Justice needs men of pure conscience

Fr. Labib Kobti

September 12, 1997

Dear Governors and Senators,

The *TRUTH* is the only way to Justice and Peace, and truth needs people of pure conscience:

The Palestinian people are no less nationalistic in their aspirations than Native Americans, or the blacks of South Africa, or the French people under the yoke of the Nazi controlled Vichy government during World War II, or any other nation who has claimed its right to exist.

The resistance to occupation by a foreign power, the resistance to persistent injustice, is a fundamental right recognized by international law.

The Jews and Israelis who utilize this law when they make claims against former injustices perpetrated on them by the Nazis (such as the current revelations of the sequestering of personal life savings by Swiss banks who aided the Nazis) are well within their human rights to do so.

The whole world sympathized with them and helped them.

In the biblical story of Samson, we see how his enemies tried by every means to kill him. Yet, they could not kill his *SOUL*, his indomintable *SPIRIT*, his *WILL* to return. And in order to win, SAMSON sacrificed himself, knowingly, but it also brought disaster upon others. All Jews know the story of Masada, the high desert fortress that was placed under seige by Roman legions. The Jews of Masada chose mass suicide rather than surrender to the Romans, and by their deaths, they served as an inspiration, even today, to their spiritual descendents. Induction ceremonies into the IDF are conducted on Masada to this day. What was the lesson of Masada? People who committed suicide in the name of an idea, are viewed as heroes. The mighty Roman empire, the most powerful force on earth at that time, could not destroy their *SOUL*, their *SPIRIT* or their *WILL* to remain independent. What was the lesson of the Nazi death camps? The banality of the evil of the Nazis, the perpetration of unjust suffering, and death, of innocent people, only served to strengthen the Jewish *WILL*, to unite worldwide Jewry and make it ultimately stronger than it had been. The Nazis could not kill the *SPIRIT*, or the *SOUL* or the *WILL* of the Jews to survive. The great lessons of Masada, of the Nazi death camps, are reflected in the *SPIRIT* and the *SOUL* and the *WILL* of the Palestinian people, who desire nothing more than the same dignity and justice in their lives, that the Jews rightly deserved in theirs. It is the same determination possessd by all people under the oppression of another. Who should know this lesson better than the Jewish people? The same Jewish people who marched side by side with Martin Luther King Jr. in the freedom marches of the fifties for equal rights for African Americans, the same Jewish people who decried the injustices of the apartheid state of South Africa.

This same story will eventually come true for the Arab peoples who suffer in countries like Iraq or Syria or Lebanon.

Rest assured that the violence will continue, if the USA Adminsitration and the Governors and Senators will not see *TRUTH*, which is the *WILL*, the *SOUL* and the *SPIRIT* of a people who has the right to live with dignity as any other people in the world.

We are against violence, we call for love, justice and peace, but in your way of dealing things you are nourishing violence in the Region and you are at the same time accusing the victimes.

Both Israelis and Palestinians should not forget that it is necessary to deal with each other as human beings equal in rights and dignity.

Dear Governors and Senators, your children, your descendents will not forgive you for the lost opportunity of the peace process.

The USA is in need of people with pure conscience and truth. Little children in Palestine-Israel can play together and love each other. They have no knowledge of history. Children, and grandchildren need to live side by side, hand in hand. Raw power, armaments, mean nothing.

There is no *SECURITY*, there is no *SANCTUARY* without Trust and without Love. I implore all of you: *DO NOT LET EXCLUSIVISM, FUNDAMENTALISM, AND HATRED FILL YOUR MINDS AND YOUR HEART*S.

Think about the Babies. They were born as Babies, as Fr. Chacour says.They were not born as Jews or Christians or Muslims, Palestinians or Israelis. If humanity is to live, They need to live, they already have the will to survive, do not try to kill their Soul or their Spirit or their Will for ultimately you will fail.

Fr. Labib Kobti,

Arab American Catholic Community