Christians and Jews signal Middle East peace hope - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
September 26, 2005

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Christians and Jews signal Middle East peace hope

-26/09/05

Sixteen senior Jewish and Christian leaders have returned to the USA from a week-long trip to Israel and Palestine, expressing the conviction that ìChristians and Jews can work together to seek peace even when there is disagreement on specific policies and solutions.î

Those who took part represented the Alliance of Baptists, the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, the Anti-Defamation League, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Episcopal Church (Anglican), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the National Council of Churches of Christ (NCCUSA - ecumenical), the Presbyterian Church USA, the Religious Action Centre of the Union of Reform Judaism, the United Church of Christ, the United Methodist Church, and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

Delegation members say they have come back to be ìadvocates for a secure, viable and independent Palestinian state alongside an equally secure State of Israel, affirming the historic links that both the Jewish People and the Palestinian People have to the land.î

They are promising ìto mobilize each of our communities of faith ... in a concerted effort to bring reconciliation and peace to Israelis and Palestinians alike.î

The full text of the delegationís statement is as follows:

ìLeaders of the mainline Protestant Christian and Jewish communities of the
United States have been working for over a year constructively to address issues that concern the two communities, of which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is among the most serious. Standing on the rich tradition of working together to address questions of social justice, sixteen of these leaders representing eight Christian denominations and national organizations and six national Jewish organizations and religious movements spent the past five days together in this land that is holy to all Abrahamic faiths.

ìWe came to see and we came to listen -- and to try to understand the human dimensions of an unholy situation in a land most holy. We each encountered the voices of individuals, organizations and officials that we had never heard before. In session after session, we confronted the realities on the ground and gained new understandings of, and an appreciation for, the deep complexities of the conflicts that consume Israelis, Palestinians and us alike.

ìAs representatives of mainline Protestant Churches and the American Jewish community, we have demonstrated that Christians and Jews can work together to seek peace even when there is disagreement on specific policies and solutions. As a result of these days, we will now be even more effective advocates for a secure, viable and independent Palestinian state alongside an equally secure State of Israel, affirming the historic links that both the Jewish People and the Palestinian People have to the land.

ìUpon our return, we are committed to:

* Deepen our engagement with each other and expand the number of Jews and
Protestants committed to interfaith dialogue on the local level as advocates for peace.

* Mobilize each of our communities of faith across the United States in a concerted effort to bring reconciliation and peace to Israelis and Palestinians alike.

* Together, we seek to mobilize elected officials and our American fellow citizens on behalf of a negotiated peace settlement.

* Effectively support those Palestinians and Israelis who are courageously working for reconciliation and a two-state solution with concrete actions that will help sustain their work.

ìA trip that started from many different places has brought us closer together in hope and faith. While there were many difficult moments, our trust in each other deepened. We sustain hope and faith in each other as agents of peace. We affirm hope and faith in our two religious communities as partners and advocates for a two-state solution. We also have a renewed hope and faith in the future of this holy land and these two peoples.

ìOn this day, we together affirm our partnership with God in bringing about justice, compassion and peace.î

Find books now:

Christians and Jews signal Middle East peace hope

-26/09/05

Sixteen senior Jewish and Christian leaders have returned to the USA from a week-long trip to Israel and Palestine, expressing the conviction that 'Christians and Jews can work together to seek peace even when there is disagreement on specific policies and solutions.'

Those who took part represented the Alliance of Baptists, the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, the Anti-Defamation League, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Episcopal Church (Anglican), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the National Council of Churches of Christ (NCCUSA - ecumenical), the Presbyterian Church USA, the Religious Action Centre of the Union of Reform Judaism, the United Church of Christ, the United Methodist Church, and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

Delegation members say they have come back to be 'advocates for a secure, viable and independent Palestinian state alongside an equally secure State of Israel, affirming the historic links that both the Jewish People and the Palestinian People have to the land.'

They are promising 'to mobilize each of our communities of faith ... in a concerted effort to bring reconciliation and peace to Israelis and Palestinians alike.'

The full text of the delegation's statement is as follows:

'Leaders of the mainline Protestant Christian and Jewish communities of the
United States have been working for over a year constructively to address issues that concern the two communities, of which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is among the most serious. Standing on the rich tradition of working together to address questions of social justice, sixteen of these leaders representing eight Christian denominations and national organizations and six national Jewish organizations and religious movements spent the past five days together in this land that is holy to all Abrahamic faiths.

'We came to see and we came to listen -- and to try to understand the human dimensions of an unholy situation in a land most holy. We each encountered the voices of individuals, organizations and officials that we had never heard before. In session after session, we confronted the realities on the ground and gained new understandings of, and an appreciation for, the deep complexities of the conflicts that consume Israelis, Palestinians and us alike.

'As representatives of mainline Protestant Churches and the American Jewish community, we have demonstrated that Christians and Jews can work together to seek peace even when there is disagreement on specific policies and solutions. As a result of these days, we will now be even more effective advocates for a secure, viable and independent Palestinian state alongside an equally secure State of Israel, affirming the historic links that both the Jewish People and the Palestinian People have to the land.

'Upon our return, we are committed to:

* Deepen our engagement with each other and expand the number of Jews and
Protestants committed to interfaith dialogue on the local level as advocates for peace.

* Mobilize each of our communities of faith across the United States in a concerted effort to bring reconciliation and peace to Israelis and Palestinians alike.

* Together, we seek to mobilize elected officials and our American fellow citizens on behalf of a negotiated peace settlement.

* Effectively support those Palestinians and Israelis who are courageously working for reconciliation and a two-state solution with concrete actions that will help sustain their work.

'A trip that started from many different places has brought us closer together in hope and faith. While there were many difficult moments, our trust in each other deepened. We sustain hope and faith in each other as agents of peace. We affirm hope and faith in our two religious communities as partners and advocates for a two-state solution. We also have a renewed hope and faith in the future of this holy land and these two peoples.

'On this day, we together affirm our partnership with God in bringing about justice, compassion and peace.'

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