Reflective Piece by Fr. Andy Hamilton SJ

 Our business at CAPSA is to care for people who seek asylum in Australia and across the globe. That care leads us also to attend to the forces that drive people from their homes to seek asylum. Today these include people from Gaza. We are also deeply concerned by the war in Gaza.    

Our first concern in war must be the people who are affected by it. These include those in Israel and Gaza who have lost their lives, lost family, lost health and lost spirit. Too many children, women and men have been killed, lost family members, lost homes, hospitals and mosques, lost the ability to build home and community, and are threatened by famine and the loss of hope. We have witnessed over 2 million people of Gaza displaced. It is unbearable that this should continue.            

For both Gaza and Israel, the enemy is terrorism and war. War kills people, kills communities, wounds hope. It also poisons the future, breeding the hatred that will provide fighters and demagogues for the next war.   The priority is to end the killing, free the hostages and end the war. The people of Gaza and the citizens of Israel can only have their suffering end through peace.  It is necessary to achieve a ceasefire and open corridors for food, shelter, medical care and basic education.  We need to agree on a settlement that guarantees lasting peace and responsible government both in Gaza and Israel.