Only In Israel

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Who said the church hates Jews?

Among all the claims of the hostility of the Catholic church towards Jews, Ratzinger's troubling past, and Mel Gibson's movies everyone seems to ignore the behaviour of the Greek Orthodox Church in Israel.
This is a story with potentially explosive conclusions, which somehow no media outlet reporting dares to reach.
The Patriarch Irineos of Jerusalem was accused of *gasp* selling land to Jews. Which must be a horrible crime, otherwise there would be no reason that the leaders of the Greek Orthodox Church, converged to an emergency meeting in Istanbul and dismissed him from office.
ISTANBUL, Turkey — The world's Orthodox Christian leaders voted Tuesday to stop recognizing Jerusalem's patriarch because of his alleged involvement in a controversial land deal.
Senior clerics from Russia, Greece, Bulgaria and other Orthodox nations held the vote at a rare synod in Istanbul, their spiritual capital, after Patriarch Irineos I refused to step down after his dismissal by the Holy Land's Greek Orthodox Church leadership.
Now get this, what was Irineos defence? "I didn't sell that land to Jews".

A spokeswoman for Irineos said he would not step down. "The patriarch says that he is not going to resign, because he is not involved in any alleged leasing," said Libi Zipser.
Right. Because if he was involved in land leasing to Jews that would be such a bad thing that would demand him stepping down.
And amazingly, although this was covered in every major news magazine in the world, noone rises up to see the clear Antisemitic tone of this debate. A Patriarch forced to step down for dealing with Jews.
What did he sell to Jews, you ask? Holy Christian/Muslim land? Lands that would stop Muslims from getting to their Holy sites? no. Something much, much worse.
The properties - two hotels and some shops - are just inside the Jaffa Gate, on the north side of Omar Ibn al-Khattab Square.
Oh, the HORROR. Two hotels and a few shops owned by Jews. Imagine that. I wonder what's next? Are they going to kill him for speaking with Jews?


  • As I understood it: Most Orthodox Christians in the region are "Palestinians"...sensitive matter. Palestinians dont like Jews, thus Greek Orthodox Church will encounter problems whilst loaning out those grounds. Utterly stupid.

    By Blogger Brigant, at 12:06 AM, May 26, 2005  

  • That STILL doesn't explain why the Orthodox Church leaders felt it was important enough for them to hold an emergency meeting because the Patriarch sold two hotels and a few shops to jews.

    By Blogger OnlyInIsrael, at 1:10 AM, May 26, 2005  

  • It is far from accurate to say that all Greeks or all Greek Orthodox are antisemetic, but there is a string undertone of antisemitism throughout the Balkans. See here for some news articles. I live in America in a community with a number of Greek Orthodox. I have worked with them, eaten with them, and generally been on good terms. Many of them are racist in general, but don't single out jews, in particular. Especially the older generation. That is (unfortunately) actually not unusual for this area. Many, however, are not racist so far as I can tell. Some are downright friendly to Jews. From talking with my friend John, who is an American of Greek descent and who is married to a Greek Cypriot, the faith itself does not espose a negative stance on Jews, but it does absorb the antisemitism which exists within some Greek communities. He suggested that Serbian orthodox churches are probably as anti-muslim as they are anti-jew, while his wife's family in Cyprus had actually inter-married with local Jews.

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