Our daily life is full of various forms of oppression. Israeli occupation of Palestinian land impedes our freedom, and the development of a normal Palestinian society. It puts limits our daily freedoms, nourishes mutual hatred and violence. This is true. It is also true that we believed and we still believe in God, our common Father for all, Palestinians and Israelis. Although we believe that our land was in the past and is still today a land of hatred and bloodshed, we also believe that it was and must be today too a land of forgiveness and Redemption.
Violence, as long as it lasts, or as imposed by spirits who refuse to
listen to the cries of the poor and to the voice of the victims, and to
see the core of the question: in other words. a Palestinian people oppressed
and deprived of his freedom, it then follows that such freedom should necessarily
be given back.
Violence as long as it lasts for these reasons, is neither our goal, nor our destiny. Our destiny is the freedom in our land, and hence tranquility and security in it for all, Palestinians and Israelis alike.
Before that, amidst the hatred and the bloodshed, the word of God should
dwell in our hearts; we have to listen to it, to meditate it, even if it
hurts our feelings:
Let us learn how to make the link between those actions claiming for freedom and for all our rights, and the permanent listening to the voice of God echoing in the depth of our conscience.
Brothers and sisters, we are gathered here today to pray: to see before God why all these troubles took place, and what we have to do?
Why did the Palestinians revolt?
To say: enough to promises, and to the delaying of promises as much as to hesitations.
The question today is not a question of mere troubles or public disorder which should be tamed.
This vision will only make violence a permanent fact in this Holy Land.
The true question is that of a people kept in hostage who is asking for his freedom.
According to this vision measures should be taken, with the true courage to give back the required freedom.
This is the way to start a new era which corresponds to the vocation of this holy land.
We pray and ask the mercy of God for all those who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of their people, and for their families.
We pray for the Jewish people, our partner in this land in making justice
and security for Palestinians and Israelis alike.
For the political leaders, Israelis and Palestinians, we pray.
May God inspire them with the light to see the core of the problem and the right ways to deal with it.
May He give them courage and strength to implement what God inspires them.
To His Excellency Mr. Kofi Annan
Secretary General of the United Nations United Nations
October 12, 2000
Dear Mr. Annan,
I have been following with interest your intense activities in the Middle East. Like many people, I welcomed your involvement. Now, however, I find myself confused as to what your goals are.
We are hearing reports that you had lately brokered a meeting of Israeli and Palestinian "security" officials to be chaired by the head of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. Is this now the role of the United Nations?
Last week, the Security Council passed Resolution 1322, which, "Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and its responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949."
And yet, Israel has continued its flagrant violation of this convention, and continues to use its armed forces against the civilian population in the occupied territories.
We have not heard from you what steps you intend to take to implement this Resolution, nor the countless other Resolutions protecting the Palestinian people against their occupier, which sit gathering dust in UN files.
Mr. Annan, there is an occupation which must end. The Security Council has said so. It is your role to seek an end to the occupation, not to arrange meetings between "security" officials in order to make the occupation more pleasant for the occupier.
There are many people in the Middle East who are surprised that you have been rushing from capital to capital to secure the release of three Israeli soldiers taken prisoner in Lebanon. They ask themselves why dozens of Lebanese prisoners, and hundreds of Palestinian prisoners held for long years in Israel did not motivate you to seek their release.
They wonder why you have allowed yourself, and the United Nations whose lofty Charter gives hope to millions, to be reduced to nothing more than a Federal Express service for the Americans.
As I am sure you are aware, the United States has for years excluded you, and the whole international community from any role in the Middle East, because they claimed that they alone know how to make peace.
Because they supported only the strong, sidelined justice, scorned international law, and ignored the suffering and pleas of the Palestinian people, we have arrived at this ugly place.
They send you in when they have failed, so that you can take the blame.
I hope you will find your courage to go back to New York and stand before
Tell them what you know: occupation does not bring peace.
Human rights abuses do not bring security.
And meetings with the CIA are not a substitute for international law.