes of peace have vanished. In the circumstances, some Palestinians question what point a papal visit has served.

“The very act of coming here is a political act that works to the benefit of Israel,” observed Mazin Qumsiyeh, a prominent peace activist who teaches at the West Bank’s only Catholic university, in Bethlehem.

“This Pope’s visit, unlike his predecessor’s, offers no novelty — apart from his decision to stand next to [the Israeli prime minister] Benjamin Netanyahu and legitimize an extreme right-wing government.”

Israeli officials too are unpersuaded by the Pope’s claim that he can avoid being dragged into local politics. Or as one government adviser told the Haaretz newspaper: “We have become pariahs in so many places around the globe. Promoting the Pope’s visit to the state is part of changing that.”

Israel has established the largest press centre in the country’s history for this visit, while police have broken up attempts by Palestinian organizations in Jerusalem to present a rival picture to journalists.

The attempts at careful stage management began from the moment the Pope’s plane touched down in Tel Aviv on Monday. At the reception, Pope Benedict stood between Mr Netanyahu and Mr Peres to listen not only to the Israeli national anthem but also to Jerusalem of Gold, a song popularised by soldiers during the capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 war.

The lyrics — offensive to Palestinians — describe an empty and neglected city before the arrival of Jews.

Similarly, Jerusalem’s mayor, Nir Barkat, made a point of welcoming him to the “capital of Israel and the Jewish people”, a description of Jerusalem not recognized in international law.

After the Pope failed to object, the Israeli media happily concluded that the country’s occupation of Jerusalem had papal blessing.

In addition, Palestinians, including the 100,000 with ties to Rome, have been angered by the Pope’s official meeting with the parents of the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, a humanitarian gesture made political for them by the fact that he has not extended the same courtesy to the parents of any of the thousands of Palestinians in Israeli captivity.

Many Palestinians appreciate that the Pope — with his unfortunate, if apparently involuntary, connections to Nazi Germany — has been especially careful not to offend Israeli sensitivities, even if his speech at Yad Vashem failed to live up to the country’s high expectations.

But some also conclude that he has done too little to let the world know of their own plight.

Under pressure from Israel he has refused to visit Gaza, even at the beseeching of the tiny and besieged community of Catholics there.

Yesterday, to minimize Israel’s embarrassment, Vatican officials tried as best they could to keep him out of view of the oppressive wall that encircles Bethlehem. But he did speak to the press outside a UN school at a refugee camp within metres of the wall.

And today, as he headed to Nazareth to celebrate mass, he will not meet Mazin Ghanaim, mayor of the Galilee town of Sakhnin, after Israel labelled Mr Ghanaim a “supporter of terror” for criticizing its offensive in Gaza …

But Israel has not been able to control the message completely. On his one-day trip to Bethlehem and the Aida refugee camp yesterday, the Pope did acknowledge Palestinian suffering and the destruction of Gaza, even if he blamed it vaguely on “the turmoil that has afflicted this land for decades”.

He lamented the difficulties Palestinians face in reaching their holy places in Jerusalem, though he appeared to justify the restrictions on Israel’s “serious security concerns”.

And he criticized the building of a wall around Bethlehem, while attributing its construction to the “stalemate” in relations between Israelis and Palestinians.

full article:

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=15101

Benedict’s Hasbara Mission

May 14, 2009

While “hasbara” translates most directly as “explanation,” what it has come to mean in practical terms is “any mechanism for making brutal, racist Israeli policy and practice seem palatable to the world.”

Benedict XVI validates war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu, May 14, 2009 near the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth. During Netanyahu’s first term as Israeli Prime Minister he pitted Muslims against Christians by approving construction of a Mosque on the site of the Annunciation.

***
… as one [Israeli] government adviser told the Haaretz newspaper: “We have become pariahs in so many places around the globe. Promoting the Pope’s visit to the state is part of changing that.”

Pope’s ‘Pilgrimage’ Mired in Politics

05/14/2009

By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth

… Before he arrived in the region, the Pope declared that he was coming as a “pilgrim of peace”, with his staff accentuating that his role would be spiritual rather than political.

In truth, however, Pope Benedict’s visit was mired in politics the moment he agreed, at the invitation of Shimon Peres, the Israeli president, to step into this conflict-torn region.

The two popes who preceded him to the Holy Land appear to have better appreciated that point.

The first, Paul VI, made a hurried 12-hour stop in 1964, before the Vatican and Israel had established diplomatic relations, to conduct a Mass in Nazareth. During that time he did not utter the word “Israel” or formally meet with an Israeli official.

The second, John Paul II, came to the Holy Land in radically different circumstances: for the millennium, when hopes were still bright for the peace process. The Vatican had recognized Israel a few years earlier and the pontiff worked hard to soothe long-standing Jewish grievances against the Catholic church.

But he is also remembered by Palestinians for his bold move in joining Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, on a visit to the Deheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem, where he cited UN resolutions against Israel and graphically described the “degrading conditions” under which Palestinians lived.

A decade on, the degrading conditions of occupation have worsened considerably and hopes of peace have vanished. In the circumstances, some Palestinians question what point a papal visit has served.

“The very act of coming here is a political act that works to the benefit of Israel,” observed Mazin Qumsiyeh, a prominent peace activist who teaches at the West Bank’s only Catholic university, in Bethlehem.

“This Pope’s visit, unlike his predecessor’s, offers no novelty — apart from his decision to stand next to [the Israeli prime minister] Benjamin Netanyahu and legitimize an extreme right-wing government.”

Israeli officials too are unpersuaded by the Pope’s claim that he can avoid being dragged into local politics. Or as one government adviser told the Haaretz newspaper: “We have become pariahs in so many places around the globe. Promoting the Pope’s visit to the state is part of changing that.”

Israel has established the largest press centre in the country’s history for this visit, while police have broken up attempts by Palestinian organizations in Jerusalem to present a rival picture to journalists.

The attempts at careful stage management began from the moment the Pope’s plane touched down in Tel Aviv on Monday. At the reception, Pope Benedict stood between Mr Netanyahu and Mr Peres to listen not only to the Israeli national anthem but also to Jerusalem of Gold, a song popularised by soldiers during the capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 war.

The lyrics — offensive to Palestinians — describe an empty and neglected city before the arrival of Jews.

Similarly, Jerusalem’s mayor, Nir Barkat, made a point of welcoming him to the “capital of Israel and the Jewish people”, a description of Jerusalem not recognized in international law.

After the Pope failed to object, the Israeli media happily concluded that the country’s occupation of Jerusalem had papal blessing.

In addition, Palestinians, including the 100,000 with ties to Rome, have been angered by the Pope’s official meeting with the parents of the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, a humanitarian gesture made political for them by the fact that he has not extended the same courtesy to the parents of any of the thousands of Palestinians in Israeli captivity.

Many Palestinians appreciate that the Pope — with his unfortunate, if apparently involuntary, connections to Nazi Germany — has been especially careful not to offend Israeli sensitivities, even if his speech at Yad Vashem failed to live up to the country’s high expectations.

But some also conclude that he has done too little to let the world know of their own plight.

Under pressure from Israel he has refused to visit Gaza, even at the beseeching of the tiny and besieged community of Catholics there.

Yesterday, to minimize Israel’s embarrassment, Vatican officials tried as best they could to keep him out of view of the oppressive wall that encircles Bethlehem. But he did speak to the press outside a UN school at a refugee camp within metres of the wall.

And today, as he headed to Nazareth to celebrate mass, he will not meet Mazin Ghanaim, mayor of the Galilee town of Sakhnin, after Israel labelled Mr Ghanaim a “supporter of terror” for criticizing its offensive in Gaza …

But Israel has not been able to control the message completely. On his one-day trip to Bethlehem and the Aida refugee camp yesterday, the Pope did acknowledge Palestinian suffering and the destruction of Gaza, even if he blamed it vaguely on “the turmoil that has afflicted this land for decades”.

He lamented the difficulties Palestinians face in reaching their holy places in Jerusalem, though he appeared to justify the restrictions on Israel’s “serious security concerns”.

And he criticized the building of a wall around Bethlehem, while attributing its construction to the “stalemate” in relations between Israelis and Palestinians.

full article:

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=15101

Benedict’s Hasbara Mission

May 14, 2009

While “hasbara” translates most directly as “explanation,” what it has come to mean in practical terms is “any mechanism for making brutal, racist Israeli policy and practice seem palatable to the world.”

Benedict XVI validates war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu, May 14, 2009 near the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth in another yin yang photo op. During Netanyahu’s first term as Israeli Prime Minister he pitted Muslims against Christians by approving construction of a Mosque on the site of the Annunciation.

***
… as one [Israeli] government adviser told the Haaretz newspaper: “We have become pariahs in so many places around the globe. Promoting the Pope’s visit to the state is part of changing that.”

Pope’s ‘Pilgrimage’ Mired in Politics

05/14/2009

By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth

… Before he arrived in the region, the Pope declared that he was coming as a “pilgrim of peace”, with his staff accentuating that his role would be spiritual rather than political.

In truth, however, Pope Benedict’s visit was mired in politics the moment he agreed, at the invitation of Shimon Peres, the Israeli president, to step into this conflict-torn region.

The two popes who preceded him to the Holy Land appear to have better appreciated that point.

The first, Paul VI, made a hurried 12-hour stop in 1964, before the Vatican and Israel had established diplomatic relations, to conduct a Mass in Nazareth. During that time he did not utter the word “Israel” or formally meet with an Israeli official.

The second, John Paul II, came to the Holy Land in radically different circumstances: for the millennium, when hopes were still bright for the peace process. The Vatican had recognized Israel a few years earlier and the pontiff worked hard to soothe long-standing Jewish grievances against the Catholic church.

But he is also remembered by Palestinians for his bold move in joining Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, on a visit to the Deheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem, where he cited UN resolutions against Israel and graphically described the “degrading conditions” under which Palestinians lived.

A decade on, the degrading conditions of occupation have worsened considerably and hopes of peace have vanished. In the circumstances, some Palestinians question what point a papal visit has served.

“The very act of coming here is a political act that works to the benefit of Israel,” observed Mazin Qumsiyeh, a prominent peace activist who teaches at the West Bank’s only Catholic university, in Bethlehem.

“This Pope’s visit, unlike his predecessor’s, offers no novelty — apart from his decision to stand next to [the Israeli prime minister] Benjamin Netanyahu and legitimize an extreme right-wing government.”

Israeli officials too are unpersuaded by the Pope’s claim that he can avoid being dragged into local politics. Or as one government adviser told the Haaretz newspaper: “We have become pariahs in so many places around the globe. Promoting the Pope’s visit to the state is part of changing that.”

Israel has established the largest press centre in the country’s history for this visit, while police have broken up attempts by Palestinian organizations in Jerusalem to present a rival picture to journalists.

The attempts at careful stage management began from the moment the Pope’s plane touched down in Tel Aviv on Monday. At the reception, Pope Benedict stood between Mr Netanyahu and Mr Peres to listen not only to the Israeli national anthem but also to Jerusalem of Gold, a song popularised by soldiers during the capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 war.

The lyrics — offensive to Palestinians — describe an empty and neglected city before the arrival of Jews.

Similarly, Jerusalem’s mayor, Nir Barkat, made a point of welcoming him to the “capital of Israel and the Jewish people”, a description of Jerusalem not recognized in international law.

After the Pope failed to object, the Israeli media happily concluded that the country’s occupation of Jerusalem had papal blessing.

In addition, Palestinians, including the 100,000 with ties to Rome, have been angered by the Pope’s official meeting with the parents of the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, a humanitarian gesture made political for them by the fact that he has not extended the same courtesy to the parents of any of the thousands of Palestinians in Israeli captivity.

Many Palestinians appreciate that the Pope — with his unfortunate, if apparently involuntary, connections to Nazi Germany — has been especially careful not to offend Israeli sensitivities, even if his speech at Yad Vashem failed to live up to the country’s high expectations.

But some also conclude that he has done too little to let the world know of their own plight.

Under pressure from Israel he has refused to visit Gaza, even at the beseeching of the tiny and besieged community of Catholics there.

Yesterday, to minimize Israel’s embarrassment, Vatican officials tried as best they could to keep him out of view of the oppressive wall that encircles Bethlehem. But he did speak to the press outside a UN school at a refugee camp within metres of the wall.

And today, as he headed to Nazareth to celebrate mass, he will not meet Mazin Ghanaim, mayor of the Galilee town of Sakhnin, after Israel labelled Mr Ghanaim a “supporter of terror” for criticizing its offensive in Gaza …

But Israel has not been able to control the message completely. On his one-day trip to Bethlehem and the Aida refugee camp yesterday, the Pope did acknowledge Palestinian suffering and the destruction of Gaza, even if he blamed it vaguely on “the turmoil that has afflicted this land for decades”.

He lamented the difficulties Palestinians face in reaching their holy places in Jerusalem, though he appeared to justify the restrictions on Israel’s “serious security concerns”.

And he criticized the building of a wall around Bethlehem, while attributing its construction to the “stalemate” in relations between Israelis and Palestinians.

full article:

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=15101

Maronite Christians in Counterfeit Israel Hope Pope Will Ask His Elder Brother Zionists to Return Stolen Land

May 9, 2009

Language of Jesus keeps memories alive in Israel

May 9, 2009

JISH, Israel (AFP) — Israel razed their ancestral village 56 years ago, but some Christians are determined to preserve its heritage by keeping alive the language that Jesus spoke.

“Shlomo malfonito” — “Hello teacher” — intone some 20 pupils in the Arab-Israeli village of Jish, where half the population is Maronite, a people who for centuries have lived in the mountains of Lebanon and nearby.

The children get free lessons in Aramaic, an ancient tongue spoken during the time of Jesus Christ and kept alive down the centuries by fellow Maronites.

Shadi Khalul, 33, organised the lessons and teaches the language of his ancestors along with his brother, sister-in-law and three others so the young people in the northern village remember their roots in Biram some four kilometres (2.5 miles) away.

That village was razed by Israel in 1953, nearly five years after the authorities of the then six-month-old Jewish state evacuated its 1,050 residents in November 1948. They said it would be a temporary measure.

Biram was destroyed despite an Israeli Supreme Court ruling that ordered a return of the residents, who were Israeli citizens when they were expelled from their homes.

“We want to preserve the heritage of our ancestors in Biram, who learned Aramaic,” says Khalul. “It’s a way of keeping alive the memory of what was the only Maronite village in Israel.”

Most of Biram’s former residents settled in Jish, with the remainder spread out over other parts of Galilee and some going back to Lebanon.

But the decades that have passed have not eased the longing to return home.

“In our fight to return to Biram we have never resorted to violence,” says Amir Khalul, Shadi’s brother and fellow teacher of Aramaic. “We have appealed to the justice system as citizens of this country.”

They are also hoping that the Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the Holy Land will improve their chances, and have asked Roman Catholic Church officials if the pontiff can raise the issue when he meets Israeli leaders.

“We hope the pope will bring up our case with Bibi (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu), but it remains to be seen if he will apply any pressure,” says Shadi Khalul.

“For us the best scenario would be for the pope himself to visit Biram, and we proposed as much to the Apostolic Nuncio,” the Vatican’s envoy to Israel.

In the classroom, the students are repeating words and phrases in Aramaic.

The classes always end in prayer, with pupils and teachers forming a circle and reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

“Abu id bashmayo, nitkadash ishmokh, titi malakotokh… Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come…”

Some 60 children in all participate in the weekly one-hour class, where they also learn basic conversation in Aramaic.

“I already know to say “Shlomo aykano itayk? Aino tabto,” 12-year-old Melodie Zaknoon says proudly. “It means ‘How are you? I’m doing fine’.”

Today all that remains of Biram is Our Lady of Biram church and an ancient synagogue. The Israeli government has turned part of the village just a few kilometres from the Lebanese border into a public park.

The church has become a symbol of the attachment many former Biram residents and their offspring have for the place their families called home for centuries.

Families originally from Biram regularly celebrate mass in the stone church, whose cross has grown rusty over time. Marriages, christenings and funerals are also held there.

“That was my house,” says 92-year-old Habib Issa, pointing to a pile of rocks among weeds and fig trees.

His face is lined with wrinkles and his mouth is toothless, but Issa’s grip is as strong as that of a man in his prime. The white-haired old man was one of the last people to leave the village, ordered out by the Israeli military.

He still recalls the encounter with the Israeli commander who told him to leave. “He was surly and arrogant and spoke in a menacing way,” Issa says.

Before their forced exile, the Maronites of Biram used to study Aramaic in two rooms attached to the church.

“We had two teachers who had come from Lebanon. One taught French and the other Aramaic,” Issa says.

“Biram has been a gaping wound for more than 50 years and we will return no matter how long our exile lasts,” proclaims a plaque on a wall of the church.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5giDn6dCTKZAgwxD6NKHmbkyKc9cw

Maronite Christians in Counterfeit Israel Hope Pope Will Ask His Elder Brother Zionists to Return Stolen Land

May 9, 2009

Language of Jesus keeps memories alive in Israel

May 9, 2009

JISH, Israel (AFP) — Israel razed their ancestral village 56 years ago, but some Christians are determined to preserve its heritage by keeping alive the language that Jesus spoke.

“Shlomo malfonito” — “Hello teacher” — intone some 20 pupils in the Arab-Israeli village of Jish, where half the population is Maronite, a people who for centuries have lived in the mountains of Lebanon and nearby.

The children get free lessons in Aramaic, an ancient tongue spoken during the time of Jesus Christ and kept alive down the centuries by fellow Maronites.

Shadi Khalul, 33, organised the lessons and teaches the language of his ancestors along with his brother, sister-in-law and three others so the young people in the northern village remember their roots in Biram some four kilometres (2.5 miles) away.

That village was razed by Israel in 1953, nearly five years after the authorities of the then six-month-old Jewish state evacuated its 1,050 residents in November 1948. They said it would be a temporary measure.

Biram was destroyed despite an Israeli Supreme Court ruling that ordered a return of the residents, who were Israeli citizens when they were expelled from their homes.

“We want to preserve the heritage of our ancestors in Biram, who learned Aramaic,” says Khalul. “It’s a way of keeping alive the memory of what was the only Maronite village in Israel.”

Most of Biram’s former residents settled in Jish, with the remainder spread out over other parts of Galilee and some going back to Lebanon.

But the decades that have passed have not eased the longing to return home.

“In our fight to return to Biram we have never resorted to violence,” says Amir Khalul, Shadi’s brother and fellow teacher of Aramaic. “We have appealed to the justice system as citizens of this country.”

They are also hoping that the Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the Holy Land will improve their chances, and have asked Roman Catholic Church officials if the pontiff can raise the issue when he meets Israeli leaders.

“We hope the pope will bring up our case with Bibi (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu), but it remains to be seen if he will apply any pressure,” says Shadi Khalul.

“For us the best scenario would be for the pope himself to visit Biram, and we proposed as much to the Apostolic Nuncio,” the Vatican’s envoy to Israel.

In the classroom, the students are repeating words and phrases in Aramaic.

The classes always end in prayer, with pupils and teachers forming a circle and reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

“Abu id bashmayo, nitkadash ishmokh, titi malakotokh… Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come…”

Some 60 children in all participate in the weekly one-hour class, where they also learn basic conversation in Aramaic.

“I already know to say “Shlomo aykano itayk? Aino tabto,” 12-year-old Melodie Zaknoon says proudly. “It means ‘How are you? I’m doing fine’.”

Today all that remains of Biram is Our Lady of Biram church and an ancient synagogue. The Israeli government has turned part of the village just a few kilometres from the Lebanese border into a public park.

The church has become a symbol of the attachment many former Biram residents and their offspring have for the place their families called home for centuries.

Families originally from Biram regularly celebrate mass in the stone church, whose cross has grown rusty over time. Marriages, christenings and funerals are also held there.

“That was my house,” says 92-year-old Habib Issa, pointing to a pile of rocks among weeds and fig trees.

His face is lined with wrinkles and his mouth is toothless, but Issa’s grip is as strong as that of a man in his prime. The white-haired old man was one of the last people to leave the village, ordered out by the Israeli military.

He still recalls the encounter with the Israeli commander who told him to leave. “He was surly and arrogant and spoke in a menacing way,” Issa says.

Before their forced exile, the Maronites of Biram used to study Aramaic in two rooms attached to the church.

“We had two teachers who had come from Lebanon. One taught French and the other Aramaic,” Issa says.

“Biram has been a gaping wound for more than 50 years and we will return no matter how long our exile lasts,” proclaims a plaque on a wall of the church.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5giDn6dCTKZAgwxD6NKHmbkyKc9cw

"Israel" Hopes Papal Visit Will Help Polish International Image In Wake of Gaza Massacre

April 8, 2009

Israel hopes pope helps image, brings cash

April 7, 2009

NAZARETH, Israel (AFP) — The din of earthmovers and a cloud of dust rise over Mount Precipice as workers scramble to get ready for a papal visit that Israel hopes will bring in tourist dollars and rave reviews.

The Jewish state is pumping some 10 million dollars (7.5 million euros) into preparations for Pope Benedict XVI’s May 11-15 visit to the Holy Land that will bring tens of thousands of pilgrims to Israel.

It also hopes the papal trip will help polish Israel’s international image in the wake of the Gaza war …

“We are working under a lot of pressure to finish it in time,” says Ishai Soker of the non-profit Jewish National Fund, owned by the World Zionist Organisation, which is financing the project together with local and national authorities …

“Many people, including among the clergy, were not pleased with the visit coming at this time,” says Odeh, referring to calls for Benedict to shun Israel to protest the war on the Gaza Strip that killed more than 1,400 Palestinians …

Full article:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hgdRs7aHRQAQAyXcpBWKi94UerbA

See:

Palestinian Christians Urge Pope to Not Lend Credibility and Prestige to Israeli Slaughterers

Feb. 18, 2009 Meeting of Bilateral Working Commission: Vatican – Counterfeit Israel

Unofficial Itinerary for Papal Visit to “Israel”

More on Pope’s Pilgrimage to Yad Vashem

"Israel" Hopes Papal Visit Will Help Polish International Image In Wake of Gaza Massacre

April 8, 2009

Israel hopes pope helps image, brings cash

April 7, 2009

NAZARETH, Israel (AFP) — The din of earthmovers and a cloud of dust rise over Mount Precipice as workers scramble to get ready for a papal visit that Israel hopes will bring in tourist dollars and rave reviews.

The Jewish state is pumping some 10 million dollars (7.5 million euros) into preparations for Pope Benedict XVI’s May 11-15 visit to the Holy Land that will bring tens of thousands of pilgrims to Israel.

It also hopes the papal trip will help polish Israel’s international image in the wake of the Gaza war …

“We are working under a lot of pressure to finish it in time,” says Ishai Soker of the non-profit Jewish National Fund, owned by the World Zionist Organisation, which is financing the project together with local and national authorities …

“Many people, including among the clergy, were not pleased with the visit coming at this time,” says Odeh, referring to calls for Benedict to shun Israel to protest the war on the Gaza Strip that killed more than 1,400 Palestinians …

Full article:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hgdRs7aHRQAQAyXcpBWKi94UerbA

See:

Palestinian Christians Urge Pope to Not Lend Credibility and Prestige to Israeli Slaughterers

Feb. 18, 2009 Meeting of Bilateral Working Commission: Vatican – Counterfeit Israel

Unofficial Itinerary for Papal Visit to “Israel”

More on Pope’s Pilgrimage to Yad Vashem

Feb. 18, 2009 Meeting of Bilateral Working Commission: Vatican – Counterfeit Israel

February 19, 2009

State terrorism, war crimes, intentionally created humanitarian disasters and pharisaic inquisitions won’t prevent Benedict XVI from squandering what little prestige he’s spared the papacy on a papal visit to counterfeit Israel now that Vatican-“Israel” financial matters appear near resolution.

MEETING OF BILATERAL WORKING COMMISSION HOLY SEE – ISRAEL

VATICAN CITY, 19 FEB 2009 (VIS) – The Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the Holy See and the State of Israel met yesterday, 18 February, at the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs, to continue negotiations on the “Economic Agreement” concerning fiscal and property matters, according to a communique released today.

“The meeting was characterised by great cordiality and a spirit of co- operation. Progress was achieved, and the delegations renewed their joint commitment to conclude the Agreement as soon as possible. The next meeting of this working-level commission will take place on 7 April.”

http://212.77.1.245/news_services/press/vis/dinamiche/b2_en.htm

Papal trip to Holy Land takes shape

By John Thavis

Catholic News Service – Feb-19-2009

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI’s planned trip to the Holy Land was slowly taking shape in February, and the tentative schedule included a number of important pastoral and interreligious events.

The proposed itinerary would take the pope to Jordan May 8-11 …

The pope would travel from Jordan to Israel May 11 and visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem the same day. Over the next three and a half days, he would visit the Western Wall, sacred to Jews; meet with Jewish and Muslim leaders; hold talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders; visit a Palestinian refugee camp; and celebrate Mass in Bethlehem, Nazareth and Jerusalem.

Before returning to Rome May 15, the tentative schedule calls for the pope to hold a brief ecumenical encounter and visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. There was talk of a papal stop in war-devastated Gaza, but Vatican sources said there were no firm plans for such an event; instead, a delegation of Gaza residents was expected to attend one of the papal Masses.

The Vatican’s chief papal trip planner was expected to meet with local organizers in late February to work out a definitive schedule for the visit.

Full article;

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0900772.htm

No Obstacle Too High to Separate Brothers, Except Cash

Vatican and “Israel” in a Tiff over Cash

Benedict to Bless Counterfeit Israel in May

Feb. 18, 2009 Meeting of Bilateral Working Commission: Vatican – Counterfeit Israel

February 19, 2009

State terrorism, war crimes, intentionally created humanitarian disasters and pharisaic inquisitions won’t prevent Benedict XVI from squandering what little prestige he’s spared the papacy on a papal visit to counterfeit Israel now that Vatican-“Israel” financial matters appear near resolution.

MEETING OF BILATERAL WORKING COMMISSION HOLY SEE – ISRAEL

VATICAN CITY, 19 FEB 2009 (VIS) – The Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the Holy See and the State of Israel met yesterday, 18 February, at the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs, to continue negotiations on the “Economic Agreement” concerning fiscal and property matters, according to a communique released today.

“The meeting was characterised by great cordiality and a spirit of co- operation. Progress was achieved, and the delegations renewed their joint commitment to conclude the Agreement as soon as possible. The next meeting of this working-level commission will take place on 7 April.”

http://212.77.1.245/news_services/press/vis/dinamiche/b2_en.htm

Papal trip to Holy Land takes shape

By John Thavis

Catholic News Service – Feb-19-2009

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI’s planned trip to the Holy Land was slowly taking shape in February, and the tentative schedule included a number of important pastoral and interreligious events.

The proposed itinerary would take the pope to Jordan May 8-11 …

The pope would travel from Jordan to Israel May 11 and visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem the same day. Over the next three and a half days, he would visit the Western Wall, sacred to Jews; meet with Jewish and Muslim leaders; hold talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders; visit a Palestinian refugee camp; and celebrate Mass in Bethlehem, Nazareth and Jerusalem.

Before returning to Rome May 15, the tentative schedule calls for the pope to hold a brief ecumenical encounter and visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. There was talk of a papal stop in war-devastated Gaza, but Vatican sources said there were no firm plans for such an event; instead, a delegation of Gaza residents was expected to attend one of the papal Masses.

The Vatican’s chief papal trip planner was expected to meet with local organizers in late February to work out a definitive schedule for the visit.

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