WASHINGTON (CNS) — The normalization of diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates can be a step for peace in the Middle East, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace.
Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, Illinois, Aug. 20 welcomed the announcement in a statement, saying it was “gratifying” that as part of the agreement Israel said it would temporarily suspend plans to annex disputed Palestinian territory in the West Bank.
The planned annexation of Palestinian lands by Israel has been a major point of contention between the Jewish state and much of the Arab world.
“The Catholic bishops of the United States have long held that both morally and as a basis for lasting peace, the two parties must negotiate directly and arrive at a fair compromise that respects the aspirations and need of both peoples,” Bishop Malloy said.
“As Catholic bishops we join in this aspiration and know much work remains in the pursuit of peace in the region,” he said.
The agreement is being called the Abraham Accord, which U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said is named for “the father of all three great faiths,” Christian, Muslim and Jewish.
The UAE, a federation of seven emirates, and Israel plan to exchange embassies and ambassadors, according to a Aug. 13 statement from the White House announcing the agreement. The UAE joins Egypt and Jordan as the Arab countries establishing relations with Israel.
Bishop Malloy in his statement also cited Pope Francis, who said during a visit to the UAE in 2019 that “dialogue, understanding and the widespread promotion of a culture of tolerance, acceptance of others and of living together peacefully would contribute significantly to reducing many economic, social, political and environmental problems that weigh so heavily on a large part of humanity.”
“It is our hope that this agreement will contribute to that peace,” the bishop said.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the agreement, describing it as “a betrayal of Jerusalem.” Palestinian leaders have long called for a peace deal with Israel that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine and Israel and for ensuring access for Jews and Muslims to each religion’s holy sites in the city.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103