- Three questions
to Jacques Gaillot
Yasser Arafat died in Paris. What would
you like to say about him and to his people that you visited
and their daily difficulties that you saw?
Yasser Arafat has personified the struggle
and the hope of his people. Wherever he was, in Tunis, Bayreuth,
Ramallah or in Paris, everywhere he was the symbol of his people
resistance. The fate of the Palestinian leader could not be separated
from his people. It was visible in Ramallah when a flood of people
carried out Yasser Arafat's coffin.
- The protocol was abandoned. Extraordinary
image: no one else than the Palestinian people could bury him.
He was for them their «Father». Today the Palestinian
people feel like orphans.
Humiliated by the occupation of their territory, Arafat gave
back to them the pride to exist and the dream of an independent
The fate of the people cannot be stopped.
- The Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel
Sharon, has recently taken harsh decisions that the settlers
are refusing to apply. These decisions would lead to give back
the "occupied territories" to the Palestinians. You
have been several times to Israel and Palestine; do you see some
signs of peace or more conflicts in the coming future?
Any unilateral decision has not much
chance to peacefully succeed. It would have been through negotiations
between the two parties involved that the decision to leave Gaza
territory could have had some chance to be successful.
- The contrary has happened. Further
more this decision is followed by the decision to have more settlements
in Cis-Jordan with the intent to make them permanent. Where is
the will for peace?
- We are coming close to Christmas,
a symbol of peace. What message would you like to address to
Israelis and Palestinians, Jewish, Moslems and Christians, who
cannot find a way to share the land of Christ, the land of the
At Christmas we search for a light towards
the East. In the past the Magi, guided by the Star, were going
towards cities with symbolic meaning: Jerusalem, vision of peace,
Bethlehem, house of the bread. They still tell much to us today.
I would say to the Palestinians the same peaceful words of the
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem:« With the stones and pebbles
of the first Intifada you were stronger than today with firearms.
With a branch of the olive tree you are even stronger than with
the stones and the firearms».
The struggle with firearms will not give you peace. The path
of violence will lead to a dead end. It is through a political
negotiation that peace will be made possible.
I will implore the Jews, the eldest brothers of the Christians,
with the burning words of justice:
«The future cannot be built on
injustice. A wall will not protect you from violence. You will
not win by humiliating people. Don't miss a chance to make peace.
Peace is possible».
Carrying a unique mystery, Jerusalem
is called to show to the world that two people can live together
(Interviewed by Olivier Robert)