Justice still at bay

Submitted by munir on Tue, 10/17/2023 - 13:16

I write these words in the vicinity of the Dutch city of The Hague. It is a city that suffered in the past by Spanish, Belgian, and French colonialism, while in World War II it was subjected to British bombings--as friendly ones--and sustaining hundreds of victims. Throughout the past ages, many of its people were displaced until it became at present one of the most important Dutch cities. Though it is not the capital, yet it is the headquarters of the King and the Crown Prince, as most of the governmental departments are located there. However, its international influence stems from the fact that it has become, since 1945, the capital of international justice, by virtue of the presence of the International Court of Justice, which is associated with The Hague.


I write from the capital of the international justice and I think about the justice that is slumbering or being at bay according to the international conscience. I even think of justice that has been absented and tailored according to the standards of some political parties, such parties that tailored justice like garments that fit their sizes. It is ironic nowadays that the occupation, crouching like a rock on the body of Palestine, has been viewed as a victim in the world and a source of pity, at a time when the world fails to look at the other side namely vulnerable, imprisoned, and endangered Gaza--just like Hague of the past time—which is being jeopardized by shelling and by forcibly displacing its people who have already been living in a large prison for years.


Days ago, I participated in a conference on religion and combating corruption in the city of Schoenberg, and presented a paper in which I elaborated on our Jordanian efforts in combating corruption, by focusing on the role played by Church institutions--specially schools and every institution that deals with money--in preserving integrity, equality, as well as  fighting and eradicating corruption. Yet, what is worthy to take note of is the size of political “corruption” as I realized Western sympathy with Israel with regards to combating Palestinian "terrorism." This is how the Western media presents issues. Moreover, this is how the West views the world--in the vicinity of The Hague of justice--as the occupier has become with a blink of an eye a historical victim, while playing this role perfectly and having the sound of its crying reaching the vast regions of the world. I saw a number of participants in the conference placing their country's flag next to the Israeli flag on their neckties, as if solidarity with Israel has become attached to their necks.


We definitely need genuine justice, while viewing the prevailing tragedy through the eyes of history and logic, whereby the time has come for the territories occupied by armies to be liberated and to attain independence. Nevertheless, at the same time, we need a media force, as our Lebanese friend George Kallas wrote a few days ago: “We need to follow a systematic media plan to focus on popular and moral mobilization, as well as ensure permanent awareness of justice free from exaggeration and misinformation, while going hand-in-hand with mapping out a strategy to confront the enemy’s media in concomitance with a proactive and dynamic vision that coincides with the risks and developments of each stage of the conflict.”


In conclusion, we need peace. Yet it remains at bay as long as justice is missing, as the Holy Bible refers to peace as being a fruit of justice. The dream is to see Gaza becoming soon like The Hague, emerging from the tragedies of time and becoming a symbol of justice in the world. With my prayers from the vicinity of The Hague so that peace would prevail while associated with justice. O Lord answer our prayers.



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Fr. Dr. Rif'at Bader