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we pronounce it \ ă-lә-`tay-uh \
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Political Leaders Condemned as Violence Escalates in Holy Land

Akshay Mahajan

We're witnessing a tragic exploitation of tragedy, says Church.

As violence between Palestine and Israel intensifies, the Justice and Peace Commission of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land has condemned political leaders on both sides, particularly for their use and manipulation of hateful language.

The commission expressed that its hope for an end to the “cycle of violence” was “shattered by the irresponsible language of collective punishment and revenge that breeds violence and suffocates the emergence of any alternative.”

They denounced leaders, accusing them of remaining “entrenched, not only unwilling to enter into any real and meaningful process of dialogue but also pouring oil on the fire with words and acts that nurture the conflict.”

On Israel’s part, the violence “is fed” said the Commission, “by the attitude and expressions of a leadership that continues to foster a discriminatory discourse promoting exclusive rights of one group and the occupation with all…The occupation leadership seems to believe that the occupation can be victorious by crushing the will of the people for freedom and dignity.”

On Palestine’s part, it is “fed by the attitudes and expressions of those who have despaired of any hope to reach a just solution to the conflict through negotiations.”

They denounced those in Palestine who sought to gain popular support by “exploiting this situation of hopelessness” and those who sought to “build a totalitarian, monolithic society, in which there is no room for any difference or diversity,” to which they added: “To these we also say: Violence as a response to violence breeds only more violence.”

The Commission described the “cold blooded murder” of the three Israeli youth and the “brutal vengeance killing” of the Palestinian youth, as “products of the injustice and of the hatred that the occupation fosters in the hearts of those prone to such deeds.” They stated that the use of these deaths to carry out a “collective punishment” on the Palestinian people in general, as a “tragic exploitation of tragedy.”

They called for an end to any leadership that “feeds on the cycle of violence,” and for leaders to work rather for justice and peace and to enter into a meaningful dialogue, “recognizing that God has planted here three religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and two peoples: Palestinian and Israeli.”

The tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. (…) With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. (James 3:5-6. 9).

Photo by Akshay Mahajan
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