Archive | April 27th, 2015

Stanford professor left barefoot, homeless and trapped in I$raHell for 15 years

Trapped in Israel: Gary's case

By Marianne Azizi

An American citizen was left homeless and barefoot in I$raHell, and those who provided him with shoes were punished by the courts.

Gary visited I$raHell for a long weekend to attend his son’s coming of age – or bar mitzvah – ceremony. He was already a divorced man. He had emigrated to I$raHell (or “made aliyah”) many years before and, after his marriage broke down, he was told by an I$raHell court that it would be better if he left I$raHell and went back to the USA to continue working as he would be better able to provide financially for his children.

Gary’s eldest son is now 28 years of age and is to become a father himself. All good news so far, except that since the bar mitzvah Gary has been held in Israel for 15 years. He is a dual national and is drowning in litigation. He did not know he had a No Exit Order placed upon him until he was at Ben Gurion airport. There he was turned back and since then has been unable to find his way home. He was ordered to pay money for child support for six children in advance, a sum of money so extortionate that only a multi-millionaire could pay.

From professor to pauper

Gary had arrived in Israel with absolutely no  , no arrears, not one cent. At that time he was a professor at Stanford University and, after six weeks of being trapped, he no longer had a position. He was fired. He was ordered to pay 38,000 shekels [USD 9,693] each month for his kids. He turned to the American embassy, which provided him with a temporary apartment. Throughout the 15 years during which he was trapped in Israel, the embassy provided him with accommodation on four occasions, a total of two years in all. He has been homeless, living in hostels, and was forced to take a job in Israel which paid him between 5,000-8,000 shekels net [USD 1,275-2,041]. The court ordered that 100 per cent of his salary be taken towards the monthly payment, leaving him with absolutely nothing to live on, other than handouts and help.

Gary and his wife were divorced in America and there both salaries were taken into account and all finances were settled. But in Israel his former wife and the authorities decided to ignore the rulings and do it their own way. His ex-wife is one of the richest women in Israel. She is the business partner of a billionaire and lives in one of the most expensive penthouses in Israel. Because a woman’s income is ring-fenced, Gary was left penniless and unable to return to the US to keep his job and pay his dues, as he had intended.

Worthless judgement

On the first night he was in the accommodation, Gary saw across the street his ex-wife’s attorney sitting with the judge handling his case. It turned out that the lawyer and the judge were a couple, and actually had another joint business making serious money. He filed a complaint immediately and the judge was forced to recuse himself from Gary’s case. Gary knows of dozens of cases where this particular lawyer can never lose – and he can provide evidence to prove it.

Eventually, after nine years, Gary received a judgment acknowledging that the child support demand was ridiculous, and the required payment was reduced by 92 per cent retroactively. Good news, but not in Israel – the bailiffs who received the judgment have not acted upon it! Things got so desperate that Gary found himself in the attention of the Israeli press for sleeping in the woman’s section of a synagogue and bathing in the mikveh, the women’s bathing area.

At one point, Gary became very ill. He says there were 57 motions and 11 lawyers involved just to get him some healthcare. He was fortunate to get pro bono lawyers, and during the time three of them took pity on him and gave him some shoes and clothes to wear, out of their own kindness. But they were interrogated by the courts and asked how Gary could afford new shoes if 100 per cent of his salary was being seized. The attorneys in question were disbarred for helping him.

For six year, Gary has not been able to find a lawyer, hence the inability to get the court decision enforced by the bailiff. It might be incredulous at this point that a man is still trapped in Israel when his youngest child is just short of 21 years old. His ex-wife has an attorney but, to avoid paying fees, the attorney has been appointed for the children. They have never had their names removed.

Gary has been alienated from his children and described as a non-paying father, a loser. From his salary, 350 shekels [USD 89] a month is allocated for his ex-wife’s beauty routine, such as nail manicure and hairdressing.

Ongoing trauma

Gary has had a couple of opportunities to be taken out of Israel. There is always the risky black market for smuggling people out. He was told that if he did leave, he could never return and would probably never speak to his children again. He turned down the offer, but still lost contact with his children anyway.

He was asked: “Do you want to go home to the USA? The answer was a quick: “Of course. What I want is the freedom to choose.” He was asked: “If you could go now, would you?” The answer was not quite so easy. He has no home in America now and no job, and he admits that he is suffering from massive trauma. Not post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), because that would mean the trauma is past. He suffers, like many, from ongoing complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD), a more complicated form which leaves a person with nothing but existence.

What barbaric cruelty is involved to strip a man of his dignity, liberty and freedom – the same principles which are stated in Israel’s Basic Law.

Gary is not the only one to suffer in this way. Each victim has to exist in some alternate form of life. There is no opportunity to live normally.

Last month, Gary finally got the ear of American embassy. Perhaps from there he can start to file appeals.

The walking dead

It is not just 15 years that have been stolen from Gary. It is his whole life. Thousands of people in Israel can only be described as the walking dead. Who is going to help them?

This system was described as brutal and barbaric by United Nations Human Rights Council members when it was exposed there four years ago. It continues to be primitive and cruel, but the general view is that the narrative of Israel is far more important than the individuals who live there.

The time for silence is over. The right of Israel to exist does not entitle the state to treat its citizens like animals.

For verification of Gary’s story, please contact Marianne Azizi here.

[Editor’s note: Redress Information & Analysis will continue to report the truth whomever it concerns, in fulfilment of our mission of exposing injustice, disinformation and bigotry. We will support all victims of injustice, be they Palestinians facing Israel’s merciless occupation and oppression, Jewish and other victims of Israeli inhumanity, or people of all religions and none facing the primitive bigotry of Islamists.]

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Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Profile

Name: Nkrumah
Other Names: Osagyefo Dr. Kwame
Date of Birth: 1909-09-21
Place: Nkroful, Western Reg

Detailed Biography

Nkrumah Potrait 1Father: Kofi Ngonloma of the Asona Clan

Mother: Elizabeth Nyanibah of the Anona Clan

Wife: Helena Ritz Fathia

Childhood Mentor: Dr. Kwegyir Aggrey (Assistant Vice Principal and the first African member of staff at the then Prince of Wales’ College at Achimota)Education & Career Pattern: Nkrumah was first named Francis Nwia-Kofi (the latter name, after a prominent family personality), but later changed his name to Kwame Nkrumah in 1945 in the UK – he was born on Saturday.

Attended Elementary School at Half Assini where father worked as a goldsmith. A German Roman Catholic priest by name George Fischer significantly influenced his elementary school education

  • 1930: Obtained Teacher’s Certificate from the Prince of Wales’ College at Achimota (Formerly Government Training College, Accra)
  • 1931: Teacher, Roman Catholic School, Elmina (Central Region) and later, Head teacher, Roman Catholic junior School Axim (Western Region)
  • 1932: Teacher, Roman Catholic Seminary, Amisano (Central Region)
  • 1935: Entered Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, USA.
  • 1939: Earned a BA (Lincoln University), USA
  • 1942: Earned a BA (Theology), Lincoln University, USA
  • 1943: M.Sc. Education, MA Philosophy, and completed course work / preliminary examination for a Ph. D. degree at the University of Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1939 – 1945: Combined studies with part-time lectureship in Negro History. (During this period, he helped to found the African Studies Association and the African Students Association of America and Canada.)
  • 1945: Voted “Most Outstanding Professor-Of-The-Year by “The Lincolnian”
  • 1945(May): Arrived in London with the aim of studying Law and completing thesis for a Doctorate but met George Padmore. The two as Co-Political Secretaries helped to organize the Sixth Pan-African Congress in Manchester, England. After the Congress, Nkrumah continued work for de-colonization of Africa and became Vice-President of West African Students Union. He was also leader of “The Circle”, the secret organization dedicated to the unity and independence of West Africa, in its struggle to create and maintain a Union of African Socialist Republics
  • 1947: Wrote his first book, “Towards Colonial Freedom”
  • 1947(December): Returned to Gold Coast and became General Secretary of United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC)
  • 1948: Detained with Executive Members of UGCC known later as the “Big Six” following disturbances in the colony.
  • 1948 (September): Established the “Accra Evening News which appeared on the news-stands the same day that he was dismissed as General Secretary of UGCC.
  • 1949 (June): Formed Convention Peoples Party (CPP) with the Committee on Youth Organization (CYO).
  • 1949 (December): Declared Positive Action to demand Independence.
  • 1950 (January): Arrested, following riots resulting from declaration of Positive Action
  • 1951 (February): Won the election while in prison with a vote of 22,780 from the 23,122 ballots cast, to take the Accra Central seat. He was released later from prison in the same month to form new Government.
  • 1956: Won the elections leading to independence.· 1957 (6 March): Declared Ghana’s Independence
  • 1958 (April): Convened Conference of the existing independent African States (Ghana, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Morocco and Liberia). In December, He held an All-African Peoples Conference in Accra, the first Pan-African conference to be held on African soil. He took the first step towards African Unification by signing an agreement with Sekou Toure to unite Ghana and Guinea.
  • 1958: Married Helena Ritz Fathia, an Egyptian Coptic and relative of President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt. Had three children with her – Gokeh, Sarmiah Yarba, and Sekou Ritz
  • 1960: Declared Ghana a Republic.
  • 1961: Nkrumah extended the Ghana – Guinea union to include Mali under Modibo Keita.
  • 1962 (August): Target of an assassination attempt at Kulungugu in the Northern Region of Ghana.
  • 1963 (May): Nkrumah organized a conference of the 32 independent African States in Addis Ababa. The Organization of African Unity (OAU) was formed at this conference with the purpose of working for the Unity, Freedom and Prosperity of the people of Africa.
  • 1964: Established Ghana as a One Party State with himself as Life President.
  • 1965: Nkrumah published his book “Neocolonialism”. In this book he showed how foreign companies and governments were enriching themselves at the expense of the African people. This book drew harsh protest from the US government and consequently withdrew its economic aid of $35m previously earmarked for Ghana.
  • 1966 (February 24th): Overthrown in a Military Coup d’etat while on trip to Hanoi, North Vietnam. He left for Conakry Guinea on being told of the overthrow. He lived in Conakry as Co –President of Guinea.
  • 1972 (April 27th): Died of natural causes in a Romania
  • 1972 (7 July): Buried in Ghana.

The Osagyefo, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah authored over 20 books and publications (See list of his publications). He is a lead authority on the Political theory and Practical Pan-Africanism. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah selflessly dedicated his life to show how future sons and daughters of Africa should prepare themselves as well as strive to unify Africa and harness its wealth for the benefit of all descendants of the continent.
Today, the African continent is beset with poverty and misery even as it is endowed with abundance of natural, climatic, strategic and human wealth.

When he studied in the United States he joined Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and was a member of the West Africa Chapter, Beta Upsilon Sigma, upon is return to Ghana.

Sources: Forward Ever – Kwame Nkrumah
Ghana Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah – Kwame Nkrumah
Revolutionary Path – Kwame Nkrumah Network Computer Systems Ltd.

External Link:

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Censorship at Britain’s Southampton University

Zionist-imposed censorship

By Lawrence Davidson


Here is the situation: the threat of aggressive public protests against those assembling to critically discuss the behaviour of Israel has become an excuse to shut down such gatherings. The latest example of this tactic, which is really a form of blackmail to impose censorship, took place last week at the University of Southampton in the UK.

An international conference entitled “International law and the state of Israel: Legitimacy, responsibility and exceptionalism” was scheduled for 17-19 April 2015 at the University of Southampton. It was to bring together lawyers and scholars to examine the legal basis for the establishment of the state of Israel and the rationales (or lack thereof) for its historical treatment of the Palestinian people. The standard by which these issues were to be judged was international law. The conference would also have examined the issue of exceptionalism when it came to the inadequate legal and diplomatic response to Israeli policies and behaviour. Conference participants were to include both those critical of Israel and those who would present a defence of Israeli practices.

This conference had been planned for over a year, yet days before its opening Southampton University announced that it would not allow the gathering to go ahead on its campus because there were “risks to safety and public order”. This was due to expected protests against the conference. Where did these risks come from? They originated with Zionists and their allies. Specifically, the Sussex Friends of Israel were ready to bring out as many as 300 peaceful protesters. In addition, there was likely to be a very small number of English Defence League members, who are anti-Muslim, pro-Israel and potentially violent.

[Southampton University] ran scared not only from exaggerated threats of violence but… from the wrath of a small number of financial donors who threatened to stop supporting the institution if it provided a forum for open discussion of issues that cast Israel in poor light.

Certainly the Zionist rhetoric was aggressive and emotionally charged. The conference was described as a gathering of “Israel-haters”, “a rally of bigots”, a gathering of “toxic speakers” and an “anti-Israel carnival”. It made no difference to these ideologically driven zealots that what was really planned was a sober investigation of historical patterns of behaviour against the backdrop of internationally recognised legal norms.

Though the negative emotional energy ran high, the actual danger  from the planned protests was probably quite minimal, and the local police declared themselves capable and ready to handle the situation. Nonetheless, instead of acting resolutely against those who would threaten free speech, the university simply gave in. It essentially ran scared not only from exaggerated threats of violence but, as seems always to be the case, from the wrath of a small number of financial donors who threatened to stop supporting the institution if it provided a forum for open discussion of issues that cast Israel in poor light. Essentially, Southampton university allowed itself to be blackmailed by Zionist censors.

One can speculate on what would have been the case if the situation were reversed. That is, if pro-Palestinian demonstrators had implied a “risk to safety and public order” at a Zionist conference upholding Israeli practices. The army would have been called out before such a conference was cancelled.

An ongoing tactic

This is not the first time this sort of scenario has been played out. Back in 2001 the president of the University of South Florida, Judy Genshaft, forced Dr Sami Al-Arian, then a member of the faculty, to stay away from the campus because of negative and slanderous media publicity and Zionist threats against him. This all stemmed from his vocal support of Palestinian rights. Here too a university administration allowed itself to be blackmailed by ideologically driven zealots. In the process it abandoned the principle of free speech and allowed censorship to prevail through threats of disruption.

There are other suspicious occurrences that may have been brought about by quieter forms of the same censoring pressures. For instance, in March this writer was invited to address the prestigious Oxford Union in London on a topic that would, in part, cover US foreign policy in support of Israel. Within five days the invitation was withdrawn. The quick turnaround called into doubt the Oxford Union’s claim that the cause of the withdrawal was scheduling problems. While it is not possible to say for sure that the reversal was due to Zionist pressure, the present atmosphere of aggressive Zionist efforts to stymie all criticism of Israel and its supporters, makes this sort of occurrence appear suspicious.

Undermining the rule of law

What is going on here is not only the censoring of those critical of Israel, but the undermining of the rule of law, particularly international law. The irony is that much of this body of law was promulgated because of the savage persecution experienced by Europe’s Jews and others during World War II. However, the Zionist element among Jewry (not all Jews) decided that their future lay not in the support of law, but in the creation of a state through a process of imperial invasion and colonial settlement. They pursued this objective just at the time when both classical imperialism and colonialism were going out of style and the European empires were falling apart. Thus, even at the moment it succeeded in establishing the state of Israel, Zionism was already an anachronism – an ideology that could prevail only through aggression and racist policies in a world that was trying to outlaw both types of behaviour.

That Zionism has, to date, gained its goal is largely due to its having achieved for Israel an “exceptional” status in the West that has allowed it to escape the rule of law. In other words, Israel has evolved into a “rogue” state that is being protected by Western powers, particularly the United States. It has achieved this “exceptional” status by two means: first, the Zionist corruption of Western governments through a lobby process involving the bribing of politicians and, second, through the exploitation of the Western fear of the Arab and Islamic world.


The Zionists always complain that Israel is being singled out. For instance, one of the gambits used to attack the Southampton conference was as follows: “no academic conference on Pakistan, for instance, founded just a year before Israel, would consist solely of discussion on whether it should have been created and how to end it”. Putting aside the fact that this is an overly simplistic, and thus distorted, description of the Southampton conference, the comparison with Pakistan is off base. Pakistan was created as part of a process of decolonisation. Israel was created in defiance of that same process. Zionist ideology, like any form of dogmatic thinking, ends up skewing history to its own needs.

Actually, as long as Israel insists on being “a Jewish state” instead of a democratic state of all its citizens, it must walk the path of apartheid. And, it can only get away with that through successfully maintaining an exceptional status – a status that puts it above international law. The Southampton conference would have exposed this situation in a factual and sober way – in a way that would be hard for any fair-minded person to doubt. That is why the Zionists went to such lengths to shut it down.

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Camden Council unlawfully censors criticism of I$raHell

Pro-Israel censorship

By Ruth Tenne*

Camden Council claims to promote freedom of speech in all its forms. On its website the council clearly states that

Camden has a proud history of being an epicentre of radical thought and political activity. Often, decades (or centuries) later, what was once radical is considered mainstream. A culture of fostering thinking that sits against the grain keeps Camden at the forefront of innovation in all sorts of areas of life, the arts, science and business.

The website goes on to say: “It is vital that people are given the space to think and speak freely, even when we disagree or are offended by what they have to say.” It cites Article 10 of the Human Rights Act (1998) and says it understands this to “include the right to express views aloud, or through, [amongst other means ] communication on the internet”.

The website adds that

public authorities may restrict the right to freedom of expression if they can show that their action has a proper basis in law and is necessary and “proportionate”… The public authority must show that the restriction is “proportionate”, in other words the restriction must be no more than is necessary, appropriate and not excessive in the circumstances.

Double tongued

Sadly, it appears that the human rights pledges made by Camden Council are restricted to its website alone and do not apply apply to its actual policies and actions.

As a user of Camden’s public computers, I was appalled to learn, in the wake of Israel’s war on Gaza (July-August 2014) that I could no longer access my own articles on the Redress Information & Analysis website. As a result, I lodged an official complaint addressed to the head of library services in Camden. My complaint was dismissed by the council on the grounds that theRedress Information & Analysis website is “intolerant and anti-Semitic”. Regrettably, the Local Government Ombudsman has also upheld Camden Council’s decision to continue blocking indefinitely Redress Information & Analysis. (For the full details, see my article, London’s Camden Council censors criticism of Israel, published in Redress Information & Analysis.)

Disappointed and disillusioned by Camden Council’s sheer disregard for the democratic values it publicly claims to hold, I wrote to the council’s chief executive, Mike Cooke, in the hope that he would revise and overturn the council’s baseless decision to block Redress Information & Analysis on its public computers, which number more than 100. Perhaps expectedly, Cooke did not take long time to respond to my letter. He said:

The censor’s words – uncensored

I’ve now looked at the background and the details of this situation.

You may be aware that we use automatic website filtering to assist us in ensuring appropriate use of computers. In the case of the Redress [Information & Analysis] website, it was filtered by the software but then was reviewed by officers. A number of articles were assessed as being perfectly acceptable, a number were questionable in terms of conveying an attitude of intolerance and significantly the site also was found to contain a number of violent images which were alone sufficient to keep the website blocked.

As a public authority, the council believes it should not directly enable access to material that could be reasonably considered to be containing material [sic] that is promoting intolerance or found to be offensive. We have an important role to promote social cohesion.

Having looked into this, I am satisfied that we have acted reasonably and appropriately. If the Redress [Information & Analysis] website changes or develops, then we would of course review the blocking in the light of those changes.

My reply to Cooke’s letter reflected my deep sense of frustration and outrage:

I was disappointed, though not surprised, to see that you have upheld Camden Council’s decision to block the website of Redress Information & Analysis. I wonder if you had a chance to read my latest article on [the] website, a link to which I sent you in my previous email. This article included my response to the Local Government Ombudsman and addressed all the points made by Camden Council which you seem to have simply reiterated in your response to my email complaint.

I also noted that while initially the council blocked the website ofRedress [Information & Analysis] on the grounds of being intolerant and anti-Semitic – mentioning violent images only in passing – your letter now seems to cite violent images as the main reason for blocking the website. This point has been already addressed in my response to the Local Government Ombudsman where I argued that the “the internet and the press quite often include graphic images of mutilated bodies and corpses which could be easily accessed by the users of Camden libraries’ computers, and all national and local press have an email edition which could be accessed by public computer users”.

If indeed the filter system of Camden Council has filtered out the website of Redress [Information & Analysis], how would you explain the fact (as was mentioned in my own article on Redress website) that four London boroughs whom I contacted randomly did not filter out/block the website of Redress [Information & Analysis] on their public computers…

The “crime” of criticising I$raHell

Throughout my work on the public computers of Camden Council, I found quite a number of websites blocked by the council whose singular “crime” seems to have been criticism of Israel’s policies. I also wonder if you read the advice given by the Liberty officer who did not see any reason for the council’s blocking of the website ofRedress [Information & Analysis] apart from suspected political motives, clearly noting: “I have only had a chance to skim a few of the articles on; however, I agree that there is a strong case that the library has blocked political speech which is not sufficiently threatening, abusive or insulting to any religious or racial group as to engage the Public Order Act (or any equivalent legislation).”

It is virtually a scandal that Camden Council, which claims to hold up the principles of democracy, is blocking the website of Redress Information & Analysis (and quite a few other websites) for criticising Israel’s policies – claiming that the website is intolerant and anti-Semitic. This kind of censorship on the part of Camden Council has to be made public. I hope that it would , indeed, get the attention of the wider community through the press and social media.

Disproportionate and unlawfulTo sum up, transparency is at the heart of local democracy. Yet, at no time did Camden Council disclose the criteria employed by the filtering system for totally blocking a website and material it deems unacceptable. If, indeed ,”a number of articles [on the Redress Information & Analysis website] were perfectly acceptable” – as the Camden Council chief executive noted in his letter to me – why has the council taken the decision to block indefinitely the whole of Redress Information & Analysis rather than simply filter out the “violent images” they found “unacceptable”.

That leaves Camden Council open to the charge of acting unlawfully and disproportionally, in contravention of Article 10 of the Human Right Act (1998) – covertly advancing the interests of the pro-Israel constituency in the multicultural Borough of Camden.

It appears that freedom of expression is merely granted to a selected local constituency by Camden Council, whose authorities have little concern for the true meaning of the Human Rights Act.

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Vatican rejects chosen people claim, calls on I$raHell to end occupation


A high-ranking Israeli official on Sunday slammed a statement from Catholic bishops, who called for international organizations to lead the cause of Palestinian statehood.

Greek-Melchite Archbishop Cyrille Bustros sparked an interreligious firestorm when he suggested that Israel was “using Scripture” to continue its occupation of Palestinian territory.

“The Holy Scriptures cannot be used to justify the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of the Palestinians,” Bustros said at the close of a two-week conference in Rome, Italy, “to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands.”

The Archbishop then questioned the biblical idea of a “promised land” set aside by a specific group of people.

“We Christians cannot speak of the promised land as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people,Bustros continued. This promise was nullified by Christ. There is no longer a chosen people – all men and women of all countries have become the chosen people.”

Bustros led the group that drafted the synod’s concluding statement on Israel and the Palestinians.

The controversial comments came at the conclusion of a two-week Vatican conference assembled to discuss the plight of Christians in the Middle East.

Pope Benedict XVI was in attendance at the synod and celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Cathedral on Sunday with the bishops.

I$raHell responds

On Sunday, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon criticized the concluding statement of the conference, saying the forum has been “hijacked by an anti-Israeli majority.”

“We express our disappointment that this important synod has become a forum for political attacks on Israel in the best history of Arab propaganda,” Ayalon said in a statement. “The synod was hijacked by an anti-Israel majority.”

Ayalon then called on the Vatican to distance itself from the comments, which the Israeli official said amounted to “libel.”

“We call on the Vatican to distance themselves from Archbishop Bustros’ comments which are a libel against the Jewish People and the State of Israel and should not be construed as the Vatican’s official position,” the foreign minister said in his statement. “These outrageous comments should not cast a shadow over the important relationship between the Vatican, the state of Israel and the Jewish people.”

The Palestinian Authority, however, praised Bustros’ comments.

“Israel cannot use the biblical concept of a promised land or chosen people to justify new settlements in Jerusalem or Israeli territorial claims,” Saeb Erakat, a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said in a statement released Sunday.

Erakat said the synod sent “a clear a message to the government of Israel that it may not claim that Jerusalem is an exclusively Israeli city.”

“The Palestinian people will thus have an independent and sovereign homeland where they can live with dignity and security,” the statement continued optimistically. “The State of Israel will be able to enjoy peace and security within their internationally recognized borders.”

“The Holy City of Jerusalem will be able to acquire its proper status, which respects its particular character, its holiness and the religious patrimony of the three religions: Jewish, Christian and Muslim,” it said. “We hope that the two-state-solution might become a reality and not a dream only.”

Pope Benedict XVI first called for a two-state solution to the Middle East crisis during a visit to the region in May 2009 when he voiced the Vatican’s support of a sovereign Palestinian homeland. At the time, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was opposed to a two-state solution.

The Vatican, however, eager to boost its sagging popularity worldwide, noted during the synod that only 2.1 per cent of those living in Israel are Christian, who continue to be outnumbered by high Jewish and Muslim birthrates.

The Catholic Church also mentioned conflict, religious discrimination and economic woes as the cause of its shrinking influence in the Middle East.

No sign of apology

The Vatican in January blamed Israel not only for the exodus of Christians from Palestinian-controlled territories, but for the plight of Christians across the entire Middle East.

The statement, which served as the basis for the latest Vatican synod, was also authored by Arab bishops from the Middle East, who argued that Israel’s “occupation” of Arab-claimed lands is the root cause of most of the oppression suffered by Christians in the region.

They suggested that in the absence of an “occupation,” radical Islamic forces across the Middle East would lose their support base, and stop causing problems for Christians.

The Vatican said they were not trying to take sides in the issue, but that the Arab bishops “know the situation well.”

This is not the first time of late that religious tensions have boiled over between the adherents of Judaism and Christianity.

Earlier this year, the Catholic Church became suddenly embroiled in a string of pedophile cases, some of them dating back many years. Some inside of the Catholic Church saw a “Jewish conspiracy” behind the reports.

Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Meridiaga, the archbishop of Honduras, said there was something curious about the media’s timing of the revelations, coming as they did as the conflict in the Middle East was heating up.

“It certainly makes me think that in a moment in which all the attention of the mass media was focused on the Middle East, all the many injustices done against the Palestinian people, the print media and the TV in the United States became obsessed with sexual scandals that happened 40 years ago, 30 years ago…”

L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s daily newspaper, criticized what it said was a “clear and despicable intention” by the media to strike at Benedict “at any cost.”

American lawyer Alan Dershowitz, a well known defender of Israeli interests, called the Cardinal’s assertions a “cockamamie theory” and “blood libels,” while arguing that much of the criticism (concerning the pedophile cases) “comes from disappointed Catholics.”

Strange how two religions that emerged from the same seed are so committed to dragging each other down at every opportunity.

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