When politics is at a standstill, the “languages” of violence and mistrust enter the conversation, according to the Franciscan custos of the Holy Land.
Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa shared this reflection with Vatican Radio, in response to the new increase in tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.
A 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 moment.”
ROME, MARCH 28, 2011 (Zenit.org)