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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Effect of war on Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Salaam and grace to you from Jerusalem, the city of Christ's death and resurrection.

The world's eyes are focused on the looming possibility of war in Iraq and on the intense discussions in the United Nations regarding this war. We in Palestine and Israel follow each detail carefully, knowing that the conflicts in both Iraq and the U.N. will have specific consequences for us—indeed for the entire world. We believe these to be negative consequences and continue to raise our urgent voices to warn world leaders that war in the Middle East will only serve to increase bitterness, hatred, acts of war and religious and political extremism, rather than deter them. Speculative promises of “positive breakthroughs in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict following the war” are minimal at best. We do not believe these promises, knowing that the basic issues of the conflict will not have changed and may have become increasingly worse during a war.

Specifically, in regard to Palestinian people living under Israeli military occupation during the possible war in Iraq, we are concerned about rigid closures and strict curfews and about the possible “trainsfer” (expulsion) of Palestinian people from camps, villages and prisons. We ask you to keep your attention on this situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the weeks and months to come, remembering us in prayer and in your communication with others. May God bless us all, no matter where we live.


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