Recent report condemns normalization of the occupation and its injustice.
By Catholic News Agency
May 19, 2017
“In both societies, Israeli and Palestinian, the life of the Palestinians is far from normal. Acting as if things were normal ignores the violation of fundamental human rights.”
The Catholic Church will speak out against injustice and avoid any attempt to normalize the “festering wound” of the Israeli-Palestinian situation, a commission from the region’s leading Catholic bishops has said.
“The Church, given the nature of her mission, has her own values and criteria to define her position in a situation of conflict, like the one in Israel-Palestine. No single brand of political discourse, no particular party position nor any particular ideological option binds the Church,” the Justice and Peace Commission of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land said May 14. The commission is headed by Latin Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah.
“However, at the same time, the Church cannot ignore fundamental injustice or acts that endanger peace and the welfare of the human person,” the commission said.
“By her very nature, the Church opposes occupation and discrimination and is committed to promote justice and peace as well as the unique dignity and equality of every human person,” it continued. “The Church can never ignore injustice as if all is well but rather is obligated to speak out, resist evil and work tirelessly for change. Like the prophets of old, the Church, a prophetic body, points out injustice and denounces it.”
The Church must discern what is necessary to maintain relations with the occupying power, but avoid any activities that would help the situation appear normal.
The Justice and Peace Commission saw an important intersection between the Church’s position against injustice, and political discourse against “normalization” of the Israeli-Palestinian situation. The local Church is responsible for reminding the universal Church that the situation is “an open, festering wound and that the situation cannot be considered normal,” the commission said.
While in the State of Israel, Jews and Arabs have equal rights in principle, in practice Arabs face discrimination in access to development, jobs, education, and public funding for their cities, the group added.
“Some of these forms of discrimination are embedded in legislation, but others are indirect and hidden.”