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.