By Claudette Habesch, Secretary General, Caritas Jerusalem
In his personal statement for one of the universities, my 17 year old grandson wrote, “A Palestinian Christian from Jerusalem, I was born close to the birth of the Oslo Peace Accord, and grew up with the hope of a just solution and prosperity. I witnessed the disappointing collapse of the peace talks, and now, I will graduate from high school under the cloud of a political stalemate and internal Palestinian strife ”.
To read a statement of a young man with his future ahead of him, commencing with hope and ending with uncertainty, a sentiment shared by all Palestinians, made me realize the immense need of solidarity with the Palestinian people. And where else to look other than towards the United Nations, a bastion of justice and a refuge of those with just causes.
29 November is a day where every Palestinian needs to feel their story is being told and retold again. It is a day to tell people of conscious that solidarity goes beyond words. Solidarity is action to guarantee Palestinian rights on their land. Solidarity means ultimately achieving peace based on justice and restoring hope for a better future.
The Israeli occupation and its trail of human rights abuse and economic hardship is denying the young generation a future. The illegal settlements and the ‘Separation Wall’ are growing, eating up everyday our future state. Movement of people and goods is curtailed, and access is often denied. But even in these difficult situations and challenging times, something has never failed us. It is the Solidarity that you, our friends, are giving us every day.
Your support and your prayers help us to continue our mission and encourage us to reach out. We persist, through every action we take and every person we reach, to advocate for peace. With every project we implement we carry the message of love and hope.
We beseech the international community to raise their voices on this day of solidarity with the Palestinian people. The conflict must come to an end. You remain a beacon of hope.
Caritas Internationalis offered this statement of local and global solidarity from Caritas Jerusalem on the occasion of this year’s UN General Assembly Commemoration.