Dear Beloved Brothers and Sisters,
As followers of Jesus Christ and believers in the teachings of love, justice, and peace, we wish to express our unwavering support for the people of Palestine and our deep concern about the ongoing Israeli occupation. We recognize that this issue is complex and deeply rooted in history, and it is essential to understand the historical context to advocate for a just and lasting peace in the region.
History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict:
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a long-standing struggle that dates back to the late 19th century. It is marked by a complex web of historical events, including:
- British Mandate: Following World War I, the League of Nations granted Britain a mandate over Palestine, leading to significant Jewish immigration to the region, partly fueled by the Zionist movement.
- The United Nations Partition Plan: In 1947, the United Nations passed a resolution recommending the partition of Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states. This decision, however, did not consider the rights and aspirations of the Palestinian people.
- Creation of the State of Israel: In 1948, the State of Israel was established, leading to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, an event referred to by Palestinians as the Nakba (catastrophe).
- Ongoing Occupation: The Six-Day War in 1967 resulted in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, territories that remain occupied to this day. The occupation has led to significant human rights abuses, including restrictions on movement, home demolitions, and land confiscation.
- Palestinian Refugees: The conflict has also resulted in a large population of Palestinian refugees who are still unable to return to their homes.
- Peace Process: Over the years, several attempts have been made to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the conflict, including the Oslo Accords, but a just and lasting peace remains elusive.
Our Christian Faith and Call for Justice:
Our Christian faith teaches us the principles of love, justice, and peace. We believe that all human beings are made in the image of God and deserve to live in dignity, free from oppression and violence. It is with this understanding that we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people who have suffered for far too long.
We call for:
- An End to the Occupation: We join our voices with those who seek an end to the Israeli occupation, recognizing that the occupation perpetuates suffering for both Israelis and Palestinians.
- A Just Peace: We advocate for a just and lasting peace that respects the rights and aspirations of both Palestinians and Israelis. This includes the recognition of a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel.
- Humanitarian Relief: We support efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in need, recognizing that the conflict has caused immense suffering.
- Dialogue and Reconciliation: We encourage dialogue and reconciliation efforts among all parties involved, guided by the principles of justice, equality, and mutual respect.
In closing, let us remember the words of Jesus: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9). We pray for peace and justice for all in the Holy Land and for the healing of the wounds that have afflicted this sacred land. May God’s grace guide us in our pursuit of a just and lasting peace.
In Christ’s love,