“Let us work together to replace despair with HOPE, fear with human SECURITY and humiliation with DIGNITY”

Presiding Bishop calls for intervention by United Nations in Middle East

Message from Bishop Griswold the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.

Message from Bishop Griswold the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.

Easter Monday, April 1, 2002

The current round of violence in Israel and the occupied territories has brought the crisis to its lowest and most dangerous ebb in many years.  Neither the present despicable round of suicide bombings, borne of years of occupation, nor the disproportionate military response of Israel is leading to any peaceful solution.  My heart goes out to all those families, both Israeli and Palestinian, who have lost loved ones in this latest round of violence.  They have my deepest condolences.

This tragic situation demands the immediate intervention of the international community.  I beseech the United Nations, supported fully by the United States, to send a peacekeeping force into occupied Palestinian areas for the purpose of ensuring an immediate ceasefire.  The United States must impress upon both sides the absolute necessity of this action.

Clearly, the two parties in this tragic conflict no longer have the means or the will to control events.   Therefore, it is imperative that the international community intervenes to restore order and stability based on UN Security Council resolution 1402 with a ceasefire as outlined in the Tenet plan.  Parallel tracks for immediate peace negotiations based on the Mitchell plan should accompany this effort.  I prevail on President Bush to send Secretary of State Colin Powell to the area as a sign of U.S. resolve to end the violence and to broker a just peace.

Even in the midst of the turmoil there have been hopeful signs. The Arab League’s willingness to engage the peace process with an offer of normal relations in exchange for a Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders is precedent setting, even breathtaking, and the moment must not be lost.  Extremist actions from either side cannot be allowed to circumvent genuine  peace efforts being put forward.

I talked on Easter Day with Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal, Episcopal Bishop in Jerusalem, and heard of his and others unending efforts to bring both sides together.  I assured him of the prayers and actions of the Episcopal Church, USA, on behalf of him, the people of the Diocese of Jerusalem, and indeed, all those who call the Holy Land home.  The promise that Resurrection follows death is our hope in this dark hour.

Frank T. Griswold

Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church, USA

 

 

2016-10-24T07:34:40+00:00 April 2nd, 2002|Categories: News|