Saturday, December 23, 2006
Zionists Systematically Destroy Cultural Traditions
left: Pilgrims in Bethlehem over ninety years ago prior to the Zionist genocide on Palestinian culture (Khalidi, Walid. Before Their Diaspora).
What's particularly smarmy about Zionists is that they kill, maim, dispossess, and then lie about it. Ignorant journalists even let them explain Palestinians, for example in the Chicago Tribune Daniel Rossing, former director of the department for Christian communities in the Israeli Ministry of Religious Affairs is quoted for his 'knowledge' about Palestinian Christians:
"They are viewed by [Israeli] Jews as part of the vast Arab world, and viewed by their Muslim neighbors as suspect because of their Western connections," Rossing said.
I'm not sure why an Israeli government official, a government which is systematically destroying Palestinian cultural traditions that have existed for millenia, is the last word on Palestinian Christians.
Christians in Palestine are living links to the earliest Christians. No longer are Christians from Bethlehem able to pilgrimage on Palm Sunday to Jerusalem. Jerusalem and Bethlehem, one diocese, has been severed by the Wall. Seventy-two out of eighty shops on the Jerusalem-Bethlehem Road have closed.
The economic strangulation as a result of the Apartheid Wall has seen the flight of many Christian families from Bethlehem.
But Zionist equivocators, like the odious American Zionist Justus Weiner, who actually published a hideous book asserting that Edward Said wasn't a Palestinian, are offered up as experts on Palestinian Muslim-Christian relations while Har Homa, the illegal Jews only settlement on Bethlehem land, is setting up a tourist village to accommodate visitors to Bethlehem, so that the Zionists can cash in on the tourist trade. Zionists are also set to annex the land on which Bethlehem's aquifer sits.
Regarding a Church Times newsletter which stated "local Christians are adversely affected by living as a minority within a Muslim society," Palestinian Bishop Riad Abu El Assal in a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury recently wrote:
"To us, the gentle coexistence of Christians and Muslims is a source of strength; indeed, we regard ourselves as a beacon to the wider Middle East and, through it, the rest of the world. The crisis facing Christians here is entirely due to the Israeli occupation, which, in recent years, has seen entire communities imprisoned behind the Israeli-built wall."
Yet, in today's Church Times (UK subscription only), a Reverend Tim White, obviously more concerned with promoting a very racist, land grabbing, water hoarding genocidal Zionism, rather than defending the few "original stones" left in Palestine disputes Bishop Riad:
"The Bishop in Jerusalem, the Rt Revd Riah Abu El-Assal is in a state of denial when he attributes to Israel sole and exclusive responsibility."
While the Palestinians deal with a very physical wall cutting them off from their farmlands, cutting them off from basic services, cutting them off from their families, we in the west must continue to battle the wall of ignorance.
According to a recent survey, only fifteen percent of Americans even know that Bethlehem is a Palestinian city. No wonder, then, that a headline in the December 21 European Stars and Stripes (full electronic print version) read "Ramstein group traces footsteps of Jesus in Israel."
In the same issue a full page is devoted to "the meaning and traditions of Hanukkah, on which Protestant Women of the Chapel and also Military Council of Catholic Women in Naples, Italy, were enlightened by the Jewish Chaplain.
"'I love the Jews, for they are God's chosen people,' said Army Sgt. Maj. Rozenia Carter, a member of the group. 'I'm here because I heard the rabbi was speaking and I wanted to understand more about their culture. What a belssing it was to light one of the menorahs...It was truly awesome.'"
I am sure that Sgt. Maj. Carter, of the Protestant women, has no clue about the plight of her fellow Christians in Palestine or about the five hundred mixed Christian and Muslim villages that were destroyed in 1947-48. I have an idea that Sgt. Maj. Carter, of the Protestant women, may be one of the eighty-five percent of Americans who doesn't even know that Bethlehem today is a mixed Muslim and Christian town, with a sixty percent unemployment rate.
She probably doesn't know that some of her poor fellow Christians in Bethlehem whose houses were subsidized by the Greek Orthodox Church are facing demolition orders.
She also probably doesn't know that Hanukkah is a very minor holiday, and it probably hasn't occurred to her why it's so highly publicized and feted in the US.
She probably doesn't know that Sis Levin, wife of former CNN correspondent Jeremy Levin, who was also a hostage in Beirut, organized a Palm Sunday procession for the Christian Children of Bethlehem from Bethlehm to Jerusalem, but they were turned away at gunpoint by God's chosen people.
Most likely, the Sgt. Major doesn't know any of this because she grew up in a country that's so Zionised that if we say "Merry Christmas," it's akin to an expletive.
So right now I just don't feel very merry. I was in Bethlehem in the early seventies. I still vividly recall the Israeli sniper on top of the Church of the Nativity I could see from my friend's house.
We Palestinian-Americans have no one to blame but ourselves for the appalling lack of ignorance about Palestine in our society. It is very hard to make inroads in a society that's so Zionised that only fifteen percent of Americans know that Bethlehem is a Palestinian town.
The alternative, however, is to sit back and watch the completion of the destruction of Palestine's cultural traditions. Let ignorant Catholic, Protestant, and maybe not so ignorant Jews light a menorah and delude themselves that this is real multi-culturalism rather than just another exercise in heralding Israel. Palestine was once multi-cultural; it is now Jews preferred and privileged in every way.
In this holy season, let us increase our efforts to de-Zionize the country that our fathers and mothers adopted.
Much of the information here comes from Open Bethlehem. Much more is available at Open Bethlehem. The powerpoint presentations on the site are very informative regarding the effects of Israel's systematic attempt to grab the land and force the indigenous residents out.