In a 26 October letter to the European Union, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit expressed great concern over a proposed “Greater Jerusalem” legislative initiative whereby the Knesset may render a two-state solution impossible.
The WCC has a long history of advocacy and action for peace with justice in Israel and Palestine, Tveit wrote.
“We deeply regret the recent trajectory of developments in the region that renders this objective more and more distant, and undermines the hopes and legitimate aspirations of people who have been living under occupation for 50 years,” the letter reads. “It is therefore with great concern that we observe the proposed Greater Jerusalem legislative initiative whereby the Knesset may render the two-state solution impossible.”
As Christians we are called by our faith to speak out when human dignity and rights are being violated, Tveit continued. “We are concerned that the proposed Greater Jerusalem legislation may threaten the human rights of the Palestinian population of East Jerusalem and the Bedouins in area C, as well as the prospects for realization of the two-state solution based on the 1967 lines.”
The proposed legislation threatens to worsen the living conditions of both Palestinians and Bedouins in the affected areas, he wrote. “It is of utmost importance that the EU, as a major voice for upholding international law, vigorously protests the proposed legislation,” the letter reads.
“On behalf of the WCC’s member churches and partners around the world, I appeal to you to speak out urgently and clearly against this regressive and destructive initiative, that would do so much to undermine the EU’s own engagement for a just and sustainable peace in the region.”