Washington, DC, February 15, 2017: 15 Christian organizations sent a briefing paper to all members of Congress and to the Trump Administration calling for U.S. policies that promote peace, justice, and equality between Israelis and Palestinians.
The paper states, “2017 marks 50 years since Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza and 24 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords. Over the last 50 years, but particularly since the signing of the Oslo accords in 1993, there have been significant changes on the ground in the occupied Palestinian territories that have a negative impact on efforts to achieve peace with justice.”
Citing changes including the amount of West Bank land now controlled by Israeli settlements, the increased number of settlers, and the demolition of Palestinians homes, the paper states, “These changes, among others, have caused analysts, scholars, diplomats, and politicians to assert that the window of opportunity for a viable two-state solution is closing or may have closed. As that reexamination is occurring, the underlying need for equality of rights remains.”
Dr. Peter Makari, executive for the Middle East and Europe of Global Ministries of the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) said, “Israel/Palestine is an issue of high priority and urgency, that begs for honest and vigorous engagement. There is much our Congress and Administration can do to promote peace, justice, and equality with and for the people there, just as there are significant ways to undermine such efforts. In sending this paper to our elected officials, our hope is to ensure that members of Congress and the new Administration hear our voices and concerns as they take up this issue, which is urgent for Israelis and Palestinians, and has implications for our own country’s national security. We look forward to follow-up conversations with them as well.”
The signing organizations call for U.S policymakers to “make clear their commitment to ensuring fundamental human rights,” highlighting several approaches including “Urging Israeli and Palestinian leaders to uphold the values of peace, justice, and equal rights for all peoples; and urging both to refrain from actions that lead to violence while encouraging efforts to work for peace, justice, and reconciliation.”
Signatories to the briefing paper are the American Friends Service Committee; Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); Church of the Brethren, Office of Public Witness; Conference of Major Superiors of Men; Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Friends Committee on National Legislation; Global Ministries of the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns; Mennonite Central Committee U.S.; National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA; Pax Christi International; Presbyterian Church (USA); Reformed Church in America; United Church of Christ; United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society.
For more information see the briefing paper- Toward Peace, Justice, and Equality in Israel and Palestine