Harriet’s Place has received information that Zionist pandering by Anglican Bishop Suhail Dawani has led to the persecution of former Bishop Riah Abu El Assal and according to our sources, Assal isn’t going to take it anymore. It appears there’s been a multitude of hasbara efforts to discredit him and bleed the church and school in Jerusalem dry. We understand that the presiding Bishop, Dawani has gotten into bed with the Zionists including the American Episcopal church leader, Bishop Kathleen Jefferts Schori, and guess who she’s pals with? None other than our old friend, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
Oh what a web we weave…..watch this space!
PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OFFICE OF BISHOP RIAH ABU EL ASSAL, (Ret.)
The seven year long attack by Bishop Suhail Dawani and the Diocesan Council of the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem on Bishop Riah Abu El Assal and his family culminated on June 25, 2015 with a Supreme Court decision exonerating Bishop Riah of all allegations made against him.
The expenses for several legal charges filed against Bishop Riah were borne by the Diocese with the approval of Bishop Dawani. Given the prosecutorial nature of the charges made, in the interest of justice and restitution, these expenses must to be recovered by the Diocese from Bishop Dawani, personally, since the legal campaign was nothing more than a personal vendetta against Bishop Riah. The best interests of the Diocese were not served, and as a result, the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem has suffered an untold loss of esteem and dignity within the Church and beyond. This reprehensible and concerted effort to harass, humiliate, and persecute Bishop Riah must be investigated, and proper measures taken to ensure that the misuse of Church funds and power is never used in such a personally corrupt and malevolent way again. The hundreds of thousands of dollars carelessly spent on groundless allegations in legal and court fees must be repaid to the Church.
In addition to recovering lost Diocesan funds, an investigation is imperative into other incidences of harassment and persecution by Bishop Dawani who abused his church authority, in the unconscionable mistreatment of a former Bishop who has served the Church for over 43 years faithfully, and without reserve, as Bishop Riah has.
An agreement was reached and signed by Bishop Dawani and the four Provincial Bishops in February 2007, paving the way for Bishop Dawani’s installment, whereby no legal actions would be taken and that Bishop Riah’s family would not be targeted in any way. This agreement was ignored by Bishop Dawani.
In an act of harassment and persecution, at Bishop Dawani’s installation, to which Bishop Riah was personally invited to pass the Bishop’s Staff to his successor, Bishop Dawani, Bishop Riah arrived and found that, his portrait had been removed from those of other former Bishops hanging from the walls of the “Bishops’ Lounge”. When asked, Bishop Suhail denied he knew anything about it. Lay Canon Sami Habiby found it in the office where Bishop Dawani was dressing. He asked Bishop Riah to forgive Bishop Dawani’s lie and the slight, which he did.
On April 8, 2007, Bishop Riah was to preside over the Easter sunrise service by invitation of the Church in Amman, which he did at his own expense. Instead of being joined in prayer by Bishop Dawani, he found out that the Jordan mobile he used and had committed to pay for, had been disconnected, on Maunday Thursday, at Bishop Dawani’s demand, and that the church driver had been instructed not to render any service to Bishop Riah, who had asked him to bring his vestments, required for the service, from the Diocesan office in Amman. Bishop Dawani was still not yet the Diocesan Bishop at this time.
In September of 2007, mediation was offered by His Grace Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, by His Beatitude Michael Sabbah, (then Roman Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem), by the Head of the Lutheran Federation, Bishop Munib Younan, the Head of the Druze community in Israel, Sheikh Mowafaq Tareef, and by the administrator of the White Mosque in Nazareth, Sheikh Atef Fahoum as well as by others. These overtures were rejected by Bishop Dawani without regard for the judicial power of the Church and the provisions made by the Central Synod regarding Provincial Tribunals. This disregard for church protocols shows that Bishop Dawani is unfit for office and should be removed.
Bishop Dawani set into motion several retaliatory and discriminatory actions against Bishop Riah’s family, who were highly qualified employees of the church school. These included firing his daughter, a US college graduate with honors, with a highly successful history as a fundraiser, claiming she was a former secretary of the Bishop’s, when in fact she was employed by the school. Another act of retaliation targeted Bishop Riah’s son, also a highly educated and qualified professional, who was summarily dismissed. He had revived a dying school as Director for 16 years, increasing the number of pupils from 149 pupils and 11 staff, to 1710 pupils with 142 staff members, resulting in receiving the Israeli Ministry of Education’s highest accolades. Under his Directorship, the school had a balanced budget, but since his sacking, the school now has a significant debt of about $4 million USD. An investigation must be launched to determine the causes, as well as the reasons for the high turnover in employees especially within the school and Diocesan Finance Departments.
Bishop Riah’s wife was also harassed. On one occasion she was viciously attacked after being invited by the Diocesan Finance Department to pick up long overdue stipend cheques on December 4, 2008. These cheques had been deliberately withheld to inconvenience Bishop Riah and his family. On June 22, 2011, both Bishop Riah and his wife were invited to pick up documents from the Diocese they had formally requested, and were accosted while trying to enter the Cathedral for prayer, in Jerusalem. In another suspicious incident, a family car was vandalized.
Minister for Labor, Dr. Ahmad Majdalani, after an in-depth and careful examination, found that Bishop Dawani, and the then Committee he chaired, had improperly and illegally transferred Bishop Riah’s apartment to a third party. Other issues of malfeasance include charging the school for Bishop Dawani’s daughter’s mobile phone expense, personal enrichment via other miscellaneous stipends, and registering Ramallah Housing Society land in his own name, all against Diocesan regulations, which was only corrected by an order of the Palestinian court. Ramallah Housing Society funds of $60,000 USD were withheld by Bishop Dawani and only released after a press article exposed the controversy, creating yet another scandal for the church and school while under Bishop Dawani’s leadership.
In the interest of the integrity and reputation of the Diocese, the conduct of Bishop Dawani, must now be investigated thoroughly and professionally with proper restitution pursued vigorously and expediently. His misuse and abuse of ecclesiastical authority must be addressed and resolved urgently. The people of the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem deserve better of their Bishop, or they deserve another Bishop.