ROME, MARCH 28, 2011 (Zenit.org).- When politics is at a standstill, the
"languages" of violence and mistrust enter the conversation, according to
the Franciscan custos of the Holy Land.
Pizzaballa shared this reflection with Vatican Radio, in response to the
new increase in tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.
terrorist bombing March 23 at a bus stop in Jerusalem killed one person
and wounded more than 50 others; such an event has not occurred in
Jerusalem since 2008, when a Palestinian extremist entered a rabbinical
school and killed eight students.
The Israeli air force launched
attacks against three sites in the Gaza Strip the next day, as at least 11
rockets were fired into Southern Israel.
"I hope that it´s
not a going back and a reopening of a strategy of terror, as we saw in
recent years," Father Pizzaballa said. "I hope it will remain an isolated
incident. Nevertheless, it´s true that there has been a sort of
deterioration, first of all in political relations and then, consequently,
in everything else."
The Franciscan characterized political
leaders as seemingly "paralyzed."
"From my point of view, they are
afraid, or at least, they don´t have the strength to take big
decisions, because courage is necessary on both sides, and this creates a
climate of ever greater mistrust, with reciprocal accusations, which then
creates a situation, I´m not saying of barbarization, but of
deterioration," he said.
Speaking of the situation in Gaza, the
priest noted how the increased violence is "something which, unfortunately,
we have already seen in the past and which seems to be acute again at this
"Let´s hope it is a parenthesis and not, in
fact, a going back," Father Pizzaballa stated.
In regard to the
question of the Gaza Strip and of the settlements of colonists in the West
Bank, Father Pizzaballa suggested that this "is the decisive question,
which the political authorities, on both sides but above all Israel, must
take in hand sooner or later. Perhaps the conditions don´t exist; I
don´t know, I do not wish to enter into refine political
Meanwhile the apostolic nuncio in
Israel, Archbishop Antonio Franco, lamented the "innocent victims of
situations that can certainly be resolved and that call for a commitment
for their solution, but which certainly are not resolved with violence and
the death of innocents."
He told a weekly program produced by
the Custody that such events are admonitions and calls. "My prayer goes
first of all to the victims, but it also goes to the Lord, that he will
illumine, so that there won´t be a new spiral of violence, which
leads also to more serious tragedies and sufferings," the nuncio added.
Archbishop Franco said yielding to discouragement is useless.
Rather "the reality imposes a commitment and it imposes it according to
the responsibility of each one."
"Situations of injustice, of
tension, of difficulty cannot last for long," he said, "because every now
and then there is one who thinks of giving a signal, a message, using
To find solutions, the nuncio added, "what
is needed is the good will of all parts that are implicated and one needs
the effort and the commitment of all. And the one that is directly
involved is the international community."