Jerusalem – "For once the international community and the leaders of the nations had the courage not to be influenced by the pressures and to decide in conscience, without calculation. I am grateful and happy for this freedom. " Thus, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Exc. Mgr. Fouad Twal, expressed his joy to Fides Agency for the step taken yesterday in New York, where the UN General Assembly approved the recognition of Palestine as a non-member State observer.
"It is a joy that I share with all Palestinians, Christians and Muslims, and that soon I will express on behalf of our Christian communities to President Abu Mazen, as soon as he gets back", says to Fides Patriarch Twal.
His Beatitude emphasizes the size of those that supported the Palestinian request (138 Countries in favor, 9 against, 41 abstentions), and positively evaluates also the abstention of the German government: "The fact that Germany did not say no means a lot, " observes the Patriarch. According to him, time will make clear that the step taken at the UN has advantages for Israel: "It opens the possibility of returning to deal with a moderate and legitimized government. I know these people: there is no person more reasonable than Abu Mazen to return to the path of a final settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. In recent years, with a reckless choice, a lot was done to undermine his authority. Now he will come back from New York with the moral relieved: can talk like a real President, the President of a State. "
Patriarch Twal emphasizes the full agreement between the outcome of the UN vote and the traditional Holy See's position on the Palestinian issue, "I remember the many speeches of the Pope that repeated the formula of the two peoples and two States. The Church desires peace for all, justice for all, a quiet and peaceable life for everyone. This is why one must also have the courage to say things when they are not right. Now I am thinking of the tragic situation in Syria, that the international community seems to want to remove."
According to Patriarch Twal, the path to peace is still long, and to proceed on the right path it is appropriate to deal with problems with a certain detachment, without getting involved with animosity and vindictiveness. The decision of the UN Assembly could also encourage a reconciliation within the Palestinian field, "since even Hamas in the end supported President Abbas' request."
With regard to the negative vote of the United States, Patriarch Twal recalls President Obama's speech delivered in Cairo, which touched the relations with the Islamic world, and says to Fides Agency: "I hope that President Barack Obama has a good memory to remember his first speech in Cairo. That speech gave us a lot of hope." (GV) (Agenzia Fides ).