PARTNERS FOR PEACE

We, the undersigned clergy, come together as partners for peace in our communities and on behalf of Israelis and Palestinians.  

We speak out in our pastoral voices from the shared values of peace and reconciliation that animate our religious traditions.  Our partnership is a natural outgrowth of decades of dialogue.  Our communities are better served because of our relationships. Our partnership is also born of our desire, as neighbors and faith leaders, to model positive and productive ways to approach the complex Israeli-Palestinian conflict by fostering hope and reconciliation, two things the parties surely need and deserve.

We recognize with profound pain the suffering that continues on both sides in the land.  We have precious bonds with Israelis and Palestinians and we hear their voices.  Each and every human being is created in the divine image.  When one person suffers, we all suffer.  

 We recognize that there are multiple narratives in the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  We commit to hear narratives that are not our own, and to engage in and encourage deep listening so that we may challenge our assumptions.   

We commit to using our pastoral roles to help our congregations and communities learn about the land, its history, and its peoples.

We commit to genuine dialogue in which we seek to listen and to learn.  

We commit to speaking civilly, with respect for all people, and teaching in ways that inform rather than incite – that invoke empathy and not outrage.  We commit not to reduce the conflict to a caricature of right and wrong, of good and evil.  

We commit to pursue traveling together to the region so that we may experience the land for ourselves and see the land and know the people of the Holy Land as they know themselves.

We commit to learning and teaching in a way that deepens understanding and trust, and that helps build confidence in our commitment to stand by the parties as they make the painful concessions that will ultimately be needed for peace to prevail.   

We commit to making a positive investment of our time and resources in solutions that strengthen the possibility for achieving the two-state solution we seek.  

We commit to being advocates for peace, including advocating for a two-state solution that will allow Israelis and Palestinians to live out their national aspirations in peace and security, with democracy and religious freedom for all.   

We support a vibrant U.S. role in helping bring the parties together. With humility about our role as peacemakers, we recognize that, ultimately, peace can only come from the parties themselves in a negotiated settlement that will address complex issues of security, borders, settlements, refugees, water rights, and the status of Jerusalem.  

We are encouraged by Israelis and Palestinians who are engaged in genuine dialogue, who are working for reconciliation, building the foundation on which a lasting peace will depend.

We prayerfully seek to build bridges in our communities and to support broad, public interreligious cooperation and action for peace.