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Pope Francis: The Peace of the World begins in Jerusalem
By Eileen Fleming
EXCLUSIVE to The Arab Daily News
Israel has assigned an extra 8,000 officers to SECURITY detail in Jerusalem for this weekends visit by Pope Francis who has only asked that people worldwide will simply pray for two things:
The Pope’s meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I [who represents the Eastern churches] and for peace in the land that “has suffered greatly.”
Earlier this month, graffiti stating, “Death to Arabs and Christians and all those who hate Israel” was spray-painted in Hebrew on a column of the Office of the Assembly of Bishops at the Notre Dame Center, which is owned by the Vatican and where Pope Francis is expected to hold a meeting with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The night before I departed Jerusalem for the first of eight times since June 2005, I attended a worldwide satellite-linked interfaith conference for peace at the Notre Dame Center, which lies at the crossroads between east and west Jerusalem.
Dan Rather moderated from D.C. and the interfaith panel comprised moderates attempting to reclaim the battlefield of ideas from extremists on both sides.
Rev. Theodore Hessburgh, president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame began the evening prophetically:
The peace of the world begins in Jerusalem.
Dr. Tsvia Walden, of the board of directors of the Peres Center and Geneva Initiative, offered a plan:
There is a need for a third party in the negotiations that could enable both sides to trust each other. There are more people in this region interested in making concessions; they all want peace so desperately.
The coordinator of World Bank emergency services to the PA, Rania Kharma added:
We all need to be the bridges to our leaders and carry the message that only justice, equality, and human rights will bring peace.
Give people justice, and they will reward you with peace.
Sheik Imad Falouiji warned:
Religions must go back to their origins.
God commands us to love each other and live together.
This Holy Land was given to all people.
This land is on fire.
There is an occupation that must be removed.
The language of peace cannot succeed without justice for all.
The bishop of Jerusalem, Rt. Rev. Riah Abu Assal affirmed:
Peace is an act.
Blessed are the peacemakers, not the peace talkers.
Peace is possible in the Holy Land.
The root cause for the lack of peace since 1967 is the occupation.
For peace to make progress in the Middle East, we need to deal with the root cause.
Religion was not meant to bring death.
All those involved in searching for peace should commit themselves to work for justice and truth.
After the conference, I walked back to my room at the Ambassador Hotel and recalled President Bush’s second inaugural promise:
In the long run, there is no justice without freedom, and there can be no human rights without LIBERTY…
All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know the United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors.
When you stand for liberty, we will stand with you.
Liberty means freedom and there can be no peace without truth spoken in love seeking justice.
Three days before my evening at Notre Dame Center, Israel’s nuclear whistle blower, Mordechai Vanunu;
A Christian captive in Jerusalem answered my first two questions to him regarding his faith and where President Bush could actually find WMD in the Middle East in this YouTube.
A few weeks after Vanunu’s FREEDOM of SPEECH Trial began in Jerusalem in 2006, he taped this message and invited “Hillary Clinton and all the Christians to come and see the real Wailing Wall-the Apartheid Wall.”
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Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" who founded WeAreWideAwake.org in response to her first of 8 trips to both sides of The Wall in Palestine Israel.
In 2012, Eileen ran for US House of Representatives District 5, in Fl.
Read her FREE eBooks and more at:http://www.eileenfleming.org/