By Richard Edmondson
I guess the Christ haters in Israel just couldn’t let the old year pass without carrying out one last church desecration. According to a report in Haaretz, vandals attacked a church in a small village in northern Israel just after Christmas, sometime during the night of December 26-27. For the most part, the attack followed a pattern similar to other church and mosque desecrations that have been occurring regularly in the Jewish state and which I have reported on in the past. Graffiti, some of it obscene, was spray painted, a flammable liquid was poured, and a cemetery adjacent to the church was broken into and the graves vandalized.
But there was one slight little twist. The graffiti included two instances of the word “revenge” (one in Hebrew and one in English). Revenge for what? one might ask.
The church targeted this time was the Church of Our Lady—one of the few structures left standing in the abandoned village of Kafr Bir’im, located just four km south of the Lebanese border. The village is abandoned because it was ethnically cleansed in 1948, and while the Haaretz article does mention that it isabandoned, it leaves the impression that its inhabitants left voluntarily. This is not what happened. I’ll relate some of the village’s history below, but first a couple of excerpts from the Haaretz story. An abandoned village, to be sure, but there are still people attached to it, as you’ll see:
The church is the only remaining structure in the town of Baram in northern Israel, which was abandoned in 1948 by its Arab-Christian population.
The committee of the abandoned town said that this was not the first time unknown suspects have broken into the cemetery and vandalized the graves. The word “revenge” and a Star of David were spray-painted at the entrance of the church.
The committee explained that in the last few days families came to the site to celebrate Christmas and that no signs of vandalism were discovered. Only on Thursday was the vandalism discovered so that the attack must of taken place during the night of Wednesday and Thursday.
The “committee” referred to in the above passage is the Committee for the Uprooted of Kafar Birem, made up of the village’s former inhabitants and their descendants. While their desire, for the past 64 years, has been to return to their home, so far Israel has forbade resettlement of the village. However, it does permit them to visit and to bury their dead in the church cemetery, and occasionally weddings are still held in the church.
Camal Yaakub, a member of committee, said an official complaint was lodged with the Safed Police, but that similar complaints were lodged in the past, and no one has been arrested.
“This is a heinous act that epitomizes criminal extremism and it cannot be ignored…We plan to contact the Vatican and complain about the repeated attack on this holy site without any proper action on the part of the police,” Yaakub said.
The Haaretz article refers to Kafr Bir’im as “Baram,” however, Baram is actually the name of a Jewish kibbutz located nearby on what was once village land. The kibbutz was founded in 1949, less than a year after the new state forcibly exiled Kafr Bir’im’s native inhabitants. The villagers were told that they would have to leave but were promised they would be allowed to return in two weeks. This promise was broken by the Israeli authorities. The displaced population was almost wholly Christian. Kafr Bir’im had been one of a small number of Christian villages in the upper Galilee.
|The Church of Our Lady as it looks today–or as it did before
vandals struck in December of 2012
At the beginning of this article I used the term “Christ haters.” This of course is not the first time Christian churches in Israel have been attacked. In fact, it’s not even the first time the Church in Kafr Bir’im has been attacked. Would it surprise you to learn that the year 2012 saw no less than seven attacks on Christian sites in Israel? This indeed is the case. In February, vandals hit the Narkis Street Baptist Church and the Valley of the Cross Monastery, both in Jerusalem ( see video ); the Monastery of Notre-Dame de Sept Doulers in Latrun, 25 km west of Jerusalem, fell prey in September; next targeted was the Convent of St. Francis on Mt. Zion in early October. And finally the year 2012 went out with a bang, with three attacks in December—the Church of Our Lady in Kafr Bir’im in the early part of the month, the Valley of the Cross Monastery on December 12 (the monastery’s second desecration of the year), followed by the Church of Our Lady again on December 27. Funny how the Israeli police don’t seem to be able to make much progress in solving these cases.
In addition to the above acts of vandalism, Israel has issued a confiscation order for 37,000 square meters of privately owned land in the Cremisan Valley near Bethlehem. The valley is home to the Salesian Sisters Convent School and the Salesian Monastery, and the order leaves Christian families in the area faced with the prospect of losing their land.
The year 2012 also saw a member of the Israeli Knesset publicly tear apart a copy of the New Testament (see story and photo here ).
And now we have Jewish vandals invoking the word “revenge” in their latest attack against the Church of Our Lady. Clearly, then, the term “Christ haters” seems to be warranted.
“Revenge”? Let’s review briefly who did what to whom.
21 After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me.”
22 His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”
25 Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”
26 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.
63 The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. 64 They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” 65 And they said many other insulting things to him.
13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. 15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.[c]”
18 With one voice they cried out, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)
20 Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
38 Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!”
41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.”
The passages above bear an unmistakable parallel to what we see happening in Israel today. Why was Jesus hated so much by the Jews of his time? Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that Christ rebelled…not against Rome (as Pilate aptly observed in the passage from Luke 23), but against Jewish supremacism. Think of his parable of the Good Samaritan, with its message that all people, and not just Jews, are loved by God. Or consider his tenet that we are to love our enemies, be compassionate, and treat people with justice. Teachings of this nature are anathema to the Jewish supremacist mindset and to the view of Jews as “chosen.” And it is no wonder they hated him. So how deep did this hatred run? The best clue to that can be found in the final passage, the one from Matthew. There was Jesus hanging on the cross as the Jewish supremacist psychopaths gathered about him, taunting, jeering, “hurling insults”—even as his blood flowed from his pierced flesh. It was a betrothal of sorts—between the Jews and their long-lived hatred for Christ; a betrothal sanctioned by the law of Moses, which viewed the Jews as chosen; a hatred born in a walled-in Gabbatha of the first century, and which remains firmly entrenched in Jewish thinking to this day.
For consider: despite all the Gospel passages I’ve quoted above, the Jewish settlers of Israel apparently feel it is the Christians of Palestine who warrant an act of “revenge” of some sort.
The following is an account of the December 27 attack upon the Church of Our Lady posted at the website of The Committee for the Uprooted of Kafar Birem. The account is posted in Arabic, the English translation is by Nahida Izzat.
A new attack on a church and cemetery of Kafr Bir’em village which was ethnically cleansed in 1948. The villagers were promised then by an Israeli minister at the time that they would be allowed back to their village after two weeks.
As usual, the refugees of Kafr Bir’em gathered on 12.25.2012 for Christmas prayer in their old church, they stayed there for many hours after prayer, and despite the extreme cold some youth stayed overnight.
The next day (the second day of the Feast), many of villagers walked around between their homes and in the church, including the National Parks Association official who is responsible for historic and archeological sites who toured the village before leaving the place, there were no signs or traces of attacks on any archaeological site.
On the morning of (12/27/2012), racist and immoral graffiti insults to the Cross were found on the walls of archaeological sites and the door of the church, including the Star of David. On the steps of the church, the word “revenge” was written in Hebrew, and on one of the walls, the word “revenge” was written in English. Furthermore, some oil substance was found on the door and the steps of the church, perhaps an attempt to burn the church.
This kind of attack was not the first, three weeks ago similar attacks happened, a complaint was presented to the police of Safed, which attended and examined the place but as usual, did not find the perpetrators.
As mentioned, today’s attack is one of dozens of similar racist acts which reflect religious and national racism. In all of the events complaints were made to the police, and in all times they were not “successful” to capture the perpetrators.!!
The Committee of Kfar Bir’em, the stewards of the local church and the heads of the local church in general, are furious for these heinous acts which reflect violence and racism, they reject the series of attacks on Christian holy places and others, especially in light of apparent impotence shown by officials to protect the security of people and places in general, and sacred in particular.
The Committee of Kfar Bir’em also intends to take the complaint further to the institutions concerned in the country, to institutions in the Vatican embassy in Israel and to the Holy See in the Vatican, demanding action to protect the holy places where it appears that the state is “unable” to protect them.
Take notice of the second paragraph. The Israelis have refused to allow the former inhabitants of the village to return to their homes, yet despite this, and despite the winter temperatures, they gather there at the church each year for Christmas, and some even stay overnight. Does this sound like a people who would have “voluntarily” abandoned their village 65 years ago?
The reference to the “National Parks Association” makes sense when we learn that in 1977 the Israeli government turned Kafr Bir’im and its surrounding land into a national park. You’ll note the reference in the fifth paragraph to the attack that occurred three weeks earlier and the mention that the police did not find the perpetrators then either…as well as the following paragraph, which places the attacks on the Church of Our Lady within the context of a national pattern of “religious and national racism.” As I said above, hatred for Christ remains firmly entrenched in Jewish thinking to this day, and this report from the Committee for the Uprooted of Kafar Birem about the attack on their church gives us a graphic example of this.
Some history of Kafr Bir’im:
The information I’m about to present comes from the book, Returning to Kafr Bir’im, compiled in 2006 by the BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights. The full document can be accessed in pdf format here , and gives a detailed history of the ethnic cleansing of the village in 1948 as well as the efforts by successive generations of Bir’imites to return to the place they still, 65 years later, think of as home. It is basically a history of the Palestinian Nakba as it played out in this one particular village, and it is one of only a handful of such histories available on the Internet (another reliable source on the village’s history, of course, being the site of the Committee for the Uprooted of Kafr Bir’im. )
The ethnic cleansing began roughly some five months after the formal establishment of the state of Israel—specifically on October 29, 1948 when Israeli occupation forces arrived at the village as part of “Operation Hiram.” It was one of the first of what have now become commonplace—i.e. biblically-themed military operations aimed at eliminating or dislocating Palestinians from their native lands. Hiram was the Old Testament king of Tyre who, as the story goes, helped the ancient Israelites build their temple by supplying laborers and cedar timber from Lebanon. The objective of Operation Hiram was to create a military buffer zone by clearing out the populations of all the Palestinian villages on or close to the Lebanese border.
On this day, the soldiers carried out a house-by-house search of Kafr Bir’im. When this was done the people were allowed to reenter their homes, yet at the same time the military imposed a curfew on the village. A week later they conducted a census count, in the course of which they registered 1,050 people living in the village. Still the residents believed themselves safe for the reason that they had been on good terms with the Jews, and had not resisted the occupation or participated in the earlier fighting by Palestinian resistance groups. But this faith they held in the Jewish authorities was misplaced. On November 13, 1948, the Israeli forces ordered the villagers to leave their homes within 48 hours. This was done under the pretext that officials were concerned about their safety. As one of the officers informed them, “Our intelligence sources say that Kafr Bir’im is in serious danger, but you are fortunate because my men can protect it. Your lives, however, may be in danger. Therefore you have to close your houses, give us the keys and head to the surrounding hills for a few days. I promise you that none of your belongings will be touched.”
The Bir’imites were told they would have to leave for a two-week period, but that at the end of that time they would be allowed to return. It was a promise which was of course never kept.
Initially it was the Israeli military’s plan to drive the Upper Galilee Palestinians across the border and into Lebanon, but for whatever reason that part of Operation Hiram ended up never being implemented. While some of the displaced did make their way to Lebanon, most ended up being resettled inside Israel. The majority of Kafr Bir’im’s residents moved to the village of Jish, four km to the south.
By the time the infamous two week period had passed, Kafr Birim’s inhabitants were still waiting for the imminent return. Officer Emmanuel (Mano) Friedman and other Israeli officials were still making promises and assuring the villagers that everything was going well. The villagers (now residing in Jish) were allowed to fetch the dried tobacco hanging in the ceilings of their homes and market it through a Haifa-based company. Kafr Bir’im inhabitants displaced to the Lebanese village of Rmaish were also permitted to come to Kafr Bir’im, prepare the tobacco and sell it in Haifa, in order to then go back to Rmaish and wait for the ultimate return to Kafr Bir’im.
But the “ultimate return” never came. On February 22, 1949, the situation became more tense. Some 65 villagers who had returned to make repairs on their homes following severe rains were rounded up and deported into the West Bank, then under Jordanian rule. Village leaders and clergy protested this action to Israeli officials, but to no avail. But more was to come. In June of that year, the Bir’imites discovered the houses that they had once lived in now were occupied by Jews, and that a kibbutz was being built on a section of their village land. The Jews continued living in the Palestinian homes until 1951, at which time they moved into the newly-completed kibbutz. The kibbutz was named the Kibbutz Baram. It was established on land belonging to Kafr Bir’im, and its builders seemed to have helped themselves liberally to whatever Palestinian property they needed at the time.
Vandalism and theft of land and property of Kafr Bir’im by Kibbutz Bar’am continued over a period of several years and included destruction of wells. The use of stones from the village houses for the pavement of the kibbutz’ main street in 1952, and the uprooting of olive trees from village land.
Moreover, Kibbutz Baram did not remain the only Jewish settlement which would swallow the land of Kafr Bir’im. In 1958, Moshav Dovev, an agricultural co-operative, was established on the land northwest of the village. Other parts of the village land were exploited by Kibbutz Sa’sa set up on land of the depopulated Palestinian village of Sa’sa.
But the worst was yet to come. Eventually Israeli leaders decided to make the cleansing complete by destroying all the remaining homes, and on September 16-17, 1953, Israel’s Air Force bombed Kafr Bir’im, destroying every structure in the village with the exception of the church and its school. To make matters doubly painful, the villagers were able to watch the bombing from a hilltop two km away—a hill that became known as “the Bir’imites wailing place.” Even until this day, the date of the destruction is commemorated each year with demonstrations and other activities. One of the displaced residents, Sami Zahra, recalls what it was like:
When the planes appeared above the village, and the houses were bombed, we all went up a hill located in the high area of Jish overlooking Kafr Bir’im. Every time a bomb fell on a house, the people would mention the name of the house owner and cry, and wait for the next bomb which would destroy the next house. They were unable to intervene against the destruction…Ever since that time, the hill has been called the ‘Bir’imites wailing place.’
The Israeli military had declared the entire region a “closed area,” and the objective was basically to make it impossible for people to return and live there. Other villages were being dealt with in similar-type manners.
The people of Kafr Bir’im protested the aerial destruction of their village. They lodged their complaints with all the political leaders in Israel, as well as with the ambassadors of the United States, Britain, France, and the Vatican. In one message, addressed to a number of top Israeli officials, they declared:
The owners of Kafr Bir’im strongly condemn the bombing of their houses and consider it the worst form of injustice. They would have preferred to be slaughtered by the racist oppressor, rather than having their houses demolished before their eyes in a situation of calm and without justification. The bombing of the houses will not make the owners cede their rights.
And so it hasn’t. In the six decades since that anguishing event in 1953, the people of Kafr Bir’im and their descendants have waged a nonviolent campaign for their cherished right of return. Over the years, at different times, these efforts have included appeals to the Israeli courts as well as lobbying public opinion, both inside and outside of Israel. They have also told their story in films, books, documentaries, and artistic endeavors. Occasionally these efforts have met with some moderate successes. In the early 1970s, for instance, the plight of the people of Kafr Bir’im became a major issue in the Israeli media, and some Israelis called for the villagers to be given the right to return to their homes. But still the government refused this request, fearing the legal precedent that would be set and that could possibly be seized upon by other displaced people from other villages.
|Painting of the Church of Our Lady
by Roni Issa
In 1965, Israeli officials began a project of converting the Kafr Bir’im area into a national park, a plan that also included the development of new residential areas. The park was officially designated as such in 1977—on land that included the village, its church and cemetery, and all surrounding land. Even though the ruins of the destroyed houses belonging to the people of Kafr Bir’im were still visible, government authorities posted a sign at the entrance identifying it as the site of an ancient Jewish village. Said Natalie Makhoul, a young woman from the third generation of the Bir’imite displaced:
In my childhood, I never thought of my village as a national park. My connection with it was free of such provocations and anger. It is very painful for me now, that the land of my village and grandparents is treated as a ‘national park.’ My feeling towards the village is stronger than the signs that carry the name of the park. It’s a malicious act, and it makes me angry to see people and tourists come to my village and read stories about its history which have been fabricated in order to obliterate our personal past.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the Bir’imites were prohibited by law from entering their village, and visits were limited to making treks up to the “wailing hill.” But in 1967, Israeli authorities loosened restrictions somewhat, allowing people in for visits, though not to stay. And thus began a practice that has continued down to today, of holding weddings and religious ceremonies in the church, along with burial services in the cemetery. A youth summer camp is also held each year in the first week of August, all of which helps keep ties to the village alive.
In 1972, the villagers undertook a project of renovating the Church of Our Lady. The church had been vandalized by the Jewish settlers who had arrived in 1949, and again in 1951 with the establishment of the Kibbutz Baram—and then in 1953, when the village houses were bombed from the air, the church walls and edifices were cracked. Later during the 50s its bell was also stolen, the theft carried out by a person or persons unknown from the nearby kibbutz. But the renovation was successfully completed, and a new bell acquired. According to Father Elias Shaqour:
They took it [the bell] so that they could ring it at lunchtime in the kibbutz, and when our young people went to get it, they found it broken. The church remained without a bell until I went to Lebanon, collected 3,650 Lebanese Pounds from the Biri’mites there, and brought the bell with me in 1975. The bell weighs 285 kilograms and carries an inscription saying: ‘A gift from Kafr Bir’im’s sons and daughters in Lebanon.’
In 1998, the church was connected to the grid of the regional electric company, and today religious ceremonies continue to be held there, particularly at Christmas and Easter, as well as weddings. But still no one is allowed to return to rebuild their homes or live there.
|A wedding held at the church in 1980
In 1986, a village clergyman, Father Yusef Istifan Susan published his memoirs, entitled Shahadati: Yawmiyat Bir’imiyya 1948-1968 (My Testimony: a Diary of Kafr Bir’im 1948-1968). In the book he records a conversation he had with an Israeli official in 1951. The man’s name was Na’man Stavi, the military governor of Nazareth (all Palestinians at that time were under military rather than civilian rule, a state of affairs that continued up until 1966), and judging from the callousness of his response he seems to have had little sympathy for the priest and his pesky humanitarian appeals ( my own emphases are added in red):
Father Istifan: We met Mr. Fox [nickname of David Anan, Liaison Officer with Christian Communities in the Ministry of Religions] yesterday here in Nazareth. He told us that the government has agreed to allow us to harvest in this season the olives on our trees and the Waqf trees in Kafr Bir’im. We have come to you to get a permit to enter the area.
The Governor: I don’t know about this and have certainly not been informed. I wish Mr. Fox was with us to provide us with the source of this information. Do you have a letter to that effect?
Father Istifan: He did not hand us the notice in writing, but to dispel your doubts I can add that he came with us to your secretary’s office and informed him of the decision. He had also arranged a meeting with you and expressed his regret that you were not there.
The Governor: I have received notice that Kafr Bir’im’s properties and the Waqf property in the village are under the control of the Department of Agriculture [the department responsible for uncultivated land], the only party now authorized to lease these properties as it wishes. No Arab is allowed to enter this area at all for security reasons.
Father Istifan: Has Kafr Bir’im been designated a closed area recently or earlier on?
The Governor: It has been a closed area since the time you were evacuated from your village.
Father Istifan: We were allowed last year to harvest the Waqf land and we did not violate security, and Kafr Bir’im’s inhabitants were also allowed to pick their olives as paid laborers for the Kibbutz. How do you explain that? If we work for the Kibbutz, we are not considered Arabs and a threat to security, but if we pick our olives for ourselves, we are considered Arabs and a threat to security. Is this logical?
The Governor: I do not know more than I told you.
Father Istifan: It seems that the government has ulterior motives.
The Governor: What do you mean?
Father Istifan: I mean that we have never been a threat to security and will not be one if we pick our olives, and that the government is only trying to extract our properties from us unjustly and by force.We are sorry, but the government is violating the promise made in the leaflets thrown to us from the planes which said: ‘stay in your homes peacefully and you will be treated like us.’ Where are we now with regard to this promise?
The Governor: This is not my business.
You’ll notice, of course, the irony—of the kibbutz growing its olive trees on stolen land, and of the rightful owners of the land being allowed to pick the olives as the paid laborers of the very thieves who stole it from them.
And finally, I have saved the most crucial part of this story till last—crucial, that is, from the point of view of American Christians who may still be laboring under the opinion that Jews, by and large, somehow are our friendsand share certain common values with us—for yes, it seems the Christians of Kafr Bir’im at one time held the very same view of Jews. Keep in mind that on October 29, when the Israeli troops taking part in Operation Hiram arrived, the villagers were right in the middle of their olive harvest. Again from the book, Returning to Kafr Bir’im:
The inhabitants of Kafr Bir’im were ordered to leave despite the special relationship which had linked some villagers with the Zionist movement before 1948. This special relationship, which may even have resulted from understandings reached between the Zionist movement and the Maronite episcopal authority in Lebanon in the 1940s, was described by the Israeli journalist Aaron Becher in the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot on 28 July 1972:
Recall, as I said above, that Kafr Bir’im became a major issue in the Israeli media in the early 1970s. Here is the quote Returning to Kafr Bir’im gives from Becher’s 1972 report in Yediot Aharonot:
Long before the creation of the state of Israeli (sic) in May 1948, the inhabitants of Kafr Bir’im had lived in close friendship with the Jews in Palestine. An Israeli Jewish writer has given an account of how, as early as 1945, the villagers had assisted—at some risk to themselves—Zionist Jews of Palestine who were conducting Jewish immigrants passing south from Lebanon through this area into Palestine. One of the Jews involved in this operation was Yeshua Felmon (later changed to Palmon); he was to become adviser to the Israeli government on Arab affairs. One of the Arab youths of the village of Kafr Bir’im was Ayub Mtanis; in 1972 he was to head the protest Committee for the Return of the Uprooted of Kafr Bir’im. In 1972 Mr. Mtanis recalled how in 1945 he saw Mr. Palmon arrive in Kafr Bir’im to smuggle into Palestine four Jews, two men and two women, who had come down from Lebanon. The Arab youngsters distracted the policemen in the village while the Jews were hidden and passed through. This account of Mr. Mtanis was confirmed by Mr. Emmanuel Friedman, who was adviser on minorities in the provisional Jewish government. He stated: “Not only Mr. Palmon, others too…used to visit frequently in the village and to be helped by the villagers. The inhabitants of Kafr Bir’im were considered faithful friends.”
Let’s read that last sentence again: “The inhabitants of Kafr Bir’im were considered faithful friends.” It didn’t take the Zionists long to turn around, stab their “friends” in the back, occupy their homes, and steal their land—did it? I would suggest the following to John Hagee and his bunch and all the other Christian Zionists in America: as long as you continue to be useful to the Jews, they will continue to pretend to be your friends. But the moment you have outlived your usefulness, you can expect to see the same side of them as that experienced by the Christians of Kafr Bir’im in 1948.
And to America’s mainstream Christians, I would ask the following: are these the people you really want to have “interfaith dialogue” with? To what purpose? They will smile and have dialogue with you to your face, and then laugh, smirk, and call you a “stupid goy” behind your back. I offer all of this simply as a cautionary element, as something you might want to think about, particularly you Methodists, the next time a boycott, divestment and sanctions resolution comes up at your next General Conference.
The Bir’imite in the video below (or perhaps his father or grandfather) may well have been one of those villagers who regarded the Zionist Jews as friends. Now, however, with his childhood home bombed and his land taken over by a kibbutz, the elderly gentleman seems to have come (perhaps belatedly) to a different realization—that not only are they not his friends, they are in fact “mafia” and “criminals,” as he puts it.
And now the church and the cemetery—the very cemetery in which we see the old man toiling in the above video—have been vandalized. Vandalized by Christ-hating Jews calling for “revenge.”
After this, Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life.
The parallels between the past and the present are striking, are they not?
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!