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Vatican Calls for End of Israeli Occupation of Arab LandsTim King Salem-News.com
Thousands of families of all faiths lived in the Holy land prior to the establishment of Israel in the late 1940's.
(SALEM, Ore.) - Awareness of Israel's ongoing aggressions against the native population of Palestine has led to a demand from the Vatican in Rome, that Israel accept U.N. resolutions and end its unlawful occupation of Arab lands.
The bishops are telling the Jewish state that it shouldn't use the Bible to justify "injustices"- viewed as genocide by a widening population, against the Palestinian people.
As we have explained many times in the past, Israel uses the religious philosophy called "Zionism" to justify their continual expansion of land over the past 63 years. The movement is based on the Biblical statement that "Jews inherit to the promised land".
The obvious problem is that thousands of families of all faiths lived in the Holy land prior to the establishment of Israel in the late 1940's.
To this day, mostly Arab families are literally tossed into the street and held back while their homes are bulldozed and the land prepared for new Israeli "settlements" which are colonies on Arab land.
Cardinal John Patrick Foley, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, stated Friday:
As messengers of Christ's peace, I am convinced that all of us must pray and work for peace in the Middle East - especially for a just and lasting peace between Palestine and Israel and among their neighbors.
The Cardinal says Catholic schools play a large role in this part of the world, and they are not limited to Catholic membership. The efforts in this area and others are considerably well funded too.
Many have made pilgrimages to the Holy Land where they have visited not only the places made sacred by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ but also the parishes, schools and hospitals which serve those we call the "living stones" - the Christian descendants of the original followers of Jesus Christ in that land we call ''holy''.
According to Cardinal Foley, this level of generosity is important, but secondary to the development of an ever deeper spiritual life.
Years ago, I noted that the so-called five pillars of Islam really had their origins in Judaeo-Christian sources.
Monsignor Pierre Burcher, Bishop of Reykjavïk - Iceland, recognizes the fragile political systems of the Middle east. His comments lead back to the never changing answer to the crisis; Israel must end its occupation of Palestine and therefore draw to a close the sixty plus years of deadly conflict.
The Bishops of the Northern Episcopal Conference (NEC), together with their Middle Eastern brothers and sisters, are aware that in addition to the difficult political situation and the confrontation with extremist Muslims, a difficult problem is also the emigration of Christians. This problem can only be resolved with the definitive solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The urgent moment of reconciliation and peace has arrived! The Christians of the Middle East, rather than flee the region, are especially necessary in this vital process of justice and peace. In fact, they have inherited the Christian mandate of forgiveness. Therefore it is not a question of their welcome in foreign lands but more their presence in the Middle East to safeguard a historical culture that is vital for the entire world. Peace is the urgent vocation of the Holy Land! Justice for the three monotheistic religions is that Jerusalem is open to all!
Bishop Burcher says Catholic Churches have been used by Catholic Christians as well as non-Catholics for their Divine Liturgy. He believes this too is a sign of practiced ecumenism that allows all faiths to coexist.
The notion of halting the occupation of Palestine should not be a political issue. People in the world are granted certain rights under the General Assembly of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These rules which are published online for all to see, do not allow the aggressive deadly policies Israel has exhibited increasingly in recent years.
Israel maintains separate laws for Jews and non-Jews, and even within the ranks of Judaism itself there is a great divide. Perhaps Israel will accept this suggestion, it remains to be seen. A quick perusal of Internet articles from Israel, groups like YNet and Jerusalem Post, have carried an article from the AP which was sent to Salem-News.com this morning, alerting us of this significant development.
The Vatican is serious about maintaining a Christian presence and outreach in the Middle east. Embracing the ecumenical movement to recognize and give credit to all monotheistic faiths, three days ago, for the first time ever, Vatican Radio began producing a webpage in Hebrew that features up-to-date information about the ongoing Special Synod of Bishops for the Middle East.
The work of Hana Bendcowsky - who is behind the Web page - "is to make quite sure 'that the Israeli public' be correctly and well-informed about Synod proceedings and the message of the Bishops with no margin for misunderstandings and controversy," World Jewish Congress reports.
On Friday the UN stated:
"The people of Gaza continue to suffer from the humanitarian consequences of the Israeli blockade of the area, despite the recent partial easing of the restrictions, a United Nations independent human rights expert said today.
"Israel imposed the blockade on Gaza, where some 1.5 million Palestinians live, over three years ago for what it called security reasons after Hamas ousted the Fatah movement in the Strip in 2007.
"'The situation in Gaza remains very serious from a humanitarian perspective. The blockade has been eased in some respects, but it has been maintained in other respects, and it continues to put the population there under great psychological and physical stress,' Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, told reporters at the UN Headquarters in New York."
It seems like the forces are working for the freedom of Palestine. Peace could exist in the world if the conflict can be resolved by ending the Israeli occupation of Arab lands.
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