“Let us work together to replace despair with HOPE, fear with human SECURITY and humiliation with DIGNITY”

It is the truth which is Guilty

In a letter to the editor of The Spectator published a few weeks ago, Mr. Conrad Black invokes Pope John Paul II as though he was one more unconditional and uncritical supporter of Israel,

In a letter to the editor of The Spectator published a few weeks ago, Mr. Conrad Black invokes Pope John Paul II as though he was one more unconditional and uncritical supporter of Israel. On January 13, 2001 in his annual address to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, His Holiness declared: “It is time to return to the principles of international legality: the banning of the acquisition of territory by force, the right of people to self – determination, respect for the resolutions of the United Nations Organization and the Geneva Conventions, to quote only the most important. Otherwise, anything can happen: from unilateral rash initiatives to an extension of violence which will be difficult to control”. Prior to the Pope’s visit to the Holy Land, last year I issued the following press release as the Palestinian diplomat accredited to the Holy See: “As part of the many events during the jubilee year, His Holiness Pope John Paul II will make a statement tomorrow Sunday March 12, 2000 dealing with the notion of the purification of the memory. As a Christian Palestinian, I have always been proud of the capacity of Christianity to indulge regularly in an exercise of critical introspection. One would hope that this noble message is not again misunderstood and exploited to give the State of Israel an immunity to legitimate criticism from now to eternity. On the contrary, especially days before the visit of the Pope to the Holy Land, one would hope that reciprocity is contemplated and that in Israel it is received as an opportunity for an identical endeavor in self-examination and soul- searching. Israel was supposed to be the solution to what was called the Jewish question. As a result, we the Palestinian people, Muslims and Christians alike, are now the question on the international agenda awaiting still an equitable and satisfactory answer. We have become the victims of the victims of European History. An Israeli apology to the Palestinian people and to the Lebanese people will be the confidence building measure that diplomats so far have unsuccessfully looked for in our quest for Peace with Reconciliation”. I would be grateful if Mr. Conrad Black would bear in mind that the Christians of Palestine are the victims of the Israelis not their persecutors and tormentors. William Dalrymple through his writing and lecturing has done more than anybody else to draw attention to those “forgotten faithful” to whom I proudly belong. His “From the Holy Mountain” is an accurate, truthful, brilliant, and … disturbing masterpiece. It saddens me immensely to see him denigrated as a result. Mr. Black, it is the truth which is guilty not William Dalrymple. Afif Emile Safieh General delegate to the United Kingdom and to the Holy See

2016-10-24T07:35:56+00:00 April 4th, 2001|Categories: News|