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

Fr. Rifat Bader: Ceasefire needed not tomorrow, but today

“We condemn all killings of civilians, and there is a need for a ceasefire right now, not tomorrow, but today.”

In an interview with Vatican News, Jordanian Fr. Rifat Bader, a Roman Catholic priest in the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, made this appeal.

Fr. Rifat, directs the Catholic Center for Studies and Media in Jordan, which is affiliated with the Latin Patriarchate. He also heads abouna.org, a site, in Arabic and English, for news, comments, and articles from the Holy Land, Jordan, and the Middle East.

Condemnation of all civilian killings

In the interview, Fr. Rifat echoed Pope Francis’ calls for peace, and explained his perspective as a Middle Easterner and a Jordanian. 

He explained that speaking from Jordan, as a Jordanian, and as a Christian in the Middle East,  Jordanians certainly have a sense of solidarity with Palestinians, but he underscored the fact that their solidarity extends to all human beings suffering unspeakable horrors.

“We feel for human beings in general. We condemn all the killing against the civilian people.”

“But of course,” he acknowledged, “we put this in the midst of what has been happening for many years and many decades. And this is not a separate problem from the main root of the problem, which is the Palestinian problem.”

A solution for both parties

“I think,” he continued, “if the world were to put what is happening in Gaza today as part of the main problem, it would be also a push to look forward for a good solution for the two parts, the Palestinians and the Israelis.”

“What I am hearing these days in the news, especially from the West,” Fr. Rifat noted, “is that it is just a problem between Israel and Hamas as if it were separated, and not tied or connected with the Palestinian problem.” He suggested that this causes him concern as a Jordanian and as a priest.

He noted how Jordan takes a “diplomatic” approach and recalled that the King of Jordan, King Abdullah the Second, Queen Rania of Jordan, and Jordan’s Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi, have “declared clearly the position of Jordan.”

“Yes, we are against the killing of the civilian people. But we have to look at the other side, not only what happened on October 7th, but also what is happening daily, night and day in Gaza.”

Pushing for a ceasefire

“We are asking all the international community to push for a ceasefire and then to get all humanitarian aid for the people, for the injured, for the families who lost their beloved relatives or their homes.”

“This is part of the problem. But also this must be heard as a call for the ceasefire right now, not tomorrow, but today.”

Death toll in Gaza climbing to nearly 8,000

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, the death toll in Gaza has climbed to 7,650 dead and 19,450 injured while in the West Bank, 111 are dead and 1,950 others injured.

On Saturday, the United Nations Human Rights Chief warned of “possibly catastrophic consequences” of large-scale ground operations in the Gaza Strip, where thousands have already died in Israeli air strikes.

On Friday night, Israel sent troops into Gaza, and has pledged to continue doing so to target tunnels and other infrastructure used by Hamas.

The attack was launched in reprisal for attacks and abductions by Hamas gunmen in southern Israel on 7 October killing over 1,400 people and abducting scores of others.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov
2023-11-02T09:26:16+00:00 November 2nd, 2023|Categories: News|