Exile and the prophetic: An open appeal to Cardinal Sean

on 27 Comments

This post is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.

Was I too harsh on you yesterday, Cardinal O’Malley? Since I understand you like to be called by your first name, if you don’t mind I’ll take the liberty of addressing you that way.

Cardinal Sean, if I judged too harshly your Easter retreat in Israel/Palestine and words at the interfaith memorial service for the victims of the Boston Marathon, I apologize.

Perhaps it was your Easter retreat that set me off.  You’re aware that Easter raises difficult issues for Jews.  Easter reminds Christians that Jews, the great naysayers to Jesus the Christ, are still around in the world. Throughout European history Easter has been a dangerous time for Jews. Sometimes it got rough.

Today Easter hits Palestinian Christians the hardest.  Though Palestinian Christians love sharing their Jerusalem patrimony with others, watching Easter retreat groups come and go while their situation remains the same – occupied by Israeli power – leaves them ambivalent, if not angry.

Cardinal Sean, I begin with a confession. Sometimes I go too far. I have come to a point where it is too late for niceties – especially when a people are permanently under the gun.

Yes, you were called upon in a specific circumstance to comfort the grief stricken and the frightened.  It couldn’t have been easy for you. 

Is scandal, a word I used yesterday referring to your silence on Palestinians, too harsh?  Perhaps you have made statements of solidarity with Palestinians that I don’t know of.  If so, please let me know.

I’m not referring to broad and meaningless pieties.  “Holy Land” language – the way you mostly described your time in Israel/Palestine – doesn’t make the grade.  Holy Land language drives me and anyone concerned for justice in Israel/Palestine crazy.  “Praying for the Peace of Jerusalem” language also doesn’t do it.  Such prayers should be placed on “Do Not Go There” prayer list.

Jerusalem is not a religious piety.  Real Palestinians and real Jews live there.  Jerusalem is their city.

Cardinal Sean, with all due respect, I think we’re done with “Tikkun Olam” language, too.  I know you were reaching out to the Jewish community but I fear it has become yet another meaningless slogan. 

Was I too harsh on President Obama when I characterized his visit to Israel – and Palestine – as pathetic?  I can’t help feeling that those who travel to a suffering people on a state visit or a religious retreat have a responsibility to set the record straight -in public.

What if President Obama had visited a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank as part of his official state visit and refused to leave until Israel began a full withdrawal to its 1967 borders?  That would be in sync with official American foreign policy. 

What if you and your priests had gone to a Christian church in Jerusalem as part of your retreat and refused to leave until Israel agreed to equally share Jerusalem with the diverse people and faiths that make up its fascinating mosaic? You would have embodied Vatican proposals on Jerusalem.

When viewed through the lens of realpolitik and religious protocol my suggestions sound ridiculous.  Yet how should your leadership be judged if you refuse to sacrifice your own official credibility for the sake of the suffering? 

Who knows, you might be vindicated by history.  You might be vindicated by God.

May I recall for you a time in your life when, as a young priest, you mixed politics and religion in a controversial way?  I’m sure you remember it – you openly castigated the dictatorship in Argentina during the heyday of their “dirty war.”

You did this in public, Cardinal Sean.  You did this while saying Mass, Cardinal Sean.  No one missed your combination of politics and religion.  You had to be aware of that mixture.

Did you give yourself a good talking to before you crossed the political/religious line?  Or did it just happen.  You couldn’t remain silent.

For me, your actions then give me hope now.  They demonstrate how an ordained clergyman can step out of his role.  One day you are the pillar of the community.  The next day you pronounce judgment on injustice. 

Your confrontation has added significance today because of the controversy surrounding Pope Francis’s role during the same time period.  Recalling your courage raises questions about Church history.  It puts others on alert.

For me, it is a reminder of your capabilities.  Sometimes as we age and grow in responsibility, we forget who we are.  We forget our prophetic calling.  Then – boom – out of the blue our prophetic calling reappears.  It can happen even to Cardinals!

Boston Magazine is where I first learned of this.  Here is their take on it:

Interestingly enough, one Catholic priest who did speak out against the atrocities in Argentina at the time was a young priest named Sean O’Malley—now the Cardinal of the Archdiocese of Boston, and the subject of papal speculation in the weeks leading up to the papal conclave. In May 1979, O’Malley, then a priest in Washington, D.C., presided over a Mass for Argentina’s Independence Day at the Cathedral of St. Matthew. Facing an audience filled with members of the Argentine military junta, O’Malley castigated the country’s human rights violations and disappearances, equating them to the biblical slaughter of the innocents by Herod. Outraged, the Argentinian military members stood up and walked out. As Colman McCarthy wrote in a Washington Post column at the time:

“The Argentine exodus took but a few minutes. With one high-ranking general leaving first, the underlings followed. In the pulpit the priest kept to his text.

“Outside, the military men were damning him for ‘turning a religious event into a political one.’

“Another of the white-suited contingent, looking as furious as St. George hot to slay a dragon, said that ‘priests have no place in politics. He should have given a sermon on another subject, like the love of God.’”

According to McCarthy, O’Malley’s strong sermon was preceded by the pre-Mass testimony of another young priest, Rev. Patrick Rice, an Irish missionary who had been imprisoned and tortured for two months by the junta.

The young Cardinal Sean had a lot of nerve, a nerve I admire.  Obviously the military officials didn’t think it appropriate.  I don’t know what the present Pope thought of your sermon.  Word gets around in the Church.   He surely knew of it.

“He should have given a sermon on another subject, like the love of God.” The number of times I’ve heard this sentiment are too numerous to relate.   I’m sure you’re sick of it yourself. 

It seems there’s rarely a “proper” time and place to discuss fundamental issues.  They upset whatever atmosphere is deemed “appropriate.”

Cardinal Sean, have you noticed how it’s almost always “inappropriate” to speak of Palestinians?

Until the public silence on oppression of Palestinians is broken, then broken again and again there isn’t much hope for Palestinians or, for that matter, Jews.  Our destiny is bound together.

Ending your silence on Palestine would offend many Jews.  Not all Jews, perhaps not even a majority of Jews.  Jews of Conscience are by your side.

Picture the Jewish establishment as those Argentine Generals who walked out of your Mass.  The Jewish establishment will walk out on you, too. 

There is a “dirty war” against Palestinians.  Yes, Cardinal Sean, Jews are conducting a dirty war.  On your Easter retreat you witnessed it close up.

Today, more or less everyone would agree with your protest against the Argentine generals.  I applaud you for it.  One day the very Jews who walked out on you might thank you for speaking the truth.  You never know.

Cardinal Sean, I await your boldness on Palestine. 

In mutual solidarity for a just world for Palestinians and Jews.


About Marc H. Ellis

Marc H. Ellis is retired Director and Professor of Jewish Studies at Baylor University and author of The Heartbeat of the Prophetic which can be found at Amazon and www.newdiasporabooks.com

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27 Responses

  1. Ramzi Jaber
    April 21, 2013, 11:24 am

    I would add this to what Marc had so eloquently written:

    Cardinal Sean, please share with us your itinerary when you were in the Holy Land. I – and I suppose many others – would certainly like to know where you visited and who did you meet with. Thank you.

  2. pabelmont
    April 21, 2013, 11:58 am

    Catholics — presumably including bishops and cardinals — have not feared to enter American politics on issues related to Catholic faith, belief, and practice: abortion and birth control issues come to mind. If they are willing to enter politics on these issues but not on the issues of peace and justice and human rights in Palestine (but will do so on the same kinds of issues in Argentina) — what are we supposed to conclude, except that their morals and ethics and religious duties of charity and care-taking are opportunistic rather than intrinsic.

    Some unkind folks have suggested that Catholics failed sufficiently to oppose Hitler during WWII. Well, perhaps they did so fail, but it must be recalled that Hitler was a very frightening and violent opponent. Shall we assume that Israel, today, is as frightening and violent an opponent of charity, peace, morals and ethics, etc., as Hitler was in the 1940s?

    I’d hope not. So, with you, I invite Cardinal Sean to reconsider his silences and his too-selective speech.

  3. W.Jones
    April 21, 2013, 1:30 pm

    I am not sure how this introduction goes along with the rest of the letter:

    Easter reminds Christians that Jews, the great naysayers to Jesus the Christ, are still around in the world. Throughout European history Easter has been a dangerous time for Jews.

    Besides, isn’t this continuing a stereotype, since many Jews have in fact become Christian over the centuries- Palestinians and modern Messianic Christians being just two examples?

    But anyway it’s a good letter in general, especially since it connected him with his words about Argentina.

    Archdiocese of Boston
    Fax: 617 746-5762

    Cardinal O’Malley
    Fax: 617-782-8358

    Go for it.


  4. American
    April 21, 2013, 2:30 pm

    ”Cardinal Sean, I await your boldness on Palestine.”

    Well said marc.
    However think how long the Church and ‘all’ Christianity has been beat up on and been told they were complicit in the holocaust.
    While cowardly , it may be that they don’t want to ‘incite’ against Jews or be accused again.
    So in a very, very convoluted way the holocaust blame game that helped make Israel may be the undoing of zionism and Israel— in that religious leaders/institutions won’t go there until zionism reaches it’s inevitable conclusion —-and then can be dennounced without question.

  5. Citizen
    April 21, 2013, 3:56 pm

    Somebody said it here on MW in the last few days, but I will say it again: hypocrisy is hypocrisy, no matter where it spouts from. Neither the very religious nor the secular people are free of it. And yes, let’s keep pointing it out wherever it appears.

    • kalithea
      April 22, 2013, 1:40 pm

      If you’re referring to Cardinal O’Malley’s “hypocrisy”; I disagree. I don’t think it’s hypocrisy; I think he’s trying protect the Church from further viral attacks. The Jewish Community has launched massive attacks against the Church in the past. The Church is trying to restore credibility, dignity and humility right now. Can you imagine how devastating it would be at this time for the Church to make itself the target of Zionist power when it’s trying to recover from the greatest challenge in its history??? I think sometimes we’re too quick to judge.

      Look what happened to Kairos International? This Christian organization that does indispensible charity work in different places in the world was DEFUNDED for taking a strong position on Israeli injustice and apartheid.

      The Church also does even greater charity work around the world in places others fear to tread inside leper communities and with people with HIV-Aids in America and other places.

      “In 2008, the UK’s Guardian newspaper reported that:

      [T]he Catholic Church is the biggest private provider of AIDS care in the world, providing anti-retroviral treatment, home-care visits and counseling to one in four of the world’s 33.3 million AIDS patients, according to the Catholic charity Caritas International. In 2008, members of the Catholic HIV and AIDS network spent 180 million euros (about $235 million) on assistance…” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_AIDS

      I do agree that the Church needs to take a greater stand on Israeli injustice against Palestinians, I would love it if it did, but Zionists have put the Church in a defensive position, and it would be an even greater tragedy if all the good the Church does around the world also falls prey/victim to Zionist injustice.

      I think everyone needs to remember that the Church is the largest charity organization IN THE WORLD, and quit demonizing it with the attacks. Then maybe the Church will finally be in a stronger position to assume the righteous stand on this issue that I’m certain it would like to take, ESPECIALLY, under someone like Pope Francis. But it’s everyone’s responsibility to help shorten the path to that inevitable outcome and attacking the Church at every turn is a self-defeating, failed strategy that cripples the Church’s ability to reach that goal.

      Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  6. Erasmus
    April 21, 2013, 4:47 pm

    Good you took Cardinal Sean to task!

    In those dirty war days of Argentina the now Bostonian Prince of the Church was not a Prince yet, but a fearless and honest preacher of truth and the gospel.

    Now let us see whether Cardinal Sean will take the next always inappropriate occasion to live up to the essence of the gospel and SPEAK OUT in non-diplomatic terms on the ongoing dirty war of Jews in Palestine.
    No “Holy Land garbage”, please.

    Beati pacifici ………
    Let us hope so…..

  7. LanceThruster
    April 21, 2013, 5:45 pm

    ‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.’ ~ Upton Sinclair

  8. DICKERSON3870
    April 21, 2013, 9:58 pm

    RE: “Jerusalem is not a religious piety.” ~ Marc Ellis

    ● Richard Crooks sings “The HolyCity” (Adams/Weatherly) with Herbert Dawson at the organ • Orchestra conducted by Sir John Barbirolli • Recorded in London on Oct 3, 1935
    Richard Crooks: “The Holy City” [VIDEO, 05:00] – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uE4qZUdsM4

    Last night I lay a-sleeping, there came a dream so fair,
    I stood in old Jerusalem beside the temple there.
    I heard the children singing and ever as they sang
    Me thought the voice of angels from heaven in answer rang.
    Me thought the voice of angels from heaven in answer rang.

    Jerusalem! Jerusalem!
    Lift up your gates
    and sing,
    Hosanna in the highest!
    Hosanna to your King!

    And then me thought my dream was changed, the streets no longer rang,
    Hushed were the glad Hosannas the little children sang.
    The sun grew dark with mystery, the morn was cold and chill
    As the shadow of a cross arose upon a lonely hill.
    As the shadow of a cross arose upon a lonely hill.

    Jerusalem! Jerusalem!
    Lift up your gates
    and sing,
    Hosanna in the highest!
    Hosanna to your King!

    And once again the scene was changed; new earth there seemed to be;
    I saw the Holy City beside the tideless sea
    The light of God was on its streets, the gates were open wide,
    And all who would might enter and no one was denied.
    No need of moon or stars by night, or sun to shine by day;
    It was the new Jerusalem that would not pass away.
    It was the new Jerusalem that would not pass away. . .

    • DICKERSON3870
      April 21, 2013, 10:12 pm

      P.S. RE: “Hushed were the glad Hosannas the little children sang.” ~ from the hymn “The Holy City”

      SEE: “Israel’s bizarre decision to give up on education – and its future”, by Ami Kaufman, +972 Magazine, 12/03/11

      [EXCERPTS] Last week I came across a disturbing story, one of many recently, where Haredi school boys threw stones at secular Jewish school girls. [Because] The schoolgirls were singing. . .
      . . . what bothered me more about this particular incident was the age of the perpetrators. These were young boys or teenagers, already well versed on the issues of female singing and its dangers.
      What this incident shows more than anything else, is the education factor and how it will change this country. And it shows how incidents like the one above are going to happen again, and again and again.
      Much has been said on the demographics of the Haredi community and the pace at which it grows. But not many know of how huge an impact Haredi education already has on this state.
      These Haredi rock-throwing boys learn in a Haredi school.
      That’s because there are four sectors to the Israeli education system: State, State-Religious, Arab, and ultra-Orthodox (Haredi). The major problem with this is that the level of study in the Arab and Haredi schools is much lower than in the state schools. And what makes the problem even worse, is that the level in the state schools themselves has never been lower. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://972mag.com/israel%E2%80%99s-bizarre-decision-to-give-up-on-education-and-its-future/28962/

    • DICKERSON3870
      April 21, 2013, 10:42 pm

      P.P.S. ALSO RE: “The sun grew dark with mystery, the morn was cold and chill” ~ from the hymn “The Holy City”

      SEE: “Ultra-Orthodox spitting attacks on Old City clergymen becoming daily” ~ By Oz Rosenberg, Haaretz, 11/04/11

      [EXCERPTS] Ultra-Orthodox young men curse and spit at Christian clergymen in the streets of Jerusalem’s Old City as a matter of routine. In most cases the clergymen ignore the attacks, but sometimes they strike back. Last week the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court quashed the indictment against an Armenian priesthood student who had punched the man who spat at him . . .
      When Narek Garabedian came to Israel to study in the Armenian Seminary in Jerusalem half a year ago, he did not expect the insults, curses and spitting he would be subjected to daily by ultra-Orthodox Jews in the streets of the Old City.
      “When I see an ultra-Orthodox man coming toward me in the street, I always ask myself if he will spit at me,” says Narek, a Canadian Armenian, this week. About a month ago, on his way to buy groceries in the Old City, two ultra-Orthodox men spat at him. The spittle did not fall at his feet but on his person. Narek, a former football player, decided this time not to turn the other cheek. . .
      . . . Other clergymen in the Armenian Church in Jerusalem say they are all victims of harassment, from the senior cardinals to the priesthood students. Mostly they ignore these incidents. When they do complain, the police don’t usually find the perpetrators.

      ORIGINAL SOURCE – http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/ultra-orthodox-spitting-attacks-on-old-city-clergymen-becoming-daily-1.393669
      ALTERNATE SOURCE – http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2011/11/report-ultra-orthodox-spitting-at-christian-clergy-in-jerusalem/

    • DICKERSON3870
      April 21, 2013, 10:54 pm

      PP.P.S. ALSO RE: “The sun grew dark with mystery, the morn was cold and chill” ~ from the hymn “The Holy City”

      SEE: “Peace Now’s Jerusalem offices targeted in ‘pricetag’ threat”, by Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, 11/06/11

      ‘Haaretz’ reports on an attack on Peace Now’s headquarters, the latest in a series of threatening vandalisms. (Thanks to Paul Mutter)

      Anonymous attackers spray-painted “price tag” and threatened to plant a bomb in the Jerusalem offices of “Peace Now” on Sunday. Hagit Ofran, director of Peace Now’s Settlement Watch project, said that at around 8 P.M., the office intercom buzzed and a man’s voice said, “The building will explode in five minutes.

      SOURCE – http://mondoweiss.net/2011/11/peace-nows-jerusalem-offices-targeted-in-pricetag-threat.html

    • DICKERSON3870
      April 21, 2013, 11:26 pm

      P.P.P.P.S. ALSO RE: “The sun grew dark with mystery, the morn was cold and chill” ~ from the hymn “The Holy City”

      SEE: “Governor Perry’s trip to Israel in question” ~ KEYE TV, WeAreAustin(dot)com, 11/23/09

      [EXCERPT] The city of Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world and it has a new defender: Texas Governor Rick Perry.
      In August [of 2009], Perry was given the “Defender of Jerusalem” award.
      So Perry and his wife flew first class to Israel at more than $5,000 per ticket. The governor’s security detail of four Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers was also along for the trip.
      They all took the 7,000 mile journey to accept the award at a time when the governor was asking everyone else in state government to cut back on travel. During a speech in Houston, Perry directed state agencies to “curtail taxpayer funded travel.”
      According to state documents, the taxpayers’ bill just to take Perry’s security officers on the 5-day trip was more than $70,000. The breakdown includes $17,000 for rooms at the swanky King David Hotel, nearly $13,000 for food and more than 350 hours of overtime. . .
      . . . Keith Elkins is executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. Elkins and his organization fight for government transparency. Elkins says, “This Governor operates under the premise of ‘believe what I say, not what I do.'” While Elkins suggests, “There is something else going on here,” he doesn’t know what that ‘something’ is. Records obtained by CBS 11 show the governor’s airfare and trip costs for he and his wife were paid for by Irwin Katsof, a financier for energy companies around the world. And the man who presented Perry with the Defender of Jerusalem award, Guma Aguiar, owns a company that made billions of dollars in the Texas natural gas industry. Aguiar also created the award given to Perry. . .

      ORIGINAL SOURCE WITH VIDEO [09:51] – (DISAPPEARED DURING PERRY’S PRESIDENTIAL RUN)http://weareaustin.com/fulltext?nxd_id=38942&nxd_85116_start=15

      ALTERNATE SOURCE WITH VIDEO [07:26] – http://salon.glenrose.net/?view=plink&id=13967

  9. DICKERSON3870
    April 22, 2013, 12:05 am

    P.P.P.P.P.S. ALSO RE: “The sun grew dark with mystery, the morn was cold and chill” ~ from the hymn “The Holy City”

    SEE: “Ultra-Orthodox ‘Modesty Guard’ suspected of beating Jerusalem woman”, By Haaretz Staff, 08/09/08

    A group of men who police suspect were hired by an ultra-Orthodox gang recently broke into a Jerusalem woman’s home and beat her because they deemed her immodest. 
    The so-called “Modesty Guard” is suspected of being behind the incident. The gang has been known to unleash extortion, mercenaries, violence and surveillance on less religious Jews they deem sacrilegious.
    They claim to do it all in the name of God. 
    The incident may be one of a string of signs of rising ultra-Orthodox violence. Last year, five Haredi Jews assaulted a woman and an Israel Defense Forces soldier because they sat next to one another on a Jerusalem bus. . .

    SOURCE – http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1009580.html

    • DICKERSON3870
      April 22, 2013, 12:17 am

      P.P.P.P.P.P.S. ALSO RE: “The sun grew dark with mystery, the morn was cold and chill” ~ from the hymn “The Holy City”

      SEE: “[Kahanist] Skinheads in Jerusalem”, By Lara Friedman, PeaceNow.org, 3/30/11

      [EXCERPT] “Maariv”, one of Israel’s major Hebrew-language newspapers, reported this week on a new and disturbing development: Jewish skinheads in Jerusalem who, among other things, are “travelling to particularly sensitive spots and inciting against Arabs.”
      The article, which has not been picked up by the English-language press, notes that “One expression of the new phenomenon was seen last Wednesday, after the terror attack in Jerusalem: Several skinheads attacked Arab passers-by near the site of the attack outside the Jerusalem International Convention Center, including one Arab woman from East Jerusalem.”
      Full article (translation by Israel News Today)http://peacenow.org/entries/kahanist_skinheads_in_jerusalem#.UXS2h77D-_8

      SOURCE – http://peacenow.org/entries/kahanist_skinheads_in_jerusalem#.UXS2h77D-_8

    • DICKERSON3870
      April 22, 2013, 12:35 am

      P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. ALSO RE: “The sun grew dark with mystery, the morn was cold and chill” ~ from the hymn “The Holy City”

      SEE: “The First Word: A day in Jerusalem”, By Yehudah Mirsky, Jerusalem Post, 05/07/09 

      [EXCERPT] Nobody who has lived in Jerusalem in recent years needs any educating about the sword from without. A week ago Thursday I discovered the terror within. It coils through Jerusalem’s streets, and us. . . 
      . . . As I came out of the plaza, right across the street from city hall, I saw four men jump, stomp and kick the daylights out of several others (Lord knows why) and run off.
      I called for the police and waited for them to arrive as people ran out of the surrounding pubs to help the crushed victims, whose blood ran down the sidewalk. 
      First ambulances came – some of the EMTs were haredim, and some were women. Then came the police, and I reported to them what I’d seen. After the police left, some young haredim came up to me, hungry for details: Did you see fists? Did you see a knife? 
      I told them how earlier in the day their comrades had nearly done the same to me.
      “There was action at the demo? We missed it?” . . .
      . . . When I finally got home, at about 2:30 in the morning, my wife was, luckily for me, awake. I told her something that I had been thinking and scared to say for a long while: that the Jerusalem of my dreams, the Jerusalem where heaven and earth kiss, the Jerusalem of my father’s childhood, is finally dead. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/The-First-Word-A-day-in-Jerusalem

    • DICKERSON3870
      April 22, 2013, 12:43 am

      P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. ALSO RE: “The sun grew dark with mystery, the morn was cold and chill” ~ from the hymn “The Holy City”

      SEE: “Jerusalem: Orthodox riot in protest of chastity squad arrest”, by Neta Sela, Ynet News, 08/26/08
      Haredim burn garbage cans, block streets in protest of arrest of community member suspected of torching store that sells MP4 player. ‘Safeguarding Torah considered a crime in this country of Sodom and Gomorrha,’ they say 

      [EXCERPT] Ultra-Orthodox Jews rioted in Jerusalem on Monday in protest of the recent arrest of Shmuel Weisfish, a member of the haredi community’s chastity squad who was allegedly involved in the torching of a store selling MP4 players in violation of a ruling of the Orthodox Court of Justice.  Demonstrators set garbage cans on fire on Shmuel Hanavi, Dvora Hanevia, Hanevi’im and Shivtei Yisrael streets in the capital. . . .
      . . . Haredim recently distributed pashkevilim (informative ads or posters often plastered in the Jerusalem’s religious neighborhoods) against stores selling MP4 devices, saying “a terrible plague is upon us, claiming victims every day… these sinful devices were banned by all the great rabbis, but are still common in the haredi world… their devilish distributors want nothing more than to drive the people of Israel to sin through movies and other abominations. . . ”

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3587654,00.html

    • DICKERSON3870
      April 22, 2013, 1:07 am

      P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. ALSO RE: “The sun grew dark with mystery, the morn was cold and chill” ~ from the hymn “The Holy City”

      SEE: “Jerusalem’s gay pride marchers attacked / 3 participants stabbed, 13 protesters arrested as ultra-Orthodox crowd tries to halt parade”, By Matthew Kalman, Chronicle Foreign Service, sfgate.com, 7/01/05

      [EXCERPTS] 2005-07-01 04:00:00 PDT Jerusalem — Violence marred the annual gay pride parade for the first time Thursday when an ultra-Orthodox man broke through heavy security and stabbed three of the participants, leaving them with light to moderate wounds.
      Other protesters, most of them religious Jews, lined the mile-long route of the “Love Without Borders” march through central Jerusalem. Some held placards that read “You are corrupting our children” while others shouted insults. One placard read “Jerusalem is not San Francisco.”
      Thirteen protesters were arrested, including one man who threw a soiled diaper at the marchers then attacked a photographer trying to record the scene.
      Outside the Great Synagogue, where about 100 protesters shouted anti-gay slogans behind a thick police cordon, two members of the Knesset (parliament) tried to stop the march by sitting in the middle of King George V Street, the city’s main thoroughfare. They were eventually dragged away by police.
      The violence — in stark contrast to the peaceful events of previous years — came after attempts by the ultra-Orthodox mayor of Jerusalem, Uri Lupolianski, to ban the march.
      That decision was overturned by a Jerusalem court . . .
      . . . The controversy seemed to increase support for Thursday’s event, which attracted about 8,000 people, about twice as many as last year. The procession through the city center ended with a large open-air dance party in a city park.
      Hundreds of police escorted the marchers under the personal command of Jerusalem City Police Chief Ilan Franco. In an unprecedented security operation, armed paramilitary border police standing every 5 yards cordoned off the streets surrounding Liberty Bell Park to allow revelers to dance undisturbed into the night.
      “Jerusalem Open House director Hagay Elad blamed the violence on the mayor. “What we saw here today is a direct result of the incitement that took place during the past few weeks against the homo-lesbian community,” Elad said. “This is not the first time we have seen how incitement in Israel leads to physical violence, which begins with Mayor Uri Lupolianski and his associates. ”
      David Bernstein, 23, a real estate broker wearing the black hat, frock coat and side-curls of the ultra-Orthodox, watched the parade in silence but did not hide his disapproval.
      “I don’t believe there is such a thing as homosexuality,” said Bernstein. “It’s simply not natural. I think the mayor was right to try and stop this march, particularly here in the holy city of Jerusalem.”
      Beneath a banner identifying his group as “Proud diplomats in the foreign service,” Ziv Nevo-Kulman, 35, a former Israeli cultural attache in Tokyo, said it was important for gays and lesbians to be able to express their identity openly in the nation’s capital. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Jerusalem-s-gay-pride-marchers-attacked-3-2624466.php

    • DICKERSON3870
      April 22, 2013, 1:39 am

      P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. ALSO RE: “The sun grew dark with mystery, the morn was cold and chill” ~ from the hymn “The Holy City”

      SEE: “Why did Haredim force girls to cover up at a Jerusalem ceremony?”, By Yair Ettinger and Haaretz Correspondent, Haaretz.com, 6/27/08
      Opening ceremony of Chords Bridge featured 12-year-old girls dancing in ski caps and cloaks.

      [EXCERPTS] From the standpoint of Jerusalem’s non-Haredi residents, the business of the ski caps and cloaks – girls forced to cover up before dancing at the ceremony Wednesday to innaugurate the Chords Bridge – is yet another stage in the city’s ongoing fall into the hands of ultra-Orthodox extremists. But as far as the Haredim are concerned, this affair was merely the opening salvo in the mayoral campaign. . .
      . . . A holy war, even if aimed against 12-year-old dancing girls, seemed a golden opportunity for Shlomei Emunim to gain some Haredi street cred. The ski-cap affair began with the dress rehearsal on Monday, at the entrance to Jerusalem. Haredim from neighboring Givat Shaul watched the show, thereby discovering that “prostitutes” were supposed to appear on stage. They turned to municipal officials and to the mobile news service Hakol Haharedi, and shouted on the air about the “brazenness” and the “terrible harlotry” threatening the city.
      The direct culprit, they claimed, is Lupolianski. One Jerusalemite screamed on air that the ultra-Orthodox Lupolianski “sits with prostitutes” and “wants to desecrate Jerusalem at any price” and turn it into “Sodom.”
      On Tuesday evening, Pollack announced on Hakol Haharedi that he had forced the ceremony’s organizers to censor the show. . .
      . . . Meanwhile, Degel Hatorah is accusing Shlomei Emunim of exploiting a minor Haredi grievance over the Chords Bridge ceremony to paint itself as the Haredi guardian of the walls of Jerusalem.
      Pollack refutes those allegations: “We got dozens of calls after the dress rehearsal. I was threatened that Givat Shaul’s residents would demonstrate across from the ceremony. That’s all we needed, for the ceremony to wind up being a disgrace, and especially when the Eda Haredit is accusing us of supporting the gay pride parade. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/why-did-haredim-force-girls-to-cover-up-at-a-jerusalem-ceremony-1.248654

    • pabelmont
      April 22, 2013, 9:06 am

      In reply to many of these stories of religious violence in Israel, in Jerusalem (said by so mnay to be a holy city): Some say there is a Jewish people, One Jewish People. Others say there is no such thing. (This is all for-or-against the idea that Israel is “the State of THE Jewish people”.)

      Perhaps there is no (singular) Jewish people but many groups of Jews who (as groups) have sufficient similarities of behavior to warrant being classified as “a people-let”. Perhaps we could say that secular Jews (people like me whose ancestors were religiously Jewish but who are not so themselves) are a “people-let”. And intolerant, punitive, self-righteous horrors like the spitters, rock-throwers, and beaters described in previous comments are another “people-let”.

      My take is that there are MANY such “people-lets”, but no single Jewish “people”. And all the many “people-lets” are “real”, “authentic”, do arise out of their several different histories, etc. The spitters, rock-throwers, beaters are quite charmingly similar to Saudi and Iranian religious police in horrible behavior and attitudes and show us that orthodox extremists, whether Jewish or Muslim or Christian or white-Supremicist or Martian are more similar to each other than to seculars (again, whether of Jewish, Islamic, Christian, or other backgrounds).

      As a USA “taxpayer” (ahem, retired), I hate to see my (tiny contribution to the USA’s) $3B/year going to support and protect and educate these spitting, rock-throwing, beating charmers — and it comforts me not at all to know that the money goes largely to support the USA’s own — its very, very own — BIG-DEFENSE which, with BIG-ZION, BIG-BANKS, BIG-PHARMA, BIG-OIL have so much to say about who gets entitlements in the USA.

    • DICKERSON3870
      April 22, 2013, 2:57 pm

      P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. ALSO RE: “The sun grew dark with mystery, the morn was cold and chill” ~ from the hymn “The Holy City”

      SEE: “Women noticeably absent from Jerusalem ads”, By Nir Hasson, Haaretz, 10/21/11
      Municipality officials deny change in policy, refer to several campaigns that featured images of women. Yet figures in city’s public relations industry say women have been entirely removed from public billboards and advertisements.

      [EXCERPT] It appears that graphic artists and public relations professionals in Jerusalem have recently developed a fetish for shoes.
      A glance at billboards and posters pasted around the city shows that Jerusalem is draped in shoes.
      For instance, announcements for the annual Jerusalem March picture two men’s shoes against the backdrop of the city. Dance events also make use of shoe images.
      “In Jerusalem, a shoe is not just a shoe,” says Uri Ayalon, a Conservative rabbi who promotes religious pluralism, and who recently established an “uncensored” Facebook group that protests against the elimination of women from public spaces. Shoe images, he says, are used to obscure the fact that in Jerusalem women are rarely pictured on public posters and billboards.
      It takes time to grasp that something is missing in public spaces in Israel’s capital. But once you notice it, it’s hard to fathom how you didn’t pay attention to this fact earlier. It appears that in recent years, and in an escalated fashion in the past several months, women have disappeared from advertisements in Jerusalem. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/women-noticeably-absent-from-jerusalem-ads-1.391157

  10. Erasmus
    April 22, 2013, 3:19 am

    Dear Mr. Dickerson3870,

    i shall be most grateful, if you will kindly concentrate your comment contributions to the very subject of any respective article.

    Secondly, what about confining them to one comment per article – at the most???

    Thirdly, your over-extreme use of bold fonts does not really help to make your comments more attractive.
    Thanking you for your kind consideration.

    • LanceThruster
      April 22, 2013, 11:48 am

      For the record, I find Dickerson3870’s contributions consistently enjoyable, and when I feel there’s too much to absorb at any given time, I just scroll down. I think it was topic related as to the claims on Jerusalem pretty much ignoring a significant subset of the people with ties, spiritual and otherwise, to the ancient city.

    • DICKERSON3870
      April 22, 2013, 3:01 pm

      RE: “your over-extreme use of bold fonts does not really help to make your comments more attractive” – Erasmus

      MY REPLY: I have to admit that I’m not particularly concerned about aesthetics.

  11. kalithea
    April 22, 2013, 12:25 pm

    While your words appear correct and effective on the surface, the psychology behind them disturbs me.

    ” You’re aware that Easter raises difficult issues for Jews. Easter reminds Christians that Jews, the great naysayers to Jesus the Christ, are still around in the world. Throughout European history Easter has been a dangerous time for Jews. Sometimes it got rough.”

    If you want to convince the Cardinal to take a righteous stand condemning Zionist oppression of Palestinians, why do you begin this piece/letter with this guilt-complex meme that most Jews use to SILENCE Christians on their criticism of Israeli injustice against Palestinians?

    Right from the start you appear to place a gag on the Cardinal by resurrecting the past that is no longer relevant, as far as the Catholic clergy is concerned since they have already apologized for whatever offenses were committed by Catholics against Jews.

    It’s like saying: Don’t forget what you’ve done to Jews in the past (…before you open your mouth to criticize the injustice committed by Jews against Palestinians).

    You know how often this meme is used against Christians who dare to criticize Jewish oppression of Palestinians? And it’s way too effective, since guilt is a powerful tool to censor.

    So by putting the Cardinal in his place from the start making him feel guilty about what Easter represents for Jews, when the Church has already apologized for all wrongs against Jews; you make him think twice about voicing whatever feelings regarding the injustice in Israel he may have wished to express.

    And tell me, how many Jewish holidays celebrating something redeeming for Jews also represent events where “others” were slaughtered in the process? Easter is the most holy of Christian holy days and represents the sacrifice Jesus made for all humanity and the hope of redemption for all humanity. Why use Easter to undermine the Cardinal from the start?: “Your aware…” Of course he’s aware; hence the repeated apologies to Jews by Pope John Paul, Pope Benedict and O’Malley, himself!

    There is understated contempt in that single paragraph; that refuses to put the past in the past to heal, move on and focus on the urgent need to condemn injustice against Palestinians in the present. You can’t expect him to move on to the injustice against Palestinians when you keep driving the injustice against Jews in his path.

    And by the way, are you aware of all the injustices against Christians by Zionists in Israel?

    Here’s just the latest example:


    Wouldn’t it have been more effective to say: I’m aware (as opposed to “you’re aware…”) that Jews in Jerusalem, Nazareth and Galilee etc. are committing hateful acts against Christian clergy in Israel, and Jewish intolerance of Palestinian Christians is happening in places like Nazareth so as a Christian you understand the need to speak out against such hate and intolerance and especially against the even greater injustice and hate perpetrated against Palestinians in general.

    By appealing to the injustice and intolerance directed at his own faith; you might have made greater strides, instead you choose to again offend him after you “apologized”.

    (I certainly hope this comment appears, as none on my comments to this individual have ever been posted. Or are we supposed to agree with everything he writes?)

  12. kalithea
    April 22, 2013, 2:55 pm

    Zionists fear the potential power the Church holds to change the narrative and public opinion dramatically with its 1.2 billion Catholics on the Palestinian issue like they fear the plague. But can you imagine the tsunami of rage that would be unleashed by Jewish and Christian Zionists against the Church at this critical time in the Church’s recovery if the Church took a strong position against Israeli injustice? This predictable onslaught would represent the final nail in the coffin. I suspect the Cardinal views pleas to speak out on Israeli injustice coming from Jews as A TRAP to unleash the full wrath of the Zionist community on the Church with the destruction of the Church to follow.

    Zionists have rigged the game against the Palestinians so deviously tight with the U.S., cowardly Europe, their “subcontractor”, the Palestinian Authority, and the Catholic Church which is second to the U.S. in the power it holds to turn this thing on its head.

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