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Abuna Elias Chacour on Israel-Hamas War

Peacemaker in Action Abuna Elias Chacour

Peacemaker in Action Abuna Elias Chacour

Peacemaker in Action Abuna Elias Chacour, from Israel/Palestine, shares reflections in response to the war between Israel and Hamas that started on October 7, 2023.  

October 11, 2023 | “This message is sent to you from the heart of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian resistance.

What has been done last Saturday is a kind of savage revenge. It’s a calling to the world to wake up and to realize that the situation in the Middle East like every other situation, has two sides, in our situation it is far too complicated to analyze who is wrong and who is right? Who is peacemaker and who is the terrorist? It’s obvious that it’s in the eyes of the Palestinian refugees. The mere existence of Israel on Palestinian territories is a mere act of terror, while in the eyes of the Israeli Jewish brothers and sisters. Every Palestinian is a terrorist.

The simple fact that the Palestinians don’t forget their homes and don’t give up the deep determination of protecting their dignity, and obliging the other side to stop dealing with arrogance and with the power of weapons. This memory of the Palestinians isn’t tolerable in the Israeli mind, that’s why it seems the only prevailing conviction is the famous saying “Might is Right”. Both sides are convinced and have in fact adopted this criminal approach to human difficulties and problems.

Who is right? The Palestinians who started reacting with utmost violence? Or Israel who is reacting with more vicious violence? It’s time to remind our friends to refrain from emitting judgment. We are allowed to think whatever we wish, but wisdom is to think everything we want, but surely not to say everything we believe, since any one sided judgment will reveal deadly enemies in both sides. It’s clear and must be known that the Jewish victims are considered by the Palestinian refugees as being terrorist, while any Palestinian victim child, adult, man or woman are portrayed as potential terrorist. Do we need to remember how our Jewish brothers and sisters were portrayed “As Dirty Jews”. They weren’t dirty, but the ideology of the third Reich was submerged and saturated with evil and with dirt.

What is going on between the Palestinian and the Israeli is the denial of the basic problem that one side is deprived of home and country, from dignity and freedom, and the other side claims to own the land. And I shout loud and clear that the land of Palestinian can’t belong to the Jews, equally it can’t belong to the Palestinians, it’s futile that they claim and fight for an exclusive ownership of the land forgetting or ignoring that the land belongs to God. Both people are sojourners on the land. Unless they accept to share the land together and to be each other’s protector, and using the land of God for their mutual well-being, the land would vomit them out. Our role at MEEI is to follow the general instructions given to all citizens of Israel. Schools were closed for two days and are still so.

For, we hope, a short period. We reacted to the ongoing slaughter and extermination by calling the authorities that our students and teachers are ready to donate blood not for the Jewish wounded people, neither for the Palestinian victims in Gaza, but we donate blood for any human being needing our blood to survive, Jew as well as Palestinian.

Tens of teachers and of students were ready and have given their blood to the hospital in Haifa. This is a very small contribution for peace. we are looking for other ways to express our concern for all those who fall victims of violence. We don’t know what to do, we are more than ever convinced of the necessity ‘to look at the full half of the bottle’, and to refrain from criticizing or diabolizing any side.

We need to spread the smile of hope in the heart of our students and the rejection of any
inclination to violence and to reprisal.

Physically we are well, mentally we are tortured, every time a Jew is killed or a Palestinian is
murdered, our heart hurts deeply. We want the Jews to live free and respected, we also want the Palestinians to enjoy freedom and respect their dignity.

My dear friends we could go on analyzing the dramatic situation, but what is the use of that. We rather continue praying and educate our children to be ambassadors of reconciliation. Please join us praying for peace and justice and refrain to take the side of either conflicting part. Both are right with their claims and both are wrong with their extremism and their exclusiveness.

Yours Sincerely,

Abuna Elias Chacour”

Download Abuna Elias Chacour’s full reflection here.