Adeeb Joudeh, the official responsible for the keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, who was scheduled to meet with the visiting American Vice President Mike Pence, has announced in and official letter that he refuses to meet with his guest because of President Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported Wednesday.
“It has come to our attention that Vice President Pence intends to make an official visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and asked me to receive him officially,” Joudeh wrote, adding, “I absolutely refuse to officially welcome the American Vice President Mr. Mike Pence at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and I will not be physically in church during his visit.”
“This is an expression of my condemnation of President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” the official wrote.
At the beginning of his letter, Joudeh, a Muslim, explains the significance of his unusual step, noting, “We, the Joudehs, have been responsible for the keys to the church for 850 years. To this day, we have fulfilled all our commitments to the Church without bias, and have accepted every political, religious and international figure who has asked us to do so.”
VP Pence will likely be receiving much of the local Arabs’ hatred for his boss during his upcoming visit to the region. A faithful Evangelical Christian, Pence is also going to get the cold shoulder, if not worse, in Jesus’ birthplace, Bethlehem. “We will receive the US vice president with shoes,” declared Mohammed Lahham of the Fatah Revolutionary Council in advance of Mike Pence’s visit.
In 2008, Iraqi journalist Muntazar al-Zaidi made headlines and was promptly arrested after throwing his shoes at the visiting President GW Bush. So Arabs threatening to throw shoes at you is not a sign of respect and appreciation.
Incidentally, although it is an important city to Christians everywhere, since Israel has liberated Bethlehem fifty years ago, its 80% Christian majority has dwindled down to o more than 12%, due to their bullying under the yoke of their Muslim neighbors and the Palestinian Authority – Thank you the authors of the Oslo accords.