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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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May 1998 Letters: Palestine pro and con

Middle East poses many questions

I  appreciated your March coverage of the consecration of Bishop Munib Younan in Jerusalem (page 38), Bishop Anderson's comments (page 53) and the editorial (page 58). For many years I have prayed that the ELCA would act more vigorously in response to the oppression suffered by the Palestinian Christian community. I urge the ELCA's leadership to assist our sister church there in four ways: 1) Update education efforts to help ELCA members move beyond the media stereotypes of "bad, violent Arabs" and "noble, persecuted Israelis" and develop a clear distinction between Old Testament Israelites and modern, secular Israelis. 2) Call for responsible tourism that supports rather than avoids Christian Palestinians. 3) Communicate to our Jewish partners in dialogue that their renunciation of oppression by Israel is as foundational to cooperative efforts as our renunciation of anti-Semitism. 4) Urge the United States to allocate foreign aid with equality, linking the granting of money with the responsible use of it. We need to stop paying for the illegal settlements being built on confiscated Palestinian Christian land.


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