INTERVIEW – The decision of the House of Commons of the UK to recognize the State of Palestine is an example to be followed by “other nations”, said the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal to Radio Vatican on 14 October 2014, on the sideline of the presentation to the Senate of his book-talk “Jerusalem, Capital of Humanity”.
-It is a people like all others, who has the right to live in peace, to have a homeland, a capital, a passport, stamps, currency .. I m not asking for any privilege.
Q – Do you think this vote by the British House of Commons could give a boost to negotiations?
-Yes you are right. That could serve as a good example for other countries which are still hesitant. We should have the courage to call spades spades – away from shame and fear – and everything will go fine.
Q – what about the funds allocated for the reconstruction of Gaza at the Conference in Cairo ?
– It’s world’s madness. Instead of pulling down a whole country, killing, humiliating and then reconstructing with 5 billion $, we could have spare the money, by not going to war and living in peace.
Q – war victims were mostly children …
-Many wounds affect man’s heart. I do not think that money can change anything. We – in the course of time – through education, patience, love and prayer can rebuild Man and make of him a Man of peace, of brotherhood, of cooperation rather than a Man of war and violence.
Q- In Jerusalem, as well, difficulties experienced by families are manifold …
-Many of your youngsters are unable to get married, nor to start a family, because they don’t have a home, money and job opportunities. In our Palestinian villages many youngsters are unable to reach this joy and this blessing.
The book “Jerusalem, Capital of Humanity” –presented to the Senate stands for a dialogue between Patriarch Twal and journalist Nicholas Scopelliti. It tells the history of a young Jordanian coming from a Bedouin family who became a priest, then a diplomat accredited to the Holy See, the first Arab Bishop of Tunis and presently Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a unique city in the world, writes Patriarch Twal in his book, a city that is full of contradiction, which unites all believers, and at the same time divides them. An account which breaks down into little stories, laying emphasis on the life of Christians in the Holy Land where culture, dialogue and tolerance, according to the Patriarch, are pillars of peace in the Middle East.
Interview: Elvira Ragosta in Italian for Radio Vatican