Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Vatican wants the occupation ended

A Vatican Synod on the Middle East recently convened and subsequently released an important statement regarding Israel/Palestine (see Ynet article). The Vatican body stated that Biblical concepts and interpretations of sacred scripture cannot neither be used to justify the occupation nor Israel's territorial claims which lead to settlement expansion. Here is an greatly encouraging quote from Greek-Melchite Archbishop Cyrille Salim Bustros:
"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," he added. "The justification of Israel's occupation of the land of Palestine cannot be based on sacred scriptures."
The statement also stated the obvious (yet immensely important to explicitly state time and time again):
"Palestinians are suffering the consequences of the Israeli occupation: the lack of freedom of movement, the wall of separation and the military checkpoints, the political prisoners, the demolition of homes, the disturbance of socio-economic life and the thousands of refugees."
Thank you Catholic Church for restoring a small sliver of my (recently held) hope in the Christian Church. I pray this is a small step toward the global church being a voice for justice in Israel and Palestine.

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