Bethlehem Mayor :Netanyahu’s remarks on Christians an attempt to absolve the Occupation crimes

“The Mayor of Bethlehem said :” If Netanyahu was concerned about the situation of Palestinian Christians, particularly in the Bethlehem Area, he would return the 22,000 dunums of Bethlehem land illegally annexed to Israel for expansion of colonial settlements. He would dismantle the annexation wall that divides Bethlehem from Jerusalem for the first time in 2000 years of Christianity and would stop imposing restrictions to Palestinian movement, including the thousands of Palestinian Christians living in exile and whose return is impossible due to the Israeli control over the Palestinian population registry.”

Bethlehem/PNN/ Monjed Jadou

Bethlehem Mayor Anton Salman said today Monday in a statement distributed to the press that Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu comments on Bethlehem and the situation of Palestinian Christians is an Israeli attempt to absolve the Occupation crimes against Christianity and Christians in the Holy Land.

Salman added in his statement :” Yesterday’s statement made by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is another Israeli attempt at distorting the reality of the Israeli occupation and particularly the effects that Israeli policies have had on the Palestinian Christian community since 1948″.

The Mayor of Bethlehem said :” If  Netanyahu was concerned about the situation of Palestinian Christians, particularly in the Bethlehem Area, he would return the 22,000 dunums of Bethlehem land illegally annexed to Israel for expansion of colonial settlements. He would dismantle the annexation wall that divides Bethlehem from Jerusalem for the first time in 2000 years of Christianity and would stop imposing restrictions to Palestinian movement, including the thousands of Palestinian Christians living in exile and whose return is impossible due to the Israeli control over the Palestinian population registry.

For example, in Jordan alone, a few kilometers away, there are at least 20,000 Palestinian Christians from the Bethlehem area that are denied family unification and even cannot enter the city, not even to celebrate Christmas, due to the Israeli military restrictions the Mayor of Bthlehem said .

We would like to remind Netanyahu that it was himself who supported the building of one of the most damaging colonial-settlements that surround Bethlehem, Jabal Abu Ghneim (Har Homa), and that in 2015 he declared that by doing so he is preventing the connection between Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

There are over 100,000 Israeli settlers surrounding Bethlehem from all its sides, reducing the area of Palestinian control over Bethlehem to less than 13% of the district, and making it impossible to plan for the future of our city. Furthermore, it was Mr. Netanyahu who voiced objection to declaring The Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage route as a World Heritage site and his policies of harassment were behind the decision of the Churches to close the Church of the Holy Sepulcher for three days in Jerusalem in objection to Church taxation policy.

The Mayor of Bethlehem also added that  Netanyahu comment was also full of historical inaccuracies It is shameful that while calling himself a “protector of Christianity”, he would use Christians as a tool for his Islamophobic talking points. The decrease in the percentage of Christians in Bethlehem, as well as in the rest of Palestine, was provoked with the Nakba of 1948 and ongoing due to Israel’s colonial plans and policies that started in 1967. This was also the case in West Jerusalem, from where a large Palestinian Christian community was expelled by Israel from Ein Karem, Talbiya, Qatamon, and other places. From 31,000 Christians in 1948, Jerusalem only has around 12,000 Christians today.

Salman advise Netanyahu to stop using Christians as a tool to pinkwash the occupation. The best he could do for a future of peace and coexistence, where the Christian community would thrive again, is to respect his obligations under International Law, including Security Council resolutions 478 on Jerusalem and 2334 on settlements, dismantling illegal colonial-settlements and the annexation Wall surrounding Bethlehem, including in the Cremisan Valley, fully end the occupation of Palestine and allow for the return of our people to their city. It is not the Palestinian government that prevents their return Mr. Netanyahu: It is your government.

Netanyahu call upon the heads of the churches in Jerusalem as well as to the Holy See to raise their voices against the use of religion for political purposes. It cannot be tolerated anymore that the Bible is used wrongfully in order to justify crimes and violations that go against the teachings of values spread by Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hungary′s homeless ban: When poverty becomes a crime | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 15.10.2018 Governing from fear and ignorance.

An estimated 30,000 homeless people live in Hungary, most of them in Budapest. According to the government, shelters have room for 19,000 people, while civil society groups that look after the homeless say there is only room for around 11,000 people. Space is tight in many shelters, the homeless sleep in large dormitories and the social work is inadequate, they say. As a result, many homeless people often prefer to live on the streets. Critics say the Orban government’s handling of the homeless situation is unprofessional and amateurish. According to Gabor Ivanyi, a well-known Methodist priest who has been running a homeless association and a shelter in Budapest for many years, the new law is akin to the health care system banning people from falling ill.

Source: Hungary′s homeless ban: When poverty becomes a crime | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 15.10.2018

DHS secretary Kirstjen Nielsen panics under questioning from Kamala Harris: We do not ‘detain’ children, we ‘care for them’

DHS secretary Kirstjen Nielsen panics under questioning from Kamala Harris: We do not ‘detain’ children, we ‘care for them’:

justinspoliticalcorner:

David Edwards at The Raw Story: 

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Wednesday insisted that her agency does not illegally “detain” immigrant and refugee children, but she said it does “care for them” in facilities where they are not allowed to leave.

At a Senate hearing on Thursday, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) suggested that DHS had violated federal statutes by detaining children longer than is legally allowed.

“You [testified] that your agency does not detain children,” Harris noted. “However, it appears that there is some conflict between your understanding and what the [Inspector General] reported in September of 2018.”

“There was a finding that [Customs and Border Patrol] held children for an extended period of time in facilities solely for short-term detention,” the senator continued, “despite assertions from you that children were being transferred to [Health and Human Services] within 72 hours as is statutorily required.”

Harris said that in several cases children were held in CBP custody for at least 25 days.

“How do you reconcile the testimony you’ve provided this committee with the report from the IG?” Harris asked.

Nielsen argued that housing children for dozens of days is not the same as detaining them.

“What you’re talking about is an unaccompanied child,” Nielsen opined.

“But, Secretary, I just have a minute left,” Harris interrupted. “You testified that you don’t detain children. The IG report indicates that CBP — I’m not finished — the IG report indicates that CBP has detained children. And not only has CBP detained children, they have detained them for longer than is statutorily allowed.”

“How do you reconcile the IG report with your testimony this morning?” Harris pressed.

“We do not detain children,” Nielsen insisted. “What we do is, when we apprehend them at a border patrol station, we process them. And as soon as there is room in an HHS facility, we transfer them.”

“So does the processing involve detention?” Harris wondered.

“It’s not a detention facility!” Nielsen exclaimed.

“Do they stay in CPB custody? Do they spend the night there?” the California senator tried again, appearing annoyed.

“We are not able to, under the law, put them anywhere else,” Nielsen replied. “So, we will care for them until bed space opens at a detention facility at HHS.”

“In other words, you do detain children,” Harris remarked.

“In other words, we do not have enough detention facilities at HHS because 10,000 children were sent here unaccompanied and their parents chose to do that,” Nielsen insisted.

Earth to DHS Secretary Kristjen Nielsen: you and your employers DID detain children in internment camps!