From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Noko Reiterates Dialogue Option for Peace in Israeli and Palestine

From "Frank Imhoff" <>
Date Fri, 21 Dec 2001 16:56:27 -0600

Letter to Arafat, Sharon Calls for End to Cycle of Violence 

GENEVA, 21 December 2001 (LWI) - The General secretary of the
Lutheran World Federation (LWF), Rev. Dr. Ishmael Noko is urging both
Israeli and Palestinian authorities to end the spiraling cycle of
violence and provocation adopted by both sides and give peace a

"More graves are being dug every day as a result of the violence that
has been chosen on both sides, and the more graves that are dug, the
more the chances for peace are being buried," Noko told Israeli Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Authority President Yasser
Arafat in a December 21 letter.

Noko notes that this year's Christmas celebration, like many others
in the past, is tempered by "anguish at events in the lands of
Christ's birth, life and ministry." Citing Sharon's declaration of
Arafat as "irrelevant" coupled with the adoption of a military
strategy that encourages attrition, Noko stresses that Israel's next
actions "can determine whether hope of a better future for the
Palestinians is finally extinguished and the cycle of violence
continues to turn, or whether dialogue as an alternative to violence
is once again resumed."

The LWF general secretary urges Arafat not to accept "irrelevance" as
judgement upon himself in the current crisis, and instead lead the
Palestinians on the path of dialogue and toward the universal
aspirations of peace and self-determination. Noko acknowledges
Arafat's call for an end to armed attacks by Palestinians, especially
suicide bombings, and urges him to encourage his people not to
respond to Israeli violence with attacks upon civilians.

(The LWF is a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran
tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund (Sweden), the LWF now has 133
member churches in 73 countries representing over 60.5 million of the
64.3 million Lutherans worldwide. The LWF acts on behalf of its
member churches in areas of common interest such as ecumenical
relations, theology, humanitarian assistance, human rights,
communication, and the various aspects of mission and development
work. Its secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland.)

[Lutheran World Information (LWI) is the information service of the
Lutheran World Federation (LWF). Unless specifically noted, material
presented does not represent positions or opinions of the LWF or of
its various units. Where the dateline of an article contains the
notation (LWI), the material may be freely reproduced with

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