Jerusalem's Latin Patriarch: 'Don't boycott Hamas'

In an interview to Henri Tincq, Le Monde's correspondant for religious affairs, on the occasion of an official visit to France, Mgr Michel Sabbah, Jerusalem's Latin Patriarch, declared that he opposed the boycott of Hamas.
He said the relations between Muslims and Christians in the Holy Land is a matter to be settled between the two communities on a local basis as they have been doing it for the last thirteen centuries. He said that he believes that Hamas will respect freedom of religion and had every possible guarantee from Ismail Haniyyeh about it.
He said that Palestinian christians are an integral part of the Palestinian society and that Palestine is their land.
When asked about radical Islam he answered that before the second Intifada 80% of Palestinians were for a peaceful and non violent resolution of the conflict and wondered why Israel refused to talk with these 80%.
He said that the wall was a source of frustrations and anger and that military action was Israel's only way for dealing with the other side.
He said that Sharon believed in 2000 when he walked on the esplanade of Al-Aqsa that he could crush the Palestinian people. he killed many of them, demolished thousands of houses and devastated the agriculture only to come to realise in the end that the Palestinians were still standing.
He said that this should make Israel think that it cannot realise peace alone and that Hamas was a partner for peace because of its commitment to the Palestinian people and its high standing among them.
He said he does not think that a Pope visit to the holy land is possible now because it would send the wrong message of endorsement as to the actual positions of the Israeli government.

When asked by the interviewer why he was never seen at the funerals of terror victims in Israel, he said that he goes whenever asked. He said there are victims on both sides and that this was a state of war more than a matter of terrorism because one side cannot claim unilaterally the right to legitimate defense while refusing it to the other.
He called for a dialogue and a pardon.

Source: Le Monde, web edition, May 18th, 2006.


Anonymous said...

Too bad he does not get more press.Even within the Catholic press there is very little mention of Palestine. I think that it has something to do with the power of Opus Dei which elected the current Pope.

Hamas will be subjected to all kinds of boycotts by the West because it is the first democratically elected Sunni government in the ME. It is an example that must fail.

The Palestinians will have to endure even more hardship, if that is possible. May God bless and protect them.



Sophia said...

It surprises me also it didn't get more press specially when this visit is within a mission of high profile envoys representing christians in the orient which purpose is to discuss the actual state of their communities and the challenges. Mgr Sbbah is not the only one in the mission and the mission is going to the Vatican. May be it will get its coverage from the vatican !

Since March 29th 2006