Presbyterians For Middle East Peace

Pastors and elders for responsible and effective Middle East peacemaking policies

 

Must See Videos

Videos of the presentations from the Presbyterians for Middle East Peace breakfast meeting at the 2012 GA, Partnering for Middle East Peace, are now available for viewing.

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General Assembly Overture 22

Overture 22 (Item 04-04 on the GA Middle East Committee agenda), from the Presbytery of New Covenant with concurrence from the Presbytery of Santa Barbara, calls for a two-state solution (two states for two peoples) in Israel-Palestine, recognizing the rights and obligations of both Israelis and Palestinians.

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Addressing the Issues

 

The Children of Sderot 

 

 Middle East Overture Guide  

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Why divestment should be rejected 
The Accusations of Overture 17 

 

The True Agenda: the End of the Jewish State of Israel
The Sound of a Forest Growing
Palestinian-Israeli cooperation advances peace

 

On the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

 

Presbyterian Outook Debate: Investment versus Divestment

 

On the Crisis in Egypt and the Middle East

 

Sowing the Seeds of Peace

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 Investment versus Boycott: Important facts to consider

 

The facts on Caterpillar Tractor

 

Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction: Lacking a Consensus 

 

The "apartheid" charge against Israel is wrong, is unjust, and will not advance the cause of peace in the Middle East. 

 

The Middle East “Road Map to Peace”calls for a two state solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.  

 

Two Essential Principles for Presbyterian peacemaking in the Middle East 

 

The Kairos Palestine document is seriously flawed, and should be approached carefully. 

 

Advancing a Just Peace is an integrated compilation of the issues for consideration at the General Assembly.  

 

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The Road Map is the Best Path

The Middle East “Road Map to Peace” calls for a two state solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, with Israel the homeland of the Jewish People and Palestine the homeland of the Palestinian people.  It respects the dignity, rights, and aspirations of both peoples, and makes simultaneous demands on both.  For Israel, the primary requirement is ceding land to a viable Palestinian State.  For Palestinians, it is pledging peace with Israel as a neighbor, establishing civil institutions and the rule of law, and ending the violence directed toward the Israeli people.  The Roadmap is endorsed by the “Quartet” of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, and Russia.  It is the path that our Church should follow.

Rejecting the “Road Map”, advocates of the Boycott/Divestment/Sanction (BDS) Movement relentlessly petition our church to take a different path.  The BDS movement demands that Israel vacate the Palestinian territories unilaterally and unconditionally, with no guarantee from the Palestinian people of security for the people of Israel.  BDS advocates depict  the Palestinian people as seeking nothing more than freedom and the right of self-determination.  They promote the premise that Israel can end the conflict by removing it’s military presence in and around the Palestinian territories, and dismantling Jewish settlements in the West Bank.  They assert that by pressuring the government of Israel to take these steps, sustainable peace would follow.

Are the assertions of the BDS Movement supported by the facts?  In recent years the government of Israel actually initiated a plan to end the conflict unilaterally, just as Israel’s critics have advocated, with a policy called “disengagement”.  The first phase of disengagement was removal of all Israeli security forces and Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip in 2005.  The hope was that this gesture would build momentum for peace, and that after successful implementation of disengagement in Gaza, the same process of withdrawal could be implemented in the West Bank. 

 Instead, events following the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza led to disappointment.  Palestinians held general elections in 2006, and voted the militant movement Hamas into power, with a majority of legislative seats won by Hamas candidates.  The written Charter of Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel, rejects the two-state solution, and even claims a mandate from God for Muslims to kill Jews.  Tragically, the elections could only be interpreted by Israel, and the rest of the world, as a rejection of peaceful coexistence with Israel by the Palestinian people. 

In 2007, the situation worsened, with Hamas violently taking over the Gaza Strip while the Palestinian Authority retained control of the West Bank.  Hamas is provided backing and weapons by Iran, and shares the goal of Israel’s destruction with Hezbollah, the militant organization which now effectively controls Lebanon.  Thousands of rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza, prompting the return of Israeli defense forces to Gaza in late 2008.  Tensions remain high today, with Hamas remaining steadfast in it's commitment to the destruction of Israel and rejection of peaceful coexistence with Israel.
 
These facts suggest that unilateral removal of Israeli security forces from in and around the Palestinian territories, under international pressure and without peace being established, would be counterproductive and put groups openly committed to the destruction of Israel in a stronger position.  This would not benefit the Palestinians who seek peaceful coexistence, nor move their cause forward.  It would in fact expose them to yet more violence, as they are inevitably caught in the middle of conflict. 

If the Presbyterian Church stands behind BDS, or endorses and promotes documents that favor BDS, such as The Kairos Palestine document or the Amman Call, we are standing in opposition to the wisdom and fairness of the “Road Map”.  We are standing against the position of not only our government, but the entire European Union and the United Nations.  We are telling the people of Israel that we are indifferent to their security and safety.  We are not acting as advocates for the Palestinian people, as they stand to benefit most from an end to the conflict, and BDS empowers those who most violently and fanatically oppose peace.  It is the wrong path, a path which our Church should not follow.

Insights from our partners in peacemaking

Presbyterians for Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Relations (PCJCMR) responds to "Steadfast Hope: The Palestinian Quest for Just Peace"

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Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem - October 6, 2013

Join with fellow Christians across the globe as we take time on October 6, 2013 to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. We encourage everyone to make prayer a daily part of their work for peace in the Middle East.

 

Pray for peace in Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper.

Psalm 122:6

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Additional Resources

For more information on effective peacemaking in the Middle East, we provide several links to resources we think will be helpful

Click for Addtional Resources