Sunday, 25 September 2011

Catholics and Palestine

Some years ago I read about the first intifada (1983-1993) in Israel. There was a popular uprising by the Palestinians due to Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories. The Intifada came with a news blockade of the Palestinians by the Israelis. Whenever information came out, the world heard about the Palestinians and naturally assumed they were only muslim. The truth is that there were many Christians affected by the intifada.

Of the supposed 3 million Palestinians in the independent lands there are around 3 hundred thousand Christians of various sects. While many Christians have migrated those that remain long for a better life. A catholic Bishop from Palestine, Bishop Shomali lauds those who stayed: “The mission and calling of Christians is to remain in the Holy Land and work toward change,”

According to a news article by David Kerr on the Catholic News Agency:

"the Palestinian officials say they will launch their application for full United Nations membership next week at the U.N. headquarters in New York. They intend to ask for international recognition based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as a capital. The idea is strongly opposed by Israel and the United States."

American President Barack Obama has publicly stated that he will not support it.

Now we are hearing the the Vatican has remained neutral on the matter. Again from the article by David Kerr:

"A spokesman for the Apostolic Nuncio to Israel confirmed to CNA that the Vatican backs a “two-state solution” with a sovereign Palestine peacefully co-existing alongside Israel. He refused, however, to comment on the impending Palestinian bid for U.N. membership."

In June this year (2011) Pope Benedict described Palestine’s aspiration to statehood as “legitimate” during a meeting at the Vatican with the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. The Pope also cautioned that this should be achieved with the “just and lasting respect of everyone’s rights.”

Despite all this craziness the Bishop of Jerusalem William Shomali has the solution. He says “The Lord told us to pray for peace. Jerusalem will attain peace through the power of God, and not merely through the acts of politicians,”

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