web analytics
August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Historic Visit to Israel by Lebanon’s Courageous Maronite Patriarch

On Monday the Cardinal took what critics saw as an irrevocable political step by crossing into “pre-1967" Israel.
The clock square in the ancient port city of Jaffa (Yafo) next to Tel Aviv.

The clock square in the ancient port city of Jaffa (Yafo) next to Tel Aviv.
Photo Credit: Moshe Shai / Flash 90

In honor of Pope Francis, the head of Lebanon’s Maronite Catholic Church defied threats to his life this week and came to Israel.

Cardinal Beshara Ra’i is the first Lebanese cleric to arrive in the Jewish State since 1948. Having arrived on Saturday to begin a week-long visit, he joined the pontiff Sunday for the first leg of his two-day tour of the Holy Land in Bethlehem. Much of the weekend, however, he spent traveling around Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem’s Old City and surrounds.

But on Monday he took what critics saw as an irrevocable political step by crossing into “pre-1967″ Israel — arriving at a Maronite community in the ancient port city of Jaffa (Yafo), next to Tel Aviv. There are numerous Lebanese Christians living in Israel, many of whom emigrated in order to stay alive after the IDF withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000.

Lebanese media called the cleric’s visit a “historic sin,” though he was greeted by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas with a medal, the ‘Star of Jerusalem’ for his efforts.

“We came here for the goal of strengthening our belief,” he told journalists when asked why he had taken the risk.

Sources aligned to the Hezbollah terrorist organization warned last week the Cardinal’s visit “cannot not pass quietly,” the Times of Israel reported. Likewise the Lebanese As-Safir quoted unnamed sources who said, “The patriarch’s move puts the Christian existence in the east in danger at a time when their presence is being increasingly targeted in the entire region.”

Christians have long been tormented by various Islamist groups, not only in Lebanon but also in Egypt. They have also been harassed in Palestinian Authority-controlled Bethlehem, where the city’s former Christian majority has now dwindled to a bare ten percent of its current Muslim majority population.

The pro-Hezbollah daily Al-Akhbar ran a fiery op-ed against the visit one week ago, warning, “When Beshara Ra’i travels to ‘Israel’ with the knowledge and consent of the occupation authorities, he creates a dangerous precedent . . . he humanizes the enemy, breaking the taboo and opening the door to all the believers eager to visit the holy sites. When will organized tours begin, guarded by Tzahal (the Israeli army) and hosted by Israeli companies eager to smuggle their products into Lebanon for years?”

The Cardinal responded with an interview in the Lebanese daily An-Nahar, pointing out, “His Holiness the Pope will grace the patriarchate with his visit and it would be inappropriate for us not to welcome him in our lands Jordan and Palestine, which is Israel today. I know full well that Israel is an enemy state which occupies Lebanese land as well, and I respect Lebanese law [banning visits to Israel.] We have no meetings with Israeli officials and I am sorry that some Lebanese wish to create problems where there are none.”

Pope Francis, who began his visit to the region in Amman, pointed out before leaving Jordan that the freedom of worship is an essential human right, and expressed the hope of seeing that upheld throughout the Middle East.

It would appear that only in Israel are members of all three monotheistic faiths assured of their rights to worship.

Senior Maronite Archbishop Paul Sayah added the Cardinal’s visit was purely religious and not linked to the “regrettable situation that exists between Lebanon and Israel.”

About the Author: Hana Levi Julian began her career in journalism out of boredom while earning a BA in Mass Communication, creating a news department at SCSU's radio station because all the disc jockey positions were filled. In addition to her former position as a Jewish Press columnist and senior correspondent and editor at Arutz-7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and numerous other media outlets.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

4 Responses to “Historic Visit to Israel by Lebanon’s Courageous Maronite Patriarch”

  1. REALY???? GOD BLESS ISRAEL

  2. To think it could have been a twofer….

  3. Judith Dowla says:

    Come on and hit it with your best shot, fire away. Would you like him to hear what you need to say to him? These people are trained to handle whatever comes their way. It is part of their job. Can you imagine that Obaid?

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
It is believed that this is a photo from the Friday afternoon execution outside a Gazan mosque.
UPDATE: Hamas Executes 21 Arabs in Gaza
Latest News Stories
Rockets landed in the middle of Be'er Sheva on August 22, 2014

2:30 pm Eshkol 2:12 pm Rocket explosions heard in Tel Aviv. Hamas claims to have launched a J80 rocket at Tel Aviv. No siren went off, indicating that Iron Dome determined it would not hit any inhabited area. IDF confirms that a rocket was fired at Tel Aviv, but landed in an uninhabited open area. […]

Living in Israel is an open ticket against intermarriage. Above: MK Tzipi Hotovely and Or Alon at their wedding last year.

If you are worried about your child marrying a non-Jew, and you should be, then move to Israel.

It is believed that this is a photo from the Friday afternoon execution outside a Gazan mosque.

Hamas publicly executed 21 people they accused of collaborating with Israel. Unlike ISIS, they didn’t behead them.

Kurdish women have take up arms to join the war against ISIS Islamic State terrorists.

One woman fighter is enough to scare away 72 virgins.

Israel remains a lone outpost for those who know that talking to liars is not a diplomatic solution.

Obama, who is sure the “peace process” will make Hamas safe for democracy, now has crowned himself an expert on radical Islam.

There were soldiers inside the attacked Hebron building, but they managed to get out in time.

On Thursday, the Israel Air Force hit a motorcycle transporting 2 terrorists in Rafah.

Temple University’s SJP claims the pro-Israel Jewish student harassed and provoked them into assaulting him.

The White House has unblocked the weapons shipment to Israel that they had recently blocked.

10:58pm Negev 10:32 pm Eshkol 9:38 pm Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ashkelon Coast 8:47 pm Modiin-Maccabim-Reut, and area. Iron Dome Interception. 8:46 pm Beit El 20:00 pm  Iron Dome downs two rockets over Be’er Sheva; three others explode in open areas. 19:42 pm     Two warnings of rockets in Be’er Sheva, warnings of rockets Hatzerim , site […]

The IDF readies what it does not want unless there is no alternative – a deep ground invasion of Gaza. Hamas also is ready.

If “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” Diaspora Jews are in big trouble.

The security cabinet authorised Thursday the emergency call-up of 10,000 IDF reservists. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Israel would continue to pursue Hamas leaders anywhere and at any time, and added that the current campaign would “take time.” Ya’alon called on the Israeli public to display patience and strength while the army deals with the […]

The Jewish community in Belfast, Northern Ireland is bracing for violent backlash as the city prepares for an appearance by radical British MP George Galloway on Saturday night. Last month, Palestinian supporters smashed windows twice at the Belfast Hebrew Congregation following a pro-Palestinian demonstration in the city. Now, representatives for Galloway say the 1,000-seat Ulster […]

More Articles from Hana Levi Julian
Rabbi Shai Piron (L) and Yair Lapid, Yesh Atid party chairman. (archive)

Israeli school year will begin as planned, and schools “are prepared for any security-related events.”

Site of IAF air strike on Mohammed Deif, chief of the Izz a-Din al-Qassam military wing of Hamas, who was meeting August 20, 2014  at the al-Dalou home in Gaza City with two commanders.

Gaza workers continue to search for the body of Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif after an IAF air strike August 20.

Prime Minister Netanyahu praised joint IDF, Shin Bet efforts ending in terror deaths.

One Israeli man was wounded Thursday making sure children escaped rocket fire in time.

Raed al-Attar was an extremely dangerous, sophisticated Hamas terrorist. But he is dead.

Royal Jordanian Airlines has again canceled flights to Tel Aviv over fears of rocket fire from Hamas.

Three top Hamas military commanders were killed in overnight air strike by the Israel Air Force, the Shin Bet has confirmed.

Ramallah-based PFLP head Khalida Jarrar was “deported” to Jericho by IDF troops on Wednesday for incitement against Mahmoud Abbas.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/historic-visit-to-israel-by-lebanons-courageous-maronite-patriarch/2014/05/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: