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

Resolution on the Current Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, Common Global Ministries Board of Directors

Meeting of the UCC-Christian Church (Disciples), Cleveland, Ohio, November 9-11, 2001 Resolution on the Current Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Supporting Actions toward Ending Israeli Occupation and Establishing a Palestinian State

Meeting of the UCC-Christian Church (Disciples),
Cleveland, Ohio, November 9-11, 2001

Resolution on the Current Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Supporting Actions toward Ending Israeli Occupation and Establishing a Palestinian State

WHEREAS Israel’s 34-year military occupation of Palestinian land and people continues, perpetuating structures and acts of state violence that have been condemned by the international community as categorically illegal and inhumane;

WHEREAS in the current international climate of combating terrorism and in the name of enhancing its national security Israel has used the distraction of world attention to exercise its stated policy of targeted assassinations and excessive collective punishments against Palestinian individuals and communities in the occupied territories;

WHEREAS in recent months Israel has intensified its year-long incursions into Palestinian territories with a “re-occupation” of areas heretofore granted Palestinian autonomy, deploying troops in residential areas and houses of worship throughout the West Bank and Gaza and using heavy armaments to kill and injure dozens of primarily civilian Palestinians:
    namely that of August 28 which included the storming of the Lutheran Church of the Reformation and its orphanage in Beit Jala near Bethlehem, and use of its 50 orphans as human shields; and that of October 18 in which occupation forces fired on St. Catherine’s Church, the Holy Family maternity hospital, a Catholic-run home for the elderly, and refugee camps in and around Bethlehem; used U.S.-supplied F-16s and Apache attack helicopters to assault unarmed villagers such as in Beit Rima near Ramallah, while detaining ambulances and medical personnel from entering the village; and killed by heavy-gauge sniper fire the Greek Orthodox altar boy Johnny Thaljieh who was playing after vespers in Bethlehem’s Manger Square;

WHEREAS the Bush Administration and notably Secretary of State Colin Powell, in reviewing U.S. foreign policy after September 11 to determine the lasting interests of our nation and its better values, has re-engaged Middle East partners in dialogue aimed at securing a cease-fire and restarting peace negotiations, has advanced the Mitchell Report as a basis of next-step confidence building measures, and has adopted a policy stance that claims as a common goal a future Palestinian state; that challenges all sides to reduce the level of violence, including halting political assassinations such as those of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) leader Abu Ali Mustafa and the former Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi; that commends international observers; and that calls on Israel to refrain from provocations that would hinder future peace negotiations, including its armed “re-occupations” of Palestinian territories, expansion of settlements, and assaults against civilian populations;

WHEREAS the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) have affirmed resolutions on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict opposing all acts of violence and violation of human and civil rights and upholding statutes of international law, especially UN Resolutions 194, 242, and 338, that would prevent Israeli crimes under military occupation and foster the self-determination of Palestinians through the establishment of a viable Palestinian state;

WHEREAS the World Council of Churches has initiated the Decade to Overcome Violence (DOV), endorsed by both the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ at General Assembly/General Synod 2001 in July, and has chosen the end of the occupation of Palestine as the focus of DOV for 2002;

WHEREAS the World Council of Churches (WCC) has investigated Al-Aqsa intifada and concluded that an international monitoring presence is essential both for civilian safety and the stability of renewed peace negotiations, and that such a presence should include not only official United Nations peacekeepers but international Christian witnesses to accompany besieged Palestinian communities; and as a consequence has established an Ecumenical Monitoring Programme in Palestine and Israel (EMPPI) based on the model the WCC employed to confront South African apartheid; and

WHEREAS during this intifada the ecumenical Middle East Forum of Church World Service and Witness has convened several working groups for a just resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, whose programs include national grassroots mobilization, media advocacy, new resource material development, as well as ecumenical monitoring strategies, and whose key participation has included the Middle East and Europe Office of Common Global Ministries and its consultant resources;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Common Global Ministries Board hereby states its opposition to all acts of violence and terror in the current conflict in the Middle East, whether they be conducted by individuals, military forces or other state agents, or ex parte militants;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Common Global Ministries Board commend the U.S. Administration to remain committed to securing a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, in the context of a comprehensive Middle East peace that recognizes the essential role played by the U.S. government in the conflict as it affects all situations of occupation in the Middle East, supporting the Administration’s declared policy objectives of seeking Palestinian statehood through renewing peace negotiations, predicated on the Mitchell Report’s recommendations to curb violence, cease Israeli settlement colonization, including so-called “natural growth” expansion, and implement international cease-fire monitors;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Middle East and Europe Office initiate efforts for the denominations to communicate through the General Ministers and Presidents and Co-Executives of the CGMB its commendation and concerns to President Bush and Secretary of State Powell, highlighting the premise that true peace and security depends on justice for all rather than privilege and power for some;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Middle East and Europe Office continue to develop programs and means of coordinating activities in cooperation with advocacy and ecumenical partners in the U.S. and Global Ministries partners in Palestine, especially toward shared World Council of Churches’ objectives of ecumenical monitoring and the 2002 focus on Palestine as a priority for the Decade to Overcome Violence;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Middle East and Europe Office initiate efforts to identify and mobilize individuals, congregations and regional church bodies who will call and work for the end of the occupation and the establishment of a viable Palestinian state.

2016-10-24T07:35:30+00:00 November 19th, 2001|Categories: News|