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Three questions…. to Jacques Gaillot




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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 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 state.
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?
Peres et Arafat 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 Bible?
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. 

vision de paix

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». 

avenir sur justice

ensemble dans la paix Carrying a unique mystery, Jerusalem is called to show to the world that two people can live together in peace. 

(Interviewed by Olivier Robert)