Churches of Jerusalem reject the ‘Deal of the Century’

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Churches of Jerusalem reject the ‘Deal of the Century’

By Fr. Dr. Rif’at Bader

At the time when US President Donald Trump announced his new plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, known publicly and in the media as the 'Deal of the Century', the Catholic Churches in the Holy Land rejected the proposed plan, and stressed that any serious proposal or a solution for the attainment of peace must be carried out with the approval of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples on the basis of equality in rights and dignity.

They stated that “the plan presented does not contain these conditions. It doesn’t give dignity and rights to the Palestinians. It is to be considered a unilateral initiative, since it endorses almost all the demands of one side, the Israeli one, and its political agenda. On the other hand, this plan does not really take into considerations the right demands of the Palestinian people to their homeland, rights and dignified life.” They pointed out that “the plan will bring no solution but rather will create more tensions and probably more violence and bloodshed.”

It is a historic moment when the Churches of Jerusalem do not forget that their followers were martyred, and that they took part in the struggle alongside their Muslim brethren over the bitter years of conflict as many of them were forcibly displaced. So, the Churches of Jerusalem stressed in their statement the need to respect the previous agreements signed between the two parties, and to be fulfilled upon the basis of complete human equality among peoples. They also called on all the Christian Churches in the world to pray for the Holy Land, to work for the attainment of genuine justice and peace, as well as to serve as the voice of the voiceless.

In Jordan, the Churches rally behind the wise Hashemite leadership in rejecting this scheme that implies anything but peace. Consequently, peace is the result of reconciliation between peoples rather than being unilateral decisions taken in remote places. Peace should incorporate the dignity of the Palestinian people and their right to self-determination, preserve the right of return for refugees, maintain Jerusalem as the capital of religions in the world, and explicitly emphasize the profound historical role of the Hashemites who paid their utmost care and attention in the past, at present, and will continue to do so in the future.

I conclude with the appeal made by Palestinian Patriarch Michel Sabbah, who said: “This land was not created for evil, but for the redemption of all humanity. There must be wise men among the powerful of this world to bring it back to its normal nature. They should know that it will not rest except with the attainment of full equality among its peoples, which is possible.” We pray and ask the Almighty God to guide the hearts of the powerful so that they restore their faith in the power of goodness, affection, justice and equality among all of God’s creations in this Holy Land.

abouna.org@gmail.com

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