In a letter sent to members of the US Congress yesterday (June 2, 2020), ecumenical Christian leaders expressed their opposition to anticipated Israeli plans to move forward with annexations of segments of the occupied Palestinian West Bank, as soon as July 1. Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ General Ministers and Presidents, the Rev. Teresa Hord Owens and the Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, as well as Global Ministries' Co-Executives, the Rev. Dr. Julia Brown Karimu and the Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson, were among the 26 signatories. THe letter states, "We are committed, as individuals, and as leaders of faith communions and organizations, to the achievement of a just peace in Israel/Palestine that respects and defends the human rights of all who live in that land we call Holy. Unilateral annexation of occupied Palestinian land by the State of Israel is not in the cause of a just peace..."
The signatories go on to "call on Congress to wield its power of the purse and not allow any United States funds provided to Israel to be used for the recognition, facilitation or support of annexation, or for denial of Palestinian rights and violation of international law, including continuing occupation." They make clear US responsibility if annexation continues: "Should Congress fail to oppose and create tangible consequences for annexation by the Israeli government, the United States will bear significant responsibility for the continued deprivation of Palestinian rights and for the continuation of the conflict."
The letter concludes, saying, "The United States has a moral responsibility to promote human rights, justice and peace, both at home and abroad. We are now looking to our Congressional leaders to assure that our country acts courageously and makes clear that annexation undermines the rule of law and is morally unacceptable."