I just realized that by putting the word Catholic on my Facebook status, my status gets posted to the Catholic Facebook friend’s activity page where there are 411,000 members. As a member of the Catholic Facebook page, I, a Christian, now have the ability to communicate my Palestinian message to other Christians. I suppose that there are many other Facebook pages that I can do the same to.
Such out of the box thinking needs to be part of the Palestinian agenda to expose the Apartheid State of Israel. We need to find different ways to inform the world that Israel is daily inflicting a brutal campaign of fear to rid Palestine of Palestinians. So I turn to my fellow Christians to say the following.
Apartheid Israel has imprisoned the 4.5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza with an Apartheid Wall or electronic barbed wires. Palestinian towns are imprisoned in enclaves with only one entrance and exit point controlled by apartheid Israeli soldiers. The gate is open for short periods of time during the morning, afternoon and evening. Some days, in the apartheid Israeli soldier forgets to open the gate for the afternoon opening and children coming back from school have to wait outside the town gates until the evening opening.
Many Catholics may not realize that a Catholic synod, a special council of church members that holds regular meetings to discuss religious issues, stated in October, 2010 that Israel is the root cause of all the Middle East woes. The final statement of the synod listed the occupation, the apartheid wall, the numerous military checkpoints, the huge number of political prisoners, and the Israeli policy of fear which disrupts everyday Palestinian life as the main reasons behind the exodus of Palestinian Christians. It also stated that these continuing Israeli aggravations are the cause for attacks on Israel.
The Catholic synod even stated that Christ nullified God’s promise to the Jews. While the purpose of this blog is political rather than religious, the implication of this statement is both political and religious. The religious and political cover Apartheid Israel uses to retain, occupy and plunder Palestinian land can be negated if Catholics grasped the concept that Christ’s New Covenant made Christians the inheritors of God’s promise. Instead the Christian religious right misunderstands Jesus’s teachings when it supports Israel’s domination of Palestinian land. This in turn is a direct contradiction of Jesus’s teachings when such policy strengthens Israel and contributes to the exodus of Christians from the Holy Land.
But my purpose in writing this blog is not to get too deep into a religious dissertation but rather to call upon Catholics to understand what is happening in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. I want Catholics reading this message to understand that Israel is not the democracy it says it is. I want Catholics to understand that Israel is an Apartheid State. I say this because Apartheid Israel has laws that allow Jewish communities to screen new applicants, a legal way to exclude Palestinians from mixing with Jews. Apartheid Israel has roads that are for the exclusive use of Jews. Does this sound like the Whites Only bathrooms and drinking fountains of the American Southern States? Palestinians have to have a different colored license plate to distinguish them from Jews. Is this not racism? Is this not an Apartheid system?
The percentage of Christians is dwindling tremendously in Jerusalem and in Palestine. Christians are losing a presence in the Holy Land for which it will take decades if not a century to build back up. Can Catholics sit idly by and close their eyes to what is happening in the Holy Land? Can Catholics allow Israeli atrocities and policy of fear to drive Christians completely out of the Holy Land?
Communicating to the Catholics and other groups in this way needs to be part of the Palestinian agenda. We have a just cause that needs to be communicated.
(© Copyright, Fadi Zanayed. Publication or distribution of this material is allowed provided its content is not altered and the source and its author are cited.)