Aletho News


Sacred Christian site Emmaus destroyed by Israel

“The Road to Emmaus,” 1877 painting by Robert Zund. The Gospel of Luke account remains beloved reading and gives inspiration to spiritual retreats. United Methodist News Service.
By Alison Weir | Israel-Palestine News | April 15, 2023

Emmaus is a profoundly important place in Christianity. The Bible says that after Jesus’ death and resurrection, he appeared before two of his disciples while they were walking on the road to Emmaus, although at first they didn’t recognize him. When they arrived in Emmaus, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it in pieces, and gave it to them.

In 1967, after Israel launched its Six Day War, Israel expelled the inhabitants of Emmaus and obliterated almost all traces of the village, along with two other Palestinian villages nearby. This was part of the Israeli strategy, in the words of an Israeli historian, “to take over as much of Palestine as possible with as few Palestinians as possible” (a strategy initiated in the 1948 war to establish the modern state of Israel and then to erase the Palestinian presence).

Israeli journalist Amira Hass describes Emmaus before it was leveled: “Schools, mosques, an ancient church, olive presses, paths to fields and orchards, bubbling streams, mountain air, sabra bushes, carob and olive and deciduous trees, harvested fields, graves, water cisterns.”

Israel then “brought in the bulldozers and destroyed and detonated and trampled. Not for the first time, not for the last. And the owners of all that beauty – the elderly, the children, the infants – heard and watched the explosions from a kilometer or two away.”

The villages’ inhabitants then “trekked for days through the mountains to Ramallah, leaving their belongings behind. Four seniors and a one-year-old baby died along the way. The elderly and disabled residents who were unable to leave their homes had their houses demolished on top of them. Eighteen were killed, buried underneath the rubble.”

IDF soldiers expel the residents of Imwas (originally named Emmaus) from their village (source)

In 1972 Israel built its popular Canada Park on the location, named after Jewish Canadians who had been persuaded to donate for the venture. Hass writes that the park “was designed to conceal and bury” its war crime.

Christians often focus on the Biblical Emmaus story

Today, Christian pastors often retell the story of Jesus’ appearance to his disciples in Emmaus.

The numerous paintings of this sacred event are featured on Christian websites around the country. The story is often used as an inspirational message to Christians, for example, to become  “more committed to serving others.” […]

Yet, almost none of the sites featuring the Biblical story of Emmaus seem aware of the modern story, and of the people made homeless and in need of help – perhaps because so few know these facts. As author Grace Halsell wrote in a powerful essay, most Christians are unaware of what they don’t know about Israel. “They were indoctrinated by U.S. supporters of Israel in their own country and when they traveled to the Land of Christ most did so under Israeli sponsorship.”

A moving film recounting the facts about Emmaus, “Ritorno a Emmaus” (Return to Emmaus), was broadcast on Swiss Italian Television on May 29, 1987 but was not shown in the U.S. This is the first time it’s available in English:

Full article

April 16, 2023 - Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , ,


  1. The United States is squandering international prestige and goodwill and intensifying global anti-American terrorism by unofficially condoning or abetting the Israeli confiscation and colonization of Palestinian territories. Jimmy Carter, Jimmy Carter (2014). “The Jimmy Carter Library”, p.759, Simon and Schuster


    Comment by tonytran2015 | April 16, 2023 | Reply

  2. I sent an account of the fate of Imwas to the Guardian years ago. My letter was published (it probably wouldn’t be today), but I fear it has not had much of an impact. You never know, though: it may have opened a few eyes here and there.


    Comment by traducteur | April 16, 2023 | Reply

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