Faith Leaders Call for Cease-Fire sign now


As people of faith and conscience, we call upon our elected officials to demand an immediate cease-fire between Israelis and Palestinians. Regardless of our differing political views, we stand united in our resolve to demand an end to the violence, whether Israeli or Palestinian. The people in Gaza and in large portions of Israel live in fear. In Israel, families have been driven to live in bomb shelters. More than ten Israelis have been killed. In Gaza, more than 900 people have died in 14 days, and 3,200 people have been injured (including 230 children and 100 women). On Monday alone, 40 people were killed and another 55 were injured while seeking refuge at a school operated by the United Nations. The overwhelming majority of casualties have been innocent civilians; and, the violence continues. We condemn the violence on both sides.


We call on our government to engage both Israeli and Palestinian leaders towards a durable and sustainable ceasefire in Gaza. Without immediate action, this cycle of hatred and the atmosphere of revenge will push all sides to extremes, making it nearly impossible to sustain any sort of long-lasting diplomatic negotiation. The only solution to this conflict is through diplomatic means and not any form of violence.


We urge our officials to address the following concerns with great haste:

1) the extensive, continuing attacks on infrastructure essential to the civilian population by Palestinians and Israelis;

2) the safe access for relief convoys into and out of areas affected by the fighting, and;

3) the lifting of the blockade on foreign journalists that seek to cover the conflict.


The violence is increasing. As concerned citizens of this country, we urge the United States government to re-engage both the Palestinians and the Israelis to foster lasting stability in the region. The United States must push the parties towards reconciliation, not escalation.


We call on our fellow citizens to contact their elected officials to demand an end to the fighting.


We call upon leaders of all faith groups to invite their people to pray for peace in the Middle East until there is an end to the conflict.

Suffering families in the Middle East are currently deprived of vital necessities for daily survival. In solidarity with them, we call for a day of fasting from food, water, and electricity on January 19, 2009 and ask that people donate to humanitarian relief efforts to an organization of their choosing. This day also honors the legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who said, "Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal." For violence only breeds more violence and we must repel evil with what is better.


Sincerely,

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Danny WebbBy:
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