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(LifeSiteNews) — On October 7, Hamas militants broke out of the Gaza Strip launching an unprecedented attack upon military and civilian targets in Southern Israel. Videos reveal cold, deliberate murders (war crimes) against civilians, which in the end left approximately 1,200 Israelis dead eliciting an uproar of universal condemnation against this terrorist atrocity.
One such voice was Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, who stated in an October 24 appeal for prayer to end the violence that such an attack was “in no way permissible and we cannot but condemn it.” He likewise enunciated an equal condemnation for the Israeli response, including its ongoing “heavy bombardment” of Gaza.
Turning his mind toward the establishment of a peaceful and stable solution, the Franciscan Cardinal reiterated what the unanimous and constant voice of the Church in the region, along with the international community, judges to be the “root” evil of the conflict: the Israeli military occupation of internationally recognized Palestinian territory.
“It is only by ending decades of occupation and its tragic consequences, as well as giving a clear and secure national perspective to the Palestinian people that a serious peace process can begin,” assessed the Latin Patriarch. “Unless this problem is solved at its root, there will never be the stability we all hope for.”
While this reference to the Israeli occupation is broadly recognized across the world, as national government delegations regularly demonstrate, for Americans in general, this phrase is significantly less understood. According to at least one 2016 poll, only 39.8 percent of the adult internet population has a basic understanding of this reality with almost half (49.2 percent) indicating a radically false understanding.
The polling organization concluded that this phenomenon was likely due to “the media’s overwhelmingly negative coverage of Palestinians” which likely contributes to “Americans’ fundamental failure to grasp essential facts about the situation in the Middle East.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that the media has an obligation to provide complete information to the public, and when essential facts, such as the “root” cause of this conflict are insufficiently presented, it “does real violence” affecting the individual’s “ability to know, which is a condition of every judgment and decision.”
Since the Six-Day War initiated by Israel’s attack on Egypt in 1967, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) referred to the “territories occupied” by Israel as a result of this conquest. UNSC Resolution 242 from the time, called for the “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from [Palestinian] territories occupied” during this invasion. These regions include the Gaza Strip and the West Bank which, to this day, remain under Israeli military rule.
Military occupations of one people over another have existed throughout history including Nazi Germany’s 4.5 year occupation of France during World War II in which they exercised a de facto military dictatorship subjecting the French to plunder, curfews, blockade, food shortages, rationing, malnutrition, and much more.
Similar to this chapter of France’s history, today Palestinians in the occupied territories are governed according to the dictates of military law from a hostile foreign occupation which has been systematically dispossessing these native inhabitants of their land and denying them their most basic human rights for the last 56 years.
Throughout these decades the Catholic and Orthodox bishops in the region, along with other Christian leaders have worked to raise awareness regarding the serious oppression and suffering being inflicted upon the 5 million Palestinians living under this military occupation, with interviews, interventions, op-eds, statements during times of crisis, and lectures from personal experience. But, perhaps the most comprehensive statement came in 2009 with a document titled A Moment of Truth: A word of faith, hope, and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering.
Organized and composed by a group of clergy, scholars and activists, the 14-page “Kairos” document states it is “the Christian Palestinians’ word to the world about what is happening in Palestine.” The drafting committee included Latin Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah, Fr. Jamal Khader Daibes, who is now a Catholic bishop in Jordan, and Archbishop Atallah Hanna of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
At its time of publication, it was also endorsed by the heads of Christian churches in the Holy Land including Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal, Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III, and Pizzaballa, who was head of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land at the time. Also endorsing the statement were heads of the following local churches: Armenian Orthodox, Coptic, Syrian Orthodox, Maronite, Ethiopian, Lutheran, Anglican, and more.
At times reading like a papal encyclical, these Christian communities characterize this document as a cry “from within the suffering in our country, under the Israeli occupation, with a cry of hope in the absence of all hope, a cry full of prayer and faith in a God ever vigilant, in God’s divine providence for all the inhabitants of this land.”
Land confiscation, Israeli settlements ‘ravage our land,’ separation wall transforms towns ‘into prisons’
Explaining the “reality on the ground” the Palestinian Christians state, it is “one of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, deprivation of our freedom and all that results from this situation,” including the confiscation of enormous tracks of internationally recognized Palestinian territory for the expansionist aims of Zionism.
“Israeli settlements ravage our land,” the Christian leaders describe, “controlling our natural resources, including water and agricultural land, thus depriving hundreds of thousands of Palestinians” of these necessities for work, life, and survival.
Since 1967 Israel has built 163 such settlements on Palestinian land with 98 additional “outposts,” which are now home to over 500,000 Jewish settlers. Just last month 145 national government delegations at the UN reaffirmed the illegality of these settlements with only 7 nations, including Israel, the U.S. and Canada, opposing the resolution.
Further contributing to the land confiscation project, is Israel’s enormous separation barrier which often meanders well beyond the 1967 armistice line.
“The separation wall erected on Palestinian territory… has turned our towns and villages into prisons, separating them from one another,” the Kairos document reads. This and other policies cause “separation between members of the same family, making family life impossible for thousands of Palestinians.”
Over the years, the Latin Patriarchate has “strongly condemn[ed]” construction of the separation wall on behalf of “oppressed families” asserting this “injustice done to them” disregards their natural rights.
Daily humiliations: Gaza ‘a factory of desperate people, designed to easily turn into extremists’
The Palestinian Christian leaders also cried out against “the daily humiliation to which we are subjected at the military checkpoints, as we make our way to jobs, schools or hospitals.”
Such checkpoints exist even internally on Palestinian land. Reports indicate that individuals can be held up for no reason by Israeli military personnel, be subjected to strip searches or even prevented from reaching a hospital during an emergency.
Continuing, the Christians decried how the people of Gaza live “in inhuman conditions, under permanent blockade and cut off from the other Palestinian territories.” Since 2007, Israel has excluded all exports from the fenced-in strip and strictly controlled all imports of food, medicine and other essentials decimating the economy, causing a crippling health crisis, and producing staggering unemployment (46.6 percent) with 81.5 percent of the population living under the poverty line in this region which is often referred to as a large concentration camp.
And given Israel’s “Dahiya Doctrine” which involves the explicit policy of applying disproportionate force and destroying civilian targets in defiance of moral principles and international law, the people of Gaza have regularly been subjected to massacres from the occupying forces including in 2008-2009 (1,400 killed, including 300 children), 2014 (over 2,000 killed, 500 children), and 2023 (currently, more than 15,000 killed, including 6,150 children and 4,000 women with clear evidence of criminal genocidal intent and action being executed against the entire 2.2 million person population).
During the 2014 Israeli military attack upon Gaza, Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal described “the conditions in Gaza” as those “of a desperate land under siege, where only fear and frustration that feed hatred can grow. It almost seems that it points to making Gaza a factory of desperate people, designed to easily turn into extremists ready for anything.”
Thousands of political prisoners held for violating military orders, including prohibitions against protests, political fliers, and flag waving
“Refugees are also part of our reality,” the Kairos document explained. Following Israel’s expelling of around 700,000 Palestinians in 1948, and more in 1967, “[m]ost of them are still living in camps under difficult circumstances. They have been waiting for their right of return, generation after generation. What will be their fate?”
“And the prisoners? The thousands of prisoners languishing in Israeli prisons are part of our reality,” the Christian leaders lamented regarding a persistent abuse which today numbers around 5,200 Palestinian political prisoners (i.e. “hostages”), including 33 women and 170 children, of whom over 1,200 are held without charges or trial.
While many have also argued that the 2.2 million people of Gaza are effectively prisoners, the United Nations reported in July that “since 1967, Israel had detained approximately one million Palestinians in the occupied territory, including tens of thousands of children.”
One 2020 report from international advocacy group Save the Children found these children “face inhumane treatment such as beatings, strip searches, psychological abuse, weeks in solitary confinement, and being denied access to a lawyer during interrogations.”
The high volumes of these arrests over the years equate to one in every five Palestinians being incarcerated for violating Israeli military orders, and two of every five men. According to Al Jazeera, just one of these 1,600 military orders criminalizes civic activities such as participation in protests, the printing and distribution of political material along with waving flags and other political symbols, deeming such activities “hostile propaganda” and “incitement.”
Another military order in 1970 established Israeli military courts to try incarcerated Palestinians under occupation “and basically outlawed all forms of Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation [defining it] as ‘terrorism.’”
With regards to these thousands of prisoners, the Christian leaders demanded, “when will they have their freedom?”
Over 56K Palestinian homes demolished, ‘clear apartheid,’ ‘disregard’ and ‘contempt’ for international law
Further, with the separation wall dividing neighborhoods, “Jerusalem continues to be emptied of its Palestinian citizens, Christians and Muslims. Their identity cards are confiscated, which means the loss of their right to reside in Jerusalem. Their homes are demolished or expropriated,” the Christian authorities mourned. According to the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions, since 1967, Israel has demolished roughly 56,445 Palestinian homes.
“Palestinians within the State of Israel… have also suffered a historical injustice,” the churches continued. Though they are citizens of Israel, they “still suffer from discriminatory policies.”
Warning at the time of Israel’s “growing orientation towards racist separation and the imposition of laws that deny our existence and our dignity,” the Christian authors accurately anticipated the 2018 passage of the so-called “Nation-State Law” which defined Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people while ignoring even the existence of Arab or other minorities, much less their constitutional rights.
“In other words, the law says that there are not equal rights between Jews and Arabs and refuses to acknowledge their existence,” the Latin Patriarchate admonished at the time.
And well before this development, the Kairos document affirmed the Palestinians have been suffering under a “clear apartheid” regime for several decades, which has also been recognized by several notable Israeli leaders such as former Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, along with former Israeli Ambassador to South Africa Alon Liel. Additionally, former U.N. Special Rapporteur John Dugard, a South African, who investigated the state of human rights in the occupied territories reported, “I have no hesitation in saying that Israel’s crimes are infinitely worse than those committed by the apartheid regime of South Africa.”
Additionally, “Religious liberty is severely restricted,” the Christian prelates grieved, “the freedom of access to the holy places is denied [to most Palestinians] under the pretext of security.”
Continuing, these authors go on to lament “the Israeli disregard of international law and international resolutions, as well as the paralysis of the Arab world and the international community in the face of this contempt.”
“Human rights are violated and despite the various reports of local and international human rights’ organizations, the injustice continues,” they wrote. In all, the UNSC has issued 79 resolutions targeting Israel for serious violations of international law, affirming the refugees’ right to return, defining the legitimate borders of both parties, and condemning Israel for multiple unlawful attacks, violations of human rights, and more.
While Catholic bishops from around the world have additionally expressed constant support for the implementation of international law in the region, the Holy See’s 2010 Synod on the Middle East, under Pope Benedict XVI, reaffirmed this diplomatic position at the level of the universal Church.
Demanding the implementation of the U.N.’s Security Council’s resolutions, and the end of the Israeli occupation, the synod fathers lamented the suffering of the Palestinian people including “the lack of freedom of movement, the wall of separation and the military checkpoints, the political prisoners, the demolition of homes, the disturbance of socio-economic life and the thousands of refugees.”
‘Terrorism’ charge a distortion of the conflict which is actually about the legal right of Palestinians to resist Israeli military occupation
In the face of such realities, the Kairos document describes how “Israel justifies its actions as self-defense, including occupation, collective punishment and all other forms of reprisals against the Palestinians.”
“In our opinion, this vision is a reversal of reality. Yes, there is Palestinian resistance to the occupation. However, if there were no occupation, there would be no resistance, no fear and no insecurity,” they wrote. “Therefore, we call on the Israelis to end the occupation. Then they will see a new world in which there is no fear, no threat but rather security, justice and peace.”
While the response to the injustice of occupation has been diverse among different groups of Palestinians over the years, including the Palestinian Authority’s attempted negotiations which produced little tangible results, others chose “the way of armed resistance,” the prelates recalled.
“Israel used this as a pretext to accuse the Palestinians of being terrorists and was able to distort the real nature of the conflict, presenting it as an Israeli war against terror, rather than an Israeli occupation faced by Palestinian legal resistance aiming at ending it,” the Christian leaders clarified.
They went on later to call upon Israel “to give up its injustice towards us, not to twist the truth of reality of the occupation by pretending that it is a battle against terrorism. The roots of ‘terrorism’ are in the human injustice committed and in the evil of the occupation. These must be removed if there be a sincere intention to remove ‘terrorism.’”
“We call on the people of Israel to be our partners in peace and not in the cycle of interminable violence. Let us resist evil together, the evil of occupation and the infernal cycle of violence,” they wrote.
Declaration against Christian Zionism, ‘The Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is a sin against God and humanity’
Following an extended Christian profession of faith, the churches go on to address the errors of Christian Zionism that attempts “to attach a biblical and theological legitimacy to the infringement of our rights. Thus, the promises, according to their interpretation, have become a menace to our very existence. The ‘good news’ in the Gospel itself has become ‘a harbinger of death’ for us.”
“We call on these theologians to deepen their reflection on the Word of God and to rectify their interpretations so that they might see in the Word of God a source of life for all peoples,” they wrote.
Recalling that their presence, “as Christian and Muslim Palestinians, is not accidental but rather deeply rooted in the history and geography of this land,” they confirmed their natural right to be there and live as free people.
Therefore, they declared, “the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is a sin against God and humanity because it deprives the Palestinians of their basic human rights, bestowed by God. It distorts the image of God in the Israeli who has become an occupier just as it distorts this image in the Palestinian living under occupation.”
“We declare that any theology, seemingly based on the Bible or on faith or on history, that legitimizes the occupation, is far from Christian teachings, because it calls for violence and holy war in the name of God Almighty, subordinating God to temporary human interests, and distorting the divine image in the human beings living under both political and theological injustice,” the prelates proclaimed.
Israel’s propaganda ministry ‘one of the most sophisticated arms of its government,’ ‘a weapon of Israeli warfare’
Despite significant suppression in the American mainstream media—of anything providing a more complete and balanced view of the conflict—the Kairos document did break through in the United States being covered in a 2012 60 Minutes feature titled Christians of the Holy Land. The segment also provided a glimpse into the lengths the Israeli government will go in their efforts to suppress any information that might expose what these Christian prelates refer to as Israel’s “distort[ed]” narrative on the conflict.
While this feature was being filmed and produced, and prior to its release, Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren called Jeff Fager, the president and chairman of CBS News, in an apparent attempt to get the story spiked. Appearing somewhat amazed at what Oren conceded was an “extraordinary move” on his part, the show’s correspondent, Bob Simon, indicated he had never been confronted with such an intrusion in his long career.
One columnist observed that in “going to such great lengths to interfere” with the 60 Minutes report, the “government and foreign ministry of Israel are proving just how reprehensible the country’s policies are – that they require constant PR surveillance.”
Indeed, Israel’s focus on how it is perceived by the American public, especially with regards to their military occupation and colonization of Palestinian territories, goes well beyond this single incident. In the 2016 documentary titled Occupation of the American Mind (OAM),the filmmakers explore how the Israeli government with its allies frame media coverage obscuring fundamental facts of the conflict, including the minimization of the occupation, utilizing focus-group-tested rhetoric designed to cast the conflict as being about “terror, not territory” and understanding the enormous numbers of Palestinian civilian casualties as being merely an unintended consequence of Israel’s retaliation against “unprovoked violence.”
Additionally, perhaps assisting in these efforts are allies in the mainstream media. According to Jewish author and activist Norman Finkelstein, the legacy media always gives “free passes” to the interests of client states like Israel. However, there is a “secondary factor, which is the ethnic element. In many of these newspapers and the media in general, there is a large Jewish presence, and there is a sense of Jewish ethnic solidarity, which plays a role” in how these outlets present such topics. But Finkelstein goes on to stress that many Jews, especially in the younger generations are defecting from, and vigorously protesting, such Israeli policies.
Such Jewish defectors include journalist and author Max Blumenthal who is quoted in OAM summarizing the priority and effectiveness of Israel’s propaganda ministry stating it “is one of the most sophisticated arms of its government. It’s a weapon of Israeli warfare.”
‘Zionist editing’ of Wikipedia, creation of ‘social media swarm[s],’ and censorship of atrocities committed by the Israeli occupation forces on Facebook, Google and YouTube
Author and journalist Alison Weir has chronicled how Israeli propaganda mechanisms are also focused on managing and censoring information on the internet. These include Israeli soldiers being deployed to engage on the internet “battleground” promoting Zionist content, and a “secret” project by Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry (ISAM) with the objective to “curb the activities of anti-Israel activists,” and “flood the Internet” with pro-Israel content often through the use of “tricks and craftiness.”
Assisting in these goals are organizations like the 300,000 member National Union of Israeli Students which initiated a project in 2011 to pay students $2,000 to work five hours per week “to lead the battle against hostile websites.” This also involved concerted efforts to rewrite entries on Wikipedia in order to combat antisemitism which these programs conflate to including criticism of the Israeli government.
Other Zionist initiatives have focused on recruiting volunteers to edit Wikipedia entries with an emphasis on “keep[ing] the effort secret” in order for their objectives to elude detection. These involved courses on “Zionist editing” of Wikipedia with an aim “to make sure that information in the online encyclopedia reflects the worldview of Zionist groups.” For example, one organizer explained that the use of the word “occupied” in Wikipedia entries “was just the kind of problem she hoped a new team of editors could help fix.”
And these efforts certainly appear to have an impact as one report showed there were “almost ten times as many articles about murdered Israeli children as there are articles about murdered Palestinian children,” despite there being at least 10 times more Palestinian children who had been killed.
Another project supported by ISAM and American billionaires like Paul Singer and the late Sheldon Adelson, involves the development and distribution of a smart phone app called Act.IL which, according to Forward, can leverage “thousands of mostly U.S.-based volunteers,” who are directed from Israel to become “a social media swarm” with the objective of attacking and even removing online information they find damaging.
“Missions” assigned by the app can be as simple as commenting on or merely “liking” a Facebook post, or it can include requests for censorship. Israeli government officials have said that the app “is more effective than official government requests at getting those videos removed from online platforms.”
Israeli government officials have also entered into relationships with Big Tech corporations such as Google and Facebook to “build a collaborative work apparatus” for the censorship of certain materials they deem threatening, under the guise they foster “incitement.” And even in 2016, Fortune reported that “Facebook, Google, and YouTube are complying with up to 95% of Israeli requests to delete content that the government says incites Palestinian violence.”
Summarizing the meaning behind these many efforts, Weir writes, “To be clear, this is an occupying military working covertly to achieve censorship of reporting on its atrocities.”
Palestinian violence a product of ‘the injustice and of the hatred that the occupation fosters,’ resistance a ‘right’
And indeed these atrocities are so great that prelates in the Holy Land (along with many Jews) have indicated the Israeli government is to blame even for violent resistance on the part of Palestinians. In addition to former Latin Patriarch Twal’s statement above regarding Israel’s treatment of the population in Gaza as being designed to naturally produce a “desperate people” who may “easily turn into extremists ready for anything,” another 2014 statement from the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land states even acts of terrorism, on both sides, can be traced to the occupation.
Terrorism, which is defined as (the threat of) violence, usually against civilians, for a political end, was committed that year when three Israeli youth were kidnapped, and as the bishops described, became victims of “cold blooded murder” which brought about the “vengeance killing” of a Palestinian youth. Additionally, in response, the Israeli government initiated a military campaign of collective punishment, a war crime, taking the lives of more than 2,300 Palestinians (500 children) and injuring more than 17,000 the vast majority of whom were civilians.
In the face of the ongoing Israeli occupation, where “settlements are built, lands are confiscated, families are separated, loved ones are arrested and even assassinated,” the bishops wrote many Palestinians have “despaired of any hope to reach a just solution to the conflict through negotiations.” And thus, even the acts of terrorism, “which are in no way justifiable,” must still be recognized as “products of the injustice and of the hatred that the occupation fosters in the hearts of those prone to such deeds.”
‘Resistance to occupation cannot be equated with terrorism’
“At the same time, we need to recognize that resistance to occupation cannot be equated with terrorism,” the bishops continued. “Resistance to occupation is a legitimate right, terrorism is part of the problem.”
The same body of Catholic bishops reemphasized this point again in 2016 when it stated Palestinian resistance, during the so-called “stabbing Intifada,” which at the time claimed the lives of thirty Israelis and more than two hundred Palestinians, was “the result of hopelessness … in particular among [Palestinian] young people who are convinced that they have nothing to lose, because they see no future.”
This “never-ending cycle of violence” is due to the lack of any “vision for an alternative future,” the bishops wrote. “Breaking out of the cycle of violence is the duty of all, oppressors and oppressed, victims and victimizers.”
“In order to commit themselves to this aim, all must recognize in the other a brother or sister to be loved and cherished rather than an enemy to be hated and eliminated,” they said.
Nonviolent resistance to the ‘evil’ and ‘sin’ of occupation is ‘a right and a duty for the Christian,’ using ‘love as its logic’
The prelates and churches behind the Kairos document state that in the face of the continued occupation, with not even “a glimmer of positive expectation,” their “hope remains strong” since it comes from God. “God alone is good, almighty and loving and His goodness will one day be victorious over the evil in which we find ourselves.”
Yet, based on Christ’s call to “love your enemies,” these Christian churches clarify that “seeing the face of God in everyone does not mean accepting evil or aggression on their part. Rather, this love seeks to correct the evil and stop the aggression.” And thus, this “aggression against the Palestinian people which is the Israeli occupation, is an evil that must be resisted. It is an evil and a sin that must be resisted and removed.”
Though such resistance “is a right and a duty for the Christian… it is resistance with love as its logic. It is thus a creative resistance for it must find human ways that engage the humanity of the enemy,” convincing them to end their aggression and restoring to the Palestinians their “land, freedom, dignity and independence.”
Sabbah: Advocacy from worldwide Christian churches ‘only remaining hope’ to end ‘politics of death’ in Holy Land
And thus, these prelates call upon “all the churches and Christians in the world” to stand with them “against injustice and apartheid” in Palestine and “to work for a just peace” in their region.
“Our question to our brothers and sisters in the Churches today is: Are you able to help us get our freedom back?” they implored.
Condemning “all forms of racism, whether religious or ethnic, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia,” the prelates urged their fellow Christians around the world “to say a word of truth and to take a position of truth with regard to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land,” acknowledging “this is the only way you can help the two peoples attain justice, peace, security and love.”
In fact, former Latin Patriarch Sabbah characterized the response of Christians around the globe to this call as the Palestinian people’s only hope for life, freedom, and peace.
“The world leaders have abdicated their duty,” he remarked in a 2017 speech. “Will the world churches also abdicate, and silence their prophetic voice and action? The only remaining hope is in the churches’ prophetic voice and action.”
‘Our fear is not from our people, from Muslims. Our fear is from America’
And in a 2019 essay Archbishop Sabbah indicated this hope depends in a particular way, on Christians and their churches in the West, for “the future of all Palestinians… depends on the continuing struggle with Israel and Western politics.”
While recognizing the goodness of people in “the West” the Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem went on to say, “there is also a ‘murderous’ political West, bent on creating a new Middle East, whatever the cost may be. For these Western politicians, Christians do not exist; whether we live or die does not matter to them. Since the creation of the state of Israel, this political West believes that the Middle East must adapt to this new reality” which for Palestinians means “settlements, destruction of agriculture, confiscation of land, house demolitions, arrests, political prisoners, the siege of Gaza, etc.”
Though it had been a taboo subject for many years in the United States, more recently the Israel Lobby has been increasingly recognized as the driving force which has invincibly secured the superpower’s virtually unconditional support for Israel’s ongoing violations of international law, both financially and through diplomacy, even to the detriment of authentic American interests.
Authors of a major work on the topic, professors Stephen Walt of Harvard and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, wrote “The core of the Lobby is comprised of American Jews who make a significant effort in their daily lives to bend U.S. foreign policy so that it advances Israel’s interests.” These authors also acknowledge that many non-Jews are part of these efforts as well, while many other Jews strongly oppose such policies.
“If the murderous West wants life, it must change its politics in the region into a politics of life,” Patriarch Sabbah declared. “Our future, to exist or not, depends on the West’s politics of death or life.”
“Our fear is not from our people, from Muslims,” he said. “Our fear is from America.”
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