The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Churchwide Assembly: Rabbi: 'It's time for peace'

The first “non-Christian” to greet an ELCA Churchwide Assembly, Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie began by affirming common work of “creating an earthly home for the Divine Presence” and “advancing the cause of justice.”

President of the Union for Reform Judaism, Yoffie then moved to Middle East issues, saying the 920 synagogues and 1.5 million Jews he represents are committed to a two-state solution to the conflict.

“The Palestinians must have a state,” he said. “For peace to be achieved, territorial compromise will be required of Israel and unconditional acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state will be required of the Palestinians. ...

“We see that the Palestinian people are in pain. And we understand that without dignity for the Palestinians, there can be no dignity for Israel. At the same time, we know that if anything is evil, terror is evil ... it must always be called by its name. It is not ‘insurgency’ or even ‘killing civilians.’

“Now is the time for Israelis and Palestinians to look through each other’s eyes for an instant, and to take that critical step for peace. ... Now is the time for terror to stop and settlement building to stop. Now is the time for all of us to see that we can achieve through peace what none of us will ever achieve throughviolence.”

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