We seek to keep you literally "updated" on movement in terms of truth and justice in the Middle East in general with a particular eye on Palestine. The links below will take you to various articles and websites that offer the perspective of leaders in the religious, NGO, and human rights communities. Additionally, Al-Bushra, ever vigilant, provides links to regular reporting as well as opinion pieces by journalists. The dates given here indicate when the link was posted; the most recent posting is at the top. Check the article itself for the date the information was released by the source.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Letter to Secretary of State John Kerry from US religious leaders

Jewish, Christian, Muslim Leaders Say Support of Religious Communities Essential to 2-State Solution in Mideast

National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East
E-Mail: usicpme@aol.com
Website: www.nili-mideastpeace.org

We write to you on behalf of the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East (NILI) that involves present and past heads of twenty-five Jewish, Christian, and Muslim national religious organizations. Several leaders of NILI were privileged to attend your briefing in Georgetown on the current status of negotiations for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

We look forward to continuing progress in the negotiations. We agree with you that public 
support by leaders and members of our three religious communities, both here and on the 
ground in the region, will be essential to encourage success in negotiating a final peace 
agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

In this context, we request a meeting with you at an appropriate time to discuss how we can 
help here at home. We also would urge you to meet personally with religious leaders on the 
ground in Jerusalem, most importantly including leaders of the Council of Religious 
Institutions in the Holy Land (CRIHL). CRIHL includes the highest official local religious 
leaders who have consistently condemned incitement and hateful acts of vandalism against 
any holy sites. At its founding, these leaders declared that nothing in their three traditions 
justifies killing of innocents and in 2010 CRIHL wrote to Special Envoy George Mitchell supporting negotiations and reiterating “the importance of respecting the attachments of 
the three religions – Jewish, Christian and Muslim – in the holy land
and especially in Jerusalem.”

We believe the coming months are critical to achieving a negotiated two-state peace 
agreement, the only realistic resolution of the conflict. While we know that some in our communities will oppose any compromises, as leaders of NILI we support benchmark 
principles and practical ideas developed in earlier official and informal negotiations that 
pr ovide possible elements for necessary compromises on key issues that could be 
acceptable to majorities of Israelis and Palestinians.

We look forward to meeting with you and to working with you for Israeli-Palestinian peace.


List of endorsers follows -

NILI Letter to Secretary of State Kerry
February 2014
List of Endorsers

Christian Leaders:
Bishop Richard E. Pates,
Chairman, USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace

Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington

Bishop Denis J. Madden,
Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore

Archbishop Vicken Aykasian,
Director, Ecumenical Affairs, Armenian Orthodox Church in America

Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides,
Office of Ecumenical Affairs, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Jim Winkler,
President/General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Christ USA

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton,
Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori,
Presiding Bishop and Primate, Episcopal Church

Reverend Gradye Parsons,
Stated Clerk, Presbyterian Church (USA)

Reverend Geoffrey Black,
General Minister & President, United Church of Christ

Reverend Dr. Sharon Watkins,
General Minister, President, Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ)

Bishop Mary Ann Swenson,
Council of Bishops, United Methodist Church

Bishop Neill L. Irons,
United Methodist Church

Richard Stearns,
President, World Vision US

Reverend Leighton Ford,
President, Leighton Ford Ministries,
Board Member, World Vision US

David Neff,
former Editorial Vice ‐President, Christianity Today

John M. Buchanan,
Editor and Publisher, Christian Century

Jewish Leaders:

Rabbi David Saperstein,
Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Ph.D.
Rector and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, American Jewish University

Rabbi Burt Visotzky

Rabbi Jason Klein,
President, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association

Rabbi Amy Small,
Past President, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association

Rabbi Peter Knobel,
Past President, Central Conference of American Rabbis

Rabbi Paul Menitoff,
Executive Vice President Emeritus, Central Conference of American Rabbis

Rabbi Alvin M. Sugarman,
Rabbi Emeritus, The Temple, Atlanta, Georgia

Muslim Leaders:

Imam Mohammed Magid,
President, Islamic Society of North America

Dr.Sayyid Muhammad Syeed,
National Director, Islamic Society of North America

Naeem Baig,
Executive Director, Islamic Circle of North America

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf,
Founder of ASMA Society and the Cordoba Initiative

Imam Yahya Hendi,
Founder and President, Clergy Beyond Borders

Dawud Assad,
President Emeritus, Council of Mosques, USA

Eide Alawan,
Interfaith Office for Outreach, Islamic Center of America

Iftekhar A. Hai,
Founding Director, United Muslims of America Interfaith Alliance

*Organizations for Identification Only

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