A court in Israel has granted divorce to a same-sex couple, even though such marriages are not recognized by law in the Jewish state.
While gay couples can host marriage ceremonies, legally there is no provision for same-sex marriage in Israel, Reuters reported. A court in Tel Aviv, however, determined that the marriage between former Israeli lawmaker Uzi Even, 72, and his partner of 23 years, Amit Kama, 52, "should be ended."
"The irony is that while this is the beginning of a civil revolution, it's based on divorce rather than marriage," Kama, a senior lecturer in communications in the Emek Yizrael College, shared with Reuters. more >>
A bishop from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has sent a letter to Congress warning against cutting aid to the Palestinian Territories.
Bishop Richard E. Pates, chairman of the USCCB's Committee on International Justice and Peace, sent the letter on Monday in response to consideration from Congress to cut aid after the U.N. vote.
"The Palestinian Authority and President Abbas' Fatah party have renounced violence and committed themselves, as has Israel, to a two-state solution," wrote Pates. "We ask you to resist efforts to cut off needed humanitarian and development assistance to Palestinians as they build capacity for a future state." more >>
Many Jewish-American groups have expressed concern and disappointment over the United Nation's vote to overwhelmingly approve a statehood bid for the Palestinian Territories.
In response to the United Nations General Assembly's vote on Thursday to grant Palestine an elevated status in the global body, various organizations believed this would hinder peace for the Holy Land. The Washington DC-based Jewish Council for Public Affairs released a statement, calling it the "wrong way to Palestinian statehood."
"We would like to be congratulating and warmly welcoming UN recognition of a Palestinian state; not just as a non-member observer state, but as a full member of the world body," said JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow. more >>
A well-respected, powerful Islamic cleric of the Gaza Strip recently issued a fatwa, or religious edict, which ruled it a "sin" to disobey the Israel-Hamas cease-fire agreement brokered by Egypt last week.
"Honoring the truce, which was sponsored by our Egyptian brethren, is the duty of each and every one of us. Violating it shall constitute a sin," Suleiman al-Daya, an Islamic cleric reportedly respected by Hamas forces, wrote in a fatwa issued Saturday, Nov. 24.
The truce, or cease-fire, was reached on Nov. 21 after eight days of deadly fighting between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip. The fighting reportedly claimed 145 lives. more >>
Egyptian officials have announced that a cease-fire agreement has been reached between Israeli and Hamas forces, which will take effect at 9 p.m. local time Wednesday.
The cease-fire agreement, brokered by Egypt, ends eight days of deadly fighting between Israelis and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, accompanied by visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, announced the cease-fire in a news conference Wednesday afternoon. more >>
Despite word earlier this week that Hamas and Palestinian leaders were negotiating with Israel to put an end to the latest deadly conflict, both sides have continued trading fire. Meanwhile, Christian organizations and concerned individuals have been calling for prayer in hopes of seeing peace restored to the Middle East region.
The Pilgrim Center of Hope, a Catholic Evangelization Ministry for the Archdiocese of San Antonio, shared in an opinion piece that one of the primary actions concerned believers can take is to pray for Christians caught in the conflict – whom the organization calls "the descendants of the first followers of Jesus."
"Pray! Pray for the Mother Church of the Holy Land. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ. They are united with us in the Christian solidarity of the mystical Body of Christ – the Church: 'If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members share its joy' (1 Corinthians 12:26)." more >>