Give Israel Your Unconditional Support… and this is what you’re supporting

Click on image below:

Posted in Bethlehem area, Occupied Territories, Palestinians, Racism, The Occupation, U.S. Foreign Policy, West Bank | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

VIDEO | Recent Discoveries, Enhancements at the Herodium

A recent report from the Franciscans, via their Christian Media Center, highlights recent developments at the Herodium, the mountaintop palace-fortress of Herod the Great that dominates the landscape of the Judean Desert east of Bethlehem.

New aspects of the site and its interpretation (new to me, anyway) include:

  • Partial restoration of the small theater discovered several years ago on the north slope of the mountain.
  • An elaborate, hi-tech interpretive installation — apparently focusing on Herod’s thoroughly Roman sensibilities — in what they are now calling the “Royal Hall”, which seemingly served as a sort of VIP box above the theater.
  • Restoration of the “Royal Corridor”, which seems to have been turned into — just as in antiquity — the main access to the palace itself, via a monumental staircase between tall retaining walls supported by perfectly intact arches.
  • A wine-press (not yet open to the public), presumably where Herod’s “house label” was produced…

To view the 5-minute video, follow the link…,-the-mausoleum-of-hero

Posted in Antiquities, Archaeology, Bethlehem area, Herod the Great, Herodium, Roman Period, VIDEOS, West Bank | Leave a comment

PHOTOS | Surprising Finds Exposed on Franciscans’ Gethsemane Property

Across the busy street running in front of the Church of All Nations, a popular pilgrim site (in normal times, that is), a recent salvage excavation is providing yet another window into Jerusalem’s past. Not surprising, really, in a city where one can hardly turn a spadeful of earth without uncovering something of antiquity!

Continue reading
Posted in Antiquities, Archaeology, JERUSALEM, Jerusalem Antiquities, Jerusalem Places, New Testament, PHOTOS | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

VIDEO | “Who Is My Neighbor?” — How Compassion Plays Out in the Land of the Bible

Crises like the coronavirus pandemic tend to lay bare the fault-lines within human societies — sometimes fractures normally hidden just beneath the surface but just as often gaping chasms that should have been unmistakable to anyone paying attention. It’s certainly proven so in America, and is no less true in Israel-Palestine.

This post points to an important story, published online just today. But the title is all mine, referring obviously to Jesus’ parable in Luke 10. If it sounds a bit snarky, it’s intended to spur thought about the modern nation-state of Israel — and whether that entity actually possesses the kinds of values and intentions that so many observers like to ascribe to it.

Here is a discussion with Ramallah-based physician and Palestinian Parliament member Dr. Mustafa Barghouti (12 minutes), conducted by the alternative news outlet Democracy Now! It’s worth a watch (even if you find the message — reminders, really — unsettling)…

UPDATE / 03 FEB 2021

UPDATE / 04 FEB 2021

In Gaza, Pandemic Forces Tough Choices And Health Care System Hangs By A Thread

Posted in Gaza, Israel-Palestine Scene, Occupied Territories, Palestinians, VIDEOS, West Bank | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

MUSIC & VIDEO | I don’t know how they did this, but I’m glad they did…

The location is the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona, Spain. The artistic team includes the Barcelona Ars Nova and the Orchestra Barroca Catalana… plus some 350 vocalists (they say), all pulled together virtually/digitally into one seamless and uplifting (and, to me, mystifying) performance. And the music: G.F. Handel’s timeless “Hallelujah Chorus”.

If your holiday observances have left room for one more dose of joy, hope and wonder, give this a try

Posted in Christmas, music, VIDEOS | Leave a comment

UPDATED | Global gang, led by [the usual suspects] have their knees on the neck of international human rights law.

It. Can’t. Breathe…

UPDATE / FEB. 2021

The international Criminal Court (ICC) has ruled that it has jurisdiction over the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip — territories under Israeli occupation since 1967. This opens the path for the ICC to launch formal investigations against Israel and against Hamas for alleged war crimes. MORE…


Trump’s War on the Rule of Law: A warning from the last surviving Nuremburg prosecutor.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

MUSIC & VIDEO | Horatio’s Hymn Revisited, Part 2: A COVID Lockdown Special

“It Is Well” versus the Coronavirus and economic meltdown — It’s no contest!

Horatio Spafford_Krikorian_0001

Horatio Gates Spafford. Photo by Krikorian Studios, Jerusalem, 1880s. (Source: U.S. Library of Congress)

This started out as an extension of my previous contribution on this topic — the amazingly popular hymn “It Is Well With My Soul”, by Horatio Spafford — a post which had simply grown and grown, with multiple updates, since I first published it several years ago. Instead, I decided this installment warranted a spot of its own.

In this Spring of 2020, the dreadful COVID-19 global pandemic has given rise to a whole new crop of postings to YouTube (and other online platforms, I’m sure) offering clever and touching versions of this timeless, comforting hymn. It’s a new genre, really, that goes well beyond the balm conveyed by the song itself, as a response to despair and an expression of grounded, forward-looking faith. What’s striking, not to mention poignant, about many of these new renditions is the way they elevate the power of human connectedness — by transcending the constraints of physical isolation and shelter-in-place imperatives.

How all these folks produced what they did, technically, I know not– nor do I need to. (And, I grudgingly concede that, at least at such critical junctures, “social media” can maybe be as much blessing as bane.) In any event, I simply present their efforts as little treasures encountered in cyberspace, as a celebration of the enduring power of Horatio’s Hymn itself — and a bit of respite from the scary, uncharted waters we all find ourselves sailing upon… Continue reading

Posted in American Colony, AUDIO, Easter, Religion, VIDEOS | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment