VATICAN, Jan. 15, 01 (CWNews.com) -- In his annual address to the
diplomats accredited to the Holy See, Pope John Paul II pointed to
several trouble spots, including the Middle East, Indonesia, and
Regarding the Middle East, the Pope warned that the international
community should not accept the "banalization of a sort of guerilla
warfare, the persistence of injustice, the contempt for international
law" that still prevails there. He added that Israelis and Palestinians
"cannot contemplate a future except their future together."
"It is high time to return to the principles of international law,"
said. In a clear rebuke to the government of Israel, he spelled out the
violations that should be ended: the acquisition of territory by force,
the right of all people to self-determination, and the need to respect
UN resolutions and Geneva conventions. If these principles of
international law are not respected, he continued, "everything is at
risk," and the potential for "an escalation of violence that will be
difficult to control."