Gentle Exfoliating Walnut Scrub

Christian-Muslim relations in Palestine Gaza Baptist Church ceiling falling down                                                                                                               An overview of the Christian presence in Palestine The estimated number of Palestinian Christians in the West Bank, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem is 51, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub710, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub making the percentage of the Palestinian Christians in the Occupied Territories two percent of the Palestinian population. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub There is, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub in contrast, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub a higher percentage of Christians in Israel. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub The percentage of the Arab Christians in Israel - including Israeli Occupied Jerusalem - is 1.66, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub according to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Bethlehem, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub which traces its roots to the very origin of the Christian faith, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub is the home to the highest percentage of Christians in Palestine (43.4%), gentle exfoliating walnut scrub followed by Ramallah (24.7%), gentle exfoliating walnut scrub then Jerusalem (17.9%). Christianity has a long standing history in Palestine, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub and Palestinian Christians belong to several traditional communities of faith. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub The first are the traditions of the Eastern Orthodox churches, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub the second is made up of the Syrian, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Coptic and Armenian Orthodox churches, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub and a third category consists of those churches belonging to the Catholic family of churches. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub There are also a small but increasing number of evangelical churches, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub including the Lutheran and Episcopal churches. Over the past century, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub the percentage of Christian Palestinians has been in decline. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub The influx of Jewish immigrants since the late 1880s, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub the Nakba of 1948 and the expulsions of 1967 played a big role in diminishing the presence of Palestinian Christians. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub During the Deir Yassin Massacre of 1948, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub over a quarter of a million Palestinians, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub many of them Christian, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub were displaced or disappeared. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Many of the 531 villages that were levelled in 1948 had a mix of Christian and Muslim inhabitants. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub To this day, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub millions of Palestinians have been expelled from their lands, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub and rendered homeless and as refugees. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Of the remaining Palestinian Christians, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub most of them have emigrated at an increasing rate from 1990 onwards, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub because of lack of freedom and security and due to the deteriorating economic situation. A relationship of trust in the face of Israeli adversity Various Christian Zionist propaganda sources claim that the main problem for Palestinian Christians is their Muslim neighbours. The decline of Christian presence in Palestine is portrayed as the fault of Muslims and not of the illegal Israeli occupation.iii Christian Zionist tours to the Holy Land contribute towards the spread of this myth and frame the conflict in an anti-Muslim way in order to distract attention from Israel's continued violations of international law. Even though the relationship between Palestinian Christians and Muslims is not always a rosy one, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub the above claims are far from true. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Palestinian Christians are an indigenous, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub integral part of the Arab Palestinian culture and civilization in the political, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub historical and religious spheres. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub At the political level, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Palestinian Christians have been fellow citizens in the common struggle against foreign or colonial invasion, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub regardless of its religious or ethnic identity. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Many seats in the current Palestinian Legislative Council are held by Palestinian Christians. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub This amounts to more or less 8% of the seats, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub whereas Christians only make up 2% of the population of the West Bank and Gaza. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Similarly, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub the Samaritans, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub who number three hundred and twenty persons, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub have one seat in the Council. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter are observed, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub and Christians continue to be an integral part of the Arab Palestinian culture and civilization.  A relationship of peaceful coexistance is also found on the personal level. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub People from both religions visit each other during religious festivals, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub and in Jerusalem schools run by Christian churches have a majority Muslim student population. Palestinian Christians, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub like their Muslim counterparts, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub have experienced a long history of dispossession and have not been immune to Israeli policies of occupation and discrimination. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Not only do they have to deal with the day to day hardships that come with occupation, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub but they are also dismayed by the fact that many of their fellow Christians in Europe and North America unquestionably support the Israeli regime. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Western Christians (in particular American and Britain) have, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub for a variety of reasons, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub tended to show greater sympathy towards the state of Israel than towards the worsening condition of the Palestinian people. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub This alliance can be traced back as far as 1917, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub when the United Kingdom issued the Balfour Declaration and established Palestine as a "national home for the Jewish people". Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub More recently the Nixon administration in 1973 provided Israel with a full replacement of all its tanks, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub planes and ammunition during the October War against Egypt and Syria. However, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Western Christian alliances with Israel go beyond a political alliance. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Throughout the 20th Century there has been a significant influence of Christian theological attitudes toward Israel which has been devastating on the indigenous Palestinian Christian community. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub The rise of Evangelicalism and Christian fundamentalism has fermented the unquestionable support for the state of Israel. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub As was highlighted by the Pope earlier this month during his visit to Cyprus, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub "the Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories is creating difficulties in everyday life….moreover; certain Christian fundamentalist theologies use Sacred Scripture to justify Israel's occupation of Palestine." A 46-page text published by the Vatican: The Catholic Church in the Middle East: Communion and Witness" stresses how this fundamentalist theology is making the situation for Christian Arabs even more sensitive. Christian Zionist support for Israel is also manifested in the shape of pilgrimages to the Holy Land, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub encouraged particularly by the Israeli Government Tourist Office.v This support has an objectionable consequence on the indigenous Palestinian Christian communities. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Many of the Western pilgrims appear not only ignorant of recent Middle Eastern history, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub but surprised to find an Arab Christian presence at all. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Like their Muslim neighbours, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub they are subject to daily experiences of humiliation at checkpoints and roadblocks and prevented from making pilgrimage to their Holy places of worship. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Palestinian Christians are routinely prohibited from travelling to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub where the church commemorates Jesus' crucifixion, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub burial, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub and resurrection from the dead, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub whilst Palestinian Muslims in the West Bank and Gaza strip are prevented from travelling to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. In December 2009, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub a group of Palestinian Christians, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub including Archbishop Michel Sabbah, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub the retired Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem published "A Moment of Truth" , gentle exfoliating walnut scrub a call for help to the international community on behalf of the Palestinian Christians. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub They severely criticised "theologians in the West who try to attach a biblical and theological legitimacy to the Israeli infringement of our rights, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub urge for non violent resistance tools such as boycott and divestments and call for a stop on Israeli 'racism and apartheid'." In an interview with Sabbah earlier this year, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub he clearly spoke on behalf of all the Christian Churches in Palestine when stating that "Israeli Occupation is the Main cause of Instability in the Middle East".vi Palestinian Christians and the Islamic resistance Contrary to what is propagated in the media, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub the relationship between Christians and the Islamic resistance in Palestine is one of respect. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Although tensions arise between the Christian minority and the rest of the population, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub these are not the result of a systematic discrimination against them, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub but are more due to the everyday anguish of the siege and occupation. With regard to the Islamic resistance Movement (Hamas), gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Article 31 of its Charter specifically says, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub "Hamas is a humane movement which cares for human rights and is committed to the tolerance inherent in Islam as regards attitudes towards other religions…under the shadow of Islam it is possible for the members of the three religions: Islam, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Christianity and Judaism to coexist in safety and security". An example of the coexistence is the situation of Palestinian Christians in Gaza, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub contrary to the Israeli propaganda (hasbara). Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub School playgrounds are places where coexistence between Muslims and Christians takes place. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub The Holy Family School in Gaza City is part-funded by the Vatican. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Father Emanuel Musallem explains how he is the priest of more than 4, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub000 Christians in Gaza. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub His school has more than 1, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub200 students, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub 1, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub000 of which are Muslim. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Father Emanuel explains how many Hamas leaders are sending their children to this school, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub because he is not preaching "Christianity", gentle exfoliating walnut scrub he is rather "spreading the light of knowledge in his Palestinian nation". Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Father Emanuel declares himself first an Arab, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub then a Palestinian, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub and then a Christian. Palestinian Muslim and Palestinian Christian girls playing in the playgroundOn another level, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Hamas has always demonstrated respect for Christmas religious festivities. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub In December 2003, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub they were the first to organize an assistance package and donations to families whose houses were damaged by the Israeli Defence Forces in Rafah. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub The movement went even further and on Christmas Eve 2003 when several officials dressed up as Santa Claus and distributed presents to Christian children in Bethlehem. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Another example of the tolerance and respect between the two communities was when Declaration number 67 was issued by Hamas in 1990, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub cancelling a general strike which coincided with the religious Christmas holidays. Another issue which is frequently discussed in the media is whether or not Hamas is encroaching upon women's rights in the Gaza strip. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Calls to ban male hairdressers from cutting women's hair and a ruling stating that female lawyers had to cover their hair when acting in civil courts were denounced by many in the international community. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub However, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub even though, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub to some extent, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub the atmosphere in the region is more conservative, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub these measures were not approved of by the majority of the population and were therefore never implemented. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Hana Afana, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub a 24 year old trainee maths teacher explains how Hamas is imposing a religious code, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub and how what is really worrying for the women in the region is the siege and the economic situation. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Qualified professionals and graduates like her find themselves unable to find a job. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub According to Mona Ahmad al-Shawa, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub who runs the women's unit at the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub basic human rights such as access to electricity, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub running water and medical treatment are what women want. Muslims and Christians in Palestine are not just bonded at the playground or in the spiritual sphere. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub They share the sheer disappointment with the Oslo process and the rampant corruption of the Palestinian Authority, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub which has misappropriated billions of dollars worth of aid from the international community. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Hamas winning the elections in the territories reflected the disillusionment of Palestinians, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub and was a natural reaction to their dissatisfaction. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Often regarded as a military organization, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub the movement engages well beyond its military wing. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub It runs a network of social, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub educational, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub health and economic services, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub especially in Gaza. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Christians in Bethlehem and Ramallah, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub tired of the PA's corruption and sex scandals, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub were not afraid to vote for Hamas. Collaboration between the Greek Orthodox Church and the Israeli State - "The Holy Land is not for Sale or Lease" The Palestinian Authority is, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub however, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub not the only one accused of corruption and scandalous transactions, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub and there seems to be internal strife between the different Palestinian Christian communities. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub The Greek Orthodox Church has been portrayed as collaborating with Israel since 1967, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub due to its involvement in land and political disputes. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub The Orthodox Church is the biggest private owner of land in Jerusalem and owns most of the land in the West Bank on which the Christian religious sites, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub including the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem where Christians believe Jesus was born, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub are built. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Much of this land was donated to it by Orthodox Christian Palestinians in the late 1800s. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Over the last few decades the church has increased land sales to the Israeli authorities or leased land to them for a period of 999 years. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Examples of these transactions include the sale of St. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub John's property in the Christian quarter on 11th April 1990, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub the transfer of fifty dunams near Mar Elias monastery, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub and the sale of two hotels and twenty seven stores on Omar Bin Al-Khattab square near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The church's land sales have come against a background of corruption allegations. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Nicholas Papadimas, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub a previous church treasurer in Jerusalem, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub was involved some of the sales before he fled the country and was charged in Greece with stealing church funds in a separate case. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub On being appointed as patriarch in 2005, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Theophilos had promised to stop selling Palestinian land, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub but he was also involved in many shady undertakings with Israel. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub The current patriarch, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Irineos, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub has also been accused of being behind secret land deals with two international Jewish investment groups. Another source of tension comes from the fact that the Greek clergy do not allow Arab clergymen from rising in the church. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub This is the case of the prominent Palestinian Christian clergyman, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Abdullah Hanaa. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub On the 13th of November 2009, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Theofilos removed Abdullah from his position as the deputy head from the Orthodox Church. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub This resulted in widespread condemnation from the Palestinian Greek Orthodox Community, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub who demonstrated in their thousands in the streets of Ramallah. Several hundred Palestinian protestors from the Council of Arab Orthodox Institutions and Organizations in Palestine, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub representing 19 groups, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub protested at the Greek Orthodox Church's involvement with the Israeli State and the removal of Abdullah Hanaa from his position. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub The placards read: The Israeli authorities have used the church's corruption and financial difficulties to their political advantage and applied additional political pressure to ensure that the choice of patriarchs is beneficial to Israel's land acquisition policies. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub One of the church's Jerusalem properties was purchased by Israel with the involvement of the Ateret Cohanim association which is dedicated to buying Arab property in Jerusalem and settling Jews there. Both the Christian and Muslim Palestinian communities have suffered at the hands of the Occupation. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Excavations near the gate of Maryam in the Western Wall of the Church of the Sepulchre in November 2009 are a recent example of this. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Far from collaborating with the Israeli entity, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub the struggle against the occupation should unite not only the different Christian Churches, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub but also the Muslim community. Gaza Baptist Church ceiling falling downConclusion According to Hanna Massad, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub pastor of Gaza Baptist Church, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub "The last 5 years have been very difficult for all the Palestinians - Muslims and Christians". Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Gaza Baptist Church is one of only three churches serving the 4, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub000 Christians living among the Gaza Strip's 1.5 million inhabitants. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Hanna explains how the siege united the community. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Because of the lack of basic food, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Christian charities have provided food for families, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub 99% of which are Muslim. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub During the 2009 bombings, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub "the church ceiling fell down up to 6 times". The plight of the Palestinian Christian is very much connected to that of the Palestinian Muslim in that both, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub whether in the Occupied Territories or inside Israel itself, gentle exfoliating walnut scrub are experiencing daily injustices at the hands of oppressive and discriminatory policies imposed on them by the Israeli government. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub The conflict is therefore not between Muslims and Christians; nor between the Greek Orthodox Church and the Palestinian Christians; it is between Palestinians as a whole and Israel's occupation and apartheid establishment. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub It is indeed hard to be Palestinian Christian. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub But it is equally hard being a Palestinian Muslim. It is hard simply being a Palestinian. Gentle exfoliating walnut scrub Original article found at: http://www.uruknet.de/?p=m67381&hd=&size=1&l=e