Samstag, 8. September 2012

Latrun Abbey in Israel vandalized

The Trappist Abbey of Latrun (near Jerusalem) was vandalized in early September 2012; the door to the church was set on fire and graffiti endorsing the Israeli settlement of the Palestinian Territories – written in contemporary Hebrew – was scrawled on its walls. While Christian buildings are vandalized daily in Europe and North America and everywhere else in the world, this example of Jewish violence against Christians was a disturbing novelty. The case evoked unusual reactions, for instance among French diplomats who are usually experts in radically secularized comportment, sometimes they even glory in an anti-clerical tone. In this case, however, the French Consul General in Jerusalem visited the site immediately and the French Government published a "strong condemnation" of the violence on the internet (read it here). Their actions reminded the world of the particularly French character of the Trappist Order. By way of explaining their jurisdiction in this matter, the statement invoked a forgotten diplomatic agreement between France and Israel called the Chauvel-Fischer agreements. The diplomatic scholar Uri Biale has studied these agreements and their genesis in the first years of Israeli rule. See Uri Biale, Cross On The Star Of David: The Christian World In Israel's Foreign Policy (Bloomington [Indiana] 2005), pp. 117-120.

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