Leaders from the ELCA and 15 other U.S. churches who are members of Churches for Middle East Peace, an ecumenical coalition, welcomed a March 13 resolution supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state. The resolution, issued by the U.N. Security Council, was backed by the United States.
Church leaders warned that the resolution must be followed with concrete steps to end current Israeli-Palestinian violence and resume peace talks. They said the United States must use the resolution to implement initiatives that will stop the violence, return both parties to negotiations and end Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.
"This U.N. Security Council resolution breaks new ground because it is the first time the council has gone on record specifically endorsing the creation of a Palestinian state," said Dennis Frado, director of the Lutheran Office for World Community at the United Nations. He said the resolution comes "at a most critical time for all people of the region."
Frado added that this may mean that the United States "will support council discussions of various peace initiatives such as that of the Saudi Crown Prince," calling for relations between Israel and Arab nations to be normalized if Israel returns to its pre-1967 borders.
© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers