Hey, isn’t this the same Pope who was a member of the HITLER YOUTH?
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salaam Fayad were in attendance as the pope visited a school near the barrier and 61 black balloons, symbolizing the 61 years since Israel was established, were released into the air.
Schoolchildren filed passed the pontiff and shook his hand.
“Towering over us, as we gather here this afternoon, is a stark reminder of the stalemate that relations between Israelis and Palestinians seem to have reached – the wall,” said the pope. “In a world where more and more borders are being opened up – to trade, to travel, to movement of peoples, to cultural exchanges – it is tragic to see walls still being erected.”
He said that on both sides of the wall, great courage was needed if fear and mistrust were to be overcome and if the urge to retaliate for loss or injury were to be resisted.
“My visit to the Aida refugee camp this afternoon gives me a welcome opportunity to express my solidarity with all the homeless Palestinians who long to be able to return to their birthplace, or to live permanently in a homeland of their own,” said the pope. (Then they should go back to Jordan or Egypt or wherever they came from. There never was a Palestinian State) “To all the officials of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency who care for the refugees, I express the appreciation felt by countless men and women all over the world for the work that is done here and in other camps throughout the region.”
He urged residents of the refugee camp to prepare for the time when they will be responsible for the affairs of the Palestinian people in years to come.
The pope went on to say that his “heart goes out” to all Palestinians who have suffered through family divisions caused by imprisonment, bereavement or movement restrictions. (Suffering caused by fellow Palestians)
“All Palestinian refugees across the world, especially those who lost homes and loved ones during the recent conflict in Gaza, are constantly remembered in my prayers,” he assured them.
He said that the “Palestinians’ longing for peace” took on a particular poignancy as they recalled the “events of May 1948” and the years of conflict that followed. (Like the ‘peace’ they caused when they attacked Israel in 1948, 1967, and 1974?)
“You are now living in precarious and difficult conditions, with limited opportunities for employment,” he said. (Maybe that’s because the people who would employ them are afraid they might get blown up?) “It is understandable that you often feel frustrated. Your legitimate aspirations for permanent homes, for an independent Palestinian State, remain unfulfilled. Instead you find yourselves trapped, as so many in this region and throughout the world are trapped, in a spiral of violence, of attack and counter-attack, retaliation, and continual destruction.” (Caused by their fellow Palestinians)
Benedict stressed that the entire world was longing for end to the constant fighting and that history had shown that peace could only come when the parties to a conflict were willing to move beyond their grievances and work together towards common goals, each taking the concerns and fears of the other side seriously and striving to build an atmosphere of trust.
“There has to be a willingness to take bold and imaginative initiatives towards reconciliation,” he said. “But if each insists on prior concessions from the other, the result can only be stalemate.”
Benedict added that while humanitarian aid had an essential role to play, the long-term solution to the Middle East conflict could only be political.
“No one expects the Palestinian and Israeli peoples to arrive at it on their own,” he continued. “The support of the international community is vital, and hence I make a renewed appeal to all concerned to bring their influence to bear in favor of a just and lasting solution, respecting the legitimate demands of all parties and recognizing their right to live in peace and dignity, in accordance with international law.”
He emphasized, though, that diplomatic efforts could only succeed if Palestinians and Israelis themselves were willing to emerge from the cycle of violence. (So does this mean Palestinians will stop firing rockets into Israeli cities?) JERUSALEM POST