I would like to share with you my summary of the present situation in the Holy Land. I offer my thoughts for consideration. Just as I have offered you my thoughts on the suffering of the people in Ukraine and of the people of Russia so misled by a cruel regime.
I love and admire the Jewish people for their suffering down the many centuries, especially from a sinful, shameful Catholic church. When we walk through the ghetto in Rome I show the people the closed churches forced upon the Jewish people in a vain attempt to convert them to Christianity.
I love and admire the Palestinians. They were in the land many generations before the Jewish people came. The Jews insisted they had the right from the Book of Joshua, the cruellest book in the Bible where the Jews claim God gave them the right of genocide, to wipe out the native population. We know God would never want a genocide. The Jews used the Book, and use it still, as justification for their killing the Palestinians.
I despise the British Government for its part in the present terrible violence. The Government made pledges to both sides that were impossible to fulfil. The Jews and the Palestinians have inherited the arrogance from the British imperial mindset.
We pray for peace and for justice, for Palestinians and Jews to see that they can live together. Jews talks about being people of a land and of a promise and those who see themselves as people of a promise live freely in any part of the world, knowing that the law and love of God can be lived anywhere and everywhere. My friend was one of those and he told me that just I was free as Catholic to live anywhere so he felt free to live anywhere and love and serve God.
The men of violence want to destroy completely the other side, but the people of faith want everyone to live in peace and harmony wherever they are and we recognise God’s will in that attitude – to love one another is the supreme human commandment given by Christ and can be lived peacefully wherever we are.
Men of violence want to control the world and make it in their image and likeness, but people of peace want a world where the love of God and one’s neighbour rules supreme.
We glimpse something similar in the division in Northern Ireland and we know that the answer there is friendship and friendliness; but the men of violence, particularly those that deal in drugs, do not want peace they thrive on division and create it. The union in Ireland will be achieved by people of integrity who see the sanctity of all human life, who recognise and admire different traditions sincerely held – but they know the danger that they are targets for those who do not want union. We trust God will guide and give courage to all who are willing to speak for the whole community, to see the goodness of all who speak for the people and we support them. Friendship and friendliness can flow across every dividing line and there is no need to take sides when we are united in loving our neighbour and in serving God.
We must not take sides because the others will then not listen to us: we belong to each other, we love one another and those who believe in God include God’s love in that loving one’s neighbour.
(29th Oct 2023)