Monday, 9 June 2014

Shalom for Jerusalem

So Pope Francis has managed to get the President of Israel and Abbas together for a multi faith shindig at the Vatican; I've got to admit whilst people call us the '3 Abrahamic religions', I do struggle with the idea that we all worship the same deity... well we don't actually do we? I don't pray to Jesus or Allah. I say this not to be unecumenical or nasty, it is simply the truth. It does not turn one into a Christophobe or an Islamaphobe to say so. Besides which both Islam and Christianity-with some honourable exceptions, such as those who believe in dual covenant theory- see Judaism as being 'replaced' in some form or another, which is how these religions justified their self creation in the first place and the subsequent and sometimes not so nice treatment of those of us who couldn't see the new world vision of these respective faiths . 

But I guess I'm being a party poop and should applaud such an historic occasion where 3 big world faiths got together and prayed together. I hope this stunt does whatever it was supposed to do, which if it is about bring peace... I applaud. 

Although of course the peace process could be restarted at any time, once the Pals stop terrorism, recognise Israel as the Jewish homeland, agree that Jerusalem is the one undivided capital of the Jewish state and the Arab governments stop funding terrorist organisations & provide compensation for those Jewish families who were brutally ethnically cleansed from Arab lands after the creation of Israel.

But regardless, President Peres was, I thought, especially moving in his remarks and prayers (which contrasted to Abbas quite nicely) -

"Your Holiness Pope Francis, Your Excellency President Mahmoud Abbas … I have come from the Holy City of Jerusalem to thank you for your exceptional invitation. The Holy City of Jerusalem is the beating heart of the Jewish People. In Hebrew, our ancient language, the word Jerusalem and the word for peace share the same root. And indeed peace is the vision of Jerusalem. 
As it is said in the Book of Psalms: 
'Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure.
May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.”
For the sake of my family and friends,
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your prosperity.'
Two peoples – Israelis and Palestinians – still are aching for peace. The tears of mothers over their children are still etched in our hearts. We must put an end to the cries, to the violence, to the conflict. We all need peace. Peace between equals. 
On this moving occasion, brimming with hope and full of faith, let us all raise with you, Your Holiness, a call for peace between religions, between nations, between communities, and between fellow men and women. Let true peace become our legacy soon and swiftly.
Our Book of Books commands upon us the way of peace, demands of us to toil for its realization. 
It is said in the book of Proverbs: Her ways are ways of grace, and all her paths are peace.” So too must our ways be. Ways of grace and peace. It is not by chance that Rabbi Akiva captured the essence of our Torah in one sentence: “Love your neighbor like thyself.” We are all equal before the Lord. We are all part of the human family. For without peace, we are not complete, and we have yet to achieve the mission of humanity. 
Peace does not come easy. We must toil with all our strengths to reach it. To reach it soon. Even if it requires sacrifice or compromise. 
The Book of Psalms tells us: “Whoever loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it." 
This is to say, we are commanded to pursue after peace. All year. Every day. We greet each other with this blessing. Shalom. Salam. We must be worthy of the deep and demanding meaning of this blessing. Even when peace seems distant, we must pursue it to bring it closer.
And if we pursue peace with perseverance, with faith, we will reach it. 
And it will endure through us, through all of us, of all faiths, of all nations, as it is written: “They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” 
The soul is elated upon the reading of these verses of eternal vision. And we can – together and now, Israelis and Palestinians – convert our noble vision to a reality of welfare and prosperity. It is within our power to bring peace to our children. This is our duty, the holy mission of parents. 
I was young, now I am old. I experienced war, I tasted peace. Never will I forget the bereaved families, parents and children, who paid the cost of war. And all my life I shall never stop to act for peace for the generations to come. Let's all of us join hands and make it happen.
Let me end with a prayer: He who makes peace in the heavens shall make peace upon us and upon all of Israel, and upon the entire world, and let us say Amen".

Amen to that. So be it truly .



  1. The Jews are indeed evil and are agents of the Great prince of darkness. Some Jews say "we're not all bad". But you never hear from the "good" Jews criticising the bad ones. The Jews enslaved Germany in debt and used their monopoly of the music halls and theatres to mock Germans and their religious beliefs until Hitler cleared the house. Jews won't fight in Ukraine, it'll be the "goyim" that goes to defend Jewish Oligarchs and theives.

  2. Atheist Shrugged9 June 2014 at 13:38

    Israel has to wake up to the fact that this question is no longer about propaganda, legitimacy, historical rights (or lack thereof), Jewish refugees, who started which war, who's narrative better represents historical fact, diplomacy, UN posturing, calorie counting, "disputed territories" or "occupied territories", or whatever. It no longer matters "what happened then" — if "then" was 50 years, 50 months, 50 days, or even 50 hours ago. None of that makes any difference anymore. None of that matters.

    The people of the world can see, quite clearly, that there is a weak, downtrodden, poverty stricken nation, of about 9 million people, all told, trying to remain with a foothold of 22% of its homeland, while Israel is trying to take it all over, while carrying out a clearly discriminatory policy hell-bent on removing them now, today, through settlement, siege, administrative-expulsion, bombs, extra-judiciary executions, collective punishment, law-fare, land-grabs, and whatever else they can get away with. Only a blind person — intentionally or otherwise — has any doubts anymore.

    No talk of democracy, freedom, shared values, or whatever can mask the fact that the Israeli people with few exceptions — you know who you are — through their duly elected government have no qualms about continuing this treatment of the Palestinians — whether they are Israeli citizens, under occupation, or in the diaspora. No amount of "hasbara" (explanations) will do. Nothing can be said to defend the obviously indefensible.

    These grass-roots, people led initiatives will continue. The governments will continue to feel the pressure and Israel will be pushed further and further into isolation. Its goods unwanted, its intellect rejected, its military men exposed and shamed.

    Regardless of what the governments of the world say or do, continuing to support Israel will become more and more of a burden. The people of the world have had enough, and as time goes by, they will continue to pressure their governments where they can to force Israel to stop.

  3. Until the Zionist state is dismantled there can be no peace in Jerusalem

  4. Ah, so it is the Hamas solution for you is it? So when you see pictures of Jewish women and children being slaughtered, how will you feel with your moral superiority then?

  5. You can do better than this propaganda, surely ?

  6. Adopting the Hamas Charter I see . Great copy!

  7. Funny that, because Israel is a technological and medical world leader. And has weathered the economic crisis better than most countries. Oh and she is supplying Egypt with much needed gas .But hey ho, we're the wicked evil ones. What gets me is it only took under 70 years for people to bring back Jew hate under the guise of feigning support for the Palestinians and 'anti-zionism'. Disgusting to see the false moral piety here.

  8. All this stuff about which Gods we pray to, makes my head spin, and that's before we add the virgin Mary to the list. I guess we could say it is positive because 3 Gods (or 4 if you include the Catholic Mary or 6 if you see the Trinity as 3 different gods) is better than 1. Or it can see somewhat desperate that 1 god isn't enough. Ooooh, ecumenical stuff makes me so confused!

  9. I dunno. To me it doesn't matter what god you worship, but how you act. Are you an a hole or not? That's how I judge people.

  10. Dude,

    Well I guess this is political as the Pope represents 1 billion Christians and is also a head of state. I doubt they'd have done this for Justin Welby!

  11. I think the Israeli prayer was better, but then I'm biased. I see the idiot anti-Israeli is here. Ooooh wonderful! Don't ask me if we worship the same God. I don't believe we do- I don't think of Jesus when I'm Davening and Allah is a God I'd never want to worship.

  12. I'm sure Pope Frank will bring peace to the ME as a result! Nobel peace prize this year? Hell they gave it to Barry for doing SFA!

  13. Hannah,

    Well a Jew can't worship Jesus as that would be idolatory and if you look at Allah, there's no way you'd want to worship it!

  14. Well the guys gotta earn his keep somehow!

  15. Dominique Vasilkovsky10 June 2014 at 11:52

    Well only Israel, of all nations, would have the humility an forgiveness to sit down with terrorists and try and negociate peace without conditions. We all want peace, but they aren't interested in it.


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