WASHINGTON, DC – American diplomat Donald Kruse, a “true force” behind the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF), will be honored at HCEF’s 18th International Conference and Awards Banquet at the Washington Marriott Georgetown on Friday evening, Oct. 14. Mr. Kruse, age 85, passed away on Sept. 8 in La Grange Park, IL.

A Foreign Service Officer of the U.S. Department of State for more than 30 years, Kruse’s distinguished career included high-level assignments as Deputy Principal Officer in Jerusalem and Deputy Director of the Sinai Field Mission in the 1980s. In Jerusalem, he observed first-hand the suffering of the Palestinian population under Israeli military occupation.

“It is difficult to put into words what Donald Kruse meant to the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation and, more importantly, to the Christians of the Holy Land,” said Sir Rateb Rabie, KCHS, President and CEO of HCEF. “After completing his diplomatic career, Don put his faith into action and took a stand for the Palestinian Christians.”

In his retirement, Kruse continued to advocate for Arab-Israeli peace, writing numerous articles about the ongoing conflict and the plight of the Palestinian people, millions of whom were displaced following the wars of 1948 and 1967 and became long-term refugees. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians “remains the fundamental issue – the underlying cause of turmoil in the Middle East,” Kruse wrote in 2003.

Kruse served on the board of HCEF and other organizations focused on peace in the Middle East. “Don is the true force behind HCEF,” said Rabie. “He opened wide the doors of the National Presbyterian Church (Washington, DC), giving us a place to gather when this organization was still in its infancy. Don never forgot the Palestinian people. I cannot thank him enough.”

In remembering his beloved friend, Rabie also paid tribute to Don’s wife, Sally Kruse. “Behind every great man, there is a great woman. Sally was fully by Don’s side as he worked to launch HCEF and guide its development into the organization that it is today.” 

In response, Mrs. Kruse stated: “Don’s devotion was unwavering for justice and peace in the Middle East, especially for the Palestinian people. His steadfast commitment led many people, including me, to recognize the plight of the Palestinians and he encouraged us all to believe that one day justice would prevail.”

Please join HCEF in honoring Donald Kruse at the 18th International Conference on Oct. 14-15, 2016 at the Washington Marriott Georgetown, Washington, DC.

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