Wednesday marked the Feast of Saint George, a celebration of the patron saint of England, whose signature red and white cross stands as emblem on the English national flag. In a little known tale of Mideast mishaps, it is the same Cross of St. George that also flies over churches and official buildings across the Palestinian-controlled territories. For George is the singular saint venerated by both Muslims and Christians in “Palestine” and Britain.
George grew up in a typical Christian family in the Holy Land in the Third Century AD. His mother was born in Lydda, the Israeli town of Lod. As a young man, George decided that he wanted to be a Roman soldier. When he later learned that the pagan Emperor Diocletian was responsible for the widespread persecution of Christians in Rome, George left the army in protest.
George’s unwillingness to bow to the evil emperor led to imprisonment and torture. He was even dragged through the streets by horses, but refused to abandon his Christian faith. Unable to force him to deny his faith in Christ, George was eventually beheaded by the Romans on April 23, 303 AD.
The reputation of this brave Christian soldier grew, and over a thousand years after his death, George became patron saint of England in 1415 AD. A few centuries earlier, crusader soldiers returning to England from the Holy Land brought back stories of George they had heard from the local Christians. The idea that a Christian soldier was willing to die for his faith inspired the English, and Saint George was dubbed “the protector of soldiers.” Crusader soldiers began wearing his signature – the red and white cross – on their chests and backs in the 12th century.
This is the same red and white cross of Saint George that adorns the national flags of England, Australia, New Zealand and the Union Jack.
Many churches in the “West Bank” and Israel bear the name of St George – in Lod, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and in the Galilee, for example. While the Western world celebrates St George’s Day on April 23, in the Palestinian areas it falls on May 6, according to the older calendar used by the Eastern Churches.
Although it is originally a local Christian holiday, both Palestinian Christians and Muslims participate. “It’s not only the Christians that appreciate him, the Muslims also feel the power and the miracles of St George,” says Father Ananias, a Palestinian Christian priest.
The Christian name George is also one of the most common names in the Palestinian-controlled territories. There are many stories and pictures of St George involving him slaying a dragon. The dragon is believed to represent the devil or evil empire that George resisted by his faith in Christ.
Many Muslim scholars go so far as to suggest that St George is mentioned in the Koran. In Arabic, George is known as al-Khadr, which is also the name of a village near Bethlehem where the festival is celebrated every year. According to these scholars, al-Khadr, identified as St George, served as an assistant to none other than Moses. How curious that St George, believed to be an associate of Moses, who lived over a thousand years earlier, became a patron saint for Palestinian Muslims.
Menachem Begin in December 1942 wearing the Polish Army uniform of Gen. Anders’ forces with his wife Aliza and David Yutan; (back row) Moshe Stein and Israel Epstein
(photo credit: JABOTINSKY ARCHIVES)
During the inauguration of a memorial to the victims of the Siege of Leningrad in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park on January 24, 2020, before the climax of Holocaust remembrance events at which Russian President Vladimir Putin was given a central platform, we were stunned to hear a rendition of The Blue Kerchief (Siniy
Giant figures are seen during the 87th carnival parade of Aalst February 15, 2015
The annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium, is expected to take place on Sunday with even more antisemitic elements than in previous years.
Aalst’s organizers have sold hundreds of “rabbi kits” for revelers to dress as hassidic Jews in the carnival’s parade. The kit includes oversized noses, sidelocks (peyot) and black hats. The organizers plan to bring back floats similar to the one displayed in 2019 featuring oversized dolls of Jews, with rats on their shoulders, holding banknotes.
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in the southern Italian coastal city of Bari, Italy February 23, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli.
Pope Francis on Sunday warned against “inequitable solutions” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal.
Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he traveled to conclude a meeting of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.
Palestinians walk past a shop selling fruits in Ramallah, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamad Torokman.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have reached an agreement to end a five-month long trade dispute, officials said on Thursday.
The dispute, which opened a new front in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began in September when the PA announced a boycott of Israel calves. The PA exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under interim peace deals.
Antisemitic caricatures on display at the annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium. Photo: Raphael Ahren via Twitter.
Disturbing images emerged on Sunday of the annual carnival at Aalst, Belgium, showing an astounding number of antisemitic themes, costumes, displays and statements.
Israeli journalist Raphael Ahren documented people dressed as caricatures of Orthodox Jews, a fake “wailing wall” attacking critics of the parade, blatantly antisemitic characters and puppets wearing traditional Jewish clothes and sporting huge noses.
Feb 02, 2020 0The remarks from the US official came in wake of the Palestinian decision to reject the administration’s peace plan. US PRESIDENT Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrive to...
The stench of anti-Semitism always hovers over Switzerland’s Lake Geneva when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is meeting there. The foul emanations reached a new nadir last week with UNHRC’s publication of a “database” of companies doing business in the disputed territories in Israel.
Following the publication of the list, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, deputy director for advocacy of NGO Human Rights Watch, stated, “The long-awaited release of the U.N. settlement business database should put all companies on notice: To do business with illegal settlements [sic] is to aid in the commission of war crimes.”
One of the many things that annoys me about politicians is how sure they are of themselves. Everything is black and white. Every idea is good or bad. Take globalism, for example. You either love it or hate it. It works or it doesn’t.
Another thing that annoys me is how so much of a politician’s life revolves around power: Do everything you can to get it, and everything you can to keep it.
Why am I ranting? Because, while our politicians have been consumed with power and the media with the fights over power, a threat to our nation has been virtually ignored.
Blue and White Party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid are establishing their diplomatic credentials in the immediate run-up to Israel’s March 2 election with an insult to a U.S. administration that has arguably provided Israel with more diplomatic gains than any previous administration.
The Times of Israel reported that at a campaign stop in front of English-speaking Israelis, Gantz accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “of neglecting bipartisan ties in favor of exclusive support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” under the headline “Gantz pledges to mend ties with U.S. Democrats if elected.”
Bipartisanship was in short supply at the State of the Union address earlier this month—with one notable exception.
Nancy Pelosi had been looking dyspeptic, shuffling the papers she would later rip to shreds, when President Donald Trump reminded his audience that “the United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.”
Suddenly, the House Speaker applauded. Trump then introduced “the true and legitimate president of Venezuela: Juan Guaidó.”
The law professor Alan Dershowitz has thrown a legal hand-grenade into America’s political civil war by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack Obama “personally asked” the FBI to investigate someone “on behalf” of Obama’s “close ally,” billionaire financier George Soros.
He made his cryptic remark in an interview defending U.S. President Donald Trump against claims he interfered in the prosecution of his former adviser, Roger Stone.