A woman holds up a sign that say "Pace," peace in Italian, as Pope Francis appeals for an end to the fighting between Israel and Palestine after reciting the Angelus prayer Oct. 8, 2023, with visitors in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. CNS photo/Vatican Media

Editorial: Pray for the victims, on all sides

  • October 11, 2023

We applaud and magnify the sombre yet vital words the good people of Christian-Jewish Dialogue of Toronto issued in the aftermath of last weekend’s heart-wrenching atrocities in the Holy Land.

Rejecting “the logic of violence,” CJDT joined all clear-minded and humane peoples in denouncing the unrestrained violence inflicted on peaceful Jews — just for being Jews — at the hands of Hamas terrorists. While “standing in solidarity with Israel,” CJDT linked Israelis and the Palestinian people as victims of the murderous retributive cycle unleashed by Hamas’ hellish madness.

“May the God whom we all adore guide us in this time of turmoil, darkness and pain. May God who makes peace in the heavenly places grant peace to Israel, and to the peoples of that Land, so sacred to us all,” wrote the CJDT, which of course includes the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto.

Those words, or words like unto them, should be on the lips of all Canadians of religious faith, and rendered into a fitting secular variation for those who have no faith yet remain people of good faith and good will.

In that vein, The Register offers, let’s call it a pre-emptive, prayer that no Catholics besmirch Holy Mother Church by casting their lot with the clots of insensitive oafs, misguided fashionable fools, ideological robots and pure nasty pieces of work that openly celebrated on the streets of Canadian cities in the aftermath of the weekend’s odious slaughter and hostage takings. Waving flags and cheering as if the mass murder of Israeli grandmothers and grandfathers, mothers and fathers, children, civilians all, was some kind of homicidal blood sport to be huzzaed as a “victory” for “our” side? We say literally: For God’s sake. Where was basic decency? Where is the humanity?

To the programmatic retort that those same questions could be asked about Palestinian deaths at the hands of the “Zionist state,” it must be readily acknowledged that grievous injustice has dovetailed with the evolution of the Middle East’s only stable, if democratically turbulent, technologically and economically advanced free society. Yes, the Palestinian people’s suffering from the myriad of wars, incursions, intifadas and related violence since 1948 is a tragedy of history. However attributable to its leadership perpetually “missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity,” in the words of diplomat Aba Eban, the condition of the Palestinian populace in the West Bank, Gaza and Israel itself, cries out for just resolution.

But anyone who mouths slogans about last weekend’s calculated butchery being a catalyst for “revolutionary Palestinian freedom” is either dozily unaware or blinded by blood lust. Vicious thugs though Hamas terrorists are, it was immediately recognized that they have neither the resources nor the organizational sophistication to plan, let alone enact, such a meticulous rampage. The Wall Street Journal, among other media outlets, quickly reported confirmation from Hamas leaders that Iran was inextricably involved during months of preparation timed to coincide with the major Jewish holy day of Succoth.

So, the Palestinian people will be led to revolutionary freedom by village tyrants who in turn abase themselves before Iran’s theo-totalitarian leadership which, only a year ago, imprisoned and beat to death a young woman who dared challenge draconian laws that forced her to cover her hair? Improbable hardly describes it.

Yet that insidious combination of despots, whose religious differences as Sunnis and Shiites were put aside for the sake of their unequivocal Jew hatred, is precisely what our Canadian flag wavers cheered. Even as the unmistakable tropes of the Holocaust staggered the watching world — Jewish families frantically searching for their dead and missing loved ones, Jews hiding in basements or underground, even in garbage dumpsters, Jewish bodies stripped, violated and paraded for the vengeful humiliation of the dead for God’s sake — the slogan mouthers, the fantasy-fed fools, the murderous of heart, shouted as if for heroes.

As The Catholic Register, we pray that none of the above were Catholics and, more, any who might have been know the way to the confessional door.

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