Former Foreign Minister weighs in on religious aspect of Israel – Palestine conflict
At the heart of the deadly conflict is religion, as both Israel and Palestine believe they are being led by faith. Many have become swept up in the religious undercurrent that sowed the seeds of the war and territorial dispute. Both sides have referred to the bible for justification for claiming the land they have labeled as “Holy.” Yesterday, former government minister Assad Shoman weighed on the religious aspect of the conflict and how it is shaping a divide among people.
Assad Shoman, Ambassador: “I don’t believe that we can give any particular religion in this planet earth a position of superiority over anyone and I thought that was an accepted thinking in Belize. That we don’t believe that any race is superior to another or any ethnic group is superior to another or any culture superior or any religion superior to another. So how can you ask us to give the right which under the law that protects us belongs to the people, the right to self determination, to give that to some document that was written thousands of years ago and that is interpreted by people in different ways and that belongs, that is believed in by a minority of the people in the world ? So then if you’re gonna say well alright that particular document which belongs to this particular religion should rule for everybody on earth or for who ? For believers only or you know ? What about the other religions ? Suppose they said that that no that land belongs to somebody else. You can’t base ownership of land on religion. That’s not the way the world is organized. So it’s not a matter for debate at all. It just sounds outlandish actually.”
Shoman also touched on the possibility of a ceasefire and the difficulties of painting a clear picture of the conflict to religious fanatics.
Assad Shoman, Ambassador: “I understand that people believe different things yeah but I always look to what is it if you come down to it what do you as a Belizean really believe in ? Would you like your life to be determined by what any religion says whether it’s Christian or Muslim or some other religion ? Would you want that or you want it to be based on the generally accepted principles that we accept anyhow of democracy, of majority rule and so on ? I don’t think there’s a debate. You might have a ceasefire or something called a ceasefire because you hear them talking about humanitarian pauses and so on which is really a cruel thing to say because in other words you’re saying let’s pause for a few hours, allow medicine to come in, allow water to come in, allow that to come in and then we start bombing again. So the same water the same thing will be bombed out of existence. I mean what is this ? It’s making a joke out of a situation where people are dying, where people are suffering.”