I am a Catholic priest at St. John of God (www.Sjog.org) and St. Anne's/
AACC (Arab-American Catholic Community, www.Al-Bushra.org) in San Francisco.
Many of my American friends and parishioners ask me:
1) What America can do more for justice and peace in the Holy Land?
2) America has done a lot to bring Israelis and Palestinians together to negotiate for peace! Why violence continues in the Holy Land, what America can do more?
Let me tell you in brief what may help you to see things:
1) Before 1948 the year of the proclamation of the State of Israel, Palestinians were living for centuries and centuries in Palestine. Palestinians the descendants of the Cananites and the Jebusites who under different occupations (until the last one the English one during the W.W.I and W.W.II) continued to exist as people. Jews formed around 5% of the people living in peace with Palestinians. Jews were not mistreated by Arabs, they were persecuted in Europe. The English decided under the Zionist pressure to create a Jewish State in Palestine. Since then the problems started between Jews who started to come from all over the world to take over Palestine and build settlements here and there with the English (and European help who felt guilty for what they have done to the Jews, the Holocaust, and to get rid of them from Europe) and American money and weapons. England has long history in doing things like that: I mean to create problems in the Countries that she colonized: India-Pakistan, Afghanistan, Africa, Argentina, Kuwait-Iraq ... (Sources: http://www.al-bushra.org/palestine/whattoknow.html)
2) The State of Israel took from the new UN over 52% of the Historic Palestine. Palestinians found on this an injustice. They refused to divide their country. War started and with the support of the English and the Americans Israel got 78% of the Historic Palestine. (Sources: http://www.cactus48.com/truth.html)
3) In 1967, during the six days war Israel got the 22% of the remaining
Palestine that was under Jordanian Control. The UN Resolution 242 and 338
stipulated these 22% are OCCUPIED TERRITORIES that should return their
4) In 1993 after the first nonviolent Intifada in the Occupied Territories, Oslo agreement was reached that Israel would give back these 22% to Palestinians and started with the Arabs what is called the Peace Process, LAND FOR PEACE. Palestinians will recognize the State of Israel on the 78% of their historic Palestine and Israel will give back by steps (within 5 years) the 22% of the land to the Palestinians. (Sources http://www.nimn.org/)
5) During the Peace Process with the help of the USA Israel was building
settlements on the 22% of the Occupied Territories and bringing Jews from
Russia, Ethiopia and every where. (Sources: http://www.fmep.org/reports/)
The USA against all the Palestinian calls for the UN to decide on the issues of justice and TRUTH was using its Veto's against the UN Resolutions in favor of Israel (24 UN Security Council veto's to date).
The USA has given up to date an estimated $92 billion dollars to Israel, mainly from our tax money used to build Jewish Settlements in the 22% of the Occupied Territories and sophisticated weaponry and with blind political cover.
Rabin who wanted really to build the future of Israel and recognize the right of the Palestinians was killed by the Israelis Extremists.
The last Clinton-Barak-Arafat camp David meeting offered to the Palestinians part of the 22% and not all the Land but the Palestinians have to accept the presence of the Settlements under Israeli control, the roads and the security, to give up the Israeli army the borders of the Palestinian State, its entries and exits, the airport and the sea, and off course give up the right of the Palestinian refuges to come back (over 4 million refugges) and Part of Jerusalem, the Palestinian Capital. Palestinians saw that they have already given 78% of their historic Palestine and refused to give any inch of their 22% internationally recognized occupied territories and East Jerusalem. The Israeli and the American sides blamed Palestinians for the failure of the Camp David meetings for refusing the so called generous offer of the Israelis. The offer did not give any map it was only word, later on American and Israelis experts showed that it was just an offer that nobody would accept and they wanted only to trap the Palestinians (Sources: http://www.al-bushra.org/israel/0israel.htm) and (http://www.al-bushra.org/israel/myth.html)
6) Frustrated with the flow of the settlers, the building of settlements everywhere and anywhere, the policy of closure, the demolition of the Palestinian houses, confiscation of IDs and lands, Palestinians started a second INTIFADA after Sharon provoked them and came to the Holiest Muslim Place in Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa with over 3000 soldiers, who killed many angry young people.
Sharon elected as Prime minister of Israel asked President Bush, new elected for 100 days to finish the Palestinian Cause for good. But since then violence nourished violence. And America started to blame the Palestinians, when covering up on the use of the F16, Gunships, tanks etc used by the Israelis against the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, denying to the Palestinians the International recognized law to resist Occupation.
The Palestinians used suicide bombing in Israel to revenge the Israeli killings in the occupied Territories. These Suicide bombing, considered as Terrorist acts, and as such provoked the Israelis for more killings and house demolition the way the USA did in Afghanistan against Taliban. And as such these terrorists acts by the Palestinians did not serve the Palestine cause and, used by the Israeli-American Media, silenced the whole world who seemed unable today to take a clear stand for justice, TRUTH and Peace.
And again violence nourished violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
7) Here should come the USA work for TRUTH and JUSTICE
I will answer here then the two questions asked on the very beginning of my reflection on the situation in the Holy Land
a) In the name of the TRUTH: The USA should call immediately
for the implementation of the UN RESOLUTIONS 242, 338, 194 and respect
the International law.
In fact the War's main ground of violence is on the Occupied Territories and because of the frustrations in these Occupied territories, the Palestinian and Israeli innocent population are suffering. END THEN ISRAELI OCCUPATION, the source and the reason of violence, things will change immediately
b) In the name of JUSTICE: The USA have helped Israel with money, weapons, UN veto's and political support for over 54 years. It is time that the USA help Israel to live in peace with its neighbors The only way for Israel to find peace and friends around its borders is that the USA work for comprehensive justice for the Palestinians, owner of the Historic Palestine
c) Sooner or LATER the Palestinians will see their rights recognized and they will establish their full independent State. The USA short vision today is only delaying this day when the whole world will stand with the Palestinian rights.
The USA should work then SOONER better
than later for JUSTICE and TRUTH. An open and sincere evaluation of the
American policy is needed to bring peace for the Holy land.
IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK FROM AMERICAN ADMINISTRATION FOR THE SAKE OF THE MANY INNOCENTS (Palestinians and Israelis) WHO DIED WAITING FOR A BETTER LIFE?
TO THE ARTICLE
Published on Coastalpost.com