National Catholic Reporter

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The controversial sovereignty over the city of Jerusalem


This month, the U.S. Supreme Court announced a legal milestone on sovereignty over the city of Jerusalem. In a 6-3 ruling, the justices ruled that the U.S. Congress had overstepped its bounds when it passed a law in 2002 requiring the State Department to list Israel as a birth country in U.S. passports for Jerusalem-born Americans.

What are Pope Francis' intentions in the Middle East?


America magazine explores in some detail the controversial remarks made by Pope Francis to President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine in a recent audience. Did Francis say that Abbas was an angel of peace, or did he say "may you be an angel of peace"?

Gerard O'Connell makes the case that he actually said, "You are a bit of an angel of peace."

The Samson Option upheld


According to investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, the Samson Option is the name Israel has given to its nuclear arsenal. The title recalls the biblical superhero Samson, who himself was killed when by pulling on the support pillars he brought down the Philistine Temple in Gaza, killing its ruling class.

Beginning with the writing of the militarist Ze'ev Jabotinsky, the image of Samson has been central to construction in popular culture of the modern Zionist identity of "the fighting Jew" who has left exile and subjugation behind forever.

Vatican decision to recognize Palestine upsets Israeli government, Jewish advocacy groups

The Vatican's decision to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state on Wednesday angered Israeli officials.

The move comes four days before the canonization of two Palestinian nuns and solidifies the standing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is scheduled to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Saturday.

Removing Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank would end humiliation, increase security


Proposals for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict focus on the "big-ticket" issues: Palestinian sovereignty, sharing Jerusalem, and the "right of return" for displaced Palestinians. Analysts and pundits pay less attention to the everyday troubles suffered by both sides. For Palestinians, this means the Israeli settlements and checkpoints that have divided families and paralyzed Palestinian economic growth. For Israelis, it is the specter of violence and the fear under which many of its citizens live.



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In This Issue

November 20-December 3, 2015


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