Friday, January 9, 2009

Church leaders fear for the Holy Land

My eye was drawn this morning to Church Times, "the world's leading Anglican weekly newspaper" according to its web site, and an article Church leaders’ fears for Holy Land. Just what are those fears?

The Archbishop of Canterbury- “all those who have the power to halt this spiral of violence to do so. Those raising the stakes through the con­tinuation of indiscriminate violence seem to have forgotten nothing, and learned nothing.”
Without a serious international initiative to achieve peace, he said, “the future for the Holy Land and the whole region is one of more fear, innocent suffering, and destruction.”

The Most Revd Patrick Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool and Vice-President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales- “Everyone I meet at this time speaks with immense sadness of the suffering and destruction in Gaza and the fears of the people in Israel because of rocket attacks.” There must be an immediate end to all violence, he said.

The Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch, chairman of the Council of Chris­tians and Jews in Britain- his organisation was “deeply distressed” by the “suffering of the people of Gaza and Israel”.

The Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem- "wished that “Hamas and other Palestinian factions had chosen a non-violent way to resist the Israeli siege.” Its statement went on to say: “The disproportionate use of mili­tary force against the Gaza Strip and the number of casualties it produced must be strongly condemned.”

Well, thank you very much for those sentiments. But why no mention of the reason why Israel has attacked Gaza? Is it too much for these "leaders" to condemn Hamas clearly and unequivocally for picking a fight with Israel while knowing all along that the residents of Gaza were going to be caught in the middle of the storm?

If church leaders are not able to distinguish between the evil represented by Hamas' firing of rockets and mortars into Israel and the good represented by the right of state to defend its citizens, God help us all.

Read the full article here

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