Reproducimos la siguiente noticia que hemos recibido de su redactor vía correo electrónico. Seguirá en breve la traducción al castellano.
Mr Nadim Mansour elected as new Grand Master of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons in the Holy Land.

The installation ceremony of the Grand Lodge Master, referred to as the Most Worshipful Brother, started at Haifa's Dan Panorama Hotel at 4:30 p.m on 25th January, 2010, which followed the Grand Lodge elections several weeks before. The installation was held in a numerous company of local Masons & distinguished international guests representing foreign Grand Lodges. The event was followed by a festive dinner. Nadim Mansour, 66, is a Greek-Orthodox Palestinian Arab, which is very unusual for this country system, ruled mainly by the Ashkenazic Israeli elite. In the past there were only two other Palestinian Arab Grand Masters in this land: M.W. Brethren Jamil Shalhoub (1981-1982) & Yakob Nazee (1933-1940). Brother Mansour's post is termed for 2011-2013, & he is the 32nd Grand Master of the said Lodge. He was born in Haifa, & at the age of 5 had to move to Acre. Bro. Mansour was initiated into the mysteries of Free Masonry as a Lewis (i.e., a Mason's son) on 17th March, 1971 in the Lodge Akko. His father Elias was one of its founders. In 1980 Bro. Elias' son became himself the Lodge's Worshipful Master, i.e. its president. For his personal contribution to Masonry Bro. Mansour's he was bestowed upon with the highest Masonic honour of the 33rd & Last Degree of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.

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The first documented Masonic activity in modern Palestine dates back to 13th May, 1868, referred to as 5868 Anno Lucis (Latin: 'Year of the Light') in one of calendrical systems used by Free-Masonry. That year saw the arrival of the M. W. Bro. Dr Robert Morris, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. He came here in search of Masonic antiquities, & directed a Secret Monitor ceremony in the Biblical Cave of Zedekiah, deep under the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. It was a real adventure story as he almost got lost in the very long dark cave labyrinth, before the Providence let me find the exit. Bro. Morris kept striving to establish the first regular Masonic Lodge. Thus, in the same year he managed to obtain a foundation charter from the Grand Lodge of Canada, Ontario for the Royal Solomon Mother Lodge no. 293, working at the city of Jerusalem or adjacent places. The Mother Lodge first meeting was held in King Solomon's Quarries of Jerusalem on 7th May, 1873. Most of its founding members were American Christian settlers residing in Jaffa. They belonged to a denomination called the Church of the Messiah. In 1866 those believers left Jonesport, Maine for the Holy Land to found an agricultural settlement. Bro. Morris was supposed to be the Lodge's first Master. Yet, when he could not arrive, Bro. Morris's  place was taken by Bro. Rolla Floyd, one of the leaders of the American group called the Palestine Emigration Society. The Lodge's existence faced difficulties & after a few years it stopped reporting to the Grand Lodge of Canada. Subsequently, it was finally erased in 1907.

The current Grand Lodge consecration ceremony was held in West Jerusalem's Y.M.C.A Hall on 20th October, 1953. The Jubilee celebration took place in Tel-Aviv on 20th October, 2003. Since its inception, the office of this country's main present-day Grand Lodge has been located at Tel-Aviv, till now considered the official capital of this country by the prevailing majority of foreign states. In the pre-1948 Palestine there existed several separate Masonic bodies of different obediences, operating autonomously or under foreign jurisdiction. Nowadays Free-Masonic presence in this country is quite insignificant, both quantitatively & qualitatively, & its membership is decreasing for a number of reasons. There are about 1,200 local Freemasons belonging to ca 80 lodges working in some 10 languages (Arabic, Hungarian, Rumanian, Turkish, Russian, German, Spanish, French, English &/or Hebrew). Their ranks comprise at least 5 confessions (Unification Church alias Moonies, Druse, Christanity, Islam, or Judaism), & hold at least two different nationality statuses (Israelis or stateleless Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem & West Bank). Before the 1967 Israeli-Arab War, King Hussein, the current king's father & Master of the Grand Lodge of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, would attend the lodge in East Jerusalem. It was located in one of the still existing buildings facing Old City's Damascus Gate, just a stone's throw away from Zedekiah's Cave. This cave is also known as King Solomon's Quarries, since it served as a quarry for the Jerusalem Temple of King Solomon. He is considered to have been a legendary Master Mason himself, like his good non-Jewish Friend Hiram, the King of Tyre, who assisted him in the noble building endeavour of the Temple. The famous Masonica site of the quarry is still used for solemn functions by international Freemasonry. In the present-day Jerusalem the main Freemasonic Lodge is located at 13 Ezrat Yisrael Street. When the Intifada broke out, it became hardly possible for the Palestinian Freemasons residing in the occupied Palestinian Territories to visit their Israeli Masonic Brethren's lodges across the Green Line due to the military regime restrictions imposed upon non-Israelis. 

Freemasonry is an ancient transnational fraternity of free people regardless of their social status, who profess Monotheism & are bound for a moral lifestyle. Contrary to some conspiracy theories, Masonry is a totally legal & state law-abiding body; open & non-secret society, yet with some trade secrets (e.g., signs of recognition) to be shared only with other members. As an abode of confessional tolerance, ideological neutrality & social harmony, on its premises any polemics of religious or political nature are strictly forbidden. Freemasons aim at moral self-improvement & rendering philanthropic help to the needy all over the world, irrespective of their racial, ethnic, religious, ideological, lingual, gender, or status background, Masons & non-Masons alike. For more information on the said Grand Lodge &/or the current Grand Master's photograph you may click its official website or visit it in person at 4 Berkowitz Street (Museum Building, 4th floor), Tel-Aviv. Otherwise, you might also consult some local lodge members on one of the evenings from Monday to Thursday.


Written by:

H. Salomone Conte di Montebianco, C.M., D.D., Ph.D.,
Prof. of General Linguistics & Comparative Religion,
Fondation Marquis Louis de Beaufront, S.T.D.,
East Jerusalem, H.C., 
cell./sms: 0547 494 760,

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©  G. L. O. L. y A. 2013