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2014-07-09

ASIA/HOLY LAND - Escalation in Gaza. Justice and Peace: "collective punishment" is inflicted on the Palestinian people

Jerusalem (Agenzia Fides) - The liability of new bloodshed in the Holy Land belongs to a large extent to political leadership that "pour gasoline on fire", fueling the conflict with words and irresponsible acts. And to use the murder of three Israelis "to inflict collective punishment on the Palestinian people as a whole and in its legitimate desire to be free, represents a tragic exploitation of that tragedy and only increases violence and hatred". Thus, in a statement released yesterday, July 8, the Justice and Peace Commission of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land spoke about the new wave of violence erupted in the region.
"Israel and Palestine - reads the text of the statement, sent to Fides Agency – are echoing with the cry of mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, loved ones of the young people who have fallen victim to the latest round in the cycle of violence that plagues this land" . Some of their faces are well known because "the media have covered in detail their lives, whereas others – by far more numerous - are mere statistics, nameless and faceless".
The analysis of the situation expressed by Justice and Peace calls into question the responsibility of the political and religious leadership. On the one hand, the violent language of the street in Israel that calls for vengeance "is fed by the attitudes and expressions of a leadership that continues to foster a discriminatory discourse promoting exclusive rights of one group and the occupation with all of its disastrous consequences. New settlements are built, the lands are confiscated, families are separated, loved ones are arrested and even assassinated". On the other hand, the violent language of the Palestinian street "is fed by the attitudes and expressions of those who have despaired of any hope to reach a just solution to the conflict through negotiations". A frustration that paves the way for "those who seek to build a totalitarian, monolithic society, in which there is no room for any difference or diversity, gain popular support, exploiting this situation of hopelessness".
According to the leaders of Justice and Peace in the Holy Land, it is necessary to recognize that "the resistance to occupation cannot be equated with terrorism. Resistance to occupation is a legitimate right, terrorism is part of the problem. "The only way out of the endless cycle of violence that has bloodied the land of Jesus is to "shake off any leadership that feeds on the cycle of violence" and support leaders who are determined to recognize "that God has planted here three religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and two peoples, Palestinian and Israeli". The text of Justice and Peace proposes again the perspectives suggested by Pope Francis during his recent visit to the Holy Land. Even religious leaders are called to speak "prophetic language" that "refuses to attribute the status of enemy to any of God’s children". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 09/07/2014)

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