The recent Synod called by the Vatican of the leaders of the Eastern Church and all the Christian denomination related or accepted to Catholicism from the Middle East was a very revealing occurrence. The final liturgical statement by Archbishop Cyril S. Bustros was, to say the least, quite disturbing to me as a Jew and a Zionist. The Archbishop’s statement that the Jews could no longer use Old Testament Biblical claims to verify the legitimacy of their claim to the Promised Land is ludicrous, not even the small part existing as a sliver of land bordering the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Another claim by the Archbishop was that there was no longer a particular Chosen People, definitely the Jews could no longer lay claim as the Chosen People since the beginning of the Church through Christ, all people now made up the Chosen People and no group or individual was any more special than the next. Still another claim made by the Archbishop was that G-d no longer could be claimed to support any group, especially if said group called on G-d to support them in times of conflict as G-d no longer supported anything outside of passivity as G-d was now solely was a G-d of love, peace, justice and mercy.
The good Archbishop decried the use of G-d’s name in support of both Muslim and Israeli (Jewish) violence. He admonished the mutual aggressors from each side claiming that G-d would no longer support the violence committed by either the extremist Muslims or the extremist Jews. Through this claim, Archbishop Cyril S. Bustros equated Israeli defensive and muted use of force in defense of her people with the offensive use of murderous suicide attacks, daily rocket firing on civilians, often times to coincide with both start and end of the school day to catch as many children in harms way as possible, kidnappings and hostage taking, stoning motorists from overpasses, ambushing motorists who enter predominate Muslim neighborhoods, and all the other faces of the Jihad against the Jews and Israel. This use of moral equivalence placing Jewish actions on par with terrorist actions performed as part of Jihad has been proven to be disingenuous and, more often than not, anti-Semitic.
Archbishop Cyril S. Bustros oft made references that called into doubt the Old Testament and all but claimed it to be no longer have any measure of validity while casting no aspersions upon the Quran. The Archbishop pointedly made the argument that Israel could not claim to be a Jewish State as religion should play no role in the Israel Palestinian dispute. While making the demand that Israel not be allowed to be a Jewish State as such an option has no place in today’s problems, he made no similar comment about the numerous Muslim States that use religion as their claim for relevance. The above are a partial list of the sincere inequalities used to describe the problems for Christians in the Middle East.
The entirety of blame for any problems faced by Christians in the Middle East were placed at the foot of Israel with almost complete immunity granted Muslims. I would like to list one last prejudicial comment that many might not notice, or if noted, not granted much weight of importance, but it is important as it exemplifies the base problem with the slant of the entire report issued by the Synod. When making the claim that the State of Israel must not be allowed to be built upon the ruins of a Palestinian society, the Archbishop made the point that the Palestinians had resided in the area of Israel for centuries while implying that the Jews were new arrivals in the area. In truth, there has been a Jewish presence, and often majority, in the area that is today Israel, for over three thousand years. Furthermore, the vast majority of the Arabs and Muslims living in the area are the recent arrivals that came after the initial influx of returning Zionist Jews, which gained significant momentum from the early to mid 1800s. The Arabs and Muslims arrived once the early Zionists began to revitalize the land and the economic health of what had been a deserted wasteland for almost one thousand years. To be honest, largely the Jews have been the indigenous population and the Muslims and Arabs are the recent immigrants.
Beyond the Cusp