By George Whitten, BosNewsLife Senior Middle East Correspondent reporting from Israel and BosNewsLife's Stefan J. Bos JERUSALEM, ISRAEL (BosNewsLife)-- A tense ceasefire began late Wednesday between the ruling militant Hamas group in the Gaza Strip and Israel following weeklong fighting, but Christians in Israel urged prayers amid fears of an all-out war.
By Stefan J. Bos Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife with reporting from Jerusalem and RomeJERUSALEM/ROME (BosNewsLife Columns)-- The man claiming to be the Messiah miraculously appeared before his friends and followers Sunday, April 1, after He died at a cross on Golgotha hill near Jerusalem's walls.
JERUSALEM/BERLIN (BosNewsLife)-- From Jerusalem to Berlin, people on Sunday, November 9, commemorated the 70th anniversary of 'Kristallnacht,' a night that became the prelude to the Holocaust, in which some six million Jews perished. International diplomats were among those attending a ceremony in Israel as it marked the 'Kristallnacht, the Nazi-inspired riots in which hundreds of synagogues and thousands of Jewish-owned businesses were ransacked in Germany and Austria. "They robbed everything out of the store and the synagogue was burning," recalled Holocaust survivor, Gerhard Mashkovski.At least 91 Jews were killed in the violence whipped up by Nazi stormtroopers and close to 30,000 Jews were arrested in the two-day pogrom and sent to concentration camps. Holocaust survivors and their descendants, and the German and Austrian ambassadors to Israel attended a solemn ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial here in Jerusalem on Sunday, November 9.Austrian Ambassador, Michael Rendi said it was important that Austria took over this year the presidency in the International Task Force on Holocaust Education, on Holocaust remembrance, on research. "I think it says and it shows that we have learned a very painful lesson. And the knowledge that is given on to the next generations is the key," he said.Kristallnacht, which means "Night of the Broken Glass," is seen as the beginning of the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were killed by the Nazis during World War II. On Sunday, November 9, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel "will never forgive or forget" the atrocities of Adolf Hitler's Germany. EUROPE REMEMBERS Events were also held in Germany itself and other European nations to remember the Kristallnacht.In Nazi Germany persecution of the Jewish population had begun long before Kirstallnacht. After Hitler had come to power, laws were passed placing restrictions on Jews, on where they could work, on who they could marry and where they could receive medical help.But on the night of November 9, 1938 the anti-semitism turned physical, Jewish people recalled. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was therefore crucial to "fight with determination" against racism and anti-Semitism. "Indifference is the first step toward endangering essential values," Merkel said during a speech at Germany'a largest synagogue in Berlin's Rykestrasse. "Xenophobia, racism and anti-Semitism must never be given an opportunity in Europe again."Kristallnacht, often viewed as the first major act that ultimately led to the Holocaust, was met with indifference by many Germans in 1938, Merkel noted on Sunday, November 9."There was no storm of protest against the Nazis, but silence, shrugged shoulders and people looking away -- from individual citizens to large parts of the church. We cannot be silent, we cannot be indifferent, when Jewish cemeteries are desecrated and rabbis are insulted on the street," she said at the ceremony, attended by Jewish representatives and diplomats. LINGERING PAIN German-born Pope Benedict XVI, speaking in Vatican City Sunday, November 9, voiced his lingering pain over the Kristallnacht. "Still today I feel pain over what happened in those tragic events, whose memory must serve to ensure such horrors are never repeated and that we strive, on every level, against all forms of anti-Semitism and discrimination.""I invite people to pray for the victims of that night and to join me in expressing profound solidarity with the Jewish world," the pontiff told crowds at the Vatican after his regular Sunday Angelus address.Pope Benedict, born Joseph Ratzinger in Bavaria in 1927, was forced to join the Hitler Youth as a teenager, though both his parents opposed the Nazis. Earlier this year the pontiff spoke in New York about his teenage years being "marred by a sinister regime," Reuters news agency reported.The pope is reportedly being lobbied by Holocaust survivors and their descendants to halt the process of making his wartime predecessor Pius XII a saint. Some Jews accuse Pius, who reigned from 1939 to 1958, of turning a blind eye to the Holocaust. The Vatican says he worked behind the scenes to help save many Jews from certain death. END (With reporting by BosNewsLife's Stefan J. Bos).
By BosNewsLife Middle East Service JERUSALEM/GAZA CITY (BosNewsLife)-- Palestinian Christians on Tuesday, October 7, urged prayers as they observed the second anniversary of the day that militants murdered the director of the only known Christian bookstore in the Gaza Strip.
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife with reporting from Brussels and Jerusalem JERUSALEM/BRUSSELS/BUDAPEST (BosNewsLife)-- Israel's government has condemned the shooting and killing of as many as four people at the Jewish Museum in Belgium's capital Brussels, saying the attack underscores wider anti-Jewish sentiments.
(ADDS MORE DETAILS, HAMAS REACTION) BosNewsLife Middle East Service JERUSALEM, ISRAEL (BosNewsLife) -- Israel is halting its military operations for three hours a day beginning Wednesday, January 7, to allow humanitarian aid to enter into Gaza, Israeli officials said.
BosNewsLife Middle East Service JERUSALEM/GAZA CITY (BosNewsLife)-- Militant group Hamas announced a "ceasefire" Sunday, January 18, giving Israeli troops a week to leave, hours after an Israeli ceasefire began.
BosNewsLife Week in Review: Christians Killed, Jews Called ‘Security Risk’ By Extremists (Nov.25-Dec.2)
By BosNewsLife News Center in Budapest BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (BosNewsLife)-- BosNewsLife's November 25-December 2 news week began with a massive explosion as at least five people were killed and dozens injured when a suicide bomber drove a car full of explosives into a church inside the Jaji military barracks in Nigeria's northern Kaduna state.
By BosNewsLife Middle East Service with reporting by VOA News' Scott Bobb in Jerusalem JERUSALEM, ISRAEL (BosNewsLife/VOA News)-- Israeli aircraft hit Palestinian targets in the Gaza Strip late Thursday, August 19, killing six people, in retaliation for deadly attacks against Israelis earlier in the day.