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January 1, 2017 12:58 pm

Report: East Jerusalem Christmas Tree Decorated With Photos of Palestinian ‘Martyrs’ Killed While Attempting to Murder Jews Attracts Enthusiastic Visitors, Including Greek Orthodox Archbishop

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Atallah Hanna (center), with other visitors to the 'martyrs' Christmas tree in east Jerusalem. Photo: Channel 2/Screenshot.

Atallah Hanna (center), with other visitors to the ‘martyrs’ Christmas tree in east Jerusalem. Photo: Channel 2/Screenshot.

A Christmas tree in east Jerusalem decorated with photos of Arab “martyrs” killed while committing terrorist attacks against Jews has been attracting prominent Arab Muslims and Christians, Israel’s Channel 2 reported on Sunday.

According to the report, one such member of the Christian community was Theodosios, the Archbishop of Sebastia from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, who told passersby about the importance of the Palestinian people’s struggle for their land and holy sites.

The tree, declared Theodosios – known more commonly in the West as Atallah Hanna — constitutes a “Christmas message” from “the heart of Palestine” — that “we are one nation defending one issue…standing firm and remaining in the holy land.”

Other people who stopped by to gaze at the tree — which resembles a similar evergreen erected last year on the campus of nearby Al-Quds University – were even more outspoken in their praise for terrorists, according to Channel 2. Some went as far as to laud those who died during the “Al-Quds Intifada,” a reference to the surge in Palestinian terrorism, which began in September 2015 and has been characterized by stabbings, car-rammings and other acts of violence against Israelis.

In a video obtained by Channel 2, Israeli Border Police are seen arriving at the tree late at night and removing pictures of the “martyrs” hanging from its branches.

Maor Tzemach, Chairman of the organization Lach Yerushalayim (“To Thee, Jerusalem”), which seeks to assert Jewish control over the capital, told the news outlet that removing the photos does not solve the greater issue of weakening Israeli sovereignty. He also railed against the archbishop – the second Palestinian in the history of the diocese to hold his position.

“This is not the first time that Atallah Hanna has taken a side in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and has incited against the state of Israel,” Tzemach said. “He collects money for the families of terrorists in Jerusalem and glorifies the terrorists themselves at every opportunity. It is sad to see a religious leader… taking part in incitement…, rather than serving as a source of unity and moderation. I call on the authorities to take legal action against him.”

Atallah Hanna has gained notoriety in Israel for years of subversive activism. Before being ordained Archbishop in 2005, he was arrested and interrogated on a number of occasions for being under “suspicion of relations with terrorist organizations” and “illegally entering” the “enemy countries” of Syria and Lebanon.

In his annual Christmas message ahead of the holiday — which he delivered from the courtyard of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem (ICEJ) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “I’m proud of the fact that in Israel, this is the one place in the Middle East that the Christian community not only survives but thrives and it’s no accident. It’s because of our commitment to religious freedom; it’s because of our embrace of our heritage; it’s because of our embrace of our common future.”

ICEJ Executive Director Dr. Jürgen Bühler echoed Netanyahu’s words.

“This indeed is a season when both communities can celebrate the triumph of light over darkness. And this timely display of solidarity shows once more that Israel is a country where religious freedoms are not only safeguarded but even encouraged,” he said.

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  • LindaRivera

    The EVIL Archbishop is filled with Great Darkness and Terrible Evil. He’s consumed with Hate for our Precious Creator. He Hates the Ten Commandments – You Shall Not Murder.

    He spits on Jesus Christ who said, Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Matthew 5).

  • David Hersch

    Apart from it being disgusting, it is par for the course, in their case coarse, with the so-called Palestinians and the Archbishop is pandering to his market. The Jews hold no interest for him and neither do the Muslims, but his “customers” and adherents live amongst the Arabs.

  • Pearl Belkowitz

    An antisemite is an antisemite. Doesn’t matter what clothes he wears or position he holds. Sadly this archbishop is sending the wrong message, or maybe the right message for The murdering Palestinians!
    He should go live with them, and NOT in Jerusalem!

  • howiej

    Let the Archbishop travel to all of the neighboring Arab and Muslim nations and set up Christmas trees.

  • Cornville

    The State of Israel needs to cleanse the land of thee vermin once and for all. There is a home for these Arabs who call themselves the make believe name of Palestinians, and that is Jordan. Israel should give every citizen the right to join Israel proper and swear allegiance to the State of Israel, or leave and go to Jordan. No other option remains.

  • Jeffrey Todd Schwartz

    In the spirit of Hanukkah Israel should expel Atallah Hanna and every other moron like him that supports terrorism.

  • Anders Breitholtz

    As I understand it, had these “martyrs” not been killed but survived after having killed Jews, they would have been regarded as murderers and brought to justice. It’s strange and terrible that the “Christians” mentioned here don’t see that these Arab killers are not at all what is regarded as martyrs in the Christians tradition.

  • alRassooli

    The HATRED towards Israel and Jews exhibited by Greek Orthodox ‘christians’ in the Holy Land and among the Arab states in general is beyond comprehension and beneath contempt

    The foremost Arab nationalist were Christian who were later supplanted by Muslims

    Atallah Hanna has been siding (like most ‘Christians’ in the Middle East) with the very Muslims who are literally EXTERMINATING Christians and Christianity from Arab and Muslim lands.

    It is obvious that these ‘christians’ HATE Israel and Jews MORE than they FEAR Muslims

    Can any of you readers explain such a warped mind set?

    IQ al Rassooli
    Kafir & Proud!

  • henrytobias

    But it’s the settlements which are the obstacle to peace, not the terror!

  • Bruce Gardner

    Such blasphemous abuses render the perpetrator liable to contempt, either for cravenly caving in to the powers of this world or for blatant partiality. In no way does it reflect a true Christian stance. It is something that stains the history of institutional Christianity and is a failure of public witness.

    The irony in this is that the Greek for ‘witness’ is marturia. A martyr is not someone who dies while trying to harm others but one who shows the practical compassion of Christ, the Prince of Peace. It was only because, in times of persecution, people who did this died in their innocence, that the term was applied to people dying for their faith. Only later was it hijacked for malicious purposes.

  • Ariette Singer

    It is flabbergasting that a ‘man of God’, who is an Archbishop, would be so misguided in his beliefs – supporting the wrong side of the conflict. sadly, it is not a novelty that people in the Church have supported the wrong and highly immoral people. How is it that they fall for blatant propagandas? It only shows that these people do not have high moral standards themselves, and utterly lack the ability to see clearly and get the truthful facts of the conflict. They are not interested to investigate the historical cause of the conflict. The Archbishop supports HATE and DESTRUCTION. He spreads Palestinian propaganda. This is hardly objective behavior from a ‘man of God’. He behaves more like a paid activist. Such actions are utterly immoral. The Catholic church has its own shameful memory of supporting Hitler during the WW2. The Orthodox Greek church who has raised this ‘religious terrorist activist’ should hang its head in shame. If this Archbishop has attained his high position despite his suspected ties to terrorism and anti-Israel activity, he should be regarded as the enemy of the Israeli people’. He should be thrown into jail – for his unacceptable criminal incitement activities, which will lead to more terror. It is flabbergasting that a man of religion would get involved in politics and take the wrong side, due to his ignorance and gullibility – to believe in the blatant lies obviously due to the successful Palestinian propaganda machine. He devotes his life to creating more damage by spreading more Palestinian lies.s – RELIGION AND POLITICS SHOULD NOT MIX.

  • abbygal64

    Evil, Palestine was never a state you morons, this is so evil and outrageous it makes me sick. Any Christian who delights in this should not be considered Christian including that Archbishop pig.

  • Guest

    The people who have appointed Atallah Hanna should require him to stop or his evil pronouncements will be attributed to them. He belongs with the Palestinians, not the Greek Orthodox, although I do not think the Palestinians will welcome this Christian to their midst. Among them, perhaps he will learn, as victim, all about their violent ways.

  • marlene

    THIS is the church, and the people, who will NOT be saved! They represent the apostasy of those who will ‘fall away.’

  • Lancelot Blackeburne

    Palestinian Christians seem to have absorbed and accepted the dhimmi status that Islam proclaims for them in Sura 9 of the Koran.

    A form of Stockholm Syndrome perhaps?

  • HowardImmanuelson

    Why hasn’t this archbishop been ejected from Israel? He has no inherent right to be there.

  • Mike J. Hrivnak

    This man is NOT a Christian

  • Disgrace!

  • heb macman

    Theodosios (a.k.a. Atallah Hanna) is being a typical Greek Orthodox Dhimmi… Antisemitic to the core all the while in (vain) hope that when the time comes HE & HIS will be spared when the Islamists come around…

  • Phil Lesh Fan

    Atallah Hanna – wouldn’t it be something if a “malfunction” occurred in the water and electricity supplies to your home and your church? “Malfunctions” can sometimes take a long time to locate and correct.

    And somewhere in the teachings of Islam it must be sacrilegious to adorn a Christmas tree with pictures of Muslims,even if the pictures are of dead Islamic terrorist Muslims.