Israel and Palestine called to show forgiveness and tolerance

A meeting of Catholic bishops and archbishops has concluded with a call to Israel and Palestine to sustain talks towards a lasting peace in the region.

The communiqué warned that dialogue between the two was being “threatened and undermined by extremism and intolerance of the other”.

“Blaming the other is an abdication of responsibility and a failure of leadership, a leadership that the people so desperately need,” they said.

Signatories of the communiqué from Britain included the Archbishop of Liverpool, the Most Rev Patrick Kelly, and the Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Rev William Kenney.

The Church leaders were keen to stress their equal support for both sides in the conflict.

“We have heard and we make this conviction our own: to be pro-Israeli has to mean being pro-Palestinian.

“This means being pro-justice for all, whose certain fruit is lasting peace.”

They called upon both sides to demonstrate tolerance, “courageous leadership”, forgiveness and humility.

“Political leaders of both sides and our own countries need to show courage, resolve and creativity so the simple hopes of the majority for peaceful co-existence are realised,” they said.

“The fidelity to their way of life of Jews, Christians and Muslims should always be such that there is deep-seated openness to all others.”