An unprecedented range of leaders from all sections of the Christian community have come together to affirm the right of both Israelis and Palestinians for a just and peaceful future - after years of division and violence.
The head of a world churches body which has been highly critical of the policies of the state of Israel toward the Palestinians has unequivocally condemned the recent bomb outrage against a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem.
Palestinians and Jews working for peace and justice have expressed deep foreboding about the future after Israel responded to the appalling recent shootings in Jerusalem with hints of reprisals and a pledge to occupy more territory.
Church and aid workers warn that the situation in Gaza is deteriorating as Israelis and Palestinians continue to face off, more than two weeks after Israel cut off the electric power supply after Palestinian missile attacks.
The compassionate actions of human beings, not their claims against each other, reflect the will of God and the transforming power of Jesus the Prince of Peace, say the heads of the churches in Jerusalem this Christmastide.
Pope Benedict gave his support and prayers to a major peace conference that will gather in Annapolis, Maryland, USA, tomorrow, seeking steps toward a sustainable solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
Long-time Middle East expert Dr Harry Hagopian, Ecumenical, Legal & Political Consultant to the Armenian Church in the UK, assesses the prsopects of the Annapolis for peace with justice in Israel-Palestine.
Students, academics, human rights campaigners and a Jewish peace group have protested loudly at the decision of the Catholic University of St Thomas, Minnesota, to cancel a campus visit by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, because he has criticized Israeli government policy.
Transformational diplomacy is not about entrenching Western interests in Palestine-Israel, says Michael Marten. It is about encouraging advice from regional experts, engaging with ‘the enemy’, treating Occupier and Occupied as such and working towards a just resolution.
The general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), the Rev Dr Samuel Kobia, plans to visit member churches and Christian communities in the strife-ridden occupied Palestinian territories and Israel.