Since Israel’s two chief rabbis have requested that the pope condemn the dismantling of the synagogues in the Gaza Strip in an effort to improve Christian-Jewish relations, there are a few things I am sure all Palestinians would also like to see the pope do (“Rabbis urge pope to condemn synagogue destruction,” Sept. 16).
The Palestinians would greatly appreciate it if the pope denounced the numerous times the Israeli government destroyed their houses, farming lands, and stores in raids that did nothing but ruin the lives of innocents. They would greatly appreciate it if the pope attacked the Israeli government the next time it launched a missile at suspected terrorists that ends up killing more women and children bystanders than criminals. They would greatly appreciate it if the pope demanded that Israel allows all Palestinians to attend prayer services in Jerusalem at all times, and that Israel no longer control the every movement of Palestinians through the building of the wall, through checkpoints and through curfews. They would also greatly appreciate it if the pope urged Israel to withdraw fully from all the territory it has illegally occupied since 1967.
If the pope were to do these things, he could greatly improve the relationship between Christians and Muslims worldwide, showing that no Christian-Zionist conspiracy exists against Muslims.
And if the pope can also take time to denounce the Sephardic chief rabbi Sholmo Amar, one of the rabbis urging the condemnation of the synagogue burnings, for claiming last year’s tsunami was due to the world “being punished for wrongdoing,” I believe the people who lost loved ones in the disaster would be thankful.