WASHINGTON (June 13, 2007) - In a letter to the Senate, the Chairman of the Committee on International Policy, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), urged co-sponsorship of Senate Resolution 224, which seeks to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Marking the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War between Israel and a coalition of Arab states, the resolution acknowledges that the only way forward to a better future for both Israelis and Palestinians is "to put an end to decades of confrontation and conflict and live in peaceful coexistence, mutual dignity, and security, based on a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace," noted Bishop Thomas G. Wenski. "A majority of Israelis and Palestinians yearn for such a two-state solution," the Bishop said.
"Resolution 224 appropriately affirms a two state solution with 'the State of Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security,' Bishop Wenski continued. "The Resolution renounces violence and terror, reaffirms an unwavering commitment to Israel's security, and calls on the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority to recognize Israel, renounce terrorism, and accept past agreements. It calls on both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to work for peace and to refrain from 'any actions that would prejudice the outcome of final status negotiations,'" Bishop Wenski said.
"Most importantly," the Bishop continued, "Resolution 224 urges the Administration "to pursue a robust diplomatic effort" and to make a two-state solution "a top priority."
Bishop Wenski noted that for many years the USCCB has worked with key national Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders to support sustained U.S. leadership for peace. "USCCB believes this Resolution is consistent with the President's vision of a two-state solution to the conflict and adds additional impetus to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's recent initiative for peace," he stated.
"For the future of Israelis and Palestinians, the stability of the region and the security of our nation and the world, please join your Senate colleagues in supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process through Senate Resolution 224," Bishop Wenski wrote.
The USCCB Office of International Justice and Peace distributed an Action Alert to diocesan offices around the country asking them to contact Senators in support of Senate Resolution 224.Note: Further information on recent USCCB and Church leaders' statements is available at http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/international/mideastind.shtml#general.