Call for strong U.S. leadership

Prominent Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other leaders issued a statement on September 22 calling for strong U.S. leadership [PDF] to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The statement was drafted by Churches for Middle East Peace — a coalition of 22 Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant national church bodies, including the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The statement was signed by 30 religious leaders, including the Rev. Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

The statement asserts that this is a time of great opportunity and urgency and a comprehensive Middle East peace is a fundamental American interest that crosses racial, ethnic and religious lines. It expresses support for the President's determination to bring the conflict to an end and to six principles including, "Israel's right to exist in security and the right of the Palestinian people to a viable, sovereign and secure state of their own."

The statement concludes with a pledge by the signatories to work with the President to forge the path to peace and security for the Middle East and to stand up for those who hope for a better future.

General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have addressed the issue of peace and justice for Israelis and Palestinians for many years. The 218th General Assembly (2008) called Presbyterians to "focus our energy on the United States government, demanding that it assume an intensive and unrelenting role as a peacemaker, bringing together the opposing parties in forums where reasonable people can reach reasonable compromises about highly complex issues."

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