We say: The first step in breaking this cycle of violence is for the parties to accept the other's right to exist peacefully in states of their own.
NCR Today: Vatican conflict shadows upcoming LCWR assembly; Iran military pushing back Islamic State; Putin wants to rebuild demolished monasteries, church; Scorsese making film about Japan's first Jesuits
After nearly four weeks of fighting between Israel and the Palestinian militant Hamas, the expectation that things will get better has been consistently disappointed.
"No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited." -- Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War
The head of a Michigan-based tour company that leads trips to the Holy Land said the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas so far has not had an impact on pilgrimages he and his associates lead.
"Everything is still functioning like in any other normal business day. The sector of tourism industry to the Holy Land is not affected," said Steve Ray, a tour guide and CEO of Footprints of God in Ann Arbor.
My partner in this series of sociopolitical blog posts is Ra'fat Aldajani, a Palestinian-American who represents the majority Palestinian view. I sat with Ra'fat to probe his views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. -- Drew Christiansen
Christiansen: Tell me a little more about your family and Palestinian identity.
Last week, Hamas fired rockets at the Tel Aviv airport in Israel, and one of them hit and destroyed a home. All the family was out; no one was hurt. But a woman who lived there was quoted on "NBC Nightly News," saying about the Arabs, "I wish they'd all die."
Both priests spoke of their material powerlessness against the weapons of war, but of the importance of their spiritual presence for their community.
My friend Michael La Civita, who is the communications director for Catholic Near East Welfare Association and who oversees the publication of its award-winning magazine, ONE, has written an essay over at Our Sunday Visitor about the dire condition of the Middle East. He notes that the presence of Christians is a necessary ingredient to long-term peace in that region of the world. It's worth the read.
NCR Today: As another week of violence comes to a close, Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, has been advancing the cause of peace in the Holy Land.