Bethlehem January 25, 2015
Peace and all good.
I start with a sad message. Last Sunday the mother of Jack, 84 years old, passed quite unexpectedly away.
When she wanted to descend the stairs to the front door, she stepped wrong and fell off the stairs down. It came awkwardly. Her sight was limited. The ambulance was called. She was rushed to the hospital. But soon became clear that she had not long to live. Monday afternoon she was buried from our church. May se rest in peace, reunited with her husband.
Those were hectic days for the family, because then there was until Wednesday opportunity to condole the family. It was also served black coffee. This is the habit here. From Jack his work in Jerusalem there came were three vans for 21 people each.
Thursday Jack came to me to tell his story. He knows that I can listen quietly. There he made good use of.
Tuesday I got visit of the presidents of the 1st and 2nd of the VVD parliamentary group and a member of the board of this party, who wanted to visit the Nativity Church. The visit went enjoyable. I told them from the starting point of my group of observers of UCP, from October 2001 to January 2002, which is not impartiality (then you do not do anything and do not make dirty hands), but sided bias: standing on the side of the people, affected by the violence. It made an impression on them. It’s a lot more action, non-optional setup. Maybe I see them next summer yet.
Last week I also got a few steps again with the search for my health. It is complicated because of three factors: diabetes, the veins in my legs and small infarctions in my brains, in particular last September and October. These three are interrelated and influence each other.
Yesterday I went to Hebron with my neurologist to look at the veins in my legs. Especially my right leg demands attention. It is remarkable, that more than 35 years ago I had the feeling that my right leg is weaker than my left leg.
Presumably, no operation is needed and is the placement of a sten or work with a balloon sufficient.
The nice thing about my visit to a hospital in Hebron was, I had contact with local people and with a few employees of the hospital. With a woman I got the feeling that she as Muslim feels put clamp by the events in Paris. It was a pleasant conversation and was at one point she asked me if I was Moslem. She obviously didn’t see my crosses around my neck.
A few times a young employee of the laboratory joined us. Young people obviously need encouragement.
I got the week a compliment. After someone didn’t come, my reaction was that maybe he was busy. Here in the Palestinian culture is immediately negative thought, if that person does not like me.
I have had several visits, especially the sisters Raida and Shorouq, their brother Yihya and their nieces Amal, Rotaj and Razal. I was distressed to see how sadly Amal was sitting. She knows very well the problems of her father to meet the ends.
Meanwhile, the second Japanese hostage has been beheaded. This dumps our world deeper into a crisis, because the cry for vengeance will increase and how will Japan react?
The crisis also increases after the elections in Greece and the emergence of a similar movement in Spain. And what about the movement in Germany, which opposes a steadily growing influence of Islam?
All these developments makes it difficult to think critically about the causes of these crises. Is there anything that connects people with each other or is the differences between people an argument to divide people into us and them, good and bad guys? That temptation is great, but does not help. A major problem is that people may think very differently, without recognizing that. It is extremely difficult to come together.
I add three attachments to this letter. One is a commentary on a new film, ‘American Sniper’. The film seems to be about an aspect of the Christian culture, but be warned explicitly. There are other Christians.
The second attachment is based on a critical Israeli and the third is by Uri Avnery of the Israeli attack note a small convoy on the Golan Heights. Meanwhile, Hezbollah still responded with an attack, and both parties let know not to want to escalate the struggle. But it let us know that Hezbollah is not inferior to Israel.
Greetings from Bethlehem, Louis
© 2015 Louis Bohte
attachments – (on Scribd):
About friar Louis Bohte OFM
president Commission JPIC of the Custody in the Holy Land
franciscans Palestinian Territory
August 2004 – Present (10 years 6 months)