Monday, May 09, 2005

Palestinian Christians lobby for jihad promoter to be next patriarch

Some people want this man to be the next patriarch of Jerusalem.

The English in the Palestinian News Service article, although infinitely better than my Arabic, raises as many questions as it answers, but it says that Israeli police raided a church "to protect ousted patriarch's accomplice."

The plot thickens.

According to this source, Father Gabriel Naddaf, loyal to the patriarch, went to visit a church in Galilee, and the people tried to throw him out. He called the Israeli police saying that he was going to be assaulted.

There's more detail here about the mechanism the Palestinians used to oust the patriarch:
Irineos was dismissed of his position as Greek Orthodox Patriarch last Thursday, by a unanimous decision of the Holy Synod. A committee of three priests was assigned in his place to supervise the church's affairs until a new Patriarch was elected, said Archimandrite Atallah Hanna, the spokesman for Greek Orthodox Church in the Holy Land, said on Friday.
The article also says that Patriarch Irineos fled under the protection of Israeli forces and that laymen in Galilee are lobbying to get Hanna installed as patriarch.

Next question: Who's Father Gabriel Naddaf? Google popped up a 2002 article detailing the rocky relationship between Atalla Hanna (or Hanna Atalla?) and Father Naddaf. When Patriarch Irineos reprimanded Hanna for his support for suicide bombers, he put Naddaf in his place. Naddaf said that Hanna took advantage of the illness of Diodoros, the prior patriarch, to become spokesman for the patriarchate. A great detail here is that at the time of the article, Hanna and Atalla were sharing an office (and you thought your office politics were dangerous).

Hanna insists that he never really said that about suicide bombers, that he has always supporter peaceful resistance. A search for his name on the Middle East Media Research Institute brings up a series of speeches in 2002-03 that Hanna made and later denied.

In a Theophany sermon at the Greek cathedral in Jerusalem, Hanna said:
"We do not believe in so-called 'peace with Israel' because peace cannot be made with Satan. Israel is the greatest Satan. No concession and no truce must be made [with Israel]. Any type of peace with this entity is concession, submission, and retreat from pan-Arab and national principles… The negotiations and the other attempts [at an arrangement] will not restore the Palestinians' rights to them. The Palestinians' rights will be restored only by resistance. What was taken by force will be restored only by force…"

"Resistance is the obligation of every Palestinian Christian Arab, as it is the obligation of every Palestinian Muslim Arab."

"We encourage our youth to participate in the resistance, to carry out martyrdom attacks, and to participate in removing the occupation. There is a need for resistance to the occupation, and for Islamic-Christian cooperation, so that we will remove the foreign Zionist Jewish intruders and so that the gates of Palestine will open wide and all those who were uprooted or emigrated in 1967 and 1948 will return…"
At protest of the lead-up to the U.S. war in Iraq at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in 2003, he said:
"We declare publicly our blessing, support, and legitimization of the brave Palestinian resistance [carried out] by any means, including the brave Fidaiyin[4] martyrdom operations… The names of the Fidaiyi Shahids [the martyrs] will be inscribed in the history of our Palestinian and Arab people in holy white letters. The voices of those who defame these acts of heroism and honor are nothing more than anomalous voices that do not represent Arab and Palestinian public opinion…"

"The Fidaiyin martyrdom operations aimed deep inside Israel are unique pioneer operations that deter the Zionist enemy. They have caused great damage to this enemy, which understands nothing but the language of force and thinks that only force will bring peace. We say to the enemy: 'Leave our land, our Jerusalem, and our holy places. This is Arab Palestinian land, that has no connection whatsoever to the Jews and the Zionists'…"
Just to be sure you know what he means by "Fidaiyin," he told Hamas' news agency:
"The Fidaiyin are the heroes of this nation. We are proud of them and resolutely refuse any attempt to defame their deeds… They are not committing suicide, as some claim, and they are not terrorists, as others claim – they are resisting the occupation. We unreservedly support the martyrdom operations." Hanna also called on "Palestinian Arab Christians to participate in resisting the occupation in all forms, since they are part of the Palestinian people and of this nation."
A lot of Arab militants, jihadists and murderers use the West's ignorance of the Arabic language to say one thing in Arabic and something entirely else in English. MEMRI translates the Arabic.

And I thought Bishop Saruman was scary.

This post is also available at Blogger News Network.

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