We are horrified by the atrocities of the current war in Israel-Palestine and join in the call for an end to the conflict, which is why we have signed onto this Pax Christi letter. While the situation is complex, the suffering and violence must end immediately. Hamas is a terrorist organization whose intent is to annihilate the State of Israel and take over its land in order to create an Islamic society; it invaded Israel, murdered and brutalized Israeli citizens, and took hostages. Hamas must release all hostages and cease its terrorist activities forever. Israel has a right to exist in safety, to defend itself, and to demand the release of all hostages. As a result of Israel’s military response to the atrocities, more than 34,000 Palestinians have died in Gaza, millions are displaced, infrastructure and housing have been destroyed, and starvation and disease are rampant. This conflict must end. We desire, seek, and pray for peace, justice, and dignity for all in the Holy Land – Jews, Muslims, and Christians. It is with hope and confidence in Jesus Christ and in the peace that he has promised that we believe a resolution is possible and will be brought to fruition.

Here are key points in the letter:

“We acknowledge that we have not paid enough attention to the situation in Israel-Palestine. For many American Catholics, there has been an unspoken feeling that Israel-Palestine is not really our problem—that it is a Jewish-Muslim issue. But this attitude was a mistake. We cannot forget that Christians, most of whom are Palestinian, are an integral part of the Holy Land. Palestinian Christians have long pleaded that Christians around the world listen to their experiences and support their struggle for full equality and rights.

We are equally concerned about the well-being of Muslims, Jews, and others who suffer in Israel-Palestine. As Catholics, we have a responsibility to oppose any action that threatens human life and dignity, and to be attentive to both Palestinian and Israeli fears and traumas. We also recommit ourselves to opposing antisemitism, Islamophobia, and anti-Arab discrimination. Christians have often failed in this regard, both in the past and today.”

We pray for the peace of Christ.

 

Here is the text of the Pax Christi letter which we signed: