Human Dignity In the Holy Land

Canadian bishop looks through fence at convent in Beit Jalla, West Bank.

The path to peace in the Holy Land requires respect for the human rights and dignity of both Israelis and Palestinians, said bishops from Europe, South Africa and North America, gathered in the Holy Land on Jan. 15 as the Co-Ordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church of the Holy Land. “After the failed negotiations and ensuing violence of 2014, we urge public officials to be creative, to take new approaches, to build bridges, not walls,” the bishops wrote in a statement. “We must humanize the conflict by fostering more interaction between Israelis and Palestinians. Peace will only come when all parties respect the fact that the Holy Land is sacred to three faiths and home to two peoples.” They added, “Many tens of thousands of families in Gaza lack adequate shelter. In the latest freezing weather, at least two infants died of exposure. The continuing blockade dramatically impedes rebuilding and contributes to desperation that undermines Israelis’ legitimate hopes for security. It also creates intolerable levels of unemployment and pushes ordinary people into deeper poverty.”

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