West Bank Priest Calls on President Obama
14 Jun 2012 by Judith Sudilovsky
JERUSALEM (CNS) — U.S. President Barack
Obama must be more pro-active in his support of
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rather than
denigrating his ability to bring about a peace agreement
with Israel, said a West Bank priest.
America has to support President Abbas to
provide a better life for the people, said Father Firas
Aridah of St. Joseph Parish in Jifna. When Palestinians can go through checkpoints in a good way with good treatment, when roads are opened, you are giving them an opportunity for hope.
In an open letter to Obama, released in early June,
Father Aridah noted that Abbas has clearly stated his ... willingness to achieve a permanent and comprehensive
Mr. President Obama: Local government and
international intervention (including that of the United
States) has failed for too long to do what is necessary.
Prolonging the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis
will serve only the extremists on both sides and will
weaken the supporters of peace on both sides. If you
intervene you can save the prospect of peace, before it is
extinguished by extremism and violence, Father Aridah
wrote in his letter.
In a June 11 phone interview with Catholic News
Service, Father Aridah said Abbas is working very hard
seeking peace and security for everyone, including
Palestinians and Israelis.
If he is weak it is because of the situation which
is not supporting him. Israel is not doing anything to
support Abbas and must stop building the illegal
settlements, the priest told CNS.
Father Aridah, a Jordanian national, said he wrote
the letter in response to Obamas June 6 statement to a
group of rabbis in which the U.S. president said he feared
Abbas may be too weak and may not have the desire to
follow through with a peace agreement.
The priest accused Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu of not wanting to deliver a peace
agreement, citing his continued establishment of illegal
settlements in Palestinian territory.
The only way to establish true peace between the
Palestinians and Israelis is to create conditions for a
stability and economically feasibility, Father Aridah told
Tags: Palestine Israel United States West Bank President Obama