The Pope Offers Christmas Pleas For An End To War And Prejudice
Every year, the Pope offers perfectly good and reasonable pleas for what should be considered basic human decency, such as this year's call for an end to war and prejudice. Every year these pleas mostly fall on deaf ears.
Today is a good example. American troops find themselves at risk in danger on patrols in Iraq. If they didn't go on these missions, then only more Iraqi civilians or American troops will die of future violence. It's a cycle of violence without reasonable end.
In Jerusalem, it is another tense Christmas, however there are improved signs of Israeli Prime Minister Olmert hoping to forge better relations withe the relatively moderate Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas. Israel will free up $100 million in funds tied up since Hamas swept elections, if the funds can be directly sent to hospitals and not aid Hamas. But Palestinian President Abbas did attend Christmas church services in Jerusalem, signaling a form of moderation and respect for the Christian community.
In this coming year, both Israel and the U.S. will likely seek ways to improve the standing of Abbas and undermine his Hamas opponents. This remains the one best hope for improved peace in the MidEast. The situation with the Palestinians may show some improvement and peace may make some small advances. This isn't the sweeping end to war or prejudice that the Pope would like to see, but it's at least one small positive step in that direction.