Friday, April 2, 2010

2010 Easter Message / Take Down This Wall, BiBi


Iron gate constructed at Bethlehem’s northern entrance separating the Palestinian city of Bethlehem from the Israeli occupied city of Jerusalem

The apartheid walls of Jerusalem were breached on Palm Sunday by over 100 native Palestinian Christians and Muslims including Israelis carrying palm leaves and banners asking for freedom of worship and movement ~ as demanded by international law and denied by Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu: Allen L Roland

What would be more appropriate this Easter 2010 than to quote Gaza’s courageous Fr Manuel Musallam ~ in which he delivers a blistering Easter attack on Israel’s occupation and its rape of the holy sites, as well as his rightful damning indictment of the silence of the cowards in the West.

Stuart Littlewood posted this on March 31, 2010.


Fr Manuel Musallam recently retired at the age of 71 after serving as the parish priest of the Holy Family Church in Gaza for 14 years. For most of that time the Israelis would not allow him to visit his family and friends in the West Bank. So, in spite of failing health, he soldiered on through the devastating siege and the murderous blitzkrieg.

I was privileged to meet him a couple of years ago and I just love the way this man speaks out. He doesn't mince words. He tells it the way it is, with truth and style.

Retirement hasn’t silenced him or dimmed his perceptions.

This Easter he's concerned, as always, about the occupation and how it robs those in the Holy Land of Easter's message of hope and joy:

" We Christians of Palestine have been under occupation for many long years. We’ve been suffering with bitterness at being kept away from the Holy Sites. We’ve been denied our right to worship in Jerusalem. Many Christian generations have never been able to reach Jerusalem to visit its holy places.

The occupation has been continuously imposing unlawful obstacles. This year, we are confronted by the Israeli Apartheid Separation Wall, checkpoints and roadblocks guarded by Israeli soldiers denying us movement and access to Jerusalem.

All these measures not only suffocate the Palestinian people, but also asphyxiate peace in Israel and Palestine.

Fr Manuel explains how Palestinians are denied the freedom to worship as and where they please, even at Easter. In particular, they are prevented from going into Jerusalem. The Zionist claim that Palestine was “a land without a people for a people without a land” has had a disastrous impact on the Palestinians. "It does not mean that Jerusalem is without a people, but rather it should be evacuated to be handed over to another people." David Ben Gurion himself articulated that plan in 1937 when he declared: 'We must expel Arabs and take their places.'”

Father Manuel offers ~ "Every stone built in the Apartheid Wall, every axe strike digging under the Al-Aqsa Mosque and every house destroyed by Israel will increase the intensity of resistance and resentfulness. However, cooperation with Palestinians will give Israel the hope for a future, dominated by serenity and peacefulness."

" We lament Jerusalem, and miss its beautiful ceremonies. This year thousands of tourists will weep with us. They will not be able to march the “Way of the Cross” with Palestinians. There will be no national Palestinian folklore to discover or Arab religious crafts to take with them as gifts, and no local prayers, hymns and music to experience in the warm faith of believers in Palestine. They will be shocked entering the Holy Sepulchre to find Israeli police inside..."

" We do not foresee any political settlement, or an end to occupation, or hope for the return of Palestinian refugees, or the forming of our state with Jerusalem as its capital, or the right to self-determination, or the liberation of thousands of prisoners, free access and movement, an end to Gaza siege, and the dismantling of the Apartheid Wall around Jerusalem.

We are appalled by the continuous threats of more war. And we are distressed by the daily humiliation, hunger, thirst, unemployment and the absence of sustainable development in our country. "

" Jerusalem is ours. It is not a disputed land. We are not soliciting to share the legacy and heritage of Jerusalem with Israel or with anyone else.

" We do not accept the speech of Israeli leaders that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and that building in it is no different from building in Tel Aviv. Occupation is a sin and a form of terrorism, and when relying on the texts of the Torah to kill people or expel and remove them from their land it rises to the level of a crime against humanity. All perpetrators should be judged by the International Criminal Court before being judged by the just court of God. "

In his appeal to the world this Easter, what seems to worry Fr Manuel most is how the dwindling numbers that are now allowed to reach the holy sites might cause them to be turned into historic monuments or even destroyed. In the eyes of Israeli leaders, these places are “pagan sites” and whoever destroys them is brought closer to God. The Zionist Jewish leader Theodore Herzl said: “If one day we recover Jerusalem and I am still able to do anything when we do so, my first action will be to cleanse it thoroughly. I will remove everything that is not holy and burn the monuments that are centuries old.”

Father Manuel continues ~ " Our people in Gaza are treated like animals in a zoo. They eat but remain hungry; they cry, but no one wipes their tears. There is no water, no electricity, no food, only fear, terror and blockade... Our children are living in a state of trauma and fear. They are sick from it and for other reasons such as malnutrition, poverty and the cold... The hospitals did not have basic first aid before the war and now thousands of wounded and sick are pouring in and they are performing operations in the corridors. The situation is frightening and sad....

In exasperation he added: “May Christ's compassion revive our love for God even though it is currently in 'intensive care'."

Is anyone listening?

Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. For further information please visit

Allen L Roland

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Allen L Roland is a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his weblog and website He also guest hosts a monthly national radio show TRUTHTALK on

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