Catholic ordinaries in the Holy Land say Israel-Palestine is an open and festering wound, reject injustice as 'normal'

The Justice and Peace Commission of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land slam the "normalisation" of the Israeli-Palestinian situation. The conflict affects everyday life in Palestine and Israel.

May 19, 2017

JERUSALEM: "Israel-Palestine is an open, festering wound and [. . .] the situation cannot be considered normal.” For this reason, the Justice and Peace Commission of the Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land is critical of any "normalisation" of the Palestinian-Israeli situation, noting that the Church has a natural duty to fight injustice and promote dialogue.

The “political situation in Israel Palestine is far from normal," the Commission said. In fact, the constant conflict between the two peoples "has a profound impact on daily life life" in Israel and Palestine.

In Israel, all citizens have "equal rights in principle" but in reality Arab citizens are discriminated against in various fields, from access to development to education. This takes many forms, embedded in legislation and "indirect and hidden".

In Palestine, in spite of the existence of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), Palestinians live under a military occupation that "determines their daily life: settlement and road building, legalization of Israeli construction on private Palestinian land, military incursions, assassinations, arbitrary arrests, administrative detention and collective punishment, confiscation of land, destruction of houses, checkpoints limiting the freedom of movement and creating numerous obstacles for economic development and the prevention of family reunification, a violation of the natural right of members of the same nuclear family to cohabitate together.” In this context, " acting as if” things were normal ignores the violation of fundamental human rights."

For Catholic ordinaries, "all persons and institutions involved in maintaining these relations should be aware that something ‘abnormal’ needs to be set right rather than allowing the ‘abnormal’ to become the order of the day.”

Ignoring or putting aside the duty to "use all available legal and non-violent means to promote full rights and complete equality for all citizens" means collaborating with "with structures of discrimination, the permanence of injustice and the lack of peace."

In addition, "the local Church in Israel-Palestine" has a duty to remind the "Universal Church" that the situation can not be considered normal.

Whilst acknowledging the Church's obligation to ensure that all its institutions work without difficulties and cooperate with the administrations of the territories where it is active, the Commission notes that this cannot "obscure the Church’s commitment to justice and her denunciation of all injustice."

The Church is not linked to any political, party or ideological position, but cannot ignore what "endanger peace and the welfare of the human person" and "can never ignore injustice ‘as if’ all is well.”

The Church’s job is to denounce injustices "like prophets of old" and "encourages dialogue with all people, including Israelis, individuals and organizations, who recognize the need to end occupation and eliminate discrimination."

“In the present confused and hopeless political situation, Christian communities, Church leaders and individual believers, are in need of ongoing discernment”. They also must work “with all their fellow citizens” for “a just and equal society” and “a lasting and just peace.”--Asia News

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