Support diplomatic efforts for a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians
I've added my signature to the following letter that is being sent to Barack Obama for his inauguration.
Ecumenical Christian Letter to President-elect Obama
Dear President-elect Obama,
As Christians of the Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox and Protestant traditions, we are united by a Biblical call to be peacemakers and a commitment to the two peoples of the Holy Land who yearn for a just peace. As Americans, we urge you, Mr. President, to make achievement of Israeli-Palestinian peace an immediate priority during your first year in office.
The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has gone on too long. It has caused untold suffering for both sides, created economic hardships, and provided a rallying cry for extremists.
As people of faith and hope, we believe peace is possible. Majorities of both Israelis and Palestinians continue to support a negotiated solution based on two secure and sovereign states as the best way to end this tragic conflict.
In order to achieve a durable peace, your Administration must provide sustained, high-level diplomatic leadership toward the clear goal of a final status agreement. Building on past discussions, we ask you to encourage Israeli and Palestinian leaders to make historic compromises necessary for peace.
Your commitment to working for the establishment of a viable Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel can help strengthen U.S. security and improve stability and relationships throughout the Middle East. We believe that Jerusalem – home to two peoples and three religions – has the potential to become a powerful symbol of hope and coexistence for people across the region and the world.
We know the work for a just peace will not be easy. It will require great courage and resolve, but the risk of inaction is even greater. Without active U.S. engagement, political inertia and perpetuation of the unbearable status quo will make achievement of a two-state solution increasingly difficult.
Moreover, we are concerned about the negative impact a further delay will have on the Christian community in the Holy Land, whose numbers continue to decline.
We call on all Christians and people of goodwill to join us in praying for the peace of Jerusalem and in supporting vigorous U.S. diplomatic efforts to secure Middle East peace. Mr. President, as you take up the many challenges facing the United States and the global community, we urge you to work for a better future for all the children of Abraham in the land that is holy to us all.
Noted signatories include
Richard Mouw, President of Fuller Theological Seminary, David Neff, Editor in Chief of Christianity Today, Stanley Noffsinger, General Secretary for the Church of the Brethren, Bishop Gregory Vaughn Palmer, President of The Council of Bishops for The United Methodist Church, Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly for the Presbyterian Church (USA), Metropolitan PHILIP (Saliba), Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, Chris Seiple, President of the Institute for Global Engagement, Ron Sider, President of Evangelicals for Social Action, Richard Stearns, President of World Vision, Jim Wallis, President of Sojourners.
The final letter, signed by Christian leaders and congregants from across the nation, will be delivered to President Obama during the time of inauguration. The last day to add your name is January 16, 2009.
Please add your name to the Christian Call for Holy Land Peace today and join your fellow American Christians in supporting vigorous diplomatic efforts to secure a just and lasting two-state solution.