Obstacles on the path to statehood
The new statement from the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, the Geneva-based WCC General Secretary, commenting on the Palestinian bid for statehood - as well as the news that 1,100 new housing units will be built in the illegal Gilo settlement - makes interesting reading (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/15457).
This latest expansionist step from Israel has further polarised the parties and underlined one of the key stumbling blocks in any resumption of negotiations.
Also, the UN bid for statehood has now been sent to the United Nations Admissions Committee by the Security Council president, Ambassador Nawwaf Salam - where it might well languish for a while pending discussions, deals, pressures and compromises inter partes.
I have recently completed a series of interviews examining the issues involved in this complex situation, for the BBC and Al Jazeera, among others.
The BBC Bristol broadcast can be heard here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/p00k7j80 It runs from 2h:34m - 2h:43m.
Meanwhile, it is worth observing that the WCC General Secretary's statement (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/15456) is a model of clarity and prompt response which other church and civic leaders may wish to emulate.
© Harry Hagopian is an international lawyer, ecumenist and EU political consultant. He also acts as a Middle East and inter-faith advisor to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales and as Middle East consultant to ACEP (Christians in Politics) in Paris. He is an Ekklesia associate and regular contributor (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/HarryHagopian). Formerly an Executive Secretary of the Jerusalem Inter-Church Committee and Executive Director of the Middle East Council of Churches, he is an international fellow, Sorbonne III University, Paris, consultant to the Campaign for Recognition of the Armenian Genocide (UK) and author of The Armenian Church in the Holy Land. Dr Hagopian’s own website is www.epektasis.net
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