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A solidarity event at Stella Maris Church, which has faced repeated attacks by Zionists over the past few weeks, was attended by 1,000 people.X

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HAIFA, Israel (LifeSiteNews) — Jewish groups in Israel have repeatedly attempted to storm the Catholic Stella Maris Monastery and Church in the northern port city of Haifa as part of the latest waves of increased violence and provocations against Christians in the Holy Land.

According to Catholic News Agency, after “several attempts last week, intruders managed to infiltrate the outer courtyard of the monastery and disrupt the prayer session taking place, causing fear and anger among the Christian community.”

Settled on the slopes of Mount Carmel, the monastery is the home of Discalced Carmelites whose religious confreres began living as hermits at the site in the 12th century in imitation of the prophet Elijah. A cave associated with the prophet is believed to be beneath the main altar of the church.

After several attempted incursions onto the property, the intruders were confronted by Christians last on July 26, an incident that elicited intervention by law enforcement.

According to a Wednesday video statement by Wadie Abunassar, an adviser to churches in the Holy Land, these extremists claim Elijah’s disciple, the prophet Elisha, is buried on the monastery grounds. Yet, Abunassar echoed the church’s categorical denial of such assertions, which, he added, contradict 2 Kings 13: 20-21 that indicate Elisha was buried “near the lands of the Moabites” far to the east near the Jordan River.

As a deterrent, he said “gates and fences were installed” on Tuesday to mark the monastery’s property lines “and to insist that anybody who would pass these gates and fences without the permit[ion] of the monastery would be considered to be a trespasser” making such violations easier to enforce for the police.

The representative also expressed gratitude that the monastery enjoys “very wide support among all religious communities in Israel, Jews, Muslims, Druze and of course all Christians to our stance insisting that Stella Maris Monastery is a worship place for Christians, though it is open for every human being to come at the monastery’s conditions.”

In a July 19 statement, the Islamic-Christian Committee in Support of Jerusalem and its Sanctuaries condemned these provocations, indicating they may be the beginning of a plan for the Israeli government to seize the property.

“The claim that there are graves for Jews in churches is a pretext for seizing and Judaising them, which is an aggression similar to what is being done in Al-Aqsa Mosque,” the committee stated.

“This new allegation comes in the context of the repeated attacks by Jewish religious groups targeting the Christian presence, desecrating and vandalizing Christian holy places, and attacking and spitting on priests and monks in the streets,” the Committee continued.

During an April interview, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, said that while such incidents are not new to Christians in the region, “The frequency of these attacks, the aggressions, has become something new,” since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government was sworn into office last December incorporating extremist Jewish leaders as part of the majority coalition.

A report from Axios at the time called Netanyahu’s coalition “the most right-wing government” in the nation’s history, including powerful minsters who espouse “racist and Jewish supremacist” views.

This includes Itamar Ben-Gvir and his Jewish Power party, who during his election victory speech last November praised fellow party member Bentzi Gopstein, who refers to Christians as “blood sucking vampires” and “the Christian church” as “our deadly centuries-old enemy” while calling for the expulsion of all Christians from the country.

A member of the Knesset (parliament), Ben-Gvir is a resident of an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, which is deemed illegal under international law. He was sworn in as Minister of National Security late last year, giving him unprecedented authority over police and border paramilitary units that operate among the 2.9 million Palestinians under military occupation in the West Bank.

With such leaders in power, Pizzaballa said extremists on the ground are now evermore emboldened to harass Christian religious and clergy while committing vandalism against this community’s property as well.

“These people feel they are protected … that the cultural and political atmosphere now can justify, or tolerate, actions against Christians,” the head of the Roman Catholic Church in the Holy Land said.

Jewish extremists are attacking Christians in the Holy Land. With just a few clicks, tell your congressional representatives to condemn the violence TODAY.

Though freedom of religion, worship and conscience are fully recognized in Israel’s founding 1948 Declaration of Independence, a 2016 Pew Research Center survey found that nearly half of Israeli Jews believe Arabs (including Christians) “should be expelled or transferred” from the country.

Since Netanyahu’s new government has taken power, these attacks include a radical Jew entering the Church of the Flagellation in February and pulling down a large statue of Jesus Christ and smashing it on the floor, then defacing it with a hammer.

In March, two Israeli terrorists entered the Church of Gethsemane in Jerusalem that encompasses the empty tomb of the Blessed Virgin Mary and attempted to vandalize icons and attack the presiding bishop and another priest during Sunday morning Mass.

And even earlier, Franciscan Friars of the Custody of the Holy Land decried “a group of religious Jews who entered the New Gate” near their headquarters and attacked tourists while committing acts of vandalism, “throwing chairs, tables and glasses, and transforming the Christian quarter into a battlefield.” According to the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, the police didn’t arrive for an hour, when they finally “took the attackers away.”

Other incidents include a January desecration of a Christian cemetery in Jerusalem, “Death to Christians” graffiti being written on the walls of a monastery in the Armenian quarter, and an act of vandalism being committed against a Maronite center.

Such incidents have occurred over the years with less frequency, including Jewish radicals spitting on Christians, disrupting their prayer and likely firebombing their property, including the 2015 torching of the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes at Tabgha in Galilee.

And similar to the lack of investigation and prosecution when it comes to the crimes of leftist terrorists in the United States — whether they be part of the Black Lives Matter terrorist crimes of 2020 or the pro-abortion terrorist acts since May 2022 — crimes against Christians in Israel and Palestine are virtually never solved or properly adjudicated.

“We see that most incidents in our quarter have gone unpunished,” lamented Father Aghan Gogchian, chancellor of the Armenian Patriarchate. He went on to convey his disappointment that law enforcement authorities don’t prosecute the culprits of such anti-Christian hate crimes with the grave charges they deserve but rather legally accommodate them as individuals suffering from mental illness.

“The police try to paint each attack as something isolated and try to paint the attackers as mentally unstable,” Amir Dan, spokesman for the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, told The Times of Israel in March. “In doing so, the police remove themselves from all responsibility.”

Pizzaballa, who will be raised to the rank of Cardinal in late September, embraced an optimistic approach in an interview with Vatican News last week stating there are “reasons for hope, because these incidents have spurred strong reactions even from Jewish religious leaders in Israel” and that “over time this awareness of the problem will bear fruit.”

On Thursday, approximately 1,000 people arrived at Stella Maris to stand in solidarity with Christians and the monetary. In his statement, Abunassar described the event as demanding “the Israeli authorities act more seriously against not only these provocateurs, but against all those who are committing [such] incidents” targeting holy sites and Christian individuals.

“We want this Holy Land to be a land of peace and justice for everybody equally” and thus better understanding must be promoted to foster “coexistence based on mutual respect and equal rights,” he concluded.

As is well known, the Israeli government is heavily subsidized by American taxpayers of whom Christians remain a high majority at 69%. Such enormous subsides include, but are not limited to, $3.8 billion annually, despite polls in the U.S. finding such largess to be unpopular.

Jewish extremists are attacking Christians in the Holy Land. With just a few clicks, tell your congressional representatives to condemn the violence TODAY.


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