As members of the NGO Working Group on Israel-Palestine, representing religious and secular organizations from around the world, we join the United Nations in observing the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. We wish to express our grave concern about the continuous and unbroken violence that has claimed too many innocent lives in the Middle East. We condemn all forms of violence against all human beings. On this day of Palestinian commemoration, we lift up in protest the collective and individual violence of Israel against the people of Palestine.
We embrace Palestinians and Israelis alike who advocate a just peace in the Middle East. Like us, they are Gods children and we therefore wish to assure them all of our support in ending this long and troubled conflict. We offer our sympathy and solidarity to all those who struggle for a just peace and just co-existence of Israel and Palestine according to UN resolutions.
We recognize that the main cause of the conflict is the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip by Israel. Israeli control cripples the economy and destroys the social fabric. Thus in solidarity with the Palestinian people, we urge the United Nations to immediately implement all the resolutions passed to create a viable Palestinian state with secure boundaries for it and Israel. This is the only basis for a just peace in the region.
We call on the United Nations, the Quartet, and the United States to be unbiased brokers in establishing peace negotiations and protecting the human rights of Palestinians and Israelis. Because of its massive military and economic assistance to Israel, the United States has a unique responsibility in persuading Israel to end its oppression of civil society in Palestine and to fully join the peace process.
In solidarity with the Palestinian people, we support the efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to document and publicize cruelty and unnecessary hardship being imposed on the Palestinians. Hence, we will publicize the same efforts and stories from partners in the Middle East through our networks in the hope that the governments of the United Nations will make the plight of the Palestinian people a priority in December and January during commemorations of all the religions in the Holy Land.
Betty Bailey, Global Ministries Board, United Church of Christ/Disciples of Christ
John Kim, Fellowship of Reconciliation
Taimalelagi Fagamalama Tuatagaloa-Matalavea, Anglican Observer to the UN
John Rempel, Mennonite Central Committee UN Office