Palestinian archbishop visits Youngstown, urges end to Israeli occupation

By Bob Jackson

YOUNGSTOWN - A call for peace and an end to oppression in the Palestinian territories went out Sunday from a world leader in the Palestinian community.

Atallah Hanna, archbishop of Sebastia of the Greek Orthodox Diocese in Palestine, visited the city Sunday with his message of hope for peace in the West Bank and Gaza through an end to Israeli occupation there.

He has also made stops in New York, San Francisco, Arizona and Texas.

“This trip is not a vacation; it is strictly business,” said Hanna, who has adopted the name Theodisios.

“We are here to bring attention to the suffering of the people who are residing under occupation. Our job is to protect human rights in Palestine, and in Jerusalem in particular.”

Hanna spoke in Arabic, and his remarks were translated into English. He is only the second Palestinian to hold the position of archbishop in the history of the diocese of Sebastia, according to Amer Adi, president of the Arab American Community Center of Greater Youngstown, where Hanna spoke.

Adi said there is a movement afoot, known as Zionism, to drive all Palestinians out of Jerusalem and make it “a pure Jewish state.” Hanna’s message, being delivered across the United States, is one of unity.

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on

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