Vatican: Bible doesn’t promise Palestine to Jews
The statement issued at the conclusion of the two-week Synod of Bishops conference on Middle East at the Vatican this month – called for the end to the Jewish occupation of Palestine.
It also said that the biblical concept of the “Promised Land nor the Chosen People” justify the building of new illegal Jewish settlements nor the occupation of the Holy Land.
“We thought carefully about the status of Jerusalem is holy. We are concerned about unilateral initiatives that threaten to change the composition and risk population balance,” the statement said.
“There is no longer a ‘chosen people’,” the statement has claimed. When Greek-Melchite Archbishop Cyrille Salim Bustros was asked to explain the claim in a news conference, he replied: ““We Christians cannot speak about the promised land for the Jewish people. There is no longer a chosen people. All men and women of all countries have become the chosen people. The concept of the promised land cannot be used as a base for the justification of the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of Palestinians. The justification of Israel’s occupation of the land of Palestine cannot be based on sacred scriptures.”
Pope Benedict XVI declared that peace in the Middle East is possible and urgently needed – and the best remedy for the exodus of Christians from the region.
Cardinal Martino calls Gaza a “concentration camp”
Cardinal Renato Martino, the Vatican’s justice and peace minister, made his comments in an interview with the online Italian news website Il Sussidiario.net.
“Defenceless populations are always the ones who pay. Look at the conditions in Gaza: more and more, it resembles a big concentration camp,” said Cardinal Martino….
Pope Benedict speaks to the Palestinian people during his visit:
I know how much you have suffered and continue to suffer as a result of the turmoil that has afflicted this land for decades. My heart goes out to all the families who have been left homeless. This afternoon I will pay a visit to the Aida Refugee Camp, in order to express my solidarity with the people who have lost so much. To those among you who mourn the loss of family members and loved ones in the hostilities, particularly the recent conflict in Gaza, I offer an assurance of deep compassion and frequent remembrance in prayer. Indeed, I keep all of you in my daily prayers, and I earnestly beg the Almighty for peace, a just and lasting peace, in the Palestinian Territories and throughout the region….
In the words of the late Pope John Paul II, there can be “no peace without justice, no justice without forgiveness” (Message for the 2002 World Day of Peace). I plead with all the parties to this long-standing conflict to put aside whatever grievances and divisions still stand in the way of reconciliation, and to reach out with generosity and compassion to all alike, without discrimination. Just and peaceful coexistence among the peoples of the Middle East can only be achieved through a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect, in which the rights and dignity of all are acknowledged and upheld….
Since arriving in Bethlehem this morning, I have had the joy of celebrating Mass together with a great multitude of the faithful in the place where Jesus Christ, light of the nations and hope of the world, was born. I have seen the care taken of today’s infants in the Caritas Baby Hospital. With anguish, I have witnessed the situation of refugees who, like the Holy Family, have had to flee their homes. And I have seen, adjoining the camp and overshadowing much of Bethlehem, the wall that intrudes into your territories, separating neighbors and dividing families.
Although walls can easily be built, we all know that they do not last for ever. They can be taken down. First, though, it is necessary to remove the walls that we build around our hearts, the barriers that we set up against our neighbours. That is why, in my parting words, I want to make renewed plea for openness and generosity of spirit, for an end to intolerance and exclusion. No matter how intractable and deeply entrenched a conflict may appear to be, there are always grounds to hope that it can be resolved, that the patient and persevering efforts of those who work for peace and reconciliation will bear fruit in the end. My earnest wish for you, the people of Palestine, is that this will happen soon, and that you will at last be able to enjoy the peace, freedom and stability that have eluded you for so long….
Personal Diary Report, Pat Gaffney, General Secretary, Pax Christ
Pax Christi delegation to Palestine and Israel, 12 – 20 February 2009
This was my fifth visit in ten years to Palestine and Israel and probably the most distressing. This was in large part due to the shadow of the war with Gaza which hangs over our partners and others whom we
met. Paradoxically, alongside this shadow I also experienced glimpses of light and hope – in those who refuse to give up and who remain steadfast in their vision that peace and justice will one day return.
A Catholic Narrative of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
From a Catholic vantage point, the American policy of pretty much one-sided support for the Israeli State is both detrimental to the cause of Holy Land Christians, and is a primary root cause of Middle Eastern anger and terrorism directed at otherwise innocent Israelis and Americans.
Pope John Paul II stated that the question of Jerusalem is fundamental for a just peace in the Middle East that the City should stand out as a symbol of universal peace for the human family. Pope Benedict XVI seems similarly inclined on this issue.
The Vatican-PLO Accord of 2000 directly implied that Israel’s unilateral actions concerning Jerusalem were “morally and legally unacceptable”. Peace and security for all peoples of the region should be settled on the basis of international law, relevant UN and its Security Council resolutions; Justice and equity- realizing the inalienable national legitimate rights and aspirations of the Palestinian people. I recommend that all Catholics read the Accord and draw your own conclusions….
Jesuit Priest Corresponds With Hamas
Fr. Raymond Helmick is a copious correspondent. For the past three years, the Jesuit priest has written nearly 20 letters to Khalid Mishal, founder and political leader of the Palestinian movement Hamas, urging him to abandon militancy, unify with Fatah, Hamas’ political rival, and organize the Palestinians in a disciplined campaign of nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation.
“Your military weapons are too puny to stand against Israeli weapons, but that mobilized power of a people denying, without violence, any cooperation with its occupiers is something Israel could not withstand,” wrote Helmick in a Feb 2006 letter sent weeks after Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections.
by Thaddeus J. Kozinsi, Ph.D.
A telltale sign of having become the victim of propaganda is the eruption of anger, name-calling, calumny, scapegoating, and insinuations when confronted with facts, ideas, or arguments that pose a threat to the unmasking or refutation of the propaganda. Such a reaction is itself a deliberate product of the propagandist, for it is a built-in defense mechanism effectively precluding awareness of not only the spurious content of the propaganda, but also its very existence in the mind of the victim.
The amount, intensity, and sophistication of the propaganda surrounding, distorting, and cloaking the Israeli attacks on Gaza in December of 2008 is staggering. Nevertheless, some things one just cannot hide. It is now indisputable for all but the most brainwashed that the Israeli attacks on innocent Palestinians in Gaza were gravely immoral. The Vatican condemned Israel’s actions, and so have the vast majority of the countries of the world. What is also indisputable is that the primary cause of the violence in Gaza, as well as virtually all the violence in the Middle East for the past sixty years, is not primitive, home-made “rockets,” pathetic weapons that killed less Israelis in seven years than the state-of-the-art, American-produced “smart bombs” killed in seven days (unconscionable as these rocket attacks were), nor “Islamic terrorists who hate democracy and freedom,” but the unconscionable treatment of Palestinians by the state of Israel, what can be accurately called ethnic cleansing and apartheid.
Read the whole article here
It’s time for Palestine.
It’s time for Palestinians and Israelis to share a just peace.
It is time to remember also that there are many friendships between Palestinian and Israeli people.
It’s time to respect human lives in the land called holy.
It’s time for healing to begin in wounded souls.
It’s time to end 60 years of conflict, oppression and fear.
It’s time for freedom from occupation.
It’s time for equal rights.
It’s time to stop discrimination, segregation and restrictions on movement.
It’s time for those who put up walls and fences to build them on their own property.
It’s time to stop bulldozing one community’s homes and building homes for the other community on land that is not theirs.
It’s time to do away with double standards.
It’s time for Israeli citizens to have security and secure borders agreed with their neighbours.
It’s time for the international community to implement 60 years of United Nations resolutions.
It’s time for Israel’s government to complete the bargain offered in the Arab Peace Initiative.
It’s time for those who represent the Palestinian people to all be involved in making peace.
It’s time for people who have been refugees for 60 years to regain their rights and a permanent home.
It’s time to assist settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories to make their home in Israel.
It’s time for self-determination.
It’s time for foreigners to visit Bethlehem and other towns imprisoned by the wall.
It’s time to see settlements in their comfort and refugee camps in their despair.
It’s time for people living 41 years under occupation to feel new solidarity from a watching world.
It’s time to name the shame of collective punishment and to end it in all its forms.
It’s time to be revolted by violence against civilians and for civilians on both sides to be safe.
It’s time for both sides to release their prisoners and give those justly accused a fair trial.
It’s time to reunite the people of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
It’s time for all parties to obey international humanitarian and human rights law.
It’s time to share Jerusalem as the capital of two nations and a city holy to three religions.
It’s time for Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities to be free to visit their holy sites.
It’s time in Palestine as in Israel for olive trees to flourish and grow old.
It’s time to honour all who have suffered, Palestinians and Israelis.
It’s time to learn from past wrongs.
It’s time to understand pent-up anger and begin to set things right.
It’s time for those with blood on their hands to acknowledge what they have done.
It’s time to seek forgiveness between communities and to repair a broken land together.
It’s time to move forward as human beings who are all made in the image of God.
All who are able to speak truth to power must speak it.
All who would break the silence surrounding injustice must break it.
All who have something to give for peace must give it.
For Palestine, for Israel and for a troubled world,