“It’s really 19th century behavior in the 21st century. You just don’t invade another country on phony pretexts in order to assert your interests.” -John Kerry, “Meet the Press”, 2nd March 2014.
There has been a searing irony to Christmas since August 1990 and the decimating embargo on Iraq. It marked the beginning of the destruction of the region where the three Abrahamic religions were born at Ur in southern Iraq, where the Garden of Eden is believed to have flourished at Al-Qurnah, translation “connection” or “joint”, since it is where the Biblical Tigris and Euphrates rivers join.
In Al-Qurnah an ancient jujube tree – a fruit species (image right), cultivation of which is believed to go back to 900 BCE – was celebrated as the actual Biblical Tree of Knowledge.
Nearby is Babylon, found in the Books of Genesis, Peter and Revelations.
Neighbouring Syria, is also part of the “Cradle of Civilization”, integral to Biblical narrative.
Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount (Mount Hermon) which according to the Book of Matthew included:
“Syria, you are the cradle of the prophets and apostles and the center that spreads the gospel from Antioch in Syria to the world, and paved the way of the Forefathers of the Church to continue.”
St Paul of course converted on the road to Damascus – where he was actually headed to persecute Christians not to become one of them.
Geographically next door to Syria is what remains of Israeli occupied Palestine, Christ’s birthplace in Bethlehem, where, at what is now the Church of the Nativity (image left), He was believed born.
Above are just a few of the jewels of a region now decimated by that created by George W. Bush’s and Tony Blair’s “Crusade,” not to mention Obama and Cameron’s “humanitarian bombings” of the Land of two Rivers.
Ur was vandalized by the US army, who arrived with Bibles in vast stocks, missionaries and plans for proselytizing those who had nurtured and stewarded the region’s wonders of all religions for centuries.
Al-Qurna was stormed and devastatingly damaged by British, Lithuanian and Danish troops, the Tree of Knowledge whose legend and life seemingly spanned the mists of time, died, near certainly from the poisonous pollution of battle, more poisonous even than that which destroyed over half all fauna and flora after the Desert Storm 1991 onslaught, leaving the soil dead and infertile for years afterwards.
Syria’s tragedy in the ongoing Crusade, determination to redraw the map of the Middle East and steal all natural resources rather than purchase them, is outside the scope of this article.
However, Mount Hermon is now part of the buffer zone between Syria and Israeli occupied territory and the highest permanently manned United Nations position on earth. “Jesus wept” comes to mind.
As for Bethlehem’s “Little Town” so central during the Christmas period, it is prisoner to a wall eight meters high, which:
“snakes through and around Bethlehem, disrupting social, religious, cultural and economic life.” (1)
The brilliant political artist Banksy’s Christmas card show’s Joseph, with Mary on a donkey, on their way to Bethlehem for Christ’s birth – only to be blocked by the wall. (image below)
At Al Quds University last week, the most poignant of Christmas trees was unveiled to “Absent Friends”, attended by the Mufti of Bethlehem, Sheikh Abdul Majid Amarna, University’s President, Imad Abu Kishk and Greek Orthodox Archbishop Atallah Hanna. The tree was decorated with photographs of those killed by Israeli settlers and Israeli security forces (demonstrating) unity between Christian and Muslim students. It received predictable criticism from Israeli media. (2)
The tree is a microcosm of the unity to be found across the region and the world between all faiths and none. So where did this rabid Islamophobia, as demonstrated in swathes of mainstream Western media and by politicians suddenly come from?
It came primarily from a forty-two million dollar fund from seven foundations (3) read and all will become crystal clear. Some excellent links also to be found at (4) and the CIA’s input (5.)
However, it was the Orthodox Church of the Holy Land which first spotted the dangers of a creeping hate campaign, responding on 31st March 2003, as the bombs fell on Iraq, by excommunicating Tony Blair, his then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, George W. Bush and his Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, from the Church of the Nativity, for life. (6)
Blair, Straw and Bush all declare passionate Christian faith, with Bush and Blair stating they “prayed together” prior to illegally decimating Abraham’s birth country.
“A spokesman of the Orthodox Church in the Holy Land, Archimandrite Attallah Hanna declared that U.S. President George Bush, his Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Tony Blair and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw have all been banned from visiting the traditional birth place of Christ in Bethlehem.”
Hanna described both Bush and Blair as “excommunicates.” (7)
David Cameron has also expressed an “evangelical passion” for Christianity as he plots to further destroy Syria. With any luck he’ll be the next to be banned.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently said: “The world is over-armed and peace is under funded.”
Seasons Greetings – and may we pray and work that never again may a Christmas tree have to be decorated with victims killed in our name …