Pope Francis has called for a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, in what many are calling a clear snub of President Donald Trump, following his controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
In a wide-ranging address at the Vatican, the Pope urged for dialogue between the two sides, and called for a lasting peace in the war-torn region.
“Let us pray that the will to resume dialogue may prevail between the parties and that a negotiated solution can finally be reached, one that would allow the peaceful coexistence of two states within mutually agreed and internationally recognized borders,” the Pope said during his “Urbi et Orbi” address – Latin for “to the city and to the world,” as reported by The Indepenent.
“We see Jesus in the children of the Middle East who continue to suffer because of growing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians,” he declared to the audience of thousands from the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica,
As Faithwire reported last week, 128 countries, including several US allies, got behind a United Nations resolution that rejected President Trump’s decision.
The Pontiff added: “The winds of war are blowing in our world and an outdated model of development continues to produce human, societal and environmental decline.”
Stop and look at the nativity scene: let us enter the true spirit of Christmas with the shepherds, bringing Baby Jesus all that we are.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) December 25, 2017
In a message that had clear similarities to the remarks of Pope Francis, Archbishop Justin Welby decried those world leaders who are hunting for power or who are seeking to deceive the masses with their political message.
“In 2017, we have seen around the world tyrannical leaders that enslave their peoples, populist leaders that deceive them, corrupt leaders that rob them, even simply democratic, well-intentioned leaders of many parties and countries who are normal, fallible human beings,” Welby said.
“The nature of God, who has all power, and from whom all power comes, is to lay it aside for love’s sake and thus without fear, force or manipulation to offer true freedom for every human being. God is showing all truth in its completest form, all love in its purest aspect, the true light of freedom all wrapped up in the baby in Bethlehem.”
In the same vein as the Pope, Welby drew parallels between the Nativity story and the migrant crisis.
“[The Holy Family] flee as refugees, like over 60 million people today,” he said. “Yet their story is the beginning of ours, it is an invitation to lives of freedom, found through God’s freely offered love.”
Earlier this month, Pope Francis offered his views on the decision taken by the Trump administration to recognize Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel. Needless to say, he urged caution.
“I cannot remain silent about my deep concern for the situation that has developed in recent days,” the Pope said. “And at the same time, I wish to make a heartfelt appeal to ensure that everyone is committed to respecting the status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.”
Despite the overwhelming opposition from UN member nations, US Ambassador Nikki Haley last week reassured the UN General Assembly that the United States will not be backing down from its decision to relocate the embassy to Jerusalem.
“America will put our embassy in Jerusalem. That is what the American people want us to do and it is the right thing to do,” Haley declared to fellow ambassadors at the meeting last Thursday. “No vote in the United Nations will make any difference in that.”