The ultimate goal of Israeli policy is to maintain a Jewish majority in Jerusalem and if possible end all Palestinian presence in it, particularly in the Old City.
“Jerusalem should be open to all without any discrimination. We should have free access to Jerusalem, free access to our holy places.”
— Rev. Ibrahim Shomali, Chancellor of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
As the Holy Week during which Christians commemorate the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ draws nearer, Palestinians in general and the Christians in particular continue to experience the suffering of Jesus Christ more than 2,000 years ago, according to Palestinian Christian activists.
Noura Carmi, member of the Armenian Orthodox Church, said during a tour of Jerusalem’s Old City organized by the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Negotiations Affairs Department on the occasion of Easter celebrations, and specifically through Via Dolorosa, which marks the 14 stations that Christian tradition identifies as the path which Jesus Christ took before his crucifixion, that Palestinians today were still living the suffering of the Christ, who walked that road more than 2,000 years ago, bloodied from wearing a crown of thorns on his head and carrying a heavy cross on his shoulder.
She pointed to buildings taken over by fanatic Jewish settler organizations, many of them were owned by Arab Christian residents of East Jerusalem, as part of a broad Israeli scheme to turn the Old City into a purely Jewish city.
Carmi took visitors on a tour titled The Contemporary Way of the Cross: A Liturgical Journey along the Palestinian Via Dolorosa, which links the sacred geography of the 14 Stations of the Cross that took place on Good Friday with the ongoing suffering of the Palestinian people who live under Israeli occupation.
The tour featured stages such as “the Nakba” (catastrophe), which stands for the condemnation of the Palestinian people to death and forced expulsion, and “Checkpoints,” which allow tourists to identify with the suffering of Palestinian people and their struggle for justice and freedom, and eventual resurrection.