3rd Thursday Alert: Urge Congress to support peace, justice, and equality in Israel and Palestine

Fifteen Christian organizations, including Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ, sent a briefing paper to all members of Congress and to the White House last month calling for U.S. policies that promote peace, justice, and equality for Israelis and Palestinians.

3rd_Thursday_logo.jpgThe paper states, “The principle of equality is foundational to true democracies as well as to international law. It is necessary if a sustainable future is to be found for both Palestinians and Israelis.” It goes on to emphasize, “Regardless of the underlying political governance structures, equal rights and opportunities must be assured for all people in the region—not someday based on an idea of future negotiations, but as a fundamental human right today.”

Outlining evidence of deteriorating conditions in the region and examples of unequal systems that deprive Palestinians of basic rights, the organizations urge policymakers to “make clear their commitment to ensuring fundamental human rights by:

  • Urging the Israeli government to immediately take action to secure an end to the occupation and all discriminatory policies resulting from the occupation, including home demolitions and inequitable distribution of land and water resources;
  • Applying Leahy vetting processes and other mechanisms to all recipients of U.S. security assistance consistently;
  • Upholding and protecting the rights and abilities of human rights organizations and defenders to do their work, and including them as part of delegation visits to hear their perspectives;
  • Urging Israeli and Palestinian leaders to uphold the values of peace, justice, and equal rights for all peoples; and urging both to refrain from actions that lead to violence while encouraging efforts to work for peace, justice, and reconciliation;
  • Protecting the rights of U.S. citizens seeking to carry out nonviolent economic protests to challenge unjust policies.”

The paper concludes, “We fervently pray for a just and peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to support policies that promote equality for all people in the region.”

Add your prayers and voice to this important message. Contact your senators and representative today to let them know you support the kinds of congressional action outlined here. Let your voice be heard in support of the call for peace, justice, and equality.

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Below is a sample letter you can use to write to your elected officials. You can use the letter as it is, or you change it and add your personal experiences and insights that underscore the message.

Dear Senator/Representative,

I am writing to draw your attention to a briefing paper sent from 15 Christian organizations to all members of Congress and to the White House last month, entitled, “Toward Peace, Justice, and Equality in Israel and Palestine.”

As a person of faith, I share the concerns expressed in this paper about deteriorating conditions in the region and lack of equality between Israelis and Palestinians. At the same time, I believe that U.S. policy can constructively address these issues.

As you consider Congressional action on the Israeli/Palestinian issue, I urge you, as outlined in the paper, to support fundamental human rights by:

  • Urging the Israeli government to immediately take action to secure an end to the occupation and all discriminatory policies resulting from the occupation, including home demolitions and inequitable distribution of land and water resources;
  • Applying Leahy vetting processes and other mechanisms to all recipients of U.S. security assistance consistently;
  • Upholding and protecting the rights and abilities of human rights organizations and defenders to do their work, and including them as part of delegation visits to hear their perspectives;
  • Urging Israeli and Palestinian leaders to uphold the values of peace, justice, and equal rights for all peoples; and urging both to refrain from actions that lead to violence while encouraging efforts to work for peace, justice, and reconciliation;
  • Protecting the rights of U.S. citizens seeking to carry out nonviolent economic protests to challenge unjust policies.

I believe that Palestinians and Israelis will benefit from U.S. policies and actions that support peace, justice, and equality for both people. I thank you for your consideration, and I offer you my prayers for your service,

Sincerely,


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