06/20/2020, 09.25
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Christian leaders: Covid-19 overshadowing historical evils of the Holy Land

The emeritus leaders of the holy city say the pandemic "diverted attention" from questions of justice and peace to "life and death". But the problems of the past remain unsolved. Fears for the future of Palestinian Christians forced to flee abroad. The path to coexistence in international law and resolutions.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - The Covid-19 pandemic has "diverted attention" from the issues of "justice and peace" to the problems of "life and death" and "we too share this global affliction" and "we ask God for mercy ".

However, "we are worried about the old evils that afflict our land", including the centenaries old dispute "between two peoples in one land", write three emeritus leaders of the Churches of Jerusalem in an appeal sent to AsiaNews.

They do not hide their fears "for suffering and injustice" and appeal to world leaders to "act to help" the reconciliation process.

In a joint letter, the emeritus patriarch of Jerusalem Michael Sabbah, the Anglican bishop emeritus Riah Abu El Assal and the Lutheran emeritus bishop Munib A. Younan recall the appeals recently launched by the current heads of the Churches of the holy city. They ask for answers "to our univocal appeal from the Holy Land" so that "holiness, by applying international law and recognizing the basic rights of all its citizens" will be restored as a whole.

The new executive, the result of an agreement between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz, aims to move ahead with the annexation of territories and the regularization of the colonies.

The Supreme Court rejected the project which was branded as "21st century Apartheid" by UN experts. It worries the Christian leaders of the Holy Land, who speak of "serious and catastrophic" politics, with the approval of the USA in the context of the controversial "Agreement of the century".

The fear of Christian leaders is directed "towards the future of Palestinian Christians" who do not see "hope of justice on the horizon" and are subject to constant "pressure" to flee abroad. This is why it is "time to act" to "extinguish the destructive fires raging in the Holy Land”. And it is well known that "only a just peace will put end to hatred, to oppression, and the suffering of so many in the land made holy by God".

For emeritus leaders, the holy city "is the key to this peace", not only between Israelis and Palestinians but also among Christians, Jews and Muslims. Today it is not "a city of peace, but of struggles and conflicts". It must become the place of "reconciliation, justice and equality" because a peace here will be transformed "into peace for the whole world". Israel, they continue, must "ease tension and comply with United Nations resolutions", because "occupation and colonization of Palestine is the root cause of the on-going conflict. ".

The solution to the long-standing controversy has "already been identified many years ago" and is contained in the "numerous UN resolutions". The majority of nations "already recognize both the State of Israel and the State of Palestine: our invocation is simple - conclude Christian leaders - apply what is recognized" internationally and "help Israel to have its security and Palestine their independence ", so that both" can live side by side in peace, justice, equality and democracy. No more hatred, no more death, only justice, equality, life”.

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