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The "Illegal' Bishop of Jerusalem and the Christian EXODUS from the 'Holy' Land

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[Jerusalem] The Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, Reverend Suheil Dawani, has been forbidden to live in Jerusalem because his permit/visa was revoked by Israel's Interior Ministry.  


The Anglican Cathedral and Diocesan offices are located in East Jerusalem, which Israel has occupied since 1967. Israel annexed East Jerusalem and thus claims it as part of the Jewish state's national territory; but no other country in the world recognizes the annexation as legal.

The state of Israel views Bishop Dawani-and all the indigenous Palestinians of East Jerusalem and their descendants- as foreigners. The state of Israel allows them to "visit' occupied East Jerusalem only if they hold a special residence permit, which Israeli authorities may out rightly deny or might grant and then revoke without giving any reason at all.

The Bishop was born in the West Band city of Nablus, which has been under Israeli occupation since 1967 and he has spent most of his life and ministry there, but the state of Israel refuses his right to obtain citizenship or legal residence.

The state of Israel was founded contingent upon their upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which affirms, "Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state." Article 13.1

Because the Bishop seized that right he remains in Jerusalem without the permit, and he could be arrested for being in Israel illegally and sentenced to prison, or he might be forcibly removed.

Many bishops, clergy and other religious who serve in Jerusalem, come from other countries and Israel does not grant any of them citizenship or legal residence, but allows them to remain with visas that must be renewed every year or two and which can also be denied without reason, except for raisons d'etat which literally means reason of state; and the Jewish state can do as it pleases without giving any reason at all!

About 2,000 years ago, a Palestinian devout Jew named Jesus, rose up and challenged the job security of corrupt Temple authorities and got himself crucified for disturbing the status quo of the Roman Occupying Forces; for crucifixion was the Roman's method of capitol punishment and the way they rid themselves of agitators, dissidents, rebels and trouble makers.

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Fast-forward to 1947 through 2011: and in the land many call Holy, the Christian Exodus of the followers of Jesus have dwindled from 20% of the population in 1947 to less than 1.3% of the entire population today.

Researchers predict that unless things change very soon, Holy Land Churches will be nothing more than museums because there will be no Christian community in the land where Jesus promised it was the Peacemakers who are the children of God.

The reasons why the most well educated and consistently nonviolent members of Palestinian society are fleeing in droves are rooted in the 44 years of military occupation and its resultant lack of economic opportunities, daily humiliations at the over 600 check points that have fragmented the West Bank, Israel's Wall which divides Palestinians from their land, resources, families and holy sites and the increasing sense of hopelessness that fuels militant fundamentalism within all three branches of Father Abraham's offspring's.

In May of 2005, just prior to my first of seven journeys to Israel Palestine, I phoned Mother Agapia Stephanopolous, a Russian Orthodox nun and the administrator of the Orthodox School of Bethany in Jerusalem, to schedule an appointment for Spiritual Direction and to discuss our mutual feelings about The Wall.

Mother Agapia is the sister of ABC News commentator, George Stephanopolous, and I contacted her because she had passionately and bluntly informed Congress about the nine yards high wall of Israeli concrete that have "shattered" the Christian communities. Mother Agapia also stated:

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"Israel is destroying the local Christian community. It is only a matter of time before Christians and Muslims will be unable to survive culturally and economically. I witness the strangulation of East Jerusalem, and the deprivation of her non-Jewish residents' religious rights every day. Even the United States seems to have been taken in by Israeli spin."

As I hadn't been taken in by the spin and was determined to do something, three weeks after that trip, I established WeAreWideAwake.org as my Public Service to America dedicated to confronting a media and governments that shield the whole truth. My mission statement includes my aim to raise awareness about what life is like under military occupation in Palestine and to report on the Christian EXODUS from the Holy Land, from a Theologically Liberated Christian Anarchist POV. Since I established my site on 22 July 2005, over 5.1 million visitors have checked it out; the majority being Government and Military cyber drones who monitor me because I am an agitator, dissident, rebel and trouble maker.

On July 25, 2007, while in the little town of Bethlehem, which is Occupied Territory, I met with Reverend Dr. Mitri Raheb, who was born there and has been the Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas church in Bethlehem since 1988.

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Eileen Fleming,is a Citizen of CONSCIENCE for US House of Representatives 2012 Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org Staff Member of Salem-news.com, A Feature Correspondent for Arabisto.com Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu" (more...)

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