The Zionist Record
When Zionists went blundering over the Holy Land, this broadly termed collection of “Jews” ranged from religious zealots to communistic atheists. Despite those differences what they had in common was an ancient legacy of contempt for the goyim and hatred for Christianity and Islam. From the first arrivals of Zionist terrorists of Stern, Irgun, Palmach and others, therefore, Christians and Muslims were not going to fare well in the “Holy Land.”
Monsignor Thomas MacMahon, secretary of the Catholic Near East Association of New York, wrote to the United Nations on August 20, 1948, “there have been constantly some violations and desecrations of Catholic holy places. The associated Press report of August 19, 1948 confirmed that Jewish forces perpetrated criminal acts against 12 Roman Catholic institutions in Northern Palestine… Seven churches, convents and hospitals have been looted by Jews and others seized by force.”
Mosignor Vergani, general vicar of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem for Galilee reported that, “the chapel was profaned. The altar overturned, the statues of the holy Virgin, Saint Francis and Saint Anthony were broken.”
At the Church and Hospice in Tabakam, “the chapel profaned, the door broken open, the statues in pieces, sacred vestments torn and thrown to the floor, the tabernacle opened by force, the chalice stolen, crosses broken.”
According to Father Pascal St. Jean, Superior of Our Lady of France Hostel, valuables were stolen, archives plundered, and “both chapels, were desecrated, figures of Christ unfastened from crosses and taken away. In the great chapel we came upon Jewish soldiers of both sexes dancing in the sanctuary to the music of the harmonium. Benches were taken outside and used for profane purposes. We have seen mattresses in the great chapel and Jewish soldiers have certainly been sleeping there. I protest against these acts in particular. They are sins committed on the premises of holy worship.”
When the Stern Gang went into Jerusalem, breaking a ceasefire in May 1948, the Christian Union of Palestine reported that churches, convents, religious and charitable institutions were destroyed, injuring many women, children, priests and nuns. The Christian Union listed the outages against Christian holy places, including: occupation of the convent of St. George of the Greek Orthodox Church, on May 14, 1948; occupation and fortifying of the Hospice Notre Dame de France of the Assumptionist Fathers on May 15, using it as a main base to attack Jerusalem; occupation of the Convent of the Reparatrice Sisters, used as a base, May 15; occupation of the French Hospital run by the Sisters of St. Joseph, under the protection of the Flags of the Red Cross and of France; The Apostolic Delegation under the protection of the Flag of the Holy See, occupied May 18; occupation of the monastery of the German Benedictine Fathers, used as one of the main bases against the Holy City; the Convent of St. John of the Greek Orthodox Church.
Holy places damaged by the Zionist forces during this time included: the Hospice Notre Dame de France; Convent of the Reparatrice Sisters, set on fire; church of the Monastery of the Benedictine Fathers; Seiminary of St. Anne hit by two mortar shells, wounding sheltering refugees; Church of St. Constantin and Helena of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, bomb fragments also damaging the Dome of the Holy Sepulchre; Armenian Orthodox Patriarchate hit by about 100 mortar mobs fired from Zionists occupying the Monastery of the Benedictine Fathers on Mount Zion, the bombs also damaging St. Jacob’s Convent, the Archangels Convent, and their two elementary schools, library and churches, killing eight and wounding 120 refugees; entrance to the Church of St. Mark of the Syrian Orthodox Church shelled, killing the monk Peter Saymy, secretary to the Bishop, and wounding two others; Convent of St. George of the Greek Orthodox Church, part of the Greek Catholic Cathedral, hit by a mortar shell; Convent of the Archangel of the Coptic Patriarchate, situated over the grotto of the Holy Cross, part of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, shelled May 23; Greek Orthodox Patriarchate shelled wounding many refugees; Latin Patriarchate hit by mortar bombs, damaging the Cathedral; Greek Catholic Patriarchate shelled May 16 and 29.
Among those killed by the Zionist forces, the above named monk Peter Saymy; Father Mammert Vionnet of the Assumptionist fathers and Judge of the Latin Ecclesiastical Court, killed by Zionist forces when they occupied the convent; Father John Salah of the Passioniste Fathers, killed when entering his church to celebrate Mass; and Brothers Sigismond and Cyrille of the Christian Brothers, wounded inside their school.
On April 16, 1954, Zionists attacked the Greek Catholic Community cemetery in Haifa, and danced on the graves, threw out the human remains of many tombs, and smashed 73 crosses and 50 statues of angels. Several months later in Haifa a procession led by the Carmelite Fathers was attacked near the cave of St. Elijah on Mt. Carmel.
Father Rezk of the Greek Orthodox Church, Jaffa, reported on August 4, 1956, “armed Jewish soldiers broke through the Church door. Chalices and sacred vases containing the Holy Host were stolen, along with other religious items. They threw away the icons of Jesus Christ and the holy Virgin in a garden next door.”
In January 1963, 70 mostly Yeshiva students attacked the Finnish Christian Mission School in Jerusalem, and beat the school pastor, Risto Santala. The mob was incited by an editorial in the newspaper Yediot Aharoot, December 23, 1962, which stated that the Christian Mission was converting Jews.
When Zionist forces occupied Jerusalem in 1967, Nancy Nolan, wife of Dr Abu Haydar of the American University Hospital of Beirut, witnessed Israeli soldiers and youths throwing stink bombs at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The Church of St. Anne, whose crypt marks the birthplace of Mary, and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem were vandalized. The Warden of the Garden Tomb, Reverend S J Mattar, was shot, and shots were fired randomly into the Tomb in an attempt to kill the Warden’s wife. Jews went into the Church of the Nativity and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, smoking, littering and bringing in dogs.
On the murder of the Warden at the Garden Tomb, Reverend Mattar, Mrs Sigrid W Proft of Switzerland was an eye-witness, stating that Reverend and Mrs Proft and herself went to the Tomb for shelter from bombing and shooting when the Zionist forces attacked on June 5. The following morning Rev. Mattar went out to go to the house to get some food. Soon afterward soldiers broke down the gate. Mattar responded by stating “good morning” “in a kindly and friendly manner.” Immediately there were several shots, and shots into the Tomb. When Mrs Proft and Mrs Mattar went up to the house, Rev. Mattar was laying dead with bullets in his head.
In 1968, His Beatitude Maximos V Hakim, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, stated in New York that he feared Christianity could not survive in the Holy Land, and related what he had witnessed, stating that the Melchite Church had lost churches in Damoun, Somata, Kafr-Bur’om and Ikret, the last a completely Catholic village that the Israelis destroyed on Christmas Day, 1952. He stated that many churches were damaged in the 1967 war, and that many churches were desecrated by male and female soldiers entering the Holy Places “indecently dressed and with their dogs.”
When Zionists seized Convents and Churches on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem in 1968, they looted gold and silver ornaments. An eyewitness account states that the interior of the Church of St. Saviour had its altar wrecked, and an altar painting destroyed. The valuable collection of church vestments was missing. Armenian and Greek Orthodox cemeteries were desecrated on Mt. Zion, including 14 tombs of Christian patriarchs. Practically every tomb at the Greek Orthodox cemetery was smashed. Likewise with the Catholic cemetery. The Very Reverend Father Andres, Procureua-General in the Holy Land, stated in an article in the Catholic journal, La Terra Sainte, March 1968, that “the Jews actually dragged the corpses out of the tombs and scattered the coffins and remains of the dead all around the cemetery.”
In 1970, Archbishop Diodoros of Hierapolis, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Amman, Jordan, issued a statement to the United Nations Human Rights Commission on the desecration of the Holy Land. The Greek Orthodox Church at Ein Kerem, near Jerusalem, had been vandalized, the tombs unearthed, and the corpses of the parish priest and others scattered in the streets among garbage, and “the place had been made into a public lavatory.” The Saint Michael Church, Jaffa, was set on fire and cabarets and nightclubs, whose patrons used the courtyard for immoral purposes, surrounded the remnants. Bisan Creek Orthodox Church, Beit-Shean had been made into a public lavatory. Israeli authorities had destroyed the Greek Orthodox cemetery on Mt. Zion and the bodies were unearthed. Many Bishops, clergymen and nuns routinely had their crucifixes spat on in the streets, something that has not abated over the years.