As a Christian would you, please, read with me the stands and the fears of the different Christian Communities and take an URGENT STAND to stop all kinds of VIOLENCE. Confiscation of lands and building in Jerusalem despite the inernational condemanation is a clear Violence. Help us make out of Jerusalem a CITY OF PEACE AND LOVE between Jews, Christians and Muslims, Israelis and Palestinians.
Please give the following message to your Church and take a stand: to write, to Email, to speak out , to pray, to make teach-ins, to call your respective governement and parties, to protest peacefully ... But take a clear and Urgent stand to stop all kinds of violence.
POPE PAUL VI,
Osservatore Romano March 22, 1971"A very grave state of affairs is being created against legality, on the basis of the logic of "accomplished facts". The measures of expropriation surfice to give an idea of radical manner in which a character not conforming to its historical and religious nature and its universal vocation is being imposed on the Jerusalem"
POPE JOHN PAUL II,
May, 1996 (Jerusalem-consideration of the secretariate of State) "...The part of the City (Jerusalem) militarily occupied in 1967 and subsequently annexed and declared the Capital of the State of Israel, is OCCUPIED TERRITORIES, and all Israeli mesures which exceed the power of a belligerent occupant under international law are therefore NULl AND VOID. In particular, this same position was expressed, and is still expressed, by Resolution 478 of the United Nations Security Council, adopted on 20 August 1980, which declared the Israeli "basic law" concerning Jerusalem to be "NULL AND VOID"..."
Memorundum of their Beatitudes the Patriachs and of head of the Christian Communities in Jerusalem, Jerusalem, November 14, 1994 ( The Significance of Jerusalem for Christians) "...Every exclusivity or every human supremacy is against the prophetic character of Jerusalem. Its univeral vocation and appeal is to be a city of peace and harmony among all who dwell therein...Jerusalem cannot belong exclusively to one people or to one religion. Jerusalem should be open to all, shared by all. Those who govern the city should make it "the capital of humankind"...Because of the univeral significance of Jerusalem, the international community ought to be engaged in the stability and permanence of this statue. Jerusalem is too precious to be dependent solely on municipal or national political authorities, whoever they may be. Experience shows, that inernational guarantee is necessary...We invite each party to go beyond all exclusivist visions or actions, and without discrimination, to consider the religious and national aspirations of others, in order to give back to Jerusalem its true universal character and make of the city a holy place of reconciliation for humankind" (singed,in Jerusalem, by Greek Orthodox Patriarch, Latin Patriarch, Armenian Patriarch, Custos of the Holy Land, Coptic Archbishop, Ethiopian Archbishop, Anglican Bishop, Greek-Catholic Patriarcal Vicar, Lutheran bishop, Maronite Patriarchal Vicar, Catholic Syriac Patriarchal Vicar)
EIGHT USA CHRISTIAN LEADERS,
In a letter to President Clinton March 6,1995: "...In contravention of International law, more and more land is taken out of Palestinian hands and placed under Israeli control by annexation often coercive or of questionable legality...Israeli planinning for "Greater Jerusalem" is an open secret...Israeli's assertion that Jerusalem will remain the "eternal and undivided capital of Israel" is widely interpreted as a claim of exclusive Israeli sovereignity over the city that pre-empts genuine negotiation...That the adminstration is backing away from the long-term U.S. policy that East Jerusalem is subject to U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 regarding TERRRITORIES OCCUPIED by Israeli armed forces in 1967...That the Administration is failling to recognise and support Palestian rights and interests in Jerusalem...That the administation is not using its considerable influence to halt Israeli construction in East Jerusalm and contributed expansion into Palestinians areas...' (Signed by Roman Catholic Cardinal William H. Keeler, Kara Newell: American Friends Service Committee, Fr. Gerald L. Brown SS: Catholic Conference of Major Superiors, Greek Orthodox Archbishop Lakovos, Episcopal Bishop Edmond L. Browning, Antiochian Orthodox Metropolitain Philip Saliba, Evangelical Lutheran Church, Bishop Herbert W Chilstrom, Robert A. Seiple World vision )
CHURCHES FOR THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE,
January 1997 "Jerusalm at peace cannot belong exlusively to one people, one country or one religion, Jerusalem should be open to all, shared by all... two peoples and three relgions" (CMEP is a coalition of the Washington public offices of fourteen different Chruches and organisations)
STATEMENT BY PATRIARCHS, BISHOPS, CLERGY AND PEOPLE OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCHES OF JERUSALEM,
Jerusalem September 29, 1996 "...God does not accept the domination of the powerful or their arrogance. Our faith assures us that any effort by the governing authority to impose peace in our country, which is not established on justice and rightousness will lead to failure and disaster. We, therefore, urgently call on the Israeli governement to pursue the peace process with all seriousness and to carry out all its obligations to our people".
COUNSEL OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS
Counsel of Catholic Bishops of Orient, General Secretary, October 21, 1996 "The anxiety of Arab Palestinains people is growing, since cities have become mass prisons because of restraining freedom of movement...by the Israli governement. All seems to prepare for a big reaction that could lead to violence".
Patriach Michel Sabbah, Roman Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem, Jerusalem March 30, 1996
" The Confiscation of any land, in Palestian territories, can only provoke opposition to and endanger the peace process. We cannot understand such contradictory measures: from one side Palestinians are requested to make peace, on the other side, their lands are confiscated. These confiscations raise in all hearts frustration and despair and are one of the main factors which is exploiled by extremists, and which lead to more violence. Again, all, people and authorities, want violence to disappear once for all; but at the same time, measures are taken by responsabile authority to give more fuel to extremists and to violence... Therefore we ask Israeli Authorities to reconsider their decision and to stop these confiscatioins, in order to build a solid peace and security for all, Israelis and Palestians".
Help us give back to Jerusalem its true universal character and make of the city a holy place of reconciliation for humankind, a capital for two states Israel and Palestine, a place where Jews, Christians and Muslims can show to the whole world their spiritual mission of love and cooperation.
Rev. Labib Kobti