Brother Act

“Making peace on my terms and according to my definitions” could very well describe the weird, idiosyncratic peacemaking of the Custody of the Holy Land, Jerusalem.  In previous posts here one can gape open-mouthed at the “progetto di pace” (project of peace) – essentially self-promotion resting on extremely flimsy premises.  But it is not the proportionately small number, which is itself is laughable, of Jews and Moslems in the Holy Land, that they use as evidence of peacemaking even to the extent of getting prestigious prizes in Italy, it is the quality of the “peacemaking”.

The Alei Gefen Choir sang with the Custody Choir in Jerusalem on Sunday, May 25th (2008). Usually when such an event takes place it is instantly videotaped and put on youtube by the Custody Multi Media . This didn’t happen.  Instead according to an announcement after the fact,  “German doctors played in the Hall of the Blessed Virgin”:

Nowhere in the article is mention of Hebrew songs sung by the Gefen choir. Instead one reading it, can easily conclude that the theme of the whole concert was about the “sorrows of the woman on Calvary”.  Hey, sorry to disappoint you, but Christian religious music has been sung in concert by innumerable Israeli choirs throughout the decades.  One doesn’t need to go to the “Hall of the Blessed Virgin” to sing a “Lord Have Mercy, Christ have mercy”.

Should there be a problem with the latter? No, except in the way it is presented and if it conforms to a pattern of making peace with only “safe” Jews, as in the Magnificat School of Music where many, if not most of the Jewish sounding names of the teachers do not guarantee they are Halachic Jews, as much of the Russian immigration to Israel in the 90’s were not.

Back in December 2007, already quoted here in Italian, but I’ll translate it into English, was a similar weird peace initiative:

“This was an uplifting experience for all, especially for the 32 adolescents, Christian and Muslim, who for the first time sang before an assembly of thousands of persons, and even millions present at Bethlehem thanks to the transmission of Telepace and other TV (stations).

“È stata un’esperienza esaltante per tutti, specialmente per i 32 adolescenti, Cristiani e Musulmani, che per la prima volta hanno cantato davanti a un’assemblea di migliaia di persone, anzi di milioni di persone presenti a Betlemme grazie alla trasmissione di Telepace e altre TV.”

In other words, folks, Muslims were singing in the Mass composed and dedicated to the current Pope by Armando Pierucci the president and iconic resident composer of the Magnificat Instiute, on Christmas Eve just as Jews were singing “Christ have Mercy” this past month. *

The Custody of the Holy Land as mentioned in a previous blog article did not qualify Jewish students to compete for their $1000 money prize back in January 2008 for the Tavasani Piano Competition held there at the Custody compound at their “peacemaking” Magnificat music school. The whole thrust of their wildly successful fundraising has been based on their self-declared unusual lack of discimination and here they are just doing the opposite of what they have been trolling for money! Pax vobiscum among the students and staff cannot be readily proven but their not including Israeli Jews in their yearly competitions (except if they study in a “Palestinian” institution) is an indisputable fact that they can’t run away from.

“Peacemaking” should really be redefined these days in order to avoid confusion. One kind is preferential and selective, geared to a certain audience, essentially self-serving and money-attracting, especially if you liberally dispense holy phrases and names of the Saints.  And the other has to do with honesty, interpersonal relationships, lack of hidden agenda, and above all, disinsterested in material benefits in the true tradition of St. Francis.**

Moslems allegedly singing in the Magnificat choir in the Mass presided over by the Pope was apparently big news in the Italian press. (Wonder why there was little to nothing in any other language?!?!)  Cabbagejuice however offers a translation of one of the articles here:

* One should not omit one of the world’s major languages to broadcast this extraordinary peace event, so here it is in Spanish:

Esta coral está compuesta como el Magníficat: cristianos, musulmanes y judíos reunidos. Entre los alumnos y los profesores, de diversas procedencias, lo único que cuenta es la belleza y la música. Esta noche, aquí en Belén, interpretan, por primera vez la Misa “Yasmeen” que el Padre Armando Pierucci ha dedicado al santo Padre Benedicto XVI. 

The “judios” part is fascinating.  Jewish parents willingly sent their kids to Bethlehem at midnight to 2AM when they had school the next day??? Wow.  All I can say there are no limits to self-praise and auto-congratulations especially where the Church in the Holy Land is concerned. The technical term is “saintliness by association”.


First of all the blatant untruths: the Magnificat is not one of only three schools that have Palestinians and Jews unless they simply forgot about the Hebrew University, Tel-Aviv U, all the numerous music schools in Israel proper plus the high schools, trade schools. Are the Italians simply a bunch of idiots willing to swallow anything the Custody churns out?

Maybe something got lost in translation but this is surely ridiculous and even perverse: “Ad esempio, ogni classe ha un insegnante ebreo e uno arabo, ma almeno gli allievi sono tutti assieme.”

“For example, EVERY class has a Jewish and Arab teacher, but at least the children are together.”

Oh, listen to this world, we have a Black person, Chinese, Eskimo, Native American, aren’t WE special? Having your token Black person in the US decades ago was mainly for show. But now, it’s so stupid, naive, immature and passe EXCEPT FOR THOSE WHO ARE IN REALITY FIXATED ON RACE. What a perverse thing to say, except to show that “coexistence is possible” in our school which is patently untrue.

Yesh, right, spread the propaganda really thick and juicy. As Hitler said “people believe the big lie”. The proof is more than 1 million euro raised over the past few years to renovate the Custody premises for their little peacemaking Magnificat music school!


3 Responses to “Brother Act”

  1. Saulih Sam Moghrabi Says:

    Asalemoo Alikekoom My Sister and to the rest of my extended family from el Asariya Love YouALL! Thank you for your trusting me in this trying position of assimilation, I agree with you 100% that it reeks of misrepresentation! This business of having Muslim kids singing in a Christian service is not a bad thing necessarily it is only bad if they do not know what they are singing and that the songs and rituals do not contradict or does not conflict with the beliefs and practices of Islam, which in this case it does! Should it be exposed, definitely, is there something going on yes & what is it about, I will tell you now that it is about money & trying to get those dollars from other countries and groups around the world trying to use missionary funds and make it available to fund to such fiascos! In other words look at us & what we have done, muslims being converted on mass and in mass, to amass cash! As You said: “Misrepresentation is bad in itself, but there is another insidious pattern that I detected, that of using their contacts with Muslims and Jews in a way that shows that they are being brought into Christian ritual.” Your instincts are intact and accurate go with it And May THE CREATOR BLESS you and Noy and your Children in what ever you do to better The World! Peace And Best results and success in your efforts! Please contact me if you need anything at All! INSHA ALLAH!

  2. cabbagejuice Says:

    Hi Saulih,

    Respecting the beliefs and rituals of others is just that, seeing these on EQUAL terms. Otherwise, no need to say “we making peace with them”. As sense of superiority over others is surely at the base of any cultural or religious imperialism.

    Not only that, a fixation on “race”, or “we don’t discriminate” where these even is NO reason to mention the subject at all, frequently belies a kind of inverted racism, called “reaction-formation” in psychology, making an issue where there was none in the first place.

    Off topic, though, did you ever think the wind could write a poem? Check out the previous article on Mary Frye: “Thousand Winds, Millions of Yen”.

    Best regards, bro…

  3. cabbagejuice Says:

    Hi Sam again,

    I read on yahoo answers that someone did not understand the article. A little background information might be necessary. This is rather a twisted story but it can be set out in a sequence of events:

    1) In most, if not all Israeli institutions, especially music schools, Jews, Arabs and other nationalities study routinely together without problems. So this is virtually a non-issue.

    2) The Magnificat School of Music had over the its 13 years a much lower proportion of different nationalities besides its Christian Palestinians but nevertheless seized upon ithis small number as a means to drum up propaganda about itself: “We never had racial animosity. Music unites us”.

    (In fact, go to the next blog “Funniest Thing” where such garbage has been translated from Popinga’s site that the school is a “rare example of coexistence” for which the director should get the Nobel Prize! )

    3) “Magnifying” this silly state of affairs exponentially has been cleverly successful as the director already racked up a few peace prizes in Italy. In April, 2007 the school participated in a peace extravganza in the Campodoglio, Rome together with the Donna Olimpia School.

    4) If there were any truth to all of the above, however small, it wouldn’t be so irritating. However, several official acts by them were actually discriminating. (See “Sad Bambini and Gold-Plated Metronomes”.)

    5) The end result as you can see now is being disseminated to the public, the Italians in particular, who as a rule don’t have privileged information about Israel and would believe anything from the clergy, that Jews and Moslems sing together with them Christian hymns.

    As you intimated, the clink of money is not far behind.

    I would also like to sell the Italians the Brooklyn Bridge but I don’t wear a rope around my waist nor am in the habit of quoting Scripture to back myself up. But PEACE itself is the magic word that somehow hypnotizes almost everyone into emptying their minds, then their purses.

    Best wishes,

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