Vic Alhadeff, CEO NSW Board of Jewish Deputies, who recently visited our schools, newspapers and churches tweeted Christmas and New Year greetings to ‘all our Christian friends and colleagues’.
However, apologies for Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine which includes destruction of churches and mosques would be more appropriate.
It is hoped that when the Bishop of Lismore visits Israel next year he will visit Gaza and the West Bank to see for himself the appalling results of the occupation.
In case Israel prevents him from doing this he may be able to confer with Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah who, writing from Bethlehem, tells us that Israel confiscated part of Bethlehem’s northern lands and approved the expansion of the illegal settlement of Gilo – built on privately owned lands of Bethlehem – by 891 new housing units.
He says, ‘Despite Israel’s claim that it is the only country in the Middle East where Christians prosper, the unspoken message it sends on the ground is that it has no respect whatsoever for their rights as Palestinians and for their existence in their homeland. It is claimed that Islamic extremism is the reason behind the massive emigration of Palestinian Christians.
In reality, the problems of Palestinian Christians stem essentially from the fact that they are Palestinians living under the Israeli occupation’.
I am sure your readers would welcome a comment from Mr Alhadeff.
Gareth W R Smith, Palestine Liberation Centre, Byron Bay