Sunday, April 8, 2007

Jerusalem Patriarch Speaks out

Recently, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem released a statement calling for the end of the occupation of Palestine. (CWN)

Noting that the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories has now continued for 40 years, Patriarch Sabbah argues, "as long as this dysfunction continues in the Holy Land, the region and the world will suffer from it." He urges political leaders to "take the risk of making peace and put an end to the occupation."

The Palestinian prelate concedes that "fear has complicated matters and wants to see the Palestinians as terrorists or as incapable of assuring security." He encourages responsible leaders to overcome that fear, and create a new society in the Holy Land in which it can be said "that everyone accepts everyone, that everyone respects everyone, and that no one uses violence against the other.

First off, I didn't realize we still had a Patriarchate of Jerusalem, who knew? I also have to say I disagree with him, respectfully. I am not convinced that the so called "occupation" of Palestine must end. I believe that the problem is not occupation, but oppression. From all I have heard about Israel, they do not respect the Palestinians, but rather treat them (and, in fact any non-Jews) as second class citizens (or lower).

That is the underlying problem. People like a benevolent dictator/monarch but unrest occurs when the overloards are forceful. I think the call should be for Israel to respect and care for the Palestinian lands and people, or give them up. I do not believe that the hatred of Israel would continue in Palestine if only the Israelis would work for the benefit of of the Palestinian people and keep them well taken care of.

Perhaps I'm just an optimist.


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