Peace Not Walls

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Bishop Hanson urges Pres. Obama to support upcoming Palestinian bid at UN

Posted on November 27, 2012 by karin

In a letter to President Obama on Nov. 26, ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson advocates for the US to support the upcoming Palestinian bid for non-member observer state status at the UN in the General Assembly:

 

With the present Palestinian effort to seek observer state status in the United Nations, the U.S. has another opportunity to demonstrate its support for self-determination and freedom. The U.S. should support these announced plans by the Palestinians when they come before the General Assembly later this month.

Over the past year, we have witnessed efforts to restart talks with the objective of achieving a two-state solution. We have also witnessed worrying developments on the ground which have inhibited those efforts, mainly the continuing expansion of illegal Israeli settlements and the increased displacement of Palestinians from their homes and villages. U.S. support for observer state status at the UN for the Palestinians would be an important signal to the parties that reaching a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement, where both communities may live in peace and security is still the fervent goal of our government.

Advocating for observer state status for the Palestinians does not preclude the necessity for returning to confidence-building measures and negotiations that support a just peace. We should support both paths.

9 Responses to 'Bishop Hanson urges Pres. Obama to support upcoming Palestinian bid at UN'

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  1. Jan Miller said,

    on November 27th, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Thank you Bishop Hanson – if Israel is to survive in the freedom the region is experiencing after the Arab Spring, both the US and Israel must reach out to support a just peace and an end to the 64-years of occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people. Well said and thank you! I hope the President changes the US stance and supports the UN resolution.

  2. Charles Lutz said,

    on November 27th, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Thanks much, Mark! Your contention is right on and entirely fitting. Let’s hope President Obama pays heed.


  3. on November 27th, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Although there is little reason to believe that President Obama will be willing to cause the uproar here and in Israel that would occur if our UN ambassador was told not to veto this initiative, I commend our Presiding Bishop for speaking truth to power thereby letting our sisters and brothers in the West Bank know that we have not forgotten them

  4. Phil Anderson said,

    on November 27th, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Congratulations, Mark. I will be part of the DC press conference by grass-roots organizations supporting the letter of the 15. I will be proud to also mention your call for Palestinian observor status at the UN. It is a breakthrough within the wider US policy discourse that some churches are now outspoken for change. Blessings!
    Phil Anderson, Washington, DC

  5. Rod Schofield said,

    on November 27th, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    My sincere thanks, Bishop Hanson, for stepping forward for peace as you have in signing the letter to Congress and now urging our President to act in a way that will move the peace process forward. Your support for Israel and Palestine in this way makes me even more thankful to be a part of the ELCA.

    Rod Schofield
    Past Chair, ELCA Division of Higher Education and Schools


  6. on November 28th, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Bishop Hanson,
    Thank you for sending this letter to the president and reminding him that it is in the US’s best interest to support Palestine’s bid for non-member observer status. As a former EA, I am pleased to see that our work on the ground has helped you make informed decisions about the Holy Land that you are willing to advocate for and your influence is invaluable. I appreciate your efforts and fully support your efforts to create a lasting peace in the Holy Land. Blessings to you for being such a great supporter of peace and justice!

  7. James Lundeen said,

    on November 28th, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Thank You for asserting that the actions of the USA will be determined by the USA not Israel.


  8. on November 28th, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Thank you, Bishop Hanson, for speaking truth in this bold manner! While I am not an ELCA member, I have served the ELCJHL in Palestine and have witnessed firsthand the suffering of people in the Holy Land. It is, indeed, time for the US to step up and take its place in leading the world toward peace!

  9. Ann Hafften said,

    on November 29th, 2012 at 8:54 am

    This is very helpful. I will be sharing it widely via social networking and my blog. Thanks. Very glad to have my church engaged in the struggle for justice.

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