“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: http://www.fratefrancesco.org/noticias/2007/12.htm
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!