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Evangelical Leaders Reiterate Call for Two-State Solution for Israel and Palestine
This week the Bush State Department is devoting its full diplomatic efforts toward bringing a two-state resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Over the past few months, they have put on a full-court press to gather a broad representation of Arab world leaders to join Israeli and Palestinian negotiators for a historic meeting in Annapolis, Maryland. Now, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have agreed to a program of sustained and focused negotiations throughout 2008.
With these cautious but hopeful beginnings, over 80 evangelical leaders have signed a statement indicating their belief "that the way forward is for the Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate a fair, two-state solution."
These leadersincluding Christian college and seminary presidents, denominational heads, and other ministry leaderspledge their "ongoing support for the security of Israel," and state that "unless the situation between Israel and Palestine improves quickly, the consequences will be devastating" for Israel. Palestinians with little economic opportunity "are increasingly sympathetic to radical solutions."
The full text of their statement and the list of signatories follow.
An Evangelical Statement on Israel/Palestine
As evangelical Christians committed to the full authority of the Scriptures, we feel compelled to make a statement together at this historic moment in the life of the Holy Land.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is near a momentous turning point. The strife has continuedsometimes simmering, sometimes exploding in terrible conflictfor decades.
In the context of our ongoing support for the security of Israel, we believe that unless the situation between Israel and Palestine improves quickly, the consequences will be devastating. Palestiniansespecially the youth who have no economic opportunityare increasingly sympathetic to radical solutions and terrorism. As a result, the threat to Israel's security is now greater.
Likewise, the threat to America's national security is greater. Because so many of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims see America through the prism of Israel-Palestine, the longer the current situation continues, the more likely it is that anti-American attitudes, policies, and terrorist activities will increase dramatically among Muslims worldwide.
As evangelical Christians, we believe our faith compels us to speak a word together at this crucial moment.
The Bible clearly teaches that God longs for justice and peace for all people. We believe that the principles about justice taught so powerfully by the Hebrew prophets apply to all nations, including the United States, Israel, and the Palestinians. Therefore we are compelled to work for a fair, negotiated solution for both Israelis and Palestinians. We resolve to work diligently for a secure, enduring peace and a flourishing economy for the democratic State of Israel. We also resolve to work for a viable permanent, democratic Palestinian State with a flourishing economy that offers economic opportunity to all its people. We believe that the way forward is for the Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate a fair, two-state solution.
We are encouraged that the Israeli and Palestinian governments have officially endorsed a two-state solution and that polls demonstrate that solid majorities in both Israel and Palestine embrace this path.
We call on all evangelicals, all Christians, and everyone of good will to join us to work and pray faithfully in the coming months for a just, lasting two-state solution in the Holy Land. We call on all involved governments to work diligently toward this goal. And we covenant to pray for the leaders of all the nations engaged in this effort, hoping for them the blessing of our Lord, who said, "Blessed are the peacemakers."