The author. who works in the area of interfaith relations at the Anglican Communion Office in London recently visited the Holy Land for the first time. She took a course "Abraham: Yesterday and Today" at St. George's College, Jerusalem, while staying at "'The House of Abraham', run by a community of French nuns offering hospitality to all regardless of nationality or faith". "The wall was very much a feature of our visit. .... The experience of checkpoints also introduced us to the apartheid that is developing. Being a group of American, Australian, English and Nepalese we were waved through with little inconvenience, not so the local residents". "One of our group had just completed three months with a Christian Peacekeeper Team and guided us around the team apartment in Hebron. It was a joy to see young Palestinian children emerge from a face painting session all smiles and giggles. Again we were reminded that the dehumanising is on both sides as we looked over to the Israeli barracks populated by young conscripts most of whom are terrified and simply want to go home". "During some of the evenings we received excellent lectures on Abraham within Islam, current work in building relationships between Muslims, Christians and Jews in Jerusalem, and Abraham in the Jewish tradition." "Worshipping with Arab Christians, praying for the peace of Jerusalem through psalms and intercessions whilst actually there, seeing the wall, all these were moving experiences."
See also advertisement for "Saint George's College, Jerusalem" on page 23 which lists three courses: Palestine of Jesus (20 April - 3 May 2007); St. Paul and the Early Church (10-23 May 2007); and St. Paul in Greece (14-25 June 2007). www.sgcjerusalem.org
Israel is in the process of building a wall or separation fence which is says is needed to protect them from suicide bombers. "Church leaders in the region are vehemently opposed to the barrier's construction. Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal, the Episcopal bishop in Jerusalem, warns that Israelis are fencing themselves in as well. `The best of secure borders are reconciled neighbours, and the closest of neighbours are the Palestinians. Those fences and walls will not only encircle Palestinian towns and add to the grudges, but they will also close the Israeli community into a kind of ghetto,' he said. `The root cause of all of this business of building walls is the occupation. Once the Israelis quit occupying the lands of others, then they can hope for and receive the security they so desire. This is not the time to build walls. This is the time to build bridges. And only if they learn how to build a bridge rather than a wall will they guarantee themselves security, peace and stability,' the bishop said." The farmers of Jayyous are protesting the building of the wall which cuts them off from their fertile fields and the town's wells. Their protest is supported by international members of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel, coordinated by the World Council of Churches.
Cover title: Caught in between : the extraordinary story of an Arab Palestinian Christian Israeli.
Includes bibliographical references (pp. 166-7) and index.
This book "gives us the unique insight of a man who defines himself as an 'Arab, Palestinian, Christian, Israeli'." -- Foreword, p. ix.
Contents: Foreword dated Advent 1998 / John L. Peterson, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion -- Acknowledgements -- Introduction -- Home sweet home -- Caught in between -- Present absentees -- A prisoner in his own country -- Eggs for India -- An urgent engagement -- High tea -- For God's sake -- How shall they hear without a preacher ? -- Coal for the cause -- Meeting Arafat -- Vatican and Lebanon -- A prisoner in my own country -- Sulha -- 'Islam in the alternative' -- Bridges to peace -- An endangered species -- Meet the Nazarene -- The Good Samaritan -- Glossary -- Appendix 1: UN Resolutions 181, 242 and 338 -- Appendix 2: Resolutions of the US Episcopal Church's House of Bishops -- Appendix 3: List of Destroyed Palestinian Villages -- Notes -- Index.
OTCH Note: Author was installed as Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem in the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East in 1998.
"Following the deportation of 415 Palestinians by the Israeli government to Lebanon, several church bodies called for the return of the deportees to their home. In a letter sent to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, World Council of Churches' Todor Sabev called last December's  deportations a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention".
"The Anglican Church of Canada in January  joined other members of the Anglican Communion and churches worldwide in calling for a ceasefire and a redoubling of efforts to secure lasting peace in Gaza, where thousands have been killed or injured after renewed fighting between Israeli military forces and the militant Palestinian group Hamas". "Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, called for 'an immediate cessation to the horrific violence' in Gaza which erupted on Dec. 27 ." "The national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), Susan Johnson who was part of a delegation that traveled in the Middle East last month [January 2009], urged Prime Minister Harper to reconsider the Canadian government's position that solely blamed Hamas for the violence". "During a meeting with Israel's chief rabbis, visiting Lutheran bishops also told Israel's chief rabbis that the conduct of Israel's military campaign raised questions about a 'just war theory', noting the 'proportionality and killing of innocents', reported Ecumenical News International." The Primate's World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) "also responded to the emergency appeals from ACT (Action by Churches Together) with an initial grant of $20,000". The Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, Suheil S. Dawani "asked for prayers and financial support as the Al Ahli Arab Hospital, an institution supported by the diocese, struggled to provide critical health care in the area".
Article also includes photo with caption: "About 700 protesters demonstrate on Parliament Hill, against Israel's military action in Gaza. Among speakers condemning the attacks were Jews and Christians, including Anglican priest Robert Assaly of Ottawa."
The General Synod will be presented this July  with resolutions focusing on 'peace with justice for all in Palestine and Israel' and educating Canadian Anglicans about the 'life and witness' of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem". This includes working together includes working together in such areas as educating members about 'the impact of the illegal settlements on the lives of both Palestinians and Israelis, and about imported products identified as produced in or related to the illegal settlements and misleadingly labelled as produced in Israel, and about the complexities of economic advocacy measures'. The resolution does not call for a boycott of such products from Israeli settlements on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, a measure the UCC [United Church of Canada] adopted at its General Council in 2012. CoGS also recommended a resolution to observe the seventh Sunday of Easter as Jerusalem Sunday. On that day, commonly known as the Sunday after the Ascension, special focus will be given to learning about the Diocese of Jerusalem, which covers the areas of Jerusalem, Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. A special collection will also be requested for that diocese's ministries in education, reconciliation, health care and hospitality. The Anglican Church of Canada and the Jerusalem diocese have been in companion relationship for many years".
Author reflects on his trip to Israel earlier this year and his concern for the treatment of Palestinians especially in the light of the fact that earlier Israeli leaders, such as David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Dayan, "saw coexistence [with the Palestinians] as basic to the survival of their dream.
"Editor Jim Rosenthal speaks to Stephen Need about his vision for St. George's College [Jerusalem]".
"All of this means that basic tensions continue between Israelis and Palestinians. St. George's College finds itself in an ideal position for introducing people to the Holy Land and to helping them to understand the region. It is also very well placed to help people understand the roots of their faith better. Local Christians feel a sense of support when western Christians share in their worship and hear their stories".
Also includes advertisement listing three courses to be offered in 2006 by St. George's College.
Cover title : In troubled waters : a history of the Anglican Church in Jerusalem 1841-1998.
"[B]y Rafiq A. Farah".
Includes bibliographical references but NO index or bibliography.
Contents: Acknowledgements dated Toronto March 15th 2001 -- Abbreviations -- Table of Contents -- Foreword dated Oxford, 1999 / Kenneth Cragg -- The General Matrix: Roots of Christianity in the Arab East -- Foundations -- The Supreme Motive: The Conversion of the Jews -- The Turning Point: The Creation of Nuclei of Arab Congregations -- The Church Missionary Society Stamps its image on Arab Clergy and Congregations -- The Third Bishop: Joseph Barclay 25th July 1879 - 22nd Nov 1881 -- The Rise of Arab Anglican Congregations and their Struggle for Independence -- Interregnum Nov 1881 - March 1887 -- A Strange Anglican Diocese: Bishop George Blyth -- Developing Church Work: Educational Institutions Encounter with aggressive Zionism -- Christian Witness: Top of the Agenda -- Two Historic Events: The Cataclysmic Birth of Israel: The Creation of an Arab Bishopric -- Initial Steps Towards a Provincial Framework in the Middle East -- The Primary Task: To Indigenize the Church -- The Launching of the Indigenous Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East 1974-76 -- The New Jerusalem Diocese in Troubled Waters 1976-1998 -- Epilogue.
Colophon: Printed by Creeds the Printers, Broadoak, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 5NL.
OTCH Note: Author is Archdeacon Emeritus of the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem now living in Toronto, Canada.
The Rev. Robert Assaly, his wife Nancy and their four children, from the Diocese of Ottawa have been serving as Volunteers in Mission in Jerusalem. "Despite 'peace' having broken out here, little has actually improved. The Israeli military is still occupying most of the Left [sic i.e. West] Bank, including where we live. Exclusively Jewish settlements, whose very existence violate international convention, continued to expand on land seized from Palestinians by the Israeli military. The closure of occupied East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank continues and has been tightened. One consequence is that while you are free to come from thousands of miles away to worship at the Church of the Resurrection, the Empty Tomb, many of our friends and neighbours are prevented from entering Jerusalem for any reason, only 500 meters from our home". "While some Palestinian officials ask why they should even have to negotiate to be permitted to hold free elections, the Israeli side refuses to implement even the part of the Oslo accord where they agreed to allow Palestinians to hold these elections last year. Meanwhile, following the massacre by a settler of worshippers in a Hebron mosque last spring [25 February 1994], a new phenomenon emerged and continues -- suicide bombers killing dozens in Israel".