Urge Congress to Give Strong Support to Middle East Peace Initiatives

December 3, 2003

As we start Advent, the season which begins the church year and a time of waiting and expectation, there are new peace initiatives in the Middle East to end the cycle of violence and terror between Palestinians and Israelis. A resolution introduced in the Senate (S Res 276) and an identical one to be introduced in the House on Monday, December 8, will give important support to these efforts for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace. The resolutions urge President Bush and Israeli and Palestinian leaders to support these new initiatives.

A large number of signatures on the two resolutions will show American support for these unprecedented efforts for peace – the Geneva Accord, the People’s Voice Initiative, and One Voice. As the resolutions state, they are founded on the determination of Israelis and Palestinians to put an end to decades of confrontation and conflict and to live in peaceful coexistence, mutual dignity, and security, based on a just, lasting and comprehensive peace and achieving historic reconciliation.

The language in the resolutions is the same in each House – they:

Applaud the courage and vision of Israelis and Palestinian who are working together to conceive pragmatic, serious plans for achieving peace;

Call on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to capitalize on the opportunity offered by these peace initiatives; and

Urge the President to encourage and embrace all serious efforts to move away from violent military stalemate toward achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace.

 

ACTION: As we prepare for the Incarnation of the Prince of Peace, we hope you will write to your Senators and Representatives asking them to co-sponsor these important resolutions.

Please call or email your Representative asking that he/she sign-on to the Representatives Capps (D-CA) and Houghton (R-NY) “Dear Colleague” as original co-sponsors by contacting Jeremy Rabinovitz at 202-225-3601 BY NOON ON DECEMBER 8. The resolution will then be introduced formally and given a number.

Ask your Senators to sign onto S.Res.276, which has already been introduced by Senators Feinstein (D-CA), Chafee (R-RI), Lautenberg (D-NJ), Nelson (D-FL), and Leahy (D-VT) but needs more co-sponsors.

Please extend your thanks to the co-sponsors of these initiatives from your state. It is hoped that many Senators will show their support for the resolution before it goes to the Senate floor; a move anticipated when the Senate reconvenes at the end of January.

Senator Chafee and Representative Houghton are both Episcopalians.

To call your representative and senators, please dial 800-270-0309. To send an email, please click on the Take Action Now link located below. For more information on these initiatives, you can follow the links below:

>The Geneva Accord – a comprehensive model agreement for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

>The People’s Voice – a statement of principles for a peace agreement that has generated significant grassroots support among Israelis and Palestinians

>One Voice an effort to develop broad-based consensus among Palestinians and Israelis on the central issues dividing them (in Hebrew only)

The Episcopal Church has supported the Road Map for Middle East Peace and other efforts for a just peace that guarantees Israel’s security and Palestinian aspirations for a viable sovereign state. Exec. Council (6/02)

To send a letter to your legislators and show your support >CLICK HERE<