In both Bethlehem and Jerusalem, Pope Francis offered his home in the Vatican as a place for the encounter of prayer. It was a potentially transformative moment. Now that the event is over, and both presidents have re-iterated their desire for peace, what happens next to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - more so since President Peres completes his term as president of Israel at the end of July? Regional expert and Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian explores the issues.
Hope solely in an America-tailored and enforced settlement between Israelis and Palestinians today is nothing more than a chimera, says regional expert and Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian, in the wake of the US President's regional visit. Moreover, the two peoples will only manage to draw nearer to a peaceful resolution of the conflict if Israel acknowledges that it is occupying and colonising another people on their land and desist from applying those oppressive measures that are apartheid-like.
Israeli politicians should forsake their land-grab policies and in the process help sow the seeds of hope and peace for two peoples who vie for legitimacy and rights over the same small parcel of land, says Dr Harry Hagopian, regional experts and Ekklesia associate. After all, it is axiomatic that citizenry rights are redundant unless they are vested with sovereignty, too.