Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 24, 2008
Leaders needed who will give their lives for peace
By JUDITH SUDILOVSKY
Catholic News Service
The Holy Land needs leaders who are ready to "offer their lives" for peace rather than those who "issue orders to kill," said Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah of Jerusalem.
"We are in need of leaders who can make peace because this is the sole path to put an end to extremism and to start the true way toward security and tranquillity," he said March 17 in an Easter message.
"The leaders have to choose between two paths: either peace or increasing extremism and insecurity."
Sabbah said the violence that has left more than 100 people dead in the Gaza Strip, the eight Israeli victims of a Jerusalem seminary shooting, and other violent incidents "form a chain of inhumane and futile violence" no matter who is behind it.
The time has come to learn the lessons of history and follow the path of God, said Sabbah. "It is high time for every . . . individual to accept the vocation entrusted by God to them, which is to build societies and not demolish them."
Although Israelis and Palestinians have a deep desire for peace, extremists still kill their brother in the name of God, he said.
Sabbah told journalists both Israeli Prime Minster Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas wanted peace, but only Israel holds the key to peace.