Letter from Father Mussalam Manuel

8 August 2006

 
DEAR ABOUNA LABIB:GOD BLESS YOU

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR WORK AND PRAYERS FOR THE PALESTINIANS

 Each of you should look not only to your own interests,
but also to the interests of others"  (Php 2: 4)
 
 
To our brothers in Christ,
"Peace to the brothers, and love with faith from God the Father
 and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to all who love
 our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love". ( Eph 6: 23-24)
 
From Palestine, your Christian brothers, send you again the message of PEACE; and ask you to send them back a message of HOPE.
Let us begin our contact with prayers. The more we cooperate together in Christ the best we achieve. Let us declare and settle the first Sunday of August of each year to be the "DAY OF JERUSALEM" a day of prayers for Christians Moslems and Jews. ( Hope for Jerusalem )
Christians in Palestine and Israel are unable to build peace alone between Israel and Palestine. Help us to convince them:
To stop greediness and war.
To be just and equitable.
To accept each other.
To respect the life of each other.
Today, Israeli warplanes are sowing destruction and death every where. Electricity, water supplies, bridges, roads, homes, innocents, children, women and sick persons are targeted. Military tanks are coming to destroy us. Gaza is in distress, humiliation and death
We want you to help us conceive peace in our minds and hearts then educate it. We are looking to educate in our schools and our churches for peace. Education for peace can solve the problems of hate and refusal of others.
While diplomats are seeking a political, strategic and nutritious peace, the Department of Christian Affairs is looking to build up: "Peace of Joy". "JOY AND HAPPINESS TO ALL" is our emblem and Anthem.
If joy is possible in Palestine then Peace is possible.
If development is possible then peace is possible
If truth is possible then Peace is possible.
If justice is possible then peace is possible.
If freedom is possible then peace is possible‚€¶‚€¶
Extinguish in the Middle East the fire of the Holocaust of Israel and stop weeping on the WAILING WALL because the Diaspora has ended and Jews came back to Jerusalem. It is time to convert its name to PEACE Wall and cooperate with Christians and Moslems to remain together. At the same time, stop the Holocaust of Palestinians; give them their rights and the remedy to their sufferings.
Pray that peoples in the Middle East may unite, like in the "HOLY TRINITY", in love and peace and that all can live in the splendor of Peace.
Help us to understand the words of Jesus: "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you" (Luke 6:27-28). And let us hear you praying that at a loud voice while we are mumbling the same words.
"I am Thirsty". "I am hungry". "I am humiliated". "I am suffering". "I am dying".  This is the cry of Jesus repeated again in your Christian brothers in Palestine. Take care of Jesus in them.
Children at home instead of following the programs of cartoons they follow the news with their parents and are influenced by the drastically show of blood and funeral processions to cemeteries. Children aged 5 and more; speak and dream politics instead of joy, birds and flowers.
We are living under siege and literally in prison. We cannot communicate and visit our parents in the West Bank and Gaza. We cannot send a letter from Gaza to the external world. We cannot go to pray or share in the festivities in Jerusalem or Bethlehem. We cannot go to bury our parents in the West Bank from Gaza and vice versa. Ill persons cannot find healthcare in the different hospitals in Gaza because of lack of medicine.
But we are keeping our hope, faith and charity and still praying which is a healthy sign of a Christian. Isn't it?
"Brothers, pray for us, greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers." (1Th 5: 25-27)
Fr Labib  wrote:
This message was written some years ago. It speaks to us also today. Help please stopping the WAR and help please the Jews, Christians and Muslims, The Israelis and Arabs to be friends to each other.
Thanks
 
I cannot pretend that my article is in a perfect English...but it speaks about what we are living these last days.
 
You may like to send it to some friends.
 
Thanks Fr. Labib Kobti
 
An open Letter to the Israelis and to the Friends of Israel
By Fr. Labib Kobti
February 1996
Dear Friends,
Please, see on the following words of respect, a call for Justice, Peace and TRUTH:
1- We, Arab people, are not your enemies. http://www.al-bushra.org/palestine/abdallah.html
If you look at both ancient and recent history you will find that we were not the ones who persecuted you.
Millions were killed in Europe, but millions are living here in our lands and within us and will live in the Middle East and with us.
We are not the ones who refused you or betrayed you. We welcomed you when you were in difficulties.
The history tells you that you found in us, with us, Arab people who received, welcomed and helped you, FRIENDS, Brothers and sisters.
READ THE HISTORY:
Before the promises to create or before the existence of the state of Israel, did we do anything against you?
Please, ask the good Jews who lived in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon.
When you were suffering, UNFORTUNATELY because of the INHUMANE HOLOCAUST, Palestineand not USA, Europe or any country have received thousands and thousands of Jewish immigrants from Germany, Poland, USA, Russia, Ethopia ... The USA, Europe, Russia, South America, Australia ...refused to receive any of you even for HUMANITARIAN needs. This is a fact.
Before the war broke between Palestinians (Muslims and Christians) and Jews, you were living in a very peace in Haifa, Jafa, Lod, Ramleh, Jerusalem, Nazareth....This is also a fact that the Jewish historians mention with great honor.
Arab Muslims welcomed you always, they did not fight with you for at least the last 1000 years.
Arab Christians have never persecuted you or fought against you until recent years as part of the Palestinian, Lebanese, Egyptian, Syrian or Jordanian peoples. Arab Christians are Arabs and it its their right to fight so as to defend their Arab Countries. We fought against the French, the British, the Italians...We fought with our Arab Muslim blood brothers and sisters to defend our national rights and we will fight against any aggressor. Arab Christians have nothing to do with the Western Christianity who persecuted you.
In Europe, despite that your people were those who pioneers in different fields, scientific, inventions, music, art, economic, etc., you were persecuted in different periods. Those who are defending you today in Europe, or in USA (European descendants) they do it because they are feeling the guilt and not because they do love you.
2- We became your enemies, as Arabs, when you took our land, when you put us outside.
When you claimed that our lands, culture, history, food belongs to you.
When you said that we are primitive people, and when you said that our lands is "nomans land or an empty land, "Terra nullius".
When you said that you have the right to take our lands and build settlements everywhere anywhere. When you know that we belong to that land for thousands and thousands of years as people whose origin comes from the Cananites, Jebusites and Philistins.
When hundreds of thousands of our Palestinian people were evacuated, exiled, pushed , discriminated or escaped when you came to possess our lands. When you created the Palestinian REFUGEE PROBLEM.
When we tried, or our/ or your friends friends tried, to speak about the Arab and Palestinian rights to live a dignified and human life in their lands that you depossed them from in contravention of international law and placed it under Israeli control by annexation, often coercive or of questionable legality.
Palestinians has the Right to Resisit OCCUPATION. Israel is an occupation, it is said by the UN resolutions and International Law. And International Law gives any nation under Occupation to resist Occupation by all means.
I call for anonviolent resistance. All people under occupation resisted OCCUPATION and their resistance was loudable by the whole world. Resistance is not terrorism.
3- We Arab people, Semitic and sons of Abraham as much as you are, we are asking ourselves what did we do to you, on the recent history or on the past to be so despised by you, or what we did not do to you to be treated and deserve that you destroy our image all over the world, that deprive the future of our children and your children, our families and your families and our nations and your nation of comprehensive justice and peace.
4- Do you remember the Story of Samson in the Bible? His enemies tried by all means to kill in him everything. But they could not kill his SOUL, his SPIRIT, his WILL to return back, TO WIN, he even killed himself, but it was disastrous for others.
Do you remember the history of the brave place called Masada in Israel? The Jews preferred the death to surrender to the Romans, and by their BRAVE death they inspired their people for the future. They WON the war, and by that brave death, they multiplied. You use this place, till now, as a symbol of your wonderful heroes. In what way Masada was a victory? How Masada won? Because the Roman Empire with all its big army could not kill the SOUL of the Jews, their SPIRIT and their WILL to stay and come back one day.
Do you remember the Camps of Concentration of the Nazis? By the UNJUST and unjustified suffering and death of innocent people, the Jews eventually became stronger and unified. No Nazi could kill the Spirit, the SOUL and the WILL of the Jews. The Jews WON the battle and history. Till now the history speaks about HOLOCAUST and will speak and sympathize with you. The world will say with you: NEVER AGAIN. Do you know in what way the People in Auschwitz and other camps WON in the end? Because the suffering and the death did not and cannot and will never be able to kill the SOUL, the SPIRIT of people who were determined to live and survive.
Do you understand the GREAT LESSON of all these things, your history, for the present -- for the determination of the Palestinian people under oppression? That people will multiply and come back one day.
Your history is an example for all nations WORLDWIDE.
Isn't it also the history of the wonderful American Black people in USA, with Martin Luther king? Isn't it the history of the Apartheid in South Africa with Mandella and many other people who fought for their rights, dignity and identity and build their national countries or entities.
This history will be repeated for the Arabs: Iraqis, Syrians, Lebanese, Egyptians and especially for Palestinians, they shall overcome one day in spite of what those who do not read the history are doing to kill their soul, spirit and will.
What do you think, Dear friends, Israelis, Jews and their friends?
What do you think that Israel will eventually accomplish by confiscating the Palestinian lands and Arab lands, in building Jewish Settlements in the Arab quarters of Jerusalem, in demolition Palestinian houses and killing their activits, by controlling the Media and in telling the whole world that you are right and the Arabs are bad people, that every Palestinian is a terrorist?
Since the beginning of the Jewish immigration, the Jewish authorities were saying that Palestinians do not exist, Palestine have never existed, there were no Palestinian identity. Then in Oslo, Madrid and Washington, after more than fifty years, Palestinians were recognized partners of PEACE, people with full rights, a proud nation. They do exist, they do have a SOUL, a SPIRIT and a WILL to exist, and you will be unable to kill it.
Do you think that having the USA at your side now that you will have it for ever with you and it is sufficient for you to prevail?
Do you think really that by weapon and armies you can always control the weak people?
Do you think that in killing and jailing for years without a proper trial, and exiling Palestinians you can kill their soul and their will and destroy for ever their spirit and future as a people?
With great respect and love, listen to me Friends:
This people will multiply, as happened to you throughout the history; the history will speak about Palestinians and Arabs and will sympathize with (PALOCAUST) the Palestinian suffering, the war criminals will pay by the will of the International law one day or another.
Samson will return, and please, be friend to him before it is too late, he may do the same as he did thousand of years ago in your history... Already some people say that they are Samsons in offering themselves as suicide bombers. I do not agree with them, as I have never agreed with Samson. Samson killed innocent children, women and families and is regarded a GREAT BIBLICAL HERO.
We do fear with you, the weapons of mass destruction.
So, please, remember your history, it could repeat itself, but this time with another people...in an other time...and we do not want this...
The Palestinian people will live, will survive and will come back as you did.
The history is with those who have a will, a determinate will.
Time is not working for you and with you.
You cannot kill the will and spirit of a people, the will of a nation!
JUST REMEMBER THAT.
Nobody could kill yours Dear Jewish People and you came back, and you multiplied.
Just remember this, my friends.
Be friends to the Palestinians.
Give them their Lands and work for justice.
Treat them as human beings, you will then have peace and prosperity.
Stop killing them in different ways as you do ...
Samson will not stop growing his hair and come back to destroy himself and others with him.
We do not need any Samson, we need Abraham who was the Father of the Jews, Christians and Muslims to unite his children for a better life.
5-  There is a say in Arabic: When the soul of a whole nation YEARNS for survival, NATURE cannot but respond (and it Will respond)
DEAR ISRAELIS AND FRIENDS OF ISRAEL:
Help Israel to live and survive?
Only peace and justice can help Israel to live and survive.
Only if Israel and USA work for real justice and real peace in the Middle East region could help Israel to live and survive. In giving a blind eye on the injustices you are not helping Israel, the history tells you that, already I am sure your conscience is telling you that TRUTH.
The USA is working instead for violence and war, they are not helping Israel, they cannot be GOOD FRIENDS to Israel as well.
The veto will not help. On the contrary it is feeding with violence the SOUL, the SPIRIT and the WILL of those people who want to survive. In working against JUSTICE in the Middle East you are nourishing the souls and spirits of people with anger and violence.
You are creating thousands and thousand of SAMSONS, you are creating a new MASADA.
The best way is to help Israel to make Justice. The US money for weapons will not help the future of a people who have already suffert of violence paid with money.
 
6- Do you believe really that the Jews have the right over Palestine by the promise of God?
How could God, HaShem, Allah, the Creator of all prefer one people on another?
How God would give right to one people over one other peoples?
In god's eyes we are all his creatures, we are all equal, there is no difference in His Holy Eyes of love between Jew, Arab, American, European or any foreigner, we are all brothers and sister of the one God "who art in Heaven".
Please, read Genesis:1:27 "So, God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them". It did not say God created those people and the others not. We are all HIS Image of LOVE.
We should live all in front of God under the same law.
There are no differences, no preferences.
Otherwise, the friends of Israel themselves (Americans, Eurppenas ...) will find themselves strangers in front of the choices of the God of the Jews.
They will feel that they are creatures of second hand, or second Class. Do not put on God what human interests and injustices put.
7-You cannot kill the soul and spirit of a people. Try to make from them your FRIENDS not your ENEMIES.
The Arabs will be the neighbors of the Israelis for ever, Americans are not the neighbors of Israel, Europe is not your neighbor, they will not stay for ever friends of one only people. Time will tell you that this is what will happen one day or another.
8-Make JUSTICE do not make war, please, listen to the voice of your conscience and to the appeals of the HISTORY of nations. Any kind of violence is a kind of war.
And violence is not only killing one person but also depriving him of his fundamental rights. Stop all kinds of violence. Cultivate a culture of love, cooperation and sharing. Confiscating Palestinian lands, building settlements, demolishing their houses, jailing their youth...closing the roads to Jerusalem is VIOLENCE.
Please, just stop this and go back to the Bible and read, please Leviticus chapter 25 and ss.
9- Our Arab children and the Jews children are cousins, sons of the same Father, Abraham, they deserve to live in Peace.
Work for JUSTICE then, all what you are called to cultivate and work for is justice for all and for every single component of the society of the Middle East, Arabs and Israelis (Palestinians and Israelis in the Holy Land) Jews, Christians and Muslims, those five components should have the same rights duties and responsibilities, justice, security and equality for all.
And you will see a real future for you, for us, and the for the whole World. Work for JUSTICE before the history condemns you for ever.
Stop violence and cultivate a culture of love and equality of rights and duties for everybody. Nobody is better than anybody, we are all EQUALS.
10-Do not listen to the Chistian-Zionists who pretend in the name of the Bible that you have right on the Palestinian lands. Do not listen to them, they want you to go to Israel for only one reason to become one day Christians, they pretend that if you go to Israel the prophesies will be accomplished, and the Messiah will come and you will become all Christians. What kind of hypocrisy is that!
It is not even a respect to your religion, it is not even a respect to your future, it is not even a respect to your past as Jews.
Listen to the REAL Christians and Real Muslims that try to respect you and tell you that those things do not exist in the Bible and beg you to consider them your EQUALS.
Israel and Palestine should be two STATES with JERUSALEM as Capital.
The five components of the Holy Land society: Palestinians and Israelis, Jews, Christians and Muslims should have the same and equal rights and responsibilities.
Build a society of love and not of hatred and violence. You can never empty Palestine-Israel from Arab Muslims and Arab Christians, make from them your friends, you will be living for ever with them.
They do not deserve that you build hatred and violence. They did not persecute you in the past or made war with you before the existence of the State of Israel, and your claims that you do not want them to have their own State and Capital. Arab Muslims and Arab Christians are not your real enemies...do not listen to the lies of some people who are profiting economically and politically by saying that and creating a COLD WAR AGAINST ISLAM.
Just use your judgments. You cannot empty Palestine from Arab Muslims and Arab Christians who want to live a decent life and real future of peace and justice. YOU CANNOT KILL THE SOUL, THE SPIRIT AND THE WILL OF SAMSON. He will return one day...make from him your friends before he returns, it will be too late for him and for you then...
I will pray for you. May God, Allah, HaShem, the one Most Holy give you the wisdom to see clear the needed COMPREHENSIVE justice so as to find the way for peace and cooperation, and love.
With love and respect,
Fr. Labib Kobti,
An Arab-American Roman Catholic Priest

 



 

 

 

     
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