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Rising Israeli-Palestinian tension

Rising Israeli-Palestinian tension

The world sadly and alarmingly reflects on the killings in the synagogue:

Jodi Rudonren of The New York Times says that “In Jerusalem’s ‘War of Neighbors,’ the Differences Are Not Negotiable”:

Analysts on both sides worried that the cycle of violence and mutual dehumanization would be compounded by the growing focus on the holy site, where the ancient temples once stood and where Muslims have worshiped for centuries and now fear a Jewish takeover.

“When you bring the religious dimension, it absolutizes the conflict — you can divide land, you can divide security, but the sacred is indivisible,” said Moshe Halbertal, a philosophy scholar at Hebrew University. “And it also globalizes the conflict, because it’s every Muslim, it’s not anymore an Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Jeremy Bowen of BBC News reflects on the rising tensions:

(Violence in Jerusalem) has been fed by the fact that once more the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has been left to fester. An attempt by the Americans to revive a peace process failed, despite energetic diplomacy from the US Secretary of State John Kerry.

The two sides are further apart than ever. Their conflict used to be, at root, about the possession of land. But since Israel captured the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 1967 it has become more defined by religion.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Israeli troops responded in part by razed the home of a Palestinian man suspected in an earlier attack.

As does the Washington Post story by William Booth and Ruth Eglash:

Squads of police and demolition experts descended on the fourth-story apartment of a Palestinian man involved in the October attack on Jerusalem’s light rail system that killed a 3-month-old baby girl and a 22-year-old woman. The attacker, Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, was shot dead by police at the scene.

Israeli police hustled out members of the extended Shaludi family. They watched security forces topple walls, smash windows and doors, and even tear up the tile floors — essentially gutting the home.

Pope Francis called for peace on both sides, reported by Vatican Radio:

“I am following with concern the alarming increase in tension in Jerusalem and other parts of the Holy Land, with unacceptable episodes of violence that do not spare even the places of worship. I assure a special prayer for all the victims of this dramatic situation and for those who suffer most as a result. From the bottom of my heart, I make an appeal to the parties involved to put an end to the spiral of hatred and violence and to make courageous decisions for reconciliation and peace. Building peace is difficult, but living without peace is a torment!”

Additionally, The New York Times profiled the ‘Wise Scholars’ who were killed.


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I call on Pope Francis to lead a nonviolent intervention to the Holy Land (note how we even have to say “Holy Land”, to avoid the “I” or “P” words?).

I’m serious. ONLY nonviolent intervention can BREAKTHROUGH this sick, endless cycle. If the Israelis and Palestinians could do it themselves, they would have by now (going on 3000 years, give or take).

But unlike the “Pax Romana” or any of the empires before or after, this intervention MUST be nonviolent. Only disciplined satyagrahis can disarm the warring parties through Force-of-Love. And who but Pope Francis has the exterior (and God willing, interior!) spotlight to lead such a cadre?

Make it happen, Francis! BE the Prince of Peace’s Vicar in this!

JC Fisher

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