How did I miss this from May 8th?!?

Congratulations to Adelaide Mena on a well-written article entitled, “US bishops oppose re-routing of Israel-Palestine separation wall“.  Writing about the U.S. Bishops’ response to “The Wall” cutting through Catholic Palestinian lands, Adelaide does a fine job of presenting the facts without agenda or bias.  It’s not easy to do when walking such a loose tight-rope that spans armageddon.

Well, that might be a little dramatic.  Either way, it’s well done.

The article points out the facts and the facts are nothing new.  A wall, roughly 430 miles long has/is being constructed to separate Israel from Palestine.  The problem for Palestinians is that it is being built well inside their lands supposedly protected by the “Green Line” drawn up years ago.  

FFHL doesn’t want to get into the politics between Palestine and Israel.  As Christians, we’re caught in the middle of it too much as it is.  Palestinian Christians, as the article points out, are losing more than their fair share as The Wall continues to be built upon confiscated lands.

Bishop Pates, who heads up  the Committee on International Justice and Peace for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has had enough.  And speaking on behalf of the USCCB that means that essentially the whole body has had enough.

In a letter to Secretary of State, John Kerry, the Bishop from Des Moines wrote, “Cremisan Valley is a microcosm of a protracted pattern that has serious implications for the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Mena reports.

Pates, in the same letter, asked Kerry to push for a reversal of the decision to build The Wall directly through the Cremisan Valley, a land owned by the Catholic Church.  So intrusive and divisive is it that it separates the Salesian monastery there from its sister convent.  I’m not sure that was what the famous quote referred to when it said, “between saintly men and women: bricks and mortar”.

Not to re-rout the wall is to “put Israeli citizens at risk and weaken initiatives for reconciliation and peace,” he said.  Mena reports that Pates also wrote, “and disassociating Palestinian families from their lands and livelihoods will incite more resentment against the State of Israel among residents of the West Bank, not less, increasing the frustrations that can lead to violence.”  

Indeed, as sad as that may be.
With the international media paying a little more attention to the “separation fence”, and with the U.S. Bishops pushing from our side of the pond, there might just be a little more hope for the plight of our Palestinian Christian brothers and sisters in the Holy Land.