"May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!" --Psalm 29:11, NRSV
The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) stands in opposition to the recent assertion by Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo that the “establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law.”
“Mr. Pompeo’s unilateral pronouncement is mistaken and detrimental to the cause of peace,” said NCC President and General Secretary Jim Winkler. “This is a change in longstanding US policy and is inconsistent with the norms accepted by the international community, which as been unambiguous in maintaining that the settlements are a violation of international law. The National Council of Churches calls upon President Donald J. Trump to reverse course on this hastily announced policy change and revert to what historically has been US policy.”
This fateful change in policy toward the settlements not only runs contrary to international law, but it is also immoral. It sanctions the seizure of lands belonging to Palestinians, further marginalizes people who have suffered under a brutal military occupation for decades, likely leads to more violence, and may well mean the end of any chance of a two-state solution.
The NCC continues to affirm the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians to live in the Holy Land, and the two-state solution as the way to achieve these hopes for peace.