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A NEW LETTER FROM LOUIS BOHTE

Date: 3.5.2005
Source: Custody of the Holy Land

Dear friends,

Peace and all Good.

Many things happened last week, but let me start with a good encounter. Already I want to visit a South African woman, Hermina Damons, as we agreed once near the checkpoint. Last Thursday I went to Jerusalem. Before the wall I saw near the Caritas baby hospital, that Israel is building another wall. One of the pictures shows it. I went to her office of the Lutheran World Federation on the Mount of Olives. It was a nice meeting, although what we were talking about was not so nice: The difference between the time of the Apartheid in South Africa and the present situation for the Palestinians. At that time the whole world was acting in favour of the end of the Apartheid. Nowadays the world remains silent. Another point is that the way gives help to people who need help, doesn’t take in account the dignity of the people, who receive the help. They don’t get the chance to do something. It is more real helpful, if the people have to do something for the help, not as a favour, but because it is a matter of dignity. Don’t make the people to beggars. This is an important background for the high rate of criminality in South Africa.

Hermina want to go to her country in order to shake it up. I wish her good luck

Last Monday I visited the mayor of Al Doha. The meeting didn’t have some result, but he confirms my opinion about some aspects of the Palestinian society: the many clans, which compete with each other. Also everyone take in account the hidden agenda of the others.

Later on I heard that Hamas has the majority in the municipality, which can have some impact.

The woman, who introduced me, is a brave woman. She has to take care for seven children, because her husband is in an Israeli jail for administrative reasons, which means without any charge.

When we went to the municipality, we saw that there happened an accident. An about seven years old boy was hit by a car. His father took him under his arm, run to his car and drove as fast as possible to the hospital. We must drive in the same direction and we saw an ambulance coming to the spot of the accident. I hope that the boy will be okay.

At the end of the day two men came to the youth house. They said that they were from the municipality and they want to check the licenses. The youngest man was not convenient. At the end everything was okay. During the afternoon we had a meeting of the volunteer. After some time Mustapha came also. He wants to cooperate with us. He was also present during the meeting with the two men, which was helpful. Mustapha is a brother-in-law of my friend Tamer.

When I oversee how the youth house is going on, I am not happy. Something must be done. Then on Friday afternoon came a man from Al Doha. He has a band with 50 children between 6 and 15. He wants to cooperate with us. Because of a problem of the language he came back the next day, when Asma was also there. The man came with another one from the same organisation. They want not only cooperate, but they are also interested in the relations between Muslims and Christians. I hope that we can realise a good cooperation which is for everyone meaningful.

I heard some comments after the enthronisation of the new pope. Muslims missed any reference to the Islam. A couple of days later Benedictus XVI mentioned the Islam.

There is here still commotion because the Greek patriarch sold ground at the Jaffa gate. The orthodox Christians felt themselves betrayed by their patriarch. First he denied the sale, but then he said it was only for 198 years. It was just before Easter that Israel published that the patriarch signed the sale, making Easter for the orthodox Christians very bad.

This week I got an invitation to contribute for the next meeting of the three monotheistic religions in Jerusalem tomorrow. The theme is freedom. I must say something about freedom in the Christian tradition. It is a challenge to say something about freedom living in a prison.

I heard that there is published a report by the Syrian Orthodox Church, in which is mentioned the expectation, that within 30 years there will no longer live Christians in Bethlehem. Also Muslims regret if there lives no longer Christians in Bethlehem.
Bush looks more forwards. He is afraid, that in 2041 the pensions can no longer be paid by the government. So he wants a partial privatisation of the pension. I don’t trust his fear. Reading the Asia Times it is for me clear that he wants to juggle with money in order to let grow the economy. The poor people must pay for this. It will be a change from pension assurance into pension risk.

On the 17 May I go to the Netherlands eleven days for three meetings with friars and two weddings in the family. Further I have another email address for bigger files:

louisbohte@yahoo.com.
Greetings from Bethlehem, Louis


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