Tag Archive for Christians and Jews

Israel’s Christians Disappointed by Papal Visit


Israel’s Catholic community put hope in Pope Francis I visit, but dreamed of a bit more face time with the pontiff.


Catholic communities in Israel are praying for the success of Pope Francis’ visit, but excitement and joy are tinged with disappointment that the visit is so short, and that only one event on his schedule west of the Jordan River is truly open to the public.

Virgin Mary March Haifa

Virgin Mary March in Haifa in 2010.- Photo: Tomer Neuberg

The pontiff lands in Amman on May 24, visiting Bethlehem and Jerusalem, before leaving on May 26. (John Paul II visited for five days in 2000, while Benedict XVI visited for eight days in 2009.)

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Israel contracts journalist to film Pope’s visit to Israel for tourism promotion

The Portuguese born reporter says he’ll film the documentary to foster good relations between the Pope, the Jewish people & Israel.



The Tourism Ministry is paying 215,000 shekels ($61,800) to a Portugal-born, Israel-based journalist for 14 filmed news reports on Pope Francis’ visit to Israel in May. The ministry plans to use the footage to promote tourism to the country.

Pope Francis and President Shimon Peres exchange greetings during a private meeting at the Vatican.

Pope Francis and President Shimon Peres exchange greetings during a private meeting at the Vatican, April 30, 2013.- Photo: Reuters

The reports by journalist Henrique Cymerman will be broadcast on Catholic-oriented television stations and websites around the world.

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Israeli Christians choose to embrace Israel


There are Arabic-speaking Christians who choose to embrace Israel, rather than fight against it with the Muslims. Many Christians across the region have been migrating or converting to Islam by force.

By Shadi Khalloul


The Christ at the Checkpoint conference now taking place in Bethlehem bills itself as an “authentic” voice of local Christians. That may be, but it is by no means the exclusive voice of local Christians. The following is a response to Christ at the Checkpoint conference.

Israeli Christian Shadi Khalloul - Photo source: Israel Today

Israeli Christian Shadi Khalloul – Photo source: Israel Today

A growing number of Israeli Christians have been speaking out with a new voice and calling for integration into Israeli Jewish society. Continue Reading »

Knesset approved law distinguishing between Christian Arabs & Muslim Arabs


Critics bash new law as attempt to ‘divide & conquer’ Israel’s Arab population.



The Knesset on Monday approved a controversial law, whose ultimate aim, according to its sponsor, is to distinguish between Muslim and Christian Arab citizens and to heighten involvement of Christians in Israeli society.

MK Yariv Levin

Coalition chairman MK Yariv Levin.- Photo: Olivier Fitoussi

Critics slammed the law, sponsored by MK Yariv Levin (Likud), for constituting an attempt to “divide and conquer” the country’s Arab population – an allegation Levin seemed to confirm in a recent newspaper interview.

The law demands what initially seems to be a minor change in the makeup of the public advisory council which is appointed under the 1988 Equal Employment Opportunities Law.

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IDF reports increase in Israeli Christian recruits

Even though there are only about 300 Christian Arabs serving in the IDF, 84 of them signed up in the last half of 2013, which is 3 times the average rate.


The past six months have seen a significant rise in the number of Arab Christians joining the Israel Defense Forces, although their number is still minuscule. The actions of people within the Arab Christian community to integrate their members into Israeli society may be behind the rise – actions that raise the ire of many others, who believe that army service is intended to strike a blow at Palestinian unity.

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Jerusalem’s Top Catholic cleric will exploit Christmas address to bash Israel

Sky News reports: Archbishop Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, is expected to condemn Jewish housing construction during Christmas Eve Mass. 


The Latin Patriach of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal, is expected to use his Midnight Mass sermon to criticize Israel’s continued construction of settlements in the West bank, Sky News reported on Tuesday.

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal leads a mass as part of the International Day of Faith celebration on Mount Precipice, near the northern Israeli town of Nazareth, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013. – Photo: AP

According to the report, the Holy Land’s top Roman Catholic cleric will likely brand settlements an obstacle to regional stability when he addresses pilgrims at Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity on Tuesday night.

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Israel’s Prime Minister to meet Pope Francis Monday

Prime Minister Netanyahu lights candles for 5th night of Hanukkah with Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta at Rome synagogue.




Prime Minister Benjamin visited the Great Synagogue of Rome on Sunday with his Italian counterpart, Premier Enrico Letta.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Italian Premier Enrico Letta

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Italian Premier Enrico Letta light a candle for Hanukkah at the Great Synagogue of Rome on Dec. 1, 2013.- Photo: AFP

During their visit, Letta said his country’s economic crisis is feeding “the forces of extremism, hatred and intolerance” in Italy.

He pledged, “We will resist always the forces of violence, first verbal then physical, intolerance, xenophobia and racism, and these temptations that are a detriment.” Continue Reading »