1) The Comments of Rev. Farwell
2) The answers from Palesine and Israel
1) DATE: JANUARY 11, 2001
FROM: JERRY FALWELL
Arafat's Terrorism Threatens Christians and Christian Sites ... Not
Just Israel: Beit Jalla is a small Christian Arab village on the
southern outskirts of Jerusalem. It sits across a handsome valley from
the Jewish suburb of Gilo. The Christian residents of Beit
Jalla and their Jewish neighbors in Gilo have been a model for Arab-Israeli cooperation ever since all of the Biblical land of Israel
was reunited under Israeli control in the Six Day War of 1967. For the first time in the ancient history of this small village, Beit
Jalla was booming. Commerce between the hard working Christians and their new partners in Israel brought a measure of wealth, opportunity and freedom these people had never had before. By the middle of the 1990's, Beit Jalla was one of the wealthiest Arab towns and the envy of Palestinians everywhere. It isn't anymore.
Today, Beit Jalla is in shambles. Most of its fancy homes have been destroyed. Its best people have been forced to flee, and its long cultivated commercial and cultural relations with Israel have been completely devastated.
What happened? Well, in a word, Yasir Arafat. Even if most of the world long ago decided to turn a deaf ear to it, everyone knows about the PLO terrorist leader's war against the Jews and Israel. But very few people know about his war against Christians and Christianity. In one of the most cynical ploys in Arafat's long and nefarious career, he has transformed Beit Jalla from a once peaceful and prosperous village into a nest of terrorist gangs whose sole purpose is to provoke a massacre of that town's Christians residents.
After he concluded that Bill Clinton's so called "peace process" had
given him all the unilateral Israeli concessions he could extract, Yasir
Arafat decided to throw off the ill fitting cloak of respectability and
return to the open terrorism at which he so excels. Using last September's
visit of Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon's visit to Jerusalem's
Temple Mount, the holiest site
in Judaism, as his pretext, Arafat launched his long planned war against Israel and the western values it represents.
That the Christian residents of Beit Jalla are among this war's foremost victims is anything but an accident. Rather it is an
integral part of Arafat's campaign to get the United Nations to send an international force to impose a solution to the conflict that Arafat was unable to win at the negotiating table. Because, as he likes to put it, "Palestinian blood is cheap," Arafat, as he has demonstrated time and again over his 40 year terrorist career, will gladly sacrifice even his people's own children if it can score him a point in the battle for world opinion.
Arafat knows that in order to persuade the international community to deploy a military force to fight the Israelis, he has to win the world's sympathy. To this end, he has shown himself all too willing to provoke the killing of hundreds of his own people, the younger the better. To encourage the death of still more children, the Palestinian Authority that Arafat controls and Bill Clinton has funded with American tax dollars, has been offering $2,000 to each family whose child becomes a "martyr for Jerusalem". Since virtually none of mostly pro-Palestinian journalists who have converged to cover Arafat's war understand the constant Arabic language appeals for "martyrs" on PLO radio and TV, almost no one knows that Yasir Arafat uses American money, and lots of it, to encourage parents to allow their children to be killed.
There has never been any military purpose of getting Palestinian children
to attack Israeli positions located on the far outskirts of
Palestinian towns with rocks, guns, and firebombs. Their only purpose has been to provoke besieged Israeli soldiers to shoot the Palestinian children who are assaulting for the benefit of television viewers.
Ever since he created the PLO in 1964, three years before there were
any "occupied territories", Yasir Arafat's greatest tactical
strength has been his ability to turn Israel's democratic institutions into Palestinian assets. His latest war is no exception. In its early days, the televised pictures of dead Palestinian children whipped the Islamic world into a frenzy against Israel and the west. While Arafat was also able to win great sympathy in Western Europe and from the liberal elite that controls the mainstream American press, he wasn't able to get United Nations to dispatch a force to fight Israel. Naturally, such a force would have to include at least some American troops.
Arafat thought that if he could find a way to market Israel as a "killer
of Christians" as effectively as he sold the lie that
Israelis were "killing children," Israel would find itself completely isolated. In such a climate, Israel would have no choice,
Arafat thought, but to agree to the establishment of a PLO state along the indefensible border of June 4, 1967. Arafat surmised that they would have no choice but to re-divide their capital city of Jerusalem, agree to let Arafat himself become custodian of all of Jerusalem's Christian Holy sites and even offer up their holy Temple Mount to Moslem control.
From this position, Arafat could use his 40,000 man terrorist army to
escalate his 37 year war to destroy what would surely be a
devastated and demoralized State of Israel. While it hasn't quite worked yet, it isn't for Arafat's lack of trying. His devilish
scheme has no shortage of victims. The most conspicuous being the innocent Christians of Beit Jalla. Almost every afternoon for the past three months, members of Yasir Arafat's heavily armed Muslim militia (illegal according to the Oslo Accords) storm into the town from territory they control and commandeer the homes closest to living rooms and kitchens of the Jewish neighborhood of Gilo. Most of the time, the terrorists refuse to let anyone already inside leave, preferring instead to take them hostage.
Soon thereafter, the gunmen start shooting their heavy machine guns into the exposed houses on Gilo's southern edge. Naturally, once the shooting starts, Israeli army sharpshooters calibrate their tracing equipment to hone in on the source of fire as exactly as they can to avoid civilian causalities and start to shoot back. The battle rages inconclusively until the militiamen run out of ammunition and go home.
To date at least, the PLO terrorists haven't been able to get any of
their Christian hostages killed by Israeli return fire. But almost
every Israeli I know, and I know a lot, think that as long as the government allows itself to be manipulated by Arafat, the greater
the likelihood that sooner or later, Arafat is going to get his"massacre." One day, one sharpshooter is going to miss. It is bound
to happen. Since almost everyone in Israel agrees that the Israeli army could permanently end the firing on Gilo and liberate the
Christians of Beit Jalla by simply retaking the town, many want to know why Prime Minister Ehud Barak continues to allow himself to be used as Arafat's pawn. That question, according to almost all the Israelis I met on my recent tour to Israel, can be answered in two words: Bill Clinton.
Barak, a decorated soldier, and by all accounts a very decent and honorable
man, is a political novice and no match for the wily
Clinton. Plus, he all but owes his job to Clinton, who, in an unprecedented interference in the domestic affairs of Israel, pulled
out all the stops, including sending James Carville and his cohorts to Israel, to get him elected in 1999. Clinton, these Israelis
believe, put the screws to Barak to refrain from doing anything that would upset Arafat and hurt Clinton's chances of cinching a peace deal and winning the Nobel Prize before he left office. Arafat knows that his terrorism is working. Never before in the glorious history of the state of Israel has the Jewish state ever appeared desperate in the eyes of its enemies. Today, sadly, many think that it does.
If the events of the past several months prove anything, it is that Yasir Arafat remains what he has always been; an insatiably
One can only hope and pray that the new American administration of President
George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney will see Arafat for what
he truly is and act to stand by Israel and to stand up for the besieged
2) The Answers:
a) JERRY FALWELL and his Support Circle
Do not represent the churches and the Christians in the Holy Land
Dear Friends, Brothers and Sisters,
I was very shocked to receive the news from the so-called famous preacher
Jerry Falwell and his “Falwell Confidential”, a weekly briefing for America's
pastors and Christian leaders who may use this publication without attribution.
This publication is made available, without charge, to the evangelical
pastors who are part of the "Friends of Jerry Falwell Support Circle."
What shocked me most were his thoughts about the Christians in the Holy
Land, particularly those living in Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Beit Sahour.
He pretended that the Palestinian Authority and President Arafat are persecuting
them and forcing them to leave the Holy Land.
First of all, this man and his group don’t represent us in the Holy Land at all. They are not authorised to speak in our name or on our behalf, since we can write ourselves and make our voices heard in the whole world if necessary. We have our ways and means to inform the world about our lives and we expect you to receive information from the true sources in Jerusalem, and not from a pastor in the States who is a pure Zionist more than he is a Christian. This man and his group had always supported Israel and the Zionists. His Church is called Christian-Zionist. What do you truly expect?
This man and his group do not represent the Arab Christians, in other words all those Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans… well over one and a half billion people across the world.
This man says what Israel wishes him to say, and with his friends at the Christian International Embassy in Jerusalem, they represent the Zionists and not the local Christians of the region.
I repeat here what I have always written: we don’t accept that these
people speak on our names! How can a few Zionist and uninvited American
Christians come here in order to preach Christianity in the "Cradle of
Christianity", and allege in the process that the Palestinian Authority
persecutes Christians? They are like "those selling water in the quarter
of the water carriers" or, as the Jerusalem proverb would have it, "like
those selling celery to the people of Silwan". This underlines their dubious
political aims, for they are American Christian Zionists, hiding behind
the Bible and trading in American dollars in order to sow discord in the
community, doubt in the faith, disintegration of the church and the dispersion
of the Christians. Thus we warn people against those visitors because they
are not from among us, "for whoever does not gather together, divides",
as Christ said.
This man and his group represent only one part of the evangelical wing of the Church, and have as many problems with the traditional Churches in the USA as they do with our own local churches here. Their theology, doctrines and political orientations are still steeped in the Old Testament, and they find little similarity with the larger numbers of Christian churches and grass roots that are supporting peace with justice here by seeking to assist the Palestinians in their struggle for independence and statehood.
We would like to highlight, once more, that the Arab Christian Community in the Palestinian Territories is an integral part of the Palestinian people. It suffers with it, rejoices with it, and shares with it the same hopes and aspirations. Therefore, the recent Israeli rumours about getting the town of Beit Jala involved in the recent clashes is not a coincidence, but aims to “divide and rule” among the one Palestinian people. I have repeatedly written about this principle of our existence in the Holy Land, and lately in my article “Arab Christians do not need Anyone’s Protection” in which I insisted and insist again today! These Christians are Palestinians, and their identity has been handed on from father to son. They are an indivisible part of this homeland, "citizens and believers" as is repeatedly upheld by the Patriarch Michel Sabbah. This means that they have the same rights and the same obligations, based on the principle: "Religion is unto God, and the homeland is unto all".
Indeed, they have proven their true worth and sense of belonging to this land and this society time and again over the past decades! They have participated in the revolution, in the uprising of 1987 and in the peace process. They participate today in the cultural and political life side by side with their Muslim brothers. From among them, there are those who led different Palestinian factions like George Habbash and Nayef Hawatmeh; there are those who were martyrs like Na’im Khadr and Hanna Mukbil; there are those who are diplomats like Afif Safieh; and there are those who are ministers and members of the Legislative Council like Mitri Abu Aita, Hanan Ashrawi and others. I believe that whoever plays on this sensitive religious chord in order to sow discord between the children of the one homeland is frankly deluded.
I finish by saying to all our friends, brothers and sisters all over the world, that we are here by the will of God himself for a very special mission which is to witness to Jesus Christ in His Homeland and we will remain here for ever until the end of the world.
As such, and since Merry Falwell has the readiness to advise us Christians on our own lives and destinies, I take the opportunity to advise him back with some simple truths! As a man of God, he should accept the truth when he hears it! We clearly and openly tell him:
To remain silent if he does not want to say the Truth
To remain silent if he does not want to support Justice.
Fr. Raed Abusahlia
Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
Fr. Raed Awad Abusahlia
P.O.Box 14152 Jerusalem 91141
Tel. 00 972 2 6282323/6272280
Fax 00 972 2 6271652
b) From: email@example.com (FR.ELIAS ODEH)
Dear Fr. Labib:
this is a copy from my letter sent to:
I hope that you will send it to many other friends and associations...
Dear Friends, Brothers and Sisters
With a very shocking matter I read Mr. Falwell preaching, I couldn't
the article my heart was aching of the miss information that Mr. Falwell
pass to his congregation, I did not expect who calls himself Christian to
come up with those lies with no shame.
I am a catholic priest in the Holy land for 30 years, we don't feel or live
those moments where we have such difficulties. Yes, we recognize there are
some extremist in every religion, Jews Christians and Moslems.
We ask God's forgiveness to Mr. Falwell. With my community we pray to all the
congregation where Mr. Falwell preach to open there mind and heart to know
were the truth stands.
Mr. Falwell try to portrait that Moslems are treating Christians badly, we
wonder how much Mr. Falwell have received to tell such a big lie to poison
his people mind hiding the true that our suffering Christian as Moslem alike
is from the Israeli occupation. How dare Mr. Falwell use our name and belief
to come up with such a tragic teaching, who authorize him to defend us? I
am ashamed of him and his teaching, and he calls himself Christian? He is
way far away from Christ and Christianity.
So please Mr. Falwell spare yourself embarrassment of what you call
You are addressing Yaser Arafat as terrorist. I wonder how your conscience
allow you to say so? We know that the U.S.A. government received him and
recognized him as a man of peace, and he received the Nobel price !!!!! You
say: "Yaser Arafat wasn't able to get the united Nations to dispatch a force
to fight Israel."
Israel oppose to that with the blessing of the U.S.A. veto. Why was the
Israeli afraid or try to hide the terror act against the Palestinians?
I would like to know if Mr. Sharon visited the Holy Site to pay homage, why
would he accompany thousands of soldiers with him???
The protest will go on and on ...
We urge the congregation to try to search and find the truth...
Here is a personal experience that happened with us last week. exactly on
Tuesday the ninth: Bishop Marcuzzo, Bishop of Nazareth and Israel, his
assistant Fr. Elie Kurzum, myself Fr. Elias Odeh my sister Angela, we were
going to visit one of our parishes in the West Bank with a car that carries
the Vatican flag and diplomatic license plate as we approached a military
camp three soldiers jumped pointing their guns at our car shouting: Stop. We
stopped: GO BACK and they shot the first bullet and a second and a third
without asking any question. They terrorized us we were almost killed. What
do you call this Mr. Falwell ???????????
May God open your mind and heart to the truth and enough courage to tell
Fr. Elias M. ODEH
1) Jerry Falwell is a well known racist and a financially corrupt Rev.
He supported South Africa's Apartheid, opposed Nelson Mandella, insulted
the great black South African leader/Rev. Desmond Tutu, and has never
been able to hide his hatred for Arabs and Muslims. So what does one expect
from a man like him?
2) I am well acquainted with this man. In his book, the Fundamentalist
Phenomenon, he says that God deals with nations in
accordance with the way nations deal with Israel!!! He also refused
to condemn the massacres of Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps, and also
the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre.
3) Christian Zionists believe that, without the State of Israel, they
will have no salvation. The CZ's (aka crazies) believe they
must get the Jews to Israel and give them "their promised land" or they
(the Christians) will not be saved. No matter what Jews do, these
people believe they must protect them. Then, when the world is about
to end, which they believe will be soon, there will appear an anti-Christ
who Rev. Falwell says, as do the others, will be a Jew. (This doesn't
make Jews very happy.) And this Jew, I believe, will bring about
a war resulting in the destruction of the world.
Those Jews who are converted to Christianity will be saved; the others will be damned for eternity.
All this is referred to as Armageddon.