To the Editor:
If we do not know what the truth is, nor care to find it out, we are not on the side of peace. Blindly accepting the Israeli government’s propaganda does them and us a disservice.
Bishop Desmond Tutu rightly labeled what the Israeli government was doing to the Palestinians as apartheid. An independent expert, John Duguard, told the U.N. human rights council, “anyone who experienced apartheid has a sense of deja vu when visiting the OPT (Occupied Palestinian Territories).”
Robert Serry, special U.N. envoy, cited the Israeli government for slowing needed supplies for rebuilding Gaza. Their blockade and restrictions were causing a tremendous amount of human suffering.
Former President Jimmy Carter, meeting with Hamas leaders in Syria, said, “Hamas is prepared to accept the right of Israel to ‘live as a neighbor next door in peace.’”
Why do we only hear the refrain “Hamas seeks the total destruction of Israel?” Is it accurate? Is it true?
If we are unable to discern and acknowledge the truth, then we will not be able to come up with a just solution. Fault can be found on both sides of this conflict. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert knows the solution and has admitted it is to return to pre-1967 borders where possible, and to swap land where that solution is not possible. Peace requires a just settlement.
Finally, there must be compassion. The Israelis must see the humanity and acknowledge the suffering of the Palestinians. The Palestinians must do likewise. To intentionally inflict suffering on fellow human beings is to become less human ourselves. Israeli might is destroying the soul of the Israeli people. Hamas will never prevail by engaging in conflict. Their only path to justice and peace is through active nonviolence in the way of Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr.
Deacon Art Donart
Prince of Peace Parish, Clinton