VATICAN CITY -– In partnership with the global community in its annual expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people, the Caritas network of 162 member organisations working in 200 countries and territories worldwide supports the UN-hosted international day of observance on 29 November.
Based on our own Caritas campaign that “Peace is Possible” in the Holy Land, we stand in solidarity with all peace-seeking people of good will who recognise and publicly support the basic and inalienable rights of the Palestinian community. We stand in solidarity with all Moslems, Jews, and Christians who sacrifice and work together to build up, restore, and heal the deep wounds that still scar this Middle East society.
We call on our respective governments to pursue every path leading to peace, supporting the “Road Map for Peace in the Middle East”, which was initiated and sustained by the members of the Quartet (the United Nations, the European Union, the United States, and Russia). We acknowledge the efforts made by the Quartet, but offer our global solidarity to press for greater practical realisations of a just and lasting peace for all.
Resolutions and international agreements have chronicled painfully slow progress. We implore all interested and responsible parties to seize every opportunity to demonstrate to the world that it is not too late. Only comprehensive political will can capitalise on the human and financial investments for peace that humanitarian organisations, development programmes, inter-religious initiatives, and academic and community groups have contributed toward a better life for Palestinians and Israelis.
The memories of tragic loss and social fragmentation have long scarred several generations. No peace negotiation or statement of balanced concerns can ever hope to heal these deep wounds. A steadfast commitment to building diverse partnerships for peace is essential. We need to be fully engaged, spreading global solidarity amongst all parties and encouraging Palestinians and Israelis to think differently about the days ahead. Otherwise the barriers, settlements, occupation, land seizures, violence, extremism, political machinations, and age-old prejudices will continue to punish innocent people, further distancing them from their God-given rights to life, freedom, protection, civil society, and human dignity. Countless Palestinians and Israelis are daily giving their lives to release the land and all its inhabitants from this unnatural captivity. We must accompany them as they bravely face the fears that separate our fragile human family.
Peace is possible. It is not too late. Every voice counts and makes a difference.
Caritas Internationalis is a confederation of 162 Catholic relief, development, and social service organisations present in 200 countries and territories.