Patriarch of Jerusalem discusses conflict and Christianity in Palestine

first_imgDespite the desire for peace in Palestine, neither peace nor security has been won by the myriad of negotiations and wars of the past 70 years, Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, said.Twal delivered a lecture titled “Middle East Christians’ Future: In Whose Hands” on Tuesday at Hesburgh Center Auditorium as part of the 2015-2016 Notre Dame Forum “Faith, Freedom and the Modern World: 50 Years After Vatican II.” The talk was hosted by the Center For Civil and Human Rights, and Twal was introduced by University President Fr. John Jenkins.Twal ministers in a part of the world where Christians feel oppressed and was trained as a Christian diplomat, Jenkins said.  Twal brings a message of peace, reconciliation and charity. Twal first addressed the parlous state of the Christian minority in the Middle-East, with special attention to the situation in Palestine.The Christian population of Palestine is a small minority, Twal said, and thus it cannot function effectively in isolation. The Catholics in Palestine alone operate over 115 schools, some of which have a majority Muslim student body. “We cannot have a ghetto just for us Christians. … Our mission cannot know borders,” Twal said.He said there are many perils for the Christian community of the Levant, such as the Israeli bureaucracy’s mistreatment of Christian and many Muslims’ apathy towards the welfare of the Christian community, calling the Church of Jerusalem a Church of Calvary. In spite of all the suffering of the Christian community, it is impossible to live, love and work in Jerusalem without Jesus and the vision of the cross, Twal said.“In Jerusalem, He prayed, He worked and He wept,” Twal said.Twal said although the Christian community of Jerusalem is often subject to persecution, it is also unmistakably a church of resurrection, empowered by its proximity to where He rose.“I too am anxious for the future but [also] hope for a bright future,” Twal said, referring to the future prospects of the Christians of Palestine. Twal’s lecture also spent time on the consequences of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a conflict that fatally undermines Israel’s claims of democracy so long as the occupation continues, Twal said. “The vast majority of Palestinians are fighting for the same things Jews did,” Twal said.The rights Palestinians seek are the rights of democracies, such as dignity, respect and justice, he said. These were the same values his Patriarchate has upheld and promoted for years. While he expressed pessimism about the viability of a two-state solution, the fundamental problem is still occupation, particularly while Jerusalem is still occupied territory, Twal said. “Much is spoken [of peace], yet we have none,” Twal said. “ … In Palestine, there is no more credibility in the speech of politicians, and thus, changes requiring great sacrifice must come.”“In Palestine, one thing is clear: the cycle of degradation and violence must be broken,” he said.Twal said, the Middle-East is beset by politic without ethic and the dangerous rhetoric of extremists, lack of education, and the reckless profiteering of arms dealers are all contributing to the current disorder in the Middle-East“In Jerusalem we are closely watching the events in the Arab World…our hearts are filled with sorrow with our brothers and sisters who are victims of violence,” Twal said, “In Jordan we have 1,400,000 Syrians…last year we received 8,000 Iraqi Christian people…for sure Syria needs reform, but 200,000 [were] killed because they want to change this regime, and the regime is still in good health.”Twail said the Middle East is beset by a dark past and dark present, and he prays for the emergence of a genuine leader. Although he believes an educated population is one key step towards justice and peace, it’s clear the road to peace in the Holy Land is a long and difficult one. “[Being] fair and balanced … I’m not sure that’s possible when we speak about the Holy Land,” Twal said.Tags: Father John Jenkins, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Middle East, Notre Dame Forum, Palestinelast_img read more

Tips on how to discuss topics surrounding racism with your children

first_img(WBNG) — With protests for the Black Lives Matter movement in all 50 states, parents may find themselves having to explain to children not only what is going on in society, but why it’s all happening. If you’re a parent and you don’t have all the answers, experts say that’s okay. Discussions on racism don’t just happen once, experts suggest looking at it as an ongoing conversation. “Parents need to consistently think about addressing tough issues that kids need to be brought up thinking about, questioning, and being critical about. Racism is certainly one of those issues,” said Bronstein. In these discussions, experts encourage parents to challenge children. Bronstein says children are curious and it’s important for them to ask questions about why these issues are happening. While children learn about subjects like racism, and the United States’ history of slavery, Bronstein says education on these topics should continue outside the classroom. In the end, if parents witness behavior from their children that may be offensive, Bronstein encourages parents to hold children accountable. “We often are afraid to address differences, but I think it’s important to address differences,” said Binghamton University College of Community and Public Affairs Dean Laura Bronstein. “There are differences, and yes, all people have their strengths and all people are valued.” “If you don’t know, be able to say ‘I don’t know, but you know what? That’s a good question, I’m going to find out the answer to that and get back to you,’ or ‘We’re going to explore it together,'” said Bronstein. “To be saying something that is hurtful, and then ask them, ‘Where did you get that thinking from?” said Bronstein. “Help deconstruct that for them.”last_img read more


first_imgThe following incidents were reported in the USC Dept. of Public Safety incident report summary between Friday, Feb. 14, and Monday, Feb. 17. Crimes against a personat 1:54 A.m on Feb. 16, DPS officers responded to a report of two students at 1352 29th St. involved in an altercation. After detaining the students for investigation, the officers determined the altercation was only verbal and cleared the scene when the students agreed to go to bed.Crimes against propertyat 1:21 p.m. on Feb. 15, a suspect entered the Radio Shack in University Village and stated that he would like to purchase a tablet computer. The suspect then removed the computer without paying for it when the clerk was speaking with another 1:59 a.m. on Feb. 16, a female student reported that she had lost her cell phone and the built-in tracking device indicated it was at Alpha Tao Omega fraternity. The student saw the security guard holding the phone case but the guard denied that he had the phone. The student persisted and later the guard admitted to having the phone and returned it to her. The student did not wish to press 3:54 p.m. on Feb. 17, a suspect entered the Radio Shack in University Village and removed a pair of headphones without paying for them.Miscellaneous incidentsat 3:19 P.m. on Feb. 14, DPS officers reported to the Sigma Chi fraternity house where the officers cited the fraternity to Judicial Affairs for violating University policies regarding 5:36 A.m. on Feb. 17,  a student reported that he loaned currency to a suspect who tried to sell him designer suits out of the back of a vehicle while claiming to be in a difficult financial situation.last_img read more