Dear Sisters Christian churches and communities in the Bay Area:
We, The San Francisco Arab-American Christians for Peace (AACP) and our American friends are concerned about the escalation of violence that has been spiraling out of control for the past 18 months, more specifically we are concerned about the following issues:
1) Our country, the USA, is failing to correct a 55 year injustice of the Palestinians. Considering that our country helped create the state of Israel on Palestinian land in 1948, we believe that our government should be more actively and honestly involved in brokering a final political solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. We believe that the future of both Palestinians and Israelis are inextricably intertwined and that the U.S. must do more to ensure that both peoples live together in peace.
2) We believe that our country should demand that Israel immediately
implement UN Resolutions 242, 338 and 194. We believe it is hypocritical
to force Iraq to abide by all UN Security Counsel Resolutions while ignoring
that Israel is in violation of a litany of UNSC Resolutions. We believe
that our government should ensure that Israel halt the building illegal
settlements whose presence undermine any comprehensive agreements that
could take place between the Israelis and Palestinians. We ask that our
government stop ignoring that Israel is acting in defiance of United Nations
Security Resolutions, the Geneva Conventions and all acceptable standards
of international conduct.
3) We believe that our government is making a grave error by painting
the Palestinian struggle as a Muslim war fought by extremists, while failing
to take into account that the Head Christian Churches in Jerusalem has
stated unequivocally that occupation begets violence, frustration and extremism
of every stripe.
4) We are distressed that our country is arming the Israeli State with American weapons and monies which are used to purchase more weapons and build more settlements. Considering that Prime Minister Sharon is being investigated in the World Court for crimes against humanity, we would like to see an end to financial and military support to Israel as long as these charges are being levied against Sharon. We believe that the United States is making an enormous mistake by arming him, and giving him the opportunity to again commit the massacres that he is currently being accused of.
5) We are concerned that our government does not place equal value on the lives of Palestinians and Israelis. We view the loss of any lives to be tragic and we condemn any kind of violence. We believe that our government should be more vocal in its condemnations of the loss of Palestinian lives and their frustration after over 34 years of Israeli Occupation, siege, oppression and the humanitarian crisis of the Palestinian refugees (over 5 million) and their despair. The international community and every single credible human rights organization throughout the world--including those in Israel have spoken out against the atrocious conditions that the Palestinians are subjected to, we ask that our government stop ignoring the collective will of the people throughout the world and that they condemn the brutality of the occupation.
6) We are concerned that our administration neglects Christian holy places on Palestinian lands because these are holy places that are sacred to all Christians. We believe that our President's last visit to China in which he stated that religious freedom should be a right to all peoples was a step in the right direction, but we are distressed that our President is indifferent to the oppression and occupation of the Palestinian Christians and Muslims. We are worried that the already massive immigration by Arab-Christians is transforming the Holy Land into a museum without living stones.
"The effect of Justice is Peace and the result of Justice, quietness and Security forever" Isaiah 32:17.
WE call on you, as sister Christian churches and communities to help
us to find a way to Educate our Government and our American people.
We call on you to join us at our rallies, our interfaith prayer ceremonies, candle vigils and our letters to the Administration, Congress and Senators.
For more information, please visit our website at: www.Al-Bushra.org
and write to us at:
AACP (Arab-American Christians for Peace)
1290 5th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94122
Email : SFAACP@aol.com
Secretary of the SFAACP: Betty Agra