Making Middle East peace a presidential priority

From Episcopal News Service:

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has joined 39 other U.S. Christian leaders in calling on President-elect Barack Obama to make lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace a priority during his first year in office.

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), of which the Episcopal Church is a member, is circulating the leaders’ December 1 letter which is being sent to Obama’s transition team.

Signed by leaders from the Catholic, Episcopal, Evangelical, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions, the letter urges Obama’s incoming administration to “provide sustained, high-level diplomatic leadership toward the clear goal” of establishing a viable Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel. It also points out that delaying the implementation of a peace accord between Palestinians and Israelis places additional burdens on the lives of the Christians remaining in the region.

“Without active U.S. engagement, political inertia and perpetuation of the unbearable status quo will make achievement of a two-state solution increasingly difficult,” the leaders say. “Moreover, we are concerned about the negative impact a further delay will have on the Christian community in the Holy Land, whose numbers continue to decline.”

The full text of the letter is available here. Episcopalians and other Christians nationwide are being encouraged to circulate the letter and add their names to the leaders’ call for peace in the Holy Land here.

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