Statement on the Middle East - Aug. 2002

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.

Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUJP) is a coalition of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Native Americans and representatives of other faith traditions as well as secular peace organizations. We grieve for the untold numbers of people who are being killed.

From ICUJP's mission statement:

"The big lie back of 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."


1. We cherish all the efforts of peace-loving people in the Middle East who are struggling for a nonviolent resolution to the conflict.

2. We affirm the two-State solution: the State of Israel alongside a viable Palestinian State, with secure borders for both.

3. We welcome the Saudi initiative that calls for Israeli withdrawal to pre-1967 borders and for all Arab States to normalize relations with Israel.

4. We support the deployment of an international peacekeeping force, under the command of the United Nations, to enhance security of both Israelis and Palestinians.

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. 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.

Approved by the ICUJP Sponsoring Group on April 12, 2002

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