Justice, not violence, will end Israel-Hamas war
Hamas brutally, immorally attacked Israel, killing many innocent Israelis. No excuse can justify this. And no excuse can justify Israel’s counter attacks brutally, immorally killing many innocent Gazans.
As I write, Israel is preparing to execute a massive military attack into Gaza. This will surely inflict tremendous additional suffering upon countless innocent civilians – especially the children – and cause thousands upon thousands of additional deaths.
As we all know, the situation is already desperate.
Several years ago, I interviewed Bishop William Shomali, patriarchal vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine, who shared with me the ongoing injustices imposed upon Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank by the Israeli government. And sadly, it is safe to say that the situation is the same, if not worse today.
Bishop Shomali explained to me that among the serious hardships facing Palestinians is the Israeli imposed restrictions on movement. For example, he noted that Palestinians living in Bethlehem or Ramallah need to obtain a permit to go just six miles to Jerusalem. And permits are only given during principle feasts.
He said the ongoing illegal building of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is an extremely serious roadblock to a peaceful solution.
According to Amnesty International “swimming pools, well-watered lawns and large irrigated farms in Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories stand in stark contrast next to Palestinian villages whose inhabitants struggle to meet their essential domestic water needs. … In many places Palestinians receive water only one day per week or every few weeks, in some areas not for months at a time.”
Bishop Shomali told me that “Gaza is the worst case! It’s an open-air prison.” With the blockade, Israel completely controls who and what comes and goes in Gaza.
Bishop Shomali said that Hamas’ tunnel building in preparation for war against Israel and their numerous attacks against Israelis is also morally wrong. The many violent Israeli injustices against Palestinians, and Hamas’ violent attacks upon Israelis, is a vicious cycle that can only be broken with peace, he said.
To correct these injustices, Bishop Shomali said Israel needs to participate in good-faith negotiations toward the two-state solution: the establishment of an independent viable Palestinian nation coexisting peacefully with a fully recognized state of Israel.
He emphasized the two-state solution continues to be firmly supported by the Holy See (see: http://bit.ly/2yiABHl).
Regrettably, there is virtually no U.S. or Israeli support for the two-state solution.
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. warned, “Violence begets violence; hate begets hate; and toughness begets a greater toughness. It is all a descending spiral, and the end is destruction – for everybody. Along the way of life, someone must have enough sense and morality to cut off the chain of hate.”
The U.S. gives Israel more than $3 billion dollars in military aid every year (see: https://bit.ly/3PZBE8F). And thus, potentially has significant influence with the Israeli government.
Please contact President Biden (see: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/) urging him to “have enough sense and morality to cut off the chain of hate” by putting full diplomatic pressure on Israel to stop its massive military attacks upon so many innocent Gazans, and to negotiate with Hamas for a quick cease fire to make possible food, water and medical supply routes into all suffering areas, and safe corridors for all civilians – especially the children – to exit Gaza. And as a sign of good faith, urge Biden to clearly signal a strong commitment – with concrete steps outlined – toward the establishment of two independent, safe, viable states: Palestine and Israel. And please sign and circulate these petitions (click links: https://bit.ly/400N8xc, https://bit.ly/45DRPOA, https://bit.ly/3QjziTn).
And pray! Let us storm heaven with personal prayers, group prayers, petitions in the Prayer of the Faithful during Mass – for peace between Israel and Hamas and all Palestinians. And for peace throughout the entire world.
And please make a generous donation to Catholic Relief Services’ committed efforts to aid the victims of the hellish Israel-Hamas war
Pope Francis said, “Humanitarian law must be respected, above all in Gaza, where it’s urgent and necessary to guarantee humanitarian corridors and to protect the entire population. Brothers and sisters, there are already so many dead. Please, don’t shed innocent blood, not in the Holy Land, or in Ukraine, or in any other place!”
“Enough” the pope said. “Wars are always a defeat, always!”Tony Magliano is an internationally syndicated Catholic social justice and peace columnist. He is available to speak at diocesan or parish gatherings. Tony can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.