Over the last week or so, political news in the U.S. has been filled with headlines about Israel. President Obama called for a return to Israel's 1967 borders. President Benjamin Netanyahu pushed back and explained why such a move would be a suicidal act of madness. Meanwhile, President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has embraced partnership with the terrorist group Hamas, whose leadership continues to vow to eviscerate the Jews and push them all into the sea. And next door over in Egypt, in the midst of the much vaunted "Arab Spring," Coptic Christians are being slaughtered in the streets and their churches burned.
With all of that going on, it is perhaps a faint glimmer of light in that part of the world that shines from the seal of the Grand Lodge of the State of Israel of Ancient, Free & Accepted Masons. That single image contains the Hebrew Star of David, the Muslim crescent, and the Christian cross, along with the square and compasses of Freemasonry. In all of the Middle East, it is in the Masonic lodges of Israel where men of all faiths regularly put aside their differences and seek to meet each other on the level as true brethren. The Grand Lodge of Israel has approximately 1,200 members who comprise at least five major religions and meet in 56 lodges, working in ten languages.
On January 25th, Most W:.B:. Nadim Mansour was installed as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Israel 2011-2013. He is a Greek Orthodox Palestinian Arab, who was born in Haifa, and moved to Acre at the age of 5. He was initiated as a Lewis in 1971 into Lodge Akko, a lodge of which his father was a founding member. In 1980, he was elected Master of his lodge. He is also a 33rd degree Mason in the Ancient & Accepted Rite, where he is Grand Orator of the Supreme Council, State of Israel.
GM Mansour is the third Palestinian Arab to serve as Grand Master of Israel since the 1950s.
A belated Mazel Tov is in order.
See this extensive website for more information about Freemasonry in Israel.