Christian leaders for Justice and Peace for the Holy Land
On November 14, 1994, the Christian leaders of Jerusalem wrote a MEMORANDUM "The Significance of Jerusalem for Christians" signed by Greek Orthodox Patriarch, Latin Patriarch, Armenian Patriarch, Custos of the Holy Land, Coptic Archbishop, Syriac Archbishop, Ethiopian Archbishop, Anglican Bishop, Greek Catholic Patriarchal Vicar, Lutheran Bishop, Maronite Patriarchal Vicar, Catholic Syriac Vicar. That document was supported by the Vatican, many Christian Churches, the Muslim Communities in the Middle east.
On March 6,1995 Eight Us Christian leaders in support of that mentioned document wrote a letter, signed by : Cardinal William H. Keeler, President National Council of Catholic Bishops; Kara Newell, Executive Director, American Friends Service Committee, Father Gerlad L. Brown SS, President Catholic Conference of Major Superiors(CMSM), Archbishop Lakovos, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America; Bishop Edmond L Browning, President Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church; Metropolitan Philip Saliba, Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America; Bishop Herbert W Chilstrom, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Robert A Seiple, President World Vision,
The points that the Document of the March 6,1995 letter to President Clinton were:
1-That the administration is backing away from the long-term U.S. policy that East Jerusalem is subject to U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 regauging territories occupied by Israel armed forces in 1967. 2- That the administration is failing to reconize and support Palestinian rights and interests in Jerusalem. 3- That the administration is not using its considerable influence to halt Israeli construction in East Jerusalem and continued expansion into Palestinian areas. 4- That the Israeli planning for "Greater Jerusalem" is an open secret 5- That the Israeli assertion that Jerusalem will remain the "eternal and undivided capital of Israel" is widely interpreted as a claim of exclusive Israeli sovereignty over the city that preempts genuine negotiation. It is our conviction, Mr. President, that a resolution of the question of Jerusalem has the potential for advancing cooperation between the three Abrahamic faith or sowing the seeds of new religious conflicts between Muslims, Jews and Christians.
On January 27,1996 the International Conference in Jerusalem, sponsored by Sabeel, Liberation Theology center in Jerusalem, adopted the Documents mentioned and confirmed the emmergency to work for JUSTICE and PEACE for JERUSALEM, in a Statement supported world wide.
On May 1996 the Vatican sent a document " Jerusalem-consideration of the Secretary of State", that shows its support to the Christian and Muslim leaders stands over Jerusalem.
All the documents mentioned above: The Christian Leaders of Jerusalem Document, the Us Christian Leaders, the International Conference in Jerusalem and others by Muslim leaders and social and Political leaders call Israel to stop confiscation Palestinian lands, to remove all road block and obstacles preventing free access to Jerusalem, to stop the CLAIM that Jerusalem is an "Eternal and undivided capital of Israel" wildly interpreted as an exclusive Israeli sovereignty over JERUSALEM. All the Documents call USA and the World to stand beside JUSTICE and PEACE for Jerusalem
On June 17,1996 the Muslim Leaders and the Christians Leaders of the Middle East wrote together the "Jerusalem Appeal" " MUSLIMS AND CHRISTIANS TOGETHER FOR JERUSALEM'S SAKE". The called again Israel, USA and the World to take a stand for JUSTICE and PEACE for JERUSALEM. 1- They didn't call for violence by for Peace and cooperation 2- They are not anti-jewish or anti-semite, our Arab Leader Muslims and Christians are semites as well
On September 29, 1996 the Patriarchs, Bishops, Clery and People of Christian Churches of Jerusalem wrote a statement and called the whole world to take a clear stand to stop the Israeli confiscation of Palestinian lands and return the conficated lands to its rit=ghtful Palestinian owners, to stop demolition of homes, to release all prisoners and detainees, to remove raod blocks and respect all signed agrrements
On October 10, the Roman Catholic Commision for justice and peace of Jerusalem wrote a letter to the bishops of the Church Worldwide and urged them to"raise the important issues" about the Israeli violation of fundamental Palestinian human rights, the stated the following violations" 1- The right to travel freely within the West Bank, and to and from Jerusalem. 2- The fundamental right to receive an education 3- The fundamental right to religious worship 4- The fundamantal right to receive health care 5- The fundamental right to work"
On December 21, 1996, few days before Christmas, the Churches for the Middle East Peace (American Baptist Churches, USA, American Friends Service Committee, Church of the Brethern, Episcopal Church, Evanglical Lutheran Church in America, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Maryknoll Missioners, Mennonite Central Committee, National Council of Churches, Presbyterian Church(USA), Roman Catholic Conference of Major Superiors of Men's Institutes, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church) put an advertisment published by The New York Times, They said: "Jerusalem at peace cannot belong exclusively to one people, one country or one religion. Jerusalem should be open to all, shared by all -two people and three religions- We urge the United States governement to call upon negotiators to move beyond exclusivist claims and create a Jerusalem that is a sign of peace and a symbole of reconciliation for all mankind".
These, our real source of imformation, are giving us different views that we should listen to. Their views are more real and true than those that we hear and see in the Mass Media.We do not need to listen to the very interested News of some Medai that try to impose a certain solution of injustice that is far from a real and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. 1997 does not promise more than what promised 1996. Let us pray for JUSTICE nad PEACE and let us work to stop all kinds of VIOLENCE.