In correspondence with Syrian archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo and Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai of Lebanon, Latin Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal in an interview by Vatican Insider bayed his heart insisting that the US government are late to defining the acts of ISIS against Middle-Eastern Christians.
Below are details of the Interview:
Your Beatitude, do you agree with defining what is going on in ISIS-controlled territories as “genocide”?
“No, I do not agree with this definition. The statement comes too late, when everything has already happened and it bears no correspondence with reality. Everyone has either escaped or are dead. Many others, besides Christians are victims of violence, starting with Muslims. There are others who are more victims than we are.”
Why do you say it is too late?
“Europe and the United States reacted too late and realised they were unable to pursue their agenda of carving up the Middle East. One must recall the consequences of certain military interventions, of certain wars that were fought in our regions. If it is peace that you want, then bring peace into the homes of others, not war.”
There were dictatorships that needed to be toppled…
“During a visit to France a diplomat was asked why there was so much enthusiasm about deposing Assad. He responded by talking about the need to defend human rights that have been breached. To which the reply was: why don’t you start with Saudi Arabia? Different standards are adopted with regard to human rights if countries are allies of the West. The reality is that a solution was expected within a few months. But the war has dragged on for years.”
What would the next step be do you think?
“There is no magic solution unfortunately. ISIS did not just fall out of the sky, it grew out of contexts of poverty, injustice and dictatorship, subsidised by heavy arms trafficking, the trafficking Pope Francis so courageously speaks out against every time he talks about these situations. ISIS needs to be defeated using all means possible but let us not fool ourselves: even if Daesh were wiped out right down to the very last combatant, the phenomenon would reappear if we do not eliminate the causes, such as injustices and illegal arms dealing.”
What are you doing to help the refugees?
There are 740,000 refugees in Jordan. Only 28,000 of them are Christian. We do what we can to help them. The Italian Bishops’ Conference has helped us launch projects that allow children to be enrolled in schools, for example”.