Cardinal John Foley
source – www.romereports.com
They say good fences make good neighbors. But the Israeli-West Bank barrier is a different story. The 436 mile-long wall separating Israel from the Palestinian territories was built by the Israeli state as a means to mitigate terrorists attacks.
But for some its a constant reminder of the divisiveness that has characterized the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades.
Cardinal John Foley says the wall goes beyond the exercise of power and domination calling it a human rights issue because it limits the free movement of people in the West Bank.
The wall is a human rights issue because it separates people from the possibility of their work, of their education, of reaching land which they own, of reaching relatives they have, and of reaching the places of worship in Jerusalem which are so important to them.
Cardinal Foley is the Grand Master of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. Hes seen the walls effects on residents of the Holy Land first hand.
Though he understands Israels security concerns, he says building a barrier like this one is not the answer and it only adds to the tension in an already troubled part of the world.
Obviously, the Israelis must be secure in their own homes and there can’t be these acts of terrorism that have occurred. I can understand their preoccupation. But I think the wall is an overreaction, and also I think it causes resentment and the seeds of future problems.
The pope gave a speech at a refugee camp along the wall in May of this year and called it the saddest thing he had seen while on his trip.
The controversial wall isn’t the only pressing issue in the Holy Land. Christians are fleeing the troubles of the Middle East by the masses and leaving behind their historical homeland.
One of the sad things is the departure of so many Christians from the Holy Land. Christians are probably among the best educated people in the Holy Land and the authorities in Jordan, in the Palestinian territories and in Israel all say that Christians help to promote peace in the Holy Land so it would be a tragedy for those areas if they left.
For now, Cardinal Foley and others are hoping that a clear international agreement with a recognition of definitive borders be drafted so as to foster peace in this part of the world.