From the Worldwide Faith News archives

NCCCUSA Statement on Escalating Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

From "Nat'l Council of Churches" <>
Date Thu, 6 Dec 2001 09:52:01 -0500

National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.

Contact: NCC News, 212-870-2227
E-Mail:; Web:
For Immediate Release


December 6, 2001, NEW YORK CITY -- Calling on President George W. Bush and
Secretary of State Colin Powell to insist that both Israel and the
Palestinians exercise military restraint and pursue resumption of
negotiations, General Secretary Robert W. Edgar of the National Council of
Churches has issued an urgent appeal for the vigorous pursuit of peace in
the Middle East.

Dr. Edgar's statement follows:

On Saturday evening and Sunday, as bombs exploded in Jerusalem and Haifa,
Advent began. Christians here in the U.S., with a new awareness that their
Muslim neighbors were engaged in fasting and spiritual discipline to mark
the holy month of Ramadan, prepared to receive the Prince of Peace into our
hearts.  But in Palestine and Israel there is no peace.

We condemn the suicide bombings and express our horror and rage at such
senseless and inexcusable acts of violence. We mourn with the Israeli
families and individuals who have lost loved ones, and pray for the healing
of all who were injured. And we mourn as well for the Palestinians killed,
and pray for the injured ones today in Gaza.

The circle of violence must end. We repeat the call made last May by the
Council of United Methodist Bishops to Israeli and Palestinian leaders to
bring end to all hostilities. Amidst our own revulsion at terrorist acts of
this kind, and against the urge to respond in violence, we lift our voices
in a call for restraint by both sides, and for an even more vigorous pursuit
of peace.

We call on Prime Minister Sharon and President Arafat, and on other Israeli
and Palestinian leaders and people, to turn away from acts of retaliation
and further bloodshed. Neither terrorism nor military force can bring
lasting peace or security for Israelis, Palestinians and others in the

To counter further violence, we ask the United States government to join
with other nations to send an international monitoring force to the region.
We urge President Bush and Secretary of State Powell to insist that both
sides exercise restraint, and to encourage and support an immediate
resumption of negotiations to resolve the causes of the conflict, and to
construct a just and enduring Israeli-Palestinian peace

Robert W. Edgar
General Secretary, National Council of Churches


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