Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace applauds all parties for the cease fire just announced between Israel and the Palestinians and calls for sustained negotiations until peace is achieved. We urge President Obama, Secretary Clinton and all members of Congress, recognizing that violence only breeds more violence, to direct their long term efforts toward actively mediating a fair, just and humane political agreement that permanently ends the violence and brings peace to the region.
More than a decade ago, in April 2002, ICUJP cried out that "the terrible escalation of violence in Israel - Palestine over the last few weeks is a clear and bitter testimony to the utter failure of violence as a means to end violence. We grieve for the untold numbers of people who are being killed."
ICUJP has declared that "the big lie behind all killings - whether street gang murders, deaths among Israelis and Palestinians, death at the hands of terrorists on September 11 or deaths in Afghanistan - the lie behind them all is that the victims deserved to die. Our consciences, shaped by the Divine Spirit, proclaim that when life is cheap and disposable anywhere, life becomes cheap and disposable everywhere. Every human being is of sacred worth - both friend and foe. They bear on themselves the image of the Divine. All are children of God."
Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace refuses to give in to the despair that marks this relentless conflict. We insist on being among those who hope and pray and work for peace with justice.
As we declared a decade ago, we declare yet again that "It would be a betrayal of everything our faiths have taught us to believe about God and the sacredness of humanity if we were to lose faith in the possibility that Israelis and Palestinians can find a way to live in peace. We are committed to being among those who strive to reduce the distrust, hopelessness and fear that block the way."
ICUJP was founded in Los Angeles after 9/11/01 to support the work of Faith leaders from Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, Jewish and other spiritual faiths and traditions who say "Religious Communities Must Stop Blessing War and Violence..." ICUJP's activities promote critical examination of the costs of violence and war at home and in the world from the Faith perspective. We insist on respect for human rights, international law and the use of peaceful means in the resolution of conflicts. Since September 2001, a committed group has combined with newcomers every Friday morning in a church basement in Los Angeles at 7:00 am. For more information, go to our website or contact us at the above addresses.
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