Monday, October 25, 2010

Catholic Bishops Call on Israel to End the Occupation

Tensions are rising between the Israeli government and the Catholic Church after a gathering of prominent Catholic bishops called on Israel to end the occupation of the Palestinian territories and to stop using the Bible to justify the occupation. The bishops issued the statement following a two-week special synod of bishops organized by the Vatican.

Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros, head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in the United States: "This is clear for us. The concept of the promised land cannot be used as a base for the justification of the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of Palestinians. Four to five million Jews have been brought in, and three to four million Palestinians have been chased out of their land, where they lived for 1,400 to 1,600 years. Therefore, what we want to say here, it is a political question, but the justification of Israel’s occupation of the land of Palestine cannot be based on sacred scriptures."
Israel responded to the Vatican conference by saying the bishops’ meeting was hijacked by an anti-Israel majority.

General: Israel Fired 308 Live Bullets during Siege of Gaza Aid Boat

In other news from the Middle East, Israel’s top general has revealed Israeli commandos fired 308 live bullets aboard a Gaza-bound aid ship in May, as well as some 350 beanbag rounds and non-lethal paintballs. Testifying on Sunday before Israeli’s state-appointed inquest, Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi justified the use of force and said Israel’s killing of eight Turks and one US citizen on the aid boat had been unavoidable.

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