Friday, April 10, 2015

Jesus Wept 2

Then there was the following segment, where Geraldine surveys the East Jerusalem skyline under the guidance of Sr Mary Reaburn:

GD (on camera): Wowee!
GD (off camera): The first step on my quest to learn more is the Ecce Homo Convent overlooking the ancient city.
GD (on camera): Oh, look at it. Isn't it fantastic?
MR: So these two dark domes on the horizon are the Holy Sepulchre.
GD: Yes.
MR: That's still within the Old City. And then of course here's the piece de resistance, the Dome of the Rock.
GD: Wow! It sure is.
MR: And now today it's a Moslem [her pronunciation] shrine...

Unfortunately, we didn't get to hear the rest of Sr Mary's words, but I can't help wondering about the somewhat provisional nature of her comment about the Dome of the Rock (now, today), sort of 'Today it's a Moslem shrine, but tomorrow...'

What follows is what the French call folie a deux (a shared folly):

GD (off camera, interrupting): I'm here to meet Sr Mary Reaburn from Melbourne. Mary spends half her year teaching biblical history here in Jerusalem... Mary belongs to a unique French convent, the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion, an order dedicated to understanding the Jewish roots of Christianity.
MR: Mary is a Jewish woman.
GD: A Jewish mother.
MR: A Jewish mother. And raising a Jewish son. I like to tell people sometimes Jesus was never a Christian, a Catholic. He remained, born, lived and died a Jew.
GD: Well that's what I'm fascinated by, you see, that's what I'm really interested in that...
MR: Do you know why?
GD: Why am I interested? Well, how the heck did this Jewish man become this source of this amazing international religion. I find it more and more and more interesting.
MR: If we believe in the incarnation, and that's central, we have to understand the particularity of Jesus, which is his Jewishness, as well as the universality of Jesus, which is his mission... for 1900 years we forgot about Jesus's Jewishness.
GD: I think we did.

Now precisely what this is all supposed to signify is anyone's guess, but I'm sure it's all welcome Judeo-Christian grist to the Zionist propaganda mill. The problem here, of course, is that the locals have effectively been erased from the production. Geraldine is in Jerusalem, not Israeli-occupied Arab East Jerusalem. And you can forget about occupied Palestinians, there aren't even any Arabs here.

In the following segment, our clueless gusher is actually surprised to find that most of those doing the Stations of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa are actually "from the area." It's as though she's only just become aware that there are Palestinian Christians, which she only ever refers to (and then only once) as "Middle East Christians":

GD (on camera): What an extraordinary experience. I mean pilgrims have been coming here to the Holy Land since before the 8th century. In the 12th the Crusaders came and controlled the place for 100 years. Then in the 18th it was all the sea pilgrimage which became fashionable. And then of course by air, which means that pilgrims come by the millions as we've just seen, but, mind you, this was very much a Middle Eastern experience. Most of the people involved mainly were from the area. A lot of us were looking on but it belonged to them. That wasn't quite what I expected.

The ugly reality of Israeli apartheid and occupation is also conspicuous by its absence in the following segment with the passing strange Sr Mary:

GD: How do you find the overt displays of piety?
MR: It teaches me something of the variety of the world. It doesn't have to be my piety...
GD: But, you know, how some deep faith is frankly deeply terrifying. Does that cross your mind?

It's obvious that Geraldine's thinking here about the incident involving the Judeo-fascist in the Cenacle, because none of the Christians in the film have so much as blinked an eyelid. Still, listen to Sr Mary's response, and remember that this is a woman who spends half of every year in Jerusalem:

MR: It does because we know in our own church history the deep faith of the Crusaders who brutally murdered people here on their way to try to regain the Holy Land... sometimes I think God must have a little chuckle.(Chuckles)


This woman's the 3 wise monkeys all wrapped in one.

Finally, Geraldine invites viewers to "join me later this year when I explore the Jewish roots of Christianity."

What? More of Sr. Mary's maunderings? I can hardly wait.

1 comment:

Vacy said...

I so agree with your comments.. I found the dialogue between Sr Mary and GD patronisingly racist on the ME expression of faith and the jewishness of Jesus quite bizarre and only made sense as you say, zionist propaganda gist.

GD's catholic elitism was offensive.