Urge immediate U.S. efforts to end Gaza violence, restore cease-fire
January 2, 2009
The following alert was posted by Churches for Middle East Peace, of which the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns is a member.
The escalating Gaza violence of these past days has been a sobering jolt from holiday celebrations. For Palestinians and Israelis, there has been no peace.
We at Churches for Middle East Peace mourn the loss of life on both sides and call now on the United States to exercise bold leadership to immediately end the violence, restore the cease-fire and lift the blockade of Gaza's borders.
The White House and Capitol Hill offices are sure to receive countless messages supporting a continuation of the Israeli military offensive. They need to hear from concerned American Christians that the U.S. must work with international partners to bring about an immediate cease-fire for the sake of both Israelis and Palestinians.
Please take action today and call for an immediate cease-fire.
Without an urgent diplomatic solution, both Palestinians and Israelis will suffer, the risk of a broader confrontation will increase, and hope for continuation of the Annapolis peace efforts will grow ever dimmer.
The Bush administration is in its final weeks, but it has an opportunity now to take serious action on behalf of Israeli-Palestinian peace and to safeguard U.S. interests. Congress too must encourage and support U.S. American diplomatic leadership.
The CMEP coalition has sent an urgent letter on December 29 to President Bush, as well as a copy to the Obama transition team, urging prompt U.S. action to end this crisis. The CMEP leaders said:
"As people of faith, we care deeply about the welfare of both Israelis and Palestinians and deplore the violent deaths of those caught in this conflict. We reject all justifications for the unconscionable Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza into Israel. We similarly reject the Israeli response as disproportionate and believe that it is likely to strengthen extremists and undermine moderates in the region. While we appreciate Secretary Rice's statement of December 27 calling for an immediate cease-fire, there must now be prompt action by your Administration to help bring about an end to the violence." Read the full letter here.
As we anticipate the coming new year, we must all pray and act for an urgent end to the violence in Gaza and southern Israel and a renewal of hope for peace in the Holy Land in 2009.
1. Call the White House comments line (202-456-1111). View talking points here.
2. Send an email to the President and your senators and representative through CMEP's email system.
3. Sign the ecumenical Christian letter to President-elect Obama urging him to make Israeli-Palestinian peace an immediate priority.
To view statements by Jewish and Arab collegial groups as well as statements by Secretary Rice, the White House, and the UN Security Council, click here. To view the CMEP letter to President Bush on the violence in Gaza and southern Israel, click here.