The Malta Independent 23 June 2018, Saturday

In Bavaria

Alfred Sant Monday, 21 May 2018, 07:50 Last update: about 2 months ago

What has developed between the Catholic Church and the government of the German state of Bavaria gives rise to some very curious reflections. The social-christians who have been in power for quite a while are getting hemmed in by right wing populist advances because of the persisting disquiet in Germany about immigration. Soon, elections will be held... 

The government decided to hang crucifixes on the walls of offices and halls in a number of state institutions. Among other calculations, this was meant to consolidate votes that could drift away.

Bavarian bishops and other ecclestiastical authorities considered the step too controversial and denounced it. But then, the apostolic nuncio to Germany showed, also in a public manner, his disagreement with the position taken by the Bavarian bishops.

Truly, the guiding principles in European societies regarding what the best behaviour should be have gotten mixed up. 

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Manoel Island

Those who like me have been following the Tigne project for the last forty years or so in all its different formats, can only feel surprised at the proposals being made by MIDI for the development of Manoel Island.

There was a time when we were told that Manoel Island had been included in the Tigne project with the intention of buttressing its historical and environmental value. There could hardly be a commercial justification for the project there, only one that related to the public interest. In this way, MIDI would be paying back for the incredible benefits they had been assigned when public land at Tigne became theirs at bucket prices.

Today, the proposals for the development of Manoel Island are crassly commercial. Obviously they will end up as a relentless copy of the monstruosities that were created at Tigne.

I share in the blame for all this. When the Tigne project was slowly collapsing, we laid out an opening within which it could restart.

Meanwhile, the proposals have remained forgotten that would have had MIDI renovate at their expense  the road and sewage systems between Sliema and Gzira in order to correct for the congestion they were bound to create with their apartment projects.

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The deaths in Gaza

I have followed the explanations given by people of goodwill in Israel about the deaths of Palestinians close to the barbed wire that in Gaza, separates them from Israeli territory.

Rabbi Donniel Hartmann wrote how he could not remain silent before the moral challenge posed by what had happened. He referred to a story that is part of Jewish tradition: when Moses succeeded in getting his people across the passage which had opened in the Nile  and as it closed on Pharaoh’s troups charging straight into it, the angels began to sing. God stopped them. How can you sing, when my creatures are drowning? he admonished them

Hartmann is dismayed by the deaths that have occurred and saddened by them. He insists that the trouble arose not because a demonstration had gathered but because an attack had been triggered against Israel’s sovereignty and its right to exist. While believing in a two state solution for Palestine, he still attaches the major burden of guilt for the build-up of hate and violence to the Palestinians.

This position is neither legitimate nor credible. It hardly reflects the total picture, perhaps not even where Moses is concerned.

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