Current Issue
June, 2018
Volume 44, Number 2
17 August 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro

A man is rescued from drowning on 16 August after the opening of a dam following heavy rains on the outskirts of Cochin, India. (photo: CNS/Sivaram V, Reuters)

UCAN reports Indian bishops have appealed to Christians across the world to help those affected by the flooding in India:

Indian bishops have appealed to Christians across the country come together to help the millions of people stranded because of the unprecedented and devastating flood in Kerala.

“We are distressed by the extensive damage to the life and property through a disaster of this magnitude,” Cardinal Oswald Gracias, president of the Bishops Conference of India said in a statement.

Cardinal Gracias termed the disaster as national calamity and said there was “a strong urgency to reach out to more communities who are stranded and isolated in the most remote and unreached villages.”

The uninterrupted rains and flood on 15 and 16 August alone claimed 106 lives and displaced at least a million people. Unofficial figures put the death toll at 116.

The monsoon season since June has already claimed more than 200 people, taking the total death toll to more than 300.

Cities and towns 12 of the 14 districts in the state are inundated and power lines in most part of Ernakulam, Pathanamthitta and Thrissur districts have been snapped to avoid electrocution as power transformers came under water.

The road, rail and air traffic into the state is paralyzed in the affected districts forcing the people to stay put in their homes if water does not enter or move to relief camps.

The government is also airdropping food and water in many affected areas as some 200,000 people are in 1,155 relief camps.

Cardinal Gracias bishops and all the leadership of churches “to come together in solidarity and encourage the community of faithful, institutions and people of goodwill to contribute generously to this humanitarian call and express our solidarity at this crucial moment.”

Read the full story here.

To help support the work of the church among those most in need in India, click here.

Tags: India

17 August 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro

A Palestinian woman hangs laundry at a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip 20 June. World Refugee Day is 20 June. (photo: CNS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa, Reuters)

Egypt finalizing details of five-year Hamas-Israel truce (Daily Star Lebanon) Egypt is finalizing details of a long-term truce deal between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, an Egyptian security source said Thursday, amid easing tensions on the border of the enclave where some 2 million Palestinians live. Cairo has brokered an interim truce that has allowed commercial goods into Gaza ahead of the Muslim Eid al Adha feast, which starts next week…

Christians, Muslims in Israeli village feel ‘second class’ after new law passed (Crux) In Deir Hanna, a small hillside village in the Lower Galilee, a church steeple and a minaret pierce the sky above its winding streets — neighboring dual structures that are symbolic of life on the ground where the town’s Muslim and Christian inhabitants live peacefully alongside one another. For the ancient town of Deir Hanna — which consists of fewer than 10,000 residents, approximately 20 percent of whom are Christians and 80 percent Muslims — the two faith communities have coexisted for centuries surrounded by their nearby Jewish neighbors, despite longstanding regional conflict being a way of life. Yet, as of last month when the Israeli government passed legislation to define itself as “the Nation-State of the Jewish People,” a new source of tension has emerged, where Christians and Muslims alike are charging that the new bill is not only not necessary, but also discriminatory against minority populations — and in this town, their Jewish neighbors agree…

Church ‘out in the field’ in flood-hit Kerala (UCAN India) The Catholic Church has joined relief efforts as unprecedented floods and landslides continue to wreak havoc in India’s Kerala state, killing 75 people within a week. All 41 Catholic dioceses in the southern state have opened schools and other institutions to accommodate flood victims and are cooperating to send food, clothes and other relief materials to affected areas…

Caritas Syria: Ghouta refugees starving for food and love (AsiaNews) Displaced people speak of their condition in eastern Ghouta, an area on the outskirts of Damascus that was controlled for a long time by rebel forces. These people who, despite hardship and deprivation, are often without food to give to their children, claim they have “more need for love than for food.” And they reject the association with extremist and rebel groups who have long controlled the area and who today “have fled to Turkey and live happily. We, on the other hand, have not hurt anyone, we are suffering…”

Tags: Syria India Egypt Gaza Strip/West Bank Galilee

16 August 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro

The ancient Christian town of Maaloula, pictured in October 2007, is one of the oldest communities in the world, where Aramaic is still spoken in everyday life. (photo: Mitchell Prothero/Polaris)

In a heartening piece of news, Fides reported this week that the Monastery of St. Thecla, in the ancient town of Maaloula in western Syria, has reopened to the public:

The Orthodox monastery of St. Thecla, in the Syrian town of Maaloula, will soon be open again to the visits of pilgrims and tourists. In fact, reconstruction work on the monastery is nearing completion. Maaloula was freed from militants in 2014, after which the restoration of the town and monastery began.

As reported by Fides (see Fides 9/6/2018) an important contribution to the reconstruction of St. Thecla came from the Russian veterans organizations “Boevoe Bratstvo” (Brothers in Arms). Russian media report that the nuns have already returned to the monastery, 90 percent of the reconstruction is already done, and that the reconstruction will be completed in the coming weeks.

Maalula, [35 miles] northeast of Damascus, known throughout the world as one of the places where Aramaic — the language spoken of Jesus — is still spoken, houses both the monastery of St. Thecla and the sanctuary dedicated to Saints Sergius and Bacchus, which belongs to the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. On 3 December 2013, 13 Greek Orthodox sisters from St. Thecla were kidnapped from the monastery, along with three of their collaborators. The kidnapping ended happily on Sunday, 9 March 2014, when the sisters and the three collaborators were freed in Lebanese territory. The liberation also occurred thanks to the mediation of the Lebanese and Qatar intelligence apparatus.

To learn more, check the pages of ONE magazine, which has featured several pre-war profiles of this remarkable town — including Mitchell Prothero’s Echoes of Jesus From Syria’s Mountains in 2008, and Michael La Civita’s 1989 Maaloula: An Oasis of Faith.

Tags: Syria Monastery Aramaic

16 August 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro

A makeshift shelter is seen 13 August on the edge of Athirapally Falls in the Indian state of Kerala. The Catholic Church has joined relief efforts as unprecedented floods and landslides continue to wreak havoc in the southeastern state, killing at least 75 people within a week. (photo: CNS/Prakash Elamakkara, EPA)

Indian church joins relief efforts as floods wreak havoc in Kerala (CNS) The Catholic Church has joined relief efforts as unprecedented floods and landslides continue to wreak havoc in India’s Kerala state, killing 75 people within a week. reported that all 41 Catholic dioceses in the southern state have opened schools and other institutions to accommodate flood victims and are cooperating to send food, clothes and other relief materials to affected areas…

UNRWA: Palestinian refugee schools to open (Daily Star Lebanon) Hundreds of U.N.-run schools for Palestinian refugees will open on time after fresh funding temporarily staved off a financial crisis triggered by a U.S. contributions freeze, the United Nations said on Thursday. The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees said all 711 schools it runs for 526,000 pupils in the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria would open for the coming school year…

‘There are no girls left’: Syria’s Christian villages hollowed out by ISIS (New York Times) The memories of the retired oilman dot the village in Syria where he grew up. The mud chapel he got married in. The concrete church he helped build that would overflow with worshipers on holidays. The tight community of Assyrian Christian families who had lived together in this area for generations. Now it’s a village of ghosts. The church is a pile of rubble, its bell tower and its cross toppled over like a felled tree. The dirt paths are overgrown, walked by stray dogs. Most homes are empty, their owners in Germany, Australia, the United States and elsewhere…

The Monastery of St. Thecla in Maaloula reopen (Fides) The Antiochene Orthodox Monastery of St. Thecla, in the Syrian town of Maaloula, will soon be open again to the visits of pilgrims and tourists. In fact, reconstruction work on the monastery is nearing completion. Maaloula was freed from militants in 2014, after which the restoration of the town and monastery began…

Kurds meet with Syrian government to discuss self-rule (AINA) Representatives from Syria’s Kurdish-run northeastern region met with the government in Damascus last week to discuss self-administration in a postwar Syria, a leading Kurdish official said Tuesday. It was the second meeting between the two sides, and they agreed to continue their discussions, said Ilham Ahmed, the co-president of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Council…

Economic turmoil leaves Turkey reeling (Vatican News) Last week, the Turkish lira lost 20% of its value against the U.S. Dollar. Today it remains under pressure as it continued its descent on world currency markets. The leading Turkish Sabah newspaper cited the head of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce and Indus try as saying the government needed to take urgent action, as the financial stability of the country was in doubt…

As Ethiopia embraces forgiveness, government victims call for justice (Christian Science Monitor) Ethiopia has released thousands of prisoners as a new prime minister reverses decades of security abuses. No one knows how many were tortured. But some of those torture victims are now talking openly — to the media, to their relatives, and to their friends — about what happened to them after they were jailed, in many cases for protesting against the government…

Tags: Syria India Ethiopia Turkey

25 July 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro

A woman participates in an outdoor prayer session at the Trippadam Center for Women. To learn more about this institution and the women it benefits, read A Refuge to Mend and Grow, from the June 2018 edition of ONE. (photo: Meenakshi Soman)

Tags: India Sisters Health Care Women

25 July 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro

The Musa family fled Bashiqa, Iraq, in 2014 in the face of ISIS attacks. The family lived in Dohuk, Iraq, for three years. (photo: CNS/courtesy Catholic Relief Services)

In Iraq, the threat to Assyrians remains (AINA) Thanks to the generosity of donors around the world, Christians are returning from internal exile, determined to keep their faith alive, despite extraordinary challenges. But we must not be complacent about the fundamental political problems threatening the existence of a religiously, racially and culturally diverse Iraq…

Priest in Gaza: ‘people living in fear of a new war’ (Vatican News) As tension continues to erupt in violent clashes on the border between Israel and Gaza, the living conditions in the Gaza Strip continue to deteriorate. A Catholic Parish Priest speaks of the desperation of the people, of the dwindling Christian community, and of the widespread fear of a possible new war…

Deadly attacks hit Syrian villages, city of Suweida (Daily Star Lebanon) ISIS militants killed about 100 people in a series of attacks on government-held parts of southwestern Syria Wednesday, official sources said…

Award given to priest and builder of bridges between Islam and Christianity (AsiaNews) The Rev. Samir Khalil Samir, an Egyptian Jesuit and internationally renowned scholar, is this year’s recipient of the special award of the Stephanus Foundation for Persecuted Christians. The Foundation, through its chairperson Michaela Koller, decided to honor Father Samir because of his service to the spiritual heritage of Arab Christians…

Tags: Syria Iraq Gaza Strip/West Bank Interreligious

24 July 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro

A Jahalin Bedouin man and his son are seen in a tent in Khan al Ahmar, West Bank, on 17 June. Israel's Supreme Court ruled in May in favor of demolishing the village, home to about 190 Jahalin Bedouin people. (photo: CNS/Debbie Hill)

U.N. denounces grave ‘assaults’ on fundamental rights of Palestinian people (U.N. News) From arbitrary detentions and deliberate deprivation, to attacks against civilians and forced displacements, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, expressed “acute concerns” on Monday over the current human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory…

Advancing technology unearths ‘lost city of ancient Israel’ (Al Monitor) A team of Israeli and American researchers is using cutting-edge technology to explore and document an obscure and inaccessible but increasingly significant archaeological site in central Israel…

Copts celebrate first liturgy in new church in seven years (Sight) Seven years after their previous church was closed by local authorities because of “security reasons”, the Coptic community in the Egyptian village of Kom El-Loufy, 250 kilometres south of Cairo, held a first Divine Liturgy in their new church on Sunday. The 1,600 Copts from the village in Minya governorate were marking the completion of the first stage of building of their church, the Church of the Virgin Mary and Martyr Abanoub al Nahisi…

Joy as two patriarchates of Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church unite (Borkena) Sources close to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church say the Holy Synods in Ethiopia and the United States reached agreement to unite which may mean that Abune Merkorios could return home soon after over two decades. An agreement has been reached which means that there will no longer be two patriarchates hereafter; the two holy synods will unite to form a single one which was the case for millennia before TPLF took control of power in Addis Ababa in 1991…

Israel shoots down Syrian fighter jet over Golan Heights (Al Jazeera) The Israeli army said it shot down a Syrian fighter jet that allegedly crossed into the occupied Golan Heights as heavy fighting continued between the Syrian military and the last rebel holdouts in the country’s southwest…

Christians in India observe Martyrdom Day (UCAN India) Christians of different denominations across India remembered those killed for their faith with prayers on 22 July. Christian groups, mostly Pentecostal and Protestant churches, observed Indian Christian Martyrdom Day praying for those killed mostly by Hindu hardliners…

Tags: India Egypt Israel United Nations Ethiopian Orthodox Church

23 July 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro

In this 2016 photo, the Al Ahli Arab Hospital provides care in Gaza. ONE magazine published a letter from the hospital’s director in the pages of its Summer 2016 edition. (photo: CNEWA)

Writing for National Catholic Reporter, Patrick Whelan, a pediatric specialist at UCLA, and lecturer at the Keck School of Medicine, describes the medical crisis he witnessed on a recent visit to Gaza:

Traveling to Tel Aviv, I sought out a pharmacy to obtain for my son, Olivier, some melatonin, a natural supplement that helps with jet lag and is widely available without a prescription in the United States. I discovered that, though it has no adverse side effects, melatonin requires a prescription in Israel that must come from an Israeli doctor; the pharmacist would not provide it to a physician like me from abroad.

This level of concern for our own health stands in stark contrast to the devastating health effects I observed during a June 7-8 visit to Gaza where residents have been living under severe Israeli economic sanctions for the past 11 years.

It is only with extreme difficulty that residents can enter or leave Gaza, and only with the permission of the Israeli government. The Erez Crossing is a looming building that once processed thousands of people traveling every day to work in Israel. But when my son and I arrived just before 9 a.m. on a Thursday, for an hour-long trip through Israeli customs, the terminal was virtually deserted.

Later, some Israeli friends told us that Palestinians had been replaced with other day laborers — Filipina women staffing hospitals and nursing homes; Romanian and Chinese workers staffing numerous construction sites; and Thai farmworkers being brought in to pick crops. Meanwhile, unemployment in Gaza is more than 40 percent, with 80 percent of the population receiving some kind of international economic assistance.

The Gaza side of the Erez Crossing was very bleak, with high concrete walls topped by barbed wire. We were bussed from the crossing to a security checkpoint with uniformed men from the Palestinian Authority. There we met our host, Nahed Wehaidi, the Gaza director of American Near East Refugee Aid — a relief organization founded after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War to provide aid for refugees in the Middle East. His negotiations allowed us through a third checkpoint, maintained just a few yards away by Hamas, the political party that is the de facto government of Gaza.

The purpose of our visit was to tour four hospitals and clinics, accompanied by a group of seven public health doctors and aid workers from American Near East Refugee Aid.

The first visit was Al Ahli Arab Hospital — the only Christian hospital in Gaza — first built in 1882 and operated for 30 years until 1982 by the Southern Baptist Convention in the U.S. The hospital and its clinics are currently sponsored by the Anglican Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.

The head of Ahli Arab, Suhaila Tarazi, who is from South Carolina, along with Jehad al Hesi, chief of pediatrics, spent an hour telling us about the malnutrition and related illnesses that they had been treating. The halls were packed with mothers and children. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East estimates that the number of daily medical consultations at their own 22 facilities across Gaza is 113 patients per doctor per day.

Every provider we met seemed overwhelmed. Their distress is in part a result of a January decision by the Trump administration to withhold $65 million of a $125 million contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. According to Tarazi, Ahli Arab recently had to drop the number of patient beds from 80 to 50 because of a lack of resources.

We visited an outpatient clinic in Gaza City — sponsored by the Middle East Council of Churches — that focuses on prenatal care, family planning and early childhood development. It was packed with women in dark-colored abayat and veils. Issa Tarazi, the executive director, took us to meet a group of girls who were in a program to help diminish the psychosocial impact of post-traumatic stress related to the conflicts. Thirty smiling teenagers insisted on performing a dance for us, to very loud music, proudly showing off their preparation.

The children of Gaza, Tarazi told us, are still suffering the consequences of the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict that, according to UNICEF, killed more than 500 children and injured almost 3,400 — nearly a third with permanent disability. More than 1,500 children were orphaned. Tarazi said things got worse during two months of weekly protests that began in March against the Israeli blockade, with at least 125 people killed and thousands more injured. The Israeli Defense Forces have publicly stated that they are shooting to wound rather than to kill. A June 9 story in the Los Angeles Times documented the wave of lower extremity amputations of young people as a result of gunshot wounds to the legs that had overwhelmed medical facilities — which lack the kind of vascular surgery capability to which gunshot victims have access in most trauma centers in the United States.

At the Ard El Insan Clinic, the chief of pediatrics, Adnan al Wahaidi, said he had evaluated two children just that morning with rickets, a form of malnutrition almost never seen today in the U.S. He introduced me to one of the children — Jamal, a 2-year-old boy with the worst bowed legs of vitamin D deficiency that I had ever seen. Jamal waddled around one of the exam rooms, kicking a ball to the best of his ability, which al Wahaidi artfully returned.

One of the doctors told me they had seen many children with bullet wounds to their lower extremities — with treatment limited to cleansing the wounds, sterile bandages, antibiotics and only ibuprofen and Tylenol for pain relief. One couldn’t help but notice bullet holes on the walls of the clinic, which doctors described as being “on the front lines” during the Israeli Defense Forces’ invasions of December 2008 and July 2014.

At Al Quds Hospital, a major trauma unit run by the Palestine Red Crescent Society, we were ushered into the palatial office of hospital chief Khalil Abou Foul, a trauma surgeon trained in Libya. A delegation of their doctors sat with us while he explained what the hospital was up against.

He took us into the operating areas and we all donned surgical boots for a visit to the cardiac catheterization laboratory. The doctors were very proud of all their equipment and the chief of interventional cardiology came out of a procedure to shake hands and tell us about their clinical capabilities — for people with insurance. He said they sometimes had to plan a month in advance for certain procedures in order to procure the necessary supplies; he had recently missed an international meeting because he could not get an exit pass in time.

Our last stop was to 1,600-year-old Orthodox St. Porphyrius Church, named for a fourth century bishop who demolished pagan temples and introduced Christianity. The caretaker of the church showed us a baptismal font made of white stone that dated to the construction of the church around the year 402, in which generations of his own family had been baptized. But the number of Christians has been falling as the level of distress in Gaza has been rising, he said.

Gaza City was itself a prosperous port in the spice trade, dating long before the time of Jesus. Now, with no functioning stoplights, hundreds of horse and donkey-drawn carriages driven by children, and only four to six hours of electricity available every day, there was a sense of disorder and economic desperation everywhere we went.

The most striking thing to me was the lack of hostility toward Israel in our conversations with the doctors, nurses, and the staff of that ancient church. Contemplating our visit, reconciliation seemed not only possible but essential.

For now, my inability to obtain melatonin from an Israeli pharmacy pales in comparison with all the reasons that Palestinian parents in Gaza have for losing sleep at night.

An infant receives a checkup at the Al Ahli Arab Hospital. (photo: CNEWA)

23 July 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro

Iraqi youth pose with Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III on 22 July during a gathering at Our Lady of Light convent in Faytroun, Lebanon. (photo: CNS/courtesy Syriac Catholic patriarchate)

First international convention of young Syriac Catholics held in Lebanon (Fides) The words of Jesus’ invitation, “Come and See,” are the guiding thread of the first Syriac Youth International Convention, which took place in Lebanon this weekend. The conference, said Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III, was intended as an opportunity to share with the young Syriac Catholics from all over the world the hope “for the renewal of the Christian community in the Holy Spirit…”

Maronite Patriarch: Law on Jewish state excludes Christians and Muslims (AsiaNews) The new Israeli law defining the country as “the nation-state of the Jewish people” is unacceptable, says Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Peter, because of its exclusion of Christians and Muslims, among others. The church leader denounced the law as “ignoble, anti-democratic and anti-pluralist…”

Essential services on verge of shutdown in Gaza as emergency fuel set to run out (U.N. News) Supplies of emergency fuel provided by the United Nations for critical facilities in Gaza are being fast depleted, a senior U.N. relief official there warned on Sunday. “At least one hospital has been forced to shut down for a few hours, and services are being dramatically reduced at others,” said Jamie McGoldrick, the Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory…

Indian state accused of harassing Christians (UCAN India) A Catholic leader has sought Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to stop harassment of Christians after Jharkhand state ordered a probe into the funding of more than 80 Christian organizations. Modi’s pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party, which has run Jharkhand’s government since 2014, has been accused of moving against the Christian community, with police arresting nuns, priests and lay Christians on trumped-up charges…

East African bishops applaud Eritrea, Ethiopia peace process (CNS) The bishops of East Africa praised the peace efforts that brought an end to the two-decade war between Eritrea and Ethiopia. In a statement 22 July, the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa, known by the acronym AMECEA, said the steps taken by the leaders of both countries “show that Africans have the wisdom to solve their own problems amicably…”

Tags: India Lebanon Gaza Strip/West Bank Israel Maronite Patriarch Bechara Peter

16 July 2018
J.D. Conor Mauro

Pope Francis greets Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I of Baghdad, Iraq, during a meeting in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 30 September 2016. The patriarch will be one of four cardinals presiding over an October synod on youth. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

Pope’s picks for synod leaders express passion for peripheries (Crux) On Saturday, the Vatican announced Pope Francis’ picks for the four cardinals who’ll preside over an October meeting of bishops focused on youth. All four come from what the pontiff has described the “peripheries” of the world: Myanmar, Iraq, Madagascar and Papua New Guinea…

Eritrea reopens embassy in Ethiopia amid thaw in relations (Al Jazeera) Eritrea has reopened its embassy in Ethiopia in further evidence of a rapid thaw between the two countries that a week ago ended two decades of military stalemate over a border war in which tens of thousands died. In a brief ceremony on Monday, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki jointly raised the Eritrean flag inside a newly refurbished embassy as a military band played Eritrea’s anthem…

With Ethiopia-Eritrea agreement, church hopes for ‘a season of freedom and peace’ (Fides) Prudence is the word circulating in the environments of the Eritrean Catholic Church regarding the peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea. “As a church,” says the Rev. Mussie Zerai, priest of the Eparchy of Asmara, “we are happy with the agreement, but we await developments and pray that the agreement between President Isayas Afeworki and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed opens a season of lasting peace that restores stability and freedom to the citizens of both countries…”

Can Raqqa, once the capital of ISIS, ever be home again? (New York Times) Eissa Ali’s family is returning home to Raqqa, which was the capital of ISIS territory for more than three years. The family left last year after he was detained and beaten by jihadists for playing cards. Now that the bombs have stopped falling and ISIS is gone, they’re not sure whether they still have a home…

ISIS remains a threat in Iraqi desert, tribal villages (Al Monitor) On the desert road west of the Iraqi city of Beiji, the Popular Mobilization Units (P.M.U.) conducting patrols in the area say freshly planted improvised explosive devices and ISIS sleeper cells still pose significant risks, despite improved security. However, “It’s simply too vast of an area” for outposts, said Ahmed al Debi, head of the P.M.U. Waleed al Kaaba…

Women seek church’s action against sexual violence (UCAN India) Indian Christian Women’s Movement has sought action against continuing sexual violence against women, denouncing the silence against such violence among Christian churches. “Violence seems to have become the new culture in the country,” the movement said in a press release citing rape and killing of 8-year old Asifa Bano in Kashmir and the rape of a 17-year old girl in Unnao in Uttar Pradesh…

Israel in turmoil over bill allowing Jews and Arabs to be segregated (The Guardian Israel is in the throes of political upheaval as the country’s ruling party seeks to pass legislation that could allow for Jewish-only communities. For the past half-decade, politicians have been wrangling over the details of the bill that holds constitution-like status and that Benjamin Netanyahu wants passed this month. Writing in the progressive-leaning Haaretz newspaper, Mordechai Kremnitzer, from the faculty of law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said the bill would “remove the mask so as to reveal the ugly face of ultranationalist Israel in all its repugnance”…

Tags: Syria India Iraq Israel Eritrea

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