November 22, 2000
To CMEP's Email Network
This resolution was passed at the General Assembly of the NCC meeting in Atlanta last week.
Resolution on the Conflict in the Middle East
Adopted by the NCC General Assembly on November 17, 2000
WHEREAS, the General Assembly of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA finds itself meeting at a time of continuing violent confrontation in the Middle East sparked by tension about the future status of Jerusalem, and witnesses with deep distress, sorrow and concern this resurgence of violence in the Middle East; and
WHEREAS, we have heard the witness of our Christian sisters and brothers in the Middle East of the tangible effects of violence targeted at the Palestinian population by the Israeli military resulting in widespread maiming, injury and death, extensive damage to property, as well as the de facto imprisonment of the Palestinian population within areas closed by the Israeli authorities limiting access by Palestinians to emergency services, health care, food, employment and freedom of movement; and
WHEREAS, we are cognizant that the solution to the problem of violence in the Middle East and the resolution to the status of Jerusalem is primarily the responsibility of the parties directly involved, but that the Christian churches have a central role to play in relation to the negotiations;
Therefore be it resolved that the General Assembly of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA strongly affirms the October 11, 2000, statement of Rev. Robert Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, and Rev. John McCullough, Executive Director of the Church World Service, pertaining to the escalating cycles of violence and victimization involving Israeli forces and Palestinians, the call to all parties involved to cease immediately all acts of violence, and condemnation of the disproportionate use of force by the Israeli military including helicopters, tanks and heavy weapons against the civilian population in the occupied territories;
And be it resolved, that the General Assembly of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA expresses its concern and prayerful support for the Christian churches in Jerusalem and the occupied territories and for strengthening their continued presence in the Middle East;
And be it resolved, that the General Assembly of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA reiterates its support for self-determination for the Palestinian people and establishment of a Palestinian state, and its call for the preservation of the city of Jerusalem as an open, shared city where free access to Holy Places and freedom of worship are assured for people of all faiths;
And be it resolved, that the General Assembly calls upon the member churches of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA to encourage their members to support through prayer the Christians and Muslims of Palestine, and the Jewish people of Israel and all of the people affected by this violence to support Israelis and Palestinians working for true peace and justice, and to convey to United States public policy makers expressions of concern for peace with justice and reconciliation in the region.
And be it resolved, that the General Assembly calls upon the President of the United States of America to continue the U.S. efforts to mediate and convene meetings of the parties and that he, along with the United Nations, be encouraged to work towards a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.