Season’s Greetings: “Palestinian Christmas Tree Of Terror”


We here at Monomakhos have long recognized that the Middle East is a smoldering cauldron of intense hate. Truthfully, it’s a sticky wicket trying to figure out who the bad guys are. As a non-interventionist (and budding America-Firster), all I know is that we should steer clear of that entire region. If we don’t, we’ll have to turn the sand there into glass and I don’t want to do that.

Personally, I’ve been accused of being a Zionist, a Zio-Christian, an anti-Zionist and even worse. Someday soon, I’ll write a big thought-piece on my feelings about Judaism, Islam and the role of Western nations in regard to the Middle East but right now, I’d like to address my Orthodox brethren.

I get that the Palestinians have legitimate beefs against the Israelis. Really, I do. But that’s between the Arabs and the Jews. There’s no reason that an Orthodox bishop should put himself in this situation. It’s not only bad PR, it’s insane. And it’s unChristian.

How would this bishop like it if John Hagee posed with an ultra-Orthodox rabbi and the Menorah was festooned with the photos of Jewish insurgents who have murdered Arab Christians? What would be the difference? Would there not be a justifiable outrage? Of course there would.

At this point, I’m laying down the gauntlet to the Orthodox patriarchate of Jerusalem to formally condemn this act and reprimand this particular bishop at the earliest possible moment. Anything less will cover the entire Church in obloquy.

Source: Breitbart

TEL AVIV – A Christmas tree erected on the campus of a West Bank university is decorated with pictures of Palestinian terrorists in lieu of traditional ornaments. 

The tree, placed on the grounds of Al Quds University, has come under fire for portraying jihadist “martyrs,” including terrorists involved in the recent wave of Palestinian violence against Israelis. This is in line with the Palestinian Authority’s continued glorification of such “martyrs”, which includes naming sports tournaments and roads after terrorists.

The tree also displays a picture of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. A photo of the tree has been making the rounds on Twitter. Pictured standing alongside the tree is Palestinian bishop Atallah Hanna.

The pro-Israel group StandWithUs commented, “This is especially ironic considering many of these terrorists would have had no problem whatsoever with killing Jesus himself today, as he was a Jew in the land of Israel.”

A shot of the tree originally posted by the university’s Instagram account was shared by Twitter user Rachel Steinmetz, who commented, “Faces of dead #Palestinian terrorists used as ornaments on #Christmas tree in #Gaza, where #Terrorists grow on trees.”

“Using Christmas to glorify Islamic terrorists is insane,” StandWithUs noted.


  1. Hamas was created by Israel’s Mossad.
    The leadership of Hamas has their families living in Israel and many of their sons have served in the IDF. Hamas launches useless “missiles” at Israel and the Palestinian people suffer the consequences. Isn’t it just a little curious that Hamas never suffers any consequences for its actions?

  2. That Christians have been caught in the endless cross-fire in the Holy Land is not at issue; we all know that and lament it bitterly. They would do well to get out of there and raise their children in peace in some safe country. Those old stones and tourist-trap shrines aren’t worth one drop of christian blood or one single tear of a mourning mother — and that goes for Muslims and Jews, too.

    This misappropriation of a christmas tree is disturbing and disgusting.

    Abp Attallah Hanna is completely out of order here. I realize that he’s the perceived champion of palestinian christian causes, even (maybe especially) vis-à-vis the greek-dominated orthodox christian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

    But now it seems that he’s completely lost his way. There’s an ancient arab proverb: ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend.’

    In this case, the proverb fails.

  3. Johann Sebastian says

    So far, I’ve heard nothing but crickets chirping from the Jewish camp when it comes to expressing solidarity with and coming to the defense of the persecuted Christians of the Middle East.

    So much for “Never again.”

    When Israel decides to stand with us, then I’ll stand with them.

  4. Michael Warren says

    I at one time shared similar views on the state of Israel and even supported Zionism as a political and religious movement. I must admit Palestinian occupation and desecration of the Basilica of the Nativity prompted no small amount of ill will on my part. Being a person who staunchly opposes anti-semitism and as an anti-fascist, I truly felt the state of Israel came into existence as an act of historical justice. My views on the topic have moderated.

    Firstly, the state of Israel was established by a land grab by foreign colonists who often times were more genetically related to myself than to Holy Father Abraham. They brought with them to Palestine not only a disdain for Palestinians but a secular and often disrespectful worldview of the traditional cultures they chose to uproot and/or put on reservations. They then began to create a system of apartheid and coercion, often swindling or simply confiscating Palestinian land. Religious intolerance on the part of Israelis wasn’t uncommon either. Zionist settlers still often desecrate Christian and Moslem shrines and often brutalize clergy and monastics and even raze places of worship.

    Then the Israelis began putting up walls and check points and herded Palestinians into ghettos. Then came military patrols and punitive strikes against civilian populations. Murder in broad daylight of mothers, children, elderly. Then came cluster bombs and white phosphorus bombs dropped on the people of Gaza.

    And Zionism began expressing a very oppressive reality in my mind. A hateful and intolerant ideology.

    The role Israel plays in the sheltering, training and trade with ISIS. The role of Israel as a middle man in the global trade in human organs vivisected by rogue regimes and paramilitaries in the Balkans and in the Ukraine. The blind eye turned by Israel to the reemergence of fascism and NAZIism in our time. Today I am an anti-zionist.

    The state of Israel, as a secular state, does not have to exist, but if it does choose to continue its existence, it must democratize. And apartheid with Israeli atrocities must end and there must be justice for the victims. Israel must develop a one state solution where both Arabs and Israelis are equal, have equal franchise and equal economic and settlement, social opportunities. One state with two names, Israel and Palestine. One state with two languages, Hebrew and Arabic. One state with one rule of law for all. Equal education, equal opportunity, a democratic voice for all. The model of political and religious Zionism has to undergo a transformation respecting the native population of Palestine and the fundamental human rights of Palestinians. If the Israeli state can’t achieve such a democratic transformation on its own, perhaps admittance into the EU with EU administration can enable the process of ending apartheid and Zionist oppression of and Israeli military atrocities against Palestinians.

  5. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    That Bishop is quite popular among multitudinous members of Facebook, including Americans of Palestinian and Lebanese descent.
    I wonder if anyone will inform the Patriarch of Jerusalem that George Michalopulos is throwing down the gauntlet before him! Warren-itis seems to be catching!

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      (two days later): I forgot to state that I feel the Middle East is no more a “cauldron of hate” than Texas or California: We are just insulated by more body fat. The Middle East is the matrix of our civilisation.
      What WE have is a lot of wind.

  6. Daniel E Fall says

    Wrong in so many ways, but easier to be a brother with those you trust than those you don’t.

    Still wrong.

    Good post GM.

  7. Texan Orthodox says

    George, thanks for posting this. I saw this article and photo on Breitbart and was alarmed.

    From our “western Orthodox” perspective, this is indeed insane, to see an Orthodox hierarch posing in a photo like this. But for reasons unbeknownst to me, I have met Palestinian Christians who have such deep hatred for Israel that they would seem to much rather live under Islamic Sharia rule than under Israeli rule. I don’t understand it, but for some Palestinian Christians, that seems to be their thought.

    Also for many Palestinian/Middle Eastern Christians, they have an intense hatred/dislike of Ted Cruz, for his public stance with Israel. But I ask, when it comes down to Ted Cruz vs. Hillary Clinton in Nov 2016 (I don’t think it’ll be Trump — I think Cruz will be the nominee), will you cast your vote for Hillary because of Cruz’s pro-Israel stance? Will you cut off your nose to spite your face?

    As a Christian, I don’t understand how any faithful Christian could ever vote Democrat these days. (Yes, you’re out there, I know. But I don’t understand you and probably never will.) The Democrats are pretty clear that they don’t want traditional/classical Christians among their ranks. Lesbian or gay Episcopal bishops are OK, and the more transgendered the better. But modern Democrats are clear that they do not want traditional Christians among their ranks.

    • Daniel E Fall says

      You are really confused Texas. It is almost impossible to respond without sounding or being patronizing.

      Stop listening to the pundits and listen to the words of Christ.

      The bell spectrum does not display humanity like some would like you to believe.

      Merry Christmas.

      • Texan Orthodox says

        “You are really confused Texas. It is almost impossible to respond without sounding or being patronizing.”

        Please go into this thought deeper and explain. I have a thick skin, no need to be concerned about “hurting my feelings.” I am not a college-aged social justice warrior.

        An aside, Daniel: are you Orthodox? You post here frequently but I can never tell if you are a practicing Orthodox Christian or not. Thanks.

        • Daniel E Fall says

          OK Texas.

          I was born and will die an Orthodox Christian. I am not doing well with your adjective, though, for various reasons which are more personal than I care to divulge to anonymous internet persons. All you need to know is I love the church and want it to succeed.

          Consider first your difficulties with understanding how any Christian can be a liberal. Well, if you consider feeding starving children a priority, then the liberals have a better track record of doing so. If you consider abortion a priority, the conservatives talk a good schtick, and every once in a while they do some minor thing to make it a little less lawful, so you might call yourself a conservative. However, if you think both things are bad and you decide starving children are worse, then you might lean slightly to the left side of the bell spectrum. It doesn’t mean you favor abortion. It just means you’ve decided funding the WIC program is more likely to happen with a liberal, and maybe you’ve given in to the abortion law. Rush Limbaugh has built his entire empire on the ghoulishness of political division. Even George relishes in divisive postings. I’m not even suggesting debate is bad. But the facts are simple, the pundits make money on making you believe you and me are vastly different. And Obama is such a mad leftist, America would be communist if it weren’t for the Congress. When in fact Obama has pretty much walked the conservative line on Wall Street. Ultimately Texas, political division has become its own empire and based on your post above, you have fallen for it entirely. But in reality, our differences are minor. I don’t mind gay marriage, but I am unlikely to vote for a gay Congresswoman who broke apart her family to go take a lesbian wife, for example. (See Angie Craig for Congress). Our values are probably pretty close, at least on the second part of my statement. Anyhow, the bottom line is when you look at the bell spectrum of political ideas, most of us are probably closer to the center and each other than Rush or Rachel Maddow want us to believe. They make a lot of money making people believe the other guys are bad.

          Now, onto the Palestinians. Consider for a moment if the Muslims were the ones in power in the nation of Texas. And they held the economic rank, employing Jews and Christians. And they made you go through checkpoints to go to work. And once in awhile the Muslims built condominiums by seizing Jewish lands. And consider for a moment the Jews revolted against this oppression with murder and mayhem. And then consider the Muslims brought tanks into your streets and raided your homes with M16s in an effort to find the raucous Jews. Then after some pillaging and finding some of the bad Jews, they left and life went back to normal. Do you really believe you would be friends with the Muslims who brought the tanks and machine guns through your streets? The answer is quite simple.

          Another anology is the bully. If there is a bully and he picks on two kids all the time, the kids don’t befriend the bully, they befriend each other because they have a common enemy. And this is why no Palestinian will ever be a Ted Cruz fan, or few would be… Israel is a bully Texas-like it or not. They build the settlements where they choose, they haven’t gone along with statehood for Palestine. And all the trouble started in 1947. Read about the failed 1947 Partition Plan for Palestine on Wiki or some other fairly unbiased source. That failure consolidated all the Palestinians-no matter their religion. There have been plenty of reasons for the West to dislike the Muslims in Palestine, but we don’t live there. Zionism is real and it has been carried out in a negative fashion by Israel.

          Someday we might have a President that demands the 1947 Partition be met. Being soft on Israel is all for money.

          • Gregory Manning says

            Two points Daniel:

            The Behavioral Economist Arthur C. Brooks’ published study “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatives” claims that the stereotypical assumption that liberals are more generous and caring about the poor and hungry is just that–an assumption–and a false one. What the liberals are good at is generosity with taxpayers money. They themselves are, it seems, poor charitable givers. Indeed, according to Brooks, those who identify as “religious” are the most charitable of all.

            As I am prepared to witness, homosexuality is a sin because it is a dead end–it just plain doesn’t work; it never has and it never will! By extension, gay marriage will fail those who pursue it. Both “life styles” end in disillusionment and those who either defend it or who “don’t mind”, are in effect enablers of the lie. The Orthodox Church, in her wisdom, understands this and also understands that she may not state or imply a view that would risk leading those who carry this cross to believe there is no cross there. So, in this regard, when you say you “love the church and want it [sic] to succeed” what do you mean?

            • Texan Orthodox says


              I agree with you when you write, “As I am prepared to witness, homosexuality is a sin because it is a dead end–it just plain doesn’t work; it never has and it never will! By extension, gay marriage will fail those who pursue it.”

              When I have discussed this in the past, people always mention “well, Tim and John have been together for 30 years and their lives are much like a marriage and they love each other.” What do we say to that? I honestly don’t know. I agree, “gay marriage” can never be a true union, but what do we say when people give examples of same-sex couples whom they know who have been together for years?

              As for Daniel’s comment that he “love(s) the church and want(s) it [sic] to succeed,” this comment makes no sense. Christ has already “succeeded” by conquering and destroying death. He has already “succeeded.” His church has already “succeeded.” Even if the entire Orthodox in North America comprised only 5 parishes, Christ’s church has “succeeded.” As a prominent theologian once said, history has been completed and there is nothing left to do except proclaim Christ and have children.

              I highly recommend Fr Stephen Freeman’s recent blog entry, “You Barely Make a Difference and It’s a Good Thing.” ( We are not nearly as important as we think we are. We do very little (if anything) to contribute to the Church’s “success.”

              • Gregory Manning says

                Texan Orthodox,
                I suppose that if the definition of “marriage” is staying together for a long, long time and claiming you love each other then the SS position must be acknowledged to be legitimate. I dare say that many straight marriages reach a point where the couple stay together till the end with barely an ember of love between them. From the Church’s point of view this is no doubt held to be a sorrowful state. But it is no justification for entering into a SS marriage. I believe this is what is called the fallacy of “tu quoque”, the appeal to hypocrisy as a justification for one’s position.

                Responding to those who make such comparisons puts us in a challenging position because we know that outward appearances are unreliable indicators of the interior lives of the people involved, and it is the interior life that we, as Christians, care about. You, if you are straight, will be seen to have little standing when commenting on or critiquing the danger of SS attraction. I, on the other hand, speak from actual experience and though many will attempt to discredit my witness with some sort of “sour grapes” or “sore loser” types of charges (I’ve heard them all), I’m still better positioned to argue the case. But this does not exclude you or others within the church from taking a reasoned, Orthodox stand. I strongly recommend Fr. Hopko’s video on gender and sexuality. It bears watching several times. He doesn’t entirely explain why SS attraction is a sin (in practical terms) but he does go right to the heart of the matter. I still watch it because, like many, many aspects of human life, Orthodoxy always has the most illuminating perspectives which, though right in front of me, I routinely fail to see.

                Fr. Stephen’s article, like many he writes, is remarkable for his insights.

                • Texan Orthodox says


                  Thank you for the link to Ft Tom’s talk. I listened to it — wonderful. If only we had more leaders like him. Memory Eternal!


                  I don’t much follow or understand your line of thought so let’s just leave it at that. Blessed Nativity!

              • Daniel E Fall says

                Interesting that you inferred my definition of success by the number of churches.

                I think you twisted my thoughtful and endearing statement into some sort of protestant prosletizing. Make no mistake-I am not advocating for doctrinal change and exponential population growth. You asked and I answered, but probably not the way you wanted, so you went down a side street and criticized the response. The largest part of my post was about how poorly Palestinians have been treated since 1947 and why many are not fans of Israel. The trouble is-it is not even counter intuitive if you wear their shoes a moment.

                Merry Christmas Texas..

            • Daniel E Fall says

              Gregory-there is no hidden, underlying, or deceitful meaning to my statement about the church.

              May many be led to her. I was responding to Texas.

              You completely missed my point reflecting on that one point.

              My point is about the empire of division.

              People like to think they are vastly different…I say not so.

              If you asked Orthodox folks if the church ought embrace gay marriage-nearly all will say no. The only differences will be subtler-what about secular gay marriage? For, again, not my fav? But it is important for some peoole to believe others are evil. I say not so.

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

              What is a “Behavioral Economist?” Is Brooks the only one?

              • Gregory Manning says

                I gather a behavioral economist is someone who studies the way people in a society spend their money.

                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                  Where is “Behavioral Economics” taught? What is meant by “WAYS people spend?” Is that cash vs credit vs bitcoin, or cash vs trading goods, or careless vs frugal?
                  What makes plain generic economics different from “behavioral” economics? Is there also “Behavioral FINANCE?” What would NON-behavioral Economics be?

                  And isn’t Arthur C. Brooks, RATHER, a POLITICAL economist, utterly devoted to conservatistic politics?

                  • Gregory Manning says

                    Behavioral Economics “is a method of economic analysis that applies psychological insights into human behavior to explain economic decision making.” It seems that it is a recognized field of study. One of my nephews took the course at Wharton and a niece took the course at the U of Texas, both in pursuit of MBA’s. I only know this because they’re visiting for the holidays and are sitting across from me at the breakfast table. I got the definition cited above from the simple expedient of entering the term in a search window–on my computer-which is connected to the internet. It seems a useful method for obtaining general information about lots and lots of topics.
                    My niece wonders if, by your use of CAPITAL LETTERS, you are annoyed about something.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      I use caps for emphasis, although I recognize that most cell-phone texters use quotation marks for that.
                      Even back in the Dark Ages when I went to school, the social sciences were notorious for extreme wordiness. When I read of applying insights into human behavior, it almost makes me dizzy! “Applying insights! ‘ What kind of insight does one APPLY? How about “referring to?”
                      Anyhow, thanks for the information and non-antagonistic reply!

              • Gail Sheppard says

                I took this class in behavioral economics and enjoyed it. Even as a kid, I found human behavior entertaining. Remember the elevator clip in Candid Camera?


                I would encourage everyone to visit the site. They offer a multitude of classes taught by professors at top universities like Harvard, Columbia and Berkeley. No cost.

          • Isa Almisry says

            “Well, if you consider feeding starving children a priority, then the liberals have a better track record of doing so.”
            Oh? Where is it.
            I know that they have a fantastic track record of making starving children.

  8. Well, George, I agree with you and Rachel Steinmetz. The Gospel and our Lord Jesus Christ, of Whom the Evergreen at Christmas is a symbol, are not to be politicized in this crass manner.

    Violent men and women are in no way an ornament to Him, Who laid down His life willingly for us and gave us the New Commandment that we should do as He did and lay down our lives for others and that we are to bless those who curse us and pray for those who despitefully use us, that we are to turn the other cheek and overcome evil with GOOD.

    The action portrayed above contradicts His commandment to us who bear His name and gives the lie to the Gospel. As an Orthodox Christian I am saddened and ashamed.


  9. First of all, it’s not all terrorists, it’s various Palestinian “martyrs.” Some are arguably terrorists.

    Second, Bishop Atallah Hanna is not necessarily condoning all the acts of the people on the tree by standing next to the tree.

    Third, Bishop Atalla Hanna has a massive beef with the Jerusalem Patriarchate, and it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone if he identifies more strongly with the Palestinian Muslims than with the Jews…or even with his own hierarchical colleagues. Sure, tell the Jerusalem Patriarchate to condemn his act but it won’t be the first time he’s butted heads with them. It’ll be an “I been chewed out before” situation.

    In conclusion, the guy is an anti-Semite, but an understandable one. The Jerusalem Patriarchate is in bed with Tel-Aviv against the Palestinians.

    When Mossad arrests them all and burns down their little tree, I will feel bad for them. But they will learn an important lesson.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Jacob, you referred to the Palestinian Bishop as an anti-semite–Don’t you know that Arabs are ALL semites and that Arabic is a semitic language? [Turks and Iranians are not Semites. Iranians speak an Indo-European language and migrated from what are now the Ukrainian steppe lands.]

      I repeat, Jews and Arabs are Semites: that Bishop is NOT anti-semitic at all, .

      • George Michalopulos says

        Which is why I never use the word “anti-Semitic” anymore. It’s as useless as the term “racism” (which was invented by Trotsky). It has a surplus of meaning. I instead use the word “Jew-hatred” when discussing the attitudes of those who wish for the extermination and/or persecution of Jewish people per se.

      • Peter Millman says

        You haven’t the faintest idea of what you are talking about. By definition, anti-semitism refers to hatred of Jews, not any others. Whether Arabs are semites or not, if an Arab hates Jewish people, he or she is an anti-semite. You may want to consider consulting a dictionary before you post your flapdoodle.

      • +Tikhon:

        Jacob, you referred to the Palestinian Bishop as an anti-semite–Don’t you know that Arabs are ALL semites and that Arabic is a semitic language?

        How utterly ridiculous. Everyone knows what Anti-Semitism is – hatred of Jews – and that Arabs are perfectly capable of being Anti-Semites, DESPITE the fact that Arabic is related to Hebrew and both are linguistically classified together as Semitic languages. Maybe +Tikhon believes that the Jew who speaks Yiddish at home is GERMANIC until he reaches the synagogue, starts praying in Hebrew, and suddenly becomes Semitic?

      • +Tikhon:

        I repeat, Jews and Arabs are Semites

        (Warning, Russophobic remarks a propos of McCiviliation ahead.)
        Tell a Russian that Jesus was a Jew, and you’ll get a dirty look. Tell a Russian that His mother was a Jew, now those are fighting words!

        • Estonian Slovak says

          I’d say you are half right; when you say Jesus WAS a Jew, the use of “was” sounds as though HE were a simple historical person, perhaps a great teacher, as some secular humanist might concede.
          I agree about Russian anti-Semitism , some Russians would consider someone like myself who is only one-eighth Jewish to be a “Jew”. I have never practiced Judaism, nor did my mother, nor did her mother… would have to go back to my great-grandfather who gave it up for matrimonial reasons.
          Ironically enough, many of today’s Russians have Jewish fathers. It is said during the Soviet times(maybe even now) that Russian women often married Jewish men because they tended to be less likely to be heavy drinkers than the typical Russian man. I’ve come across many such mixed couples; nine times out of ten, the male spouse is the Jewish one. Usually the Russian mother does have the children baptized.

        • Michael Warren says

          In other words, you know nothing about Russians and enjoy engaging in Russophobia.

          • Boris Jojic says

            And you enjoy spreading half truths like Josef Goebbels

            • Michael Warren says

              Actually, my ideology is committed to fighting the half truthes of Joseph Goebbels, half truthes steeped in the Russophobia you seem to be defending.

              So you blame me for Goebbels’ half truthes because I call into question those aping his Russophobic race theories 70 years later?! I think that deserves a Darwin Award nomination.

        • Michael Warren says

          Yes, Your failed McCivilization comes with Hollywood celluloid and a quarter pounder.

          • MW:

            Yes, Your failed McCivilization comes with Hollywood celluloid and a quarter pounder.

            Michael Warren prefers death camps and bread lines.

      • Your grace,

        Please…you must know that usage determines meaning.

        We are all literate and intelligent enough to know what an anti-Semite is, surely: Judenhass.

        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

          No, Basil, not quite! A LITERATE person would know that what is called carelessly and inaccurately, an “anti-semite” in English is called accurately in German “ein JUDENFEIND.”
          You’d do well to be more careful (and sparing!) with the word “meaning!” What a word may DENOTE is not always determined by usage.

          From (Merriam) Webster: Semite: a member of any of a group of peoples of southwestern Asia chiefly represented now by the Jews and Arabs, but in ancient times also by the Babylonians, Assyrians, Aramaeans, Canaanites and Phoenicians.

          Admit it, Basil, you didn’t know that Arabs are Semites, did you.
          Next time you want to identify a Jew-hater, say he’s a Jew-hater.
          That Bishop is a Semite!

      • The descendants of the ancient Israelites are still there: the Palestinians. The zionists have questionable ancestry.

  10. Peter Millman says

    I’m an Orthodox Christian and I support the Jewish people along with the state of Israel. There are already twenty two muslim states. Rabbi Aryeh Spero is a great American patriot who loves Christians and the state of Israel. Archbishop Hanna supports the muslim jihadists.

    • “twenty two muslim states”

      Are you conflating Muslim with Arab? The two are not the same. And not all Arab nationalists are “Muslim jihadists” – in fact, the two have usually been bitterly opposed to each other.

      But in any case – there are fifty states in America. How would you like it if you – like your fathers and grandfathers before you – were born and raised in one of them, and then were forced out at gunpoint by some people from overseas? And then some other guy says “oh well, there are 49 other states so what’s your problem?”

    • Isa Almisry says

      Evidently you cannot distinguish between Arab and Muslim. Abp. Atallah is Arab, like the majority of the Orthodox in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. None of them are Muslim.
      If the Jews want a state, let them got to Birobidzhan. Leave Palestine to her natives sons.

  11. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    So…..”racism” MEANS TOO MUCH? And you would use, rather, “jew-hatred?” That let’s you discriminate against Jews as long as you don’t hate them? What would you call that, discernment?

    I think “racism” is a good word, denoting a certain character defect. I can understand that any racist so identified would seek a means of denial. Saying Trotsky “invented” (coined?) it might provide a diversion, although there’s absolutely nothing trotskyite about it.

  12. Kirk Skeptic says

    Please pardon this Proddie lurker, but Rymlianin, Bp Tikhon, and Michael Warren addressed Johann Sebastian’s post about why Israel won’t stand with our persecuted brethren: conspiracy theorizing, lawyering over the term “anti-Semitism” – which is universally understood to mean Jew-hatred – and selectivity about which states have right to exist (if not Israel, why Palestine?). Given these attitudes cum fifth-column behavior of Bp Hanna and Melkite Abp Capucci, why should any Israeli trust Christians to behave themselves, and end up sacrificing Jewish blood for what must appear to be a mob of ingrates and potential terrorists? One needn’t adhere to Christian Zionism or other political amalgamations of the Gospel to see that our Palestinian brethren, legitimate grievances notwithstanding, need to heed St Paul’s admonition to obey the civil magistrate with St Peter’s to “fear the king.”

    • Michael Warren says

      Even when said king subjects them to apartheid and drops white phosphorus bombs on them?

      On their, Palestinian, ancestral land?

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      “Kirk Skeptic” (one of the less imaginative pseudonyms used here) BISHOP HANNA IS A SEMITE. Look up the word “Semite” and tell me I;’m right or wrong.

  13. Hmmm . . . well, I tend to generally be sympathetic to the Jerusalem Patriarchate, and to Damascus as well. That said, I don’t really understand the dhimmitude manifestation in any of its forms. I take the Palestinian Christian Arab attitude toward Israel (and I’m no fan of Israel) and sympathy for Palestinian Muslim terrorists to be a manifestation of dhimmitude. The Arab authorities are still perceived as the overlords to whom they owe obeisance.

    I see it in a way as similar to the problem of intercommunion between Arab Orthodox and Arab Catholics in the Levant. I know mixed marriage couples who can’t understand why their Catholic spouse can’t receive in an Orthodox church here. It is a strange, twisted soup over there and I leave them to their own devices, trusting that our bishops in the rest of the Church can draw lines about what to tolerate and what to ignore.

    I think George’s initial reaction is probably the best, just treat it as a incomprehensibly crazy area and try to help alleviate suffering as much as possible. Living in a free fire zone does not lead to the clearest thinking.

    As to the obvious problem with Hamas ornaments on a presumably Christian tree, I would only observe that there is a reason that canon law forbids us to pray with heretics and schismatics and why we don’t commemorate the non-Orthodox by name in services. To us, focusing on ISIS, this seems like an atrocity. To them, it seems probably like a little push of the envelope. Akrivia is not a bad thing.

  14. A valuable adjunct to the discussion of Palestine.