Holy Land: church leaders and Shimon Peres against religious violence
Jerusalem – On Tuesday October 13, 2015 church leaders of different confessions met the former Israeli president Shimon Peres at Peres Peace Center in Tel Aviv. At the heart of discussions: acts of violence which in these days tear up the Holy Land.
Together against terror and violence in the name of God: that was the message of this encounter called for urgently by the former Israeli President. “We should pray together and claim with strong voice that no God who sanctions murder. We should sit and talk together. Violence is not the way”, he further reminded.
Church leaders have on the other hand called for calm, and to respect the holiness and the dignity of each human being. Assaults from either side would bring forward nothing, he further said.
During the meeting, Shimon Peres stressed that Israel had no intention to encourage the tension in the area. Sheikh Mohamad Kiwan, Head Imam in Israel, and Sheikh Muafaq Tarif, spiritual head of the Druze community, underlined the importance of brotherhood and tolerance, while Shlomo Amar, Chief Rabbi of Israel, affirmed that Torah teaches love of God and of others.
From his side, Fr George Ayoub, chancellor of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, quoted the first Letter of John (Chapter 4): “He who loves God, and who hates his brother, is a liar; the one who does not love his brother whom he sees, how would he love God whom he does not see?”
“Occupation is the problem of the whole issue, Fr Ayoub said. The solution lies in putting an end to occupation, and to reach a two state solution, the creation of a Palestinian state within the borders of 1967, with East Jerusalem as capital. It’s only under this condition that the two peoples could exist and live in peace”