Christian leaders play anti-Israel political games in Jerusalem

December 27, 2021 by J-Wire
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The Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem (Christian Leaders) request for urgent dialogue with “Israel, Palestine and Jordan” on protecting the Christian community in Jerusalem and the integrity of the Christian Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem – is an anti-Israel political ploy that should be rejected by Israel.

The requested dialogue is clearly against Israel’s national interest for the following reasons:

  • The Christian Leaders acknowledged that threats to Christians were not limited to Jerusalem only – but extended to Christians throughout the Holy Land:

Throughout the Holy Land Christians have become the target of frequent and sustained attacks by fringe radical groups. Since 2012 there have been countless incidents of physical and verbal assaults against priests and other clergy, attacks on Christian churches, with holy sites regularly vandalized and desecrated, and ongoing intimidation of local Christians who simply seek to worship freely and go about their daily lives. These tactics are being used by such radical groups in a systematic attempt to drive the Christian community out of Jerusalem and other parts of the Holy Land.”

  • Inviting “Palestine and Jordan” to participate in a dialogue solely on Jerusalem was a blatant attempt by these Christian Leaders to undermine Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem by replacing Israel as the sole Authority responsible for ensuring the security and safety of the Christian community in Jerusalem.


  • Israel’s Christian community actually grew by 1.4 percent in 2020 and now numbers some 182,000 people


Certainly, Israel should meet with these Christian Leaders to address and allay their concerns in relation to threats to the Christian community in Jerusalem.

However, these same Christian Leaders have not called for dialogues with “Palestine” and Jordan to deal with similar threats affecting their respective Christian communities. Failure to do so makes a mockery of these Christian Leaders expressed concerns for Christians living outside Jerusalem.

The Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem comprise:

His Beatitude Theophilos III

Patriarch of Jerusalem

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem


His Beatitude Patriarch Fuad Twal

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem

Latin Patriarchate


His Beatitude Patriarch Nourhan Manougian

Armenian Patriarch

Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem


His Grace Archbishop Dr Anba Abraham

Coptic Orthodox Archbishop

Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem & the Near East


Very Rev. Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa

Custos of the Holy Land 

Custody of the Holy Land


Bishop Munib A. Yunnan

Lutheran Bishop

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land


Bishop Suheil Dawani


Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East


His Grace Archbishop Abba Kwestos

Ethiopian Orthodox Archbishop

Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate



His Grace Archbishop Mar Swerios Malki Murad

Syrian Orthodox Archbishop

Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate


Archbishop Joseph – Jules Zerey

General Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem

Greek Melkite Catholic Church


His Eminence Msgr. George Chihan

Patriarchal Administrator

Maronite Archdiocese of Haifa and the Holy Land


His Grace Bishop Gregor Peter Malki

Syrian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate

Syrian Catholic Church


His Excellency Monsenieur Joseph Kallekelian

Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate

Armenian Catholic Church

 These venerable clergymen should surely be also focusing on threats to Christians and Christian property not only in the Holy Land – but throughout the Middle East. Yet these communities did not rate a mention in their statement .

Threats to Christians and Christian properties are also increasing in Europe and America.

All threats against Christians – wherever occurring – must be condemned and ended.

Playing anti-Israel political games in Jerusalem at the expense of safeguarding their communities’ security and safety there by working closely with Israel is a foolhardy decision by these Christian Leaders and also runs the risk of fuelling Christian anti-Jewish hatred in Jerusalem.

These Christian Leaders are on a hiding to nothing for their highly irresponsible action.

David Singer is a Sydney lawyer and a foundation member of the International Analysts Network

Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades.

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