JERUSALEM NEEDS OUR HELP
April 15, 2000
Prepared by Father Labib Kobti
We, the undersigned, call on the leaders and representatives of the Governments of the world; of the Non-Governmental Organizations, as well as religious leaders of all faiths; to help restore the holy city of Jerusalem/Al-Quds to its rightful status.

We ask in the spirit of this for signatures to be affixed to this statement.

In the year 70 c.e. (common era), the Roman emperor Titus destroyed the Holy City and the Jewish Temple.
In the year 135 c.e., the Roman emperor Hadrian created the new pagan city of Alia Capitolina on top of the ruins of the destroyed city.
Alia Capitolina from that point on was the name of the city until the Tenth Century, when the Muslim Arabs restored the name to what it formerly was, "Beit-Al Maqdis, Al Quds", a literal translation of the Hebrew name, "Beit Hamiqdash". The Muslim Arabs restored the Holy City, for 600 years a Pagan city, to its mission as the city of the one God, when they built the world famous Dome of The Rock in the seventh century( 685-691), and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the 8th century.
These two edifices were built over the Roman Pagan temple of Hadrian.
Thus, the facts clearly demonstrate that Christian and Muslim Arabs of the Holy Land did nothing untoward against Jews, who had been invited to come back to live in The City, after being denied this right for centuries.  They were even denied the right to merely enter Jerusalem.

Thus we do not understand why the modern state of Israel claims exclusive right of ownership on the esplanade of the Holy Sanctuary, or for that matter, exclusive claim to the entire city of Jerusalem.

In fact, Jerusalem has been governed in variously and at different times:
By Pagans for 800 years;
Babylonians for 50 years;
Persians for 204 years;
The Greeks under Alexander the Great for 9 years;
The Ptolemys for 120 years,
The Seleucids for 33 years;
The Roman empire for 205 years;
By Jews for 543 years
-under the Independent Kingdoms of David and Solomon for 424 years
and by the Hasmoneans (Maccabees) for 107 years;
By Christians for 427 tears
- Romans 300,
- Byzantines 8,
- Crusaders 88
and British Mandate, 31
By Muslims for 1,193 years:
Khalifates/Fatimides 463,
Ayoubites 57,
Mameluks 273,
and the Ottoman Turks, 400.

Thus, since during its entire history, Jerusalem was governed by Jews for only 1% of that time.
It is not right in this day and age that Jerusalem be claimed exclusively by one nation related to one religion.

Furthermore; we do not understand why the government of the United States of America is placing pressure on the Palestinians in this matter; in flagrant violation of UN Security Council Resolution 242, which regards Jersusalem as Occupied Territory conquered in war by Israel in 1967.

Moreover: we do not understand why the following actions which have been taken against Palestinians have not been legally condemned internationally as apartheid and discriminatory actions against the Palestinian Arabs: the closure of the city; the building of settlements in clear violation of several international laws; the confiscation of identification papers from Palestinians; and most notably, the demolition of the homes and private property of the Palestinians.

In view of this, we ask that it be resolved that:
(1) The right of the Palestinian people to their own country with Jerusalem as its capital is an inalienable right, recognized by the international community.
(2) All measures taken by the state of Israel which are in violation of the powers awarded to a belligerant occupier under international law are therefore null and void.
(3) The unilateral annexation of, and declaration that "Jerusalem is the eternal and undivided capital of  Israel" is null and void. (4) The right of the Palestinian people to have jurisdiction and sovereignty over the Holy Places described above be recognized internationally.
(5) The right of ALL of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and their homeland; or to receive fair current market rate compensation and/or restitution  for their properties as called for in numerous UN resolutions and other legal international documents and decisions be honored by the international community.
(6) The condemnation of Israeli violations of human rights vis-a-vis the Palestinians be publicly condemned and widely disseminated through the media.
Said violations have been documented by the following agencies:
The United States Department of State; Human Rights Watch; Amnesty International; Physicians For Human Rights; Lawyers for Human Rights; The International Committee of The Red Cross; as well as a number of Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups who take it upon themselves to monitor said violations.
(7) The right of Israel and Palestine to live in mutual peace and security. We ask this document be signed to facilitate the restoration of Peace to The City.

Signed: (Please send your signature to labibkobti@aol.com)
1) Rania Masri, Raleigh, NC, USA
2) Labib Kobti, St. John of God and St. Anne's Arab American Catholics, SF
3) Bill Freind, Docotor and peace activist New Jewrsey
4)  Fr. Khalil Jaar, Latin Catholics of Karak-Aqaba-Eilat
5)  Rev. Lawrence & Ms. Mary Hansen, Community of Christ the Living Bread,Cana House, Portland, Oregon
6) Fr. Majdi al-Siryani, Legal advisor of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, pastor of Beit-Sahour, Palestine
7) James H. Lupton, Ph.D.
8) Dr. Adel and Hilda Barakat, West Chester, PA.
9) Winnie Tong, UCSF Medical Student and Newman Center member, SF
10) Richard E. Dumont Ph.D
11) G. Simon Harak, S. J. West Side Jesuit Community, NY
12) Dr. Jess Ghannam, UCSF, San Francisco, CA, USA
13) Michael Olteanu, Executive Director, Christus Rex, Inc
14) Rani El-Hajjar
15) Lema Bashir, International Affairs at University of Nebraska Lincoln, USA.
16) Diba Rab, Chicago, IL
17) Yosef Abuneaj
18) Rawi Hgae, Montreal Canada.
19) Nihaya Qawasmi-Dugan
20) Mr. John Dabeet, AMPAL- President,www.ampal.net
21) Issa Sarras, director of Freedom.com and InfoPal
22) Steve-Khoi Bui, St John of God Newman Center, San Francisco, California
23) Elias copty, Arab Emirates
24) Sawsan Abdulrahim, ann arbor, michigan
25) Nora Awad, Latin Catholic housewife, Amman,Jordan
26) Raif Hijab, Berkeley, CA, USA
27) Wadie Abunassar - Secretary General of the Great Jubilee for the Catholic Bishops, Jerusalem
28) Richard E. Dumont, BA, BA.Ph, MA, Ph.D.,Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
29) Hisham Kawash , Project Administrator ,ZCRP - Zirku Projects
30)  Sharon Colberg
31) Roberta D. McLaughlin, Justice and Peace, San Francisco, CA. USA
32) James c McLaughlin, Justice and Peace, San Francisco, CA, USA
33) Andrew T. Freeman; Ph.D. candidate, U of M Dept. of Near Eastern Studies
34) Ahmad Jaradi, President of the Palestinian American Congress
35) Carol Morton
36) Colin Morton
37) Dana El-Hajjar   Omaha, Nebraska
38) Ray Signer
39) Cozette L. Lamb,Worthington, Ohio
40) John Jordan
41) Aileen Winquist, Arlington, VA
42) Kate Nahapetian, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law student
43) Yolande Geadah, Montreal Quebec,Canada
44) Mona A. Bashir
45) Hana Rustom Archbold,Ceon Corporation
46) Ahmad Itani: Pittsburgh, PA... (Lebanese)
47) Ray Signer, Accountant,  Parishoner at St. John of God Catholic Church, San Francisco, CA
48) Doug Benbow, Director of Liturgy/St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco, CA
49) Samia A. Halaby, Palestinian artist born in AlQuds (Jerusalem), M.F.A. in painting, exhibited internationaly.  web pages www.art.net./samia
50) Iftekhar A. Hai, Director of Interfaith Relations, United Muslims of America
51) Souleiman Ghali, Director and Imam of San Francisco Islamic Center.
52) Huwaida Arraf,Jerusalem
53) Maysoon Salah
54) Sylvie Fortin Graham, St-Agapit, Qc, Canada
55) André Fournier,ESL Teacher,Framhaldsskólinn á Húsavík,Húsavík, Iceland
56) Diba Rab, Chicago, IL
57) Mohammad Tamimi, Charlotte,NC,USA
58) Sami A. Halaby, Raleigh, NC
59) Yosef Abuneaj, MIS engineer,Atlanta, Georgia
60) Kathryn E. McClanen
61) Rani El-Hajjar
62) Ms. Reem Hashem Hadrous
63) Ayed Hasian, Phoenix, Az, USA
64) Sami D. El-Falahi,Barrister, London.
65) Roger L.Alexander, Harold, KY
66) Hasham & Hutaph Jadallah, Dearborn MI.
67) Rena Abdulla,Greenville,SC,USA
68) Susan Fox, St. John of God, San Francisco
69) Sama Ghazy Danyal
70) Reem Elhossary
71) Evette Konsul
72) Edward Baddour
73) Nora Ashour
74) Michel Khoury
75) Siham Khoury
76) Rev. Peter Friis-Nielsen, Copenhagen, Denmark
77) Mohammed AlMbaid, MPA, PhD. Ramllah, Palestine
78) Jane K. Koonce, Glenview IL
79) Maha Khatib, Saudi Arabia
80) Leila Bedeir, Montreal, Quebec, Canada 81) Ikhlas Jaber; Raleigh, NC, USA
82)Sara Yaman, Lebanon
83) Rola Azzi, Lebanon
84) Abdul Suleiman
85) Deacon John F. Burke
86) Sirine Shebaya, Lebanon
87) Dr. William G. Falkowski, Buffalo, New York
88) Abdel-Rahman Khatieb, Jordan
89) Ahmed Roshdy, Egypt
90) Tariq Alsmadi
91) DIA EL HINDI
92) Sehrish Siddiqui
93) Fern Ebeling, RN, Public Health Nurse, San Francisco General Hospital
94) Raúl Pereira, Member of Grupo Quetzal (Solidarity with the people of Guatemala)
95) Taha Abu-Harb
96) George A Halaby
97) John Jordan
98) Eric Marois, Biology Ph.D. Student, Halle (Germany)
99) The Rev. David K. Taylor, Ph.D.Flemington, NJ 100) Samih Shahin
101) Eric C. Birckhead
102) Kari Sprowl
103) Julia Q. Hathaway-Shaheen
104) Nikki Squires, Migration Agent, Western Australia
105) Sylvia Shihadeh, Texas
106) Joe and Billye Elmore
107) The Rev. David A. Shaw, Kerrville, Texas
108) Dawn M. Shaw, Kerrville, Texas
109) Randall and Dolores Kelley, California, USA
110) Taj T. Farouki, U.S.A.
111) Amal Lina Khoury
112) Janine M. Rizkalla
113) Joe and Billye Elmore, La Mesa. CA
114) Nayla Hussein 115) Sahar Aziz
116) Anwar Melhem, Austin, TX
117) Tom Keene, Pax Christi, San Antonio, TX
118) Charles A. Howell III, Chairman, Trust For The Future, Inc, Nashville, Tennessee
119) Lina Omeis
120) Maan M. Hamze, Austin, Texas, USA
121) Rev. Dr. Betty Jane Bailey, West Orange, NJ, USA (United Church of Christ)
122) Rev. Dr. J. Martin Bailey, West Orange, NJ, USA (United Church of Christ)
123) Rev. Andrew Henderson, Vanderbilt Univ.
124) Imad S Enchassi, MAOM
125) Samir Alwazzi,a Member of the "Muslim American Society",Chapter of Norman, Oklahoma.
126)Nayla Hussein
127) Adnan Ali
128) Fareed Elyazgi
129) Nadeem Bawani
130) Faisal Butt
131) Adnan Ali
132) Fareed Elyazgi
134) Mostafa El Hamly
135) Mukkaram Ali, member of Islamic Society of Norman, OK
136) Faras Bilto, New Jersey
137) Richard Wood, Dean of the Yale Divinity School 138) Kamal Feriali, Gainesville FL
139) Ibrahim Marji, NY
140) Kamel Totah, San Francisco