Jerusalem is hot, especially in the gym of the Max Rayne Hand in Hand Bilingual School for Jewish Arab Education. Jerusalem is tense, too, with jolting violence this summer over dismantled settlement homes, gay rights and a brutal attack on a Palestinian family.
Although Israeli officials have publicly criticized the June arson attack that seriously damaged the Benedictine Church of the Multiplication in Tabgha, anti-Christian violence is not new, said a representative of the religious order.
Benedictine Fr. Nikodemus Schnabel, spokesman for the Benedictine Dormition Abbey on Mount Zion, told Catholic News Service that fires and vandalism have plagued other churches and church property for years.
NCR Today: Why should the Jews, of all minority groups in our culture, be begrudged the emotional space in the public arena to speak of their legitimate fears?
NCR Today: Whether divesting from Israel's companies or boycotting an academic conference in Tel Aviv, Israel lumps these actions together as delegitimizing its very existence.
"Till when will Israel let its churches and mosques be burnt?" asked the editors of Haaretz, the English-language Israeli daily, on June 21. Their hard-hitting editorial was responding to the torching of one of the most famous Catholic churches in the Holy Land, the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish at Tabgha, near Tiberias in northern Israel.
This month, the U.S. Supreme Court announced a legal milestone on sovereignty over the city of Jerusalem. In a 6-3 ruling, the justices ruled that the U.S. Congress had overstepped its bounds when it passed a law in 2002 requiring the State Department to list Israel as a birth country in U.S. passports for Jerusalem-born Americans.
America magazine explores in some detail the controversial remarks made by Pope Francis to President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine in a recent audience. Did Francis say that Abbas was an angel of peace, or did he say "may you be an angel of peace"?
Gerard O'Connell makes the case that he actually said, "You are a bit of an angel of peace."
According to investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, the Samson Option is the name Israel has given to its nuclear arsenal. The title recalls the biblical superhero Samson, who himself was killed when by pulling on the support pillars he brought down the Philistine Temple in Gaza, killing its ruling class.
Beginning with the writing of the militarist Ze'ev Jabotinsky, the image of Samson has been central to construction in popular culture of the modern Zionist identity of "the fighting Jew" who has left exile and subjugation behind forever.
The Vatican's decision to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state on Wednesday angered Israeli officials.
The move comes four days before the canonization of two Palestinian nuns and solidifies the standing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is scheduled to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Saturday.
The agreement expresses hope for an end to Palestinian-Israeli tensions and supports the existence of two separate, independent nations living side by side in security and peace.