William Lamkin’s view of the situation in Palestine and Israel (February, My View: "What's in a slogan?: Peace Not Walls") is riddled with faulty information and assumptions. First, Yasser Arafat didn’t reject a Palestinian state in 2000. He rejected, as did Israel, some of the proposals emerging from the so-called Camp David conversations. Arafat’s main concern was that the proposed land division would have resulted in three “statelets” instead of a contiguous West Bank. Second, building the wall cuts off Palestinians from hospitals, schools, water, farmland, family, food supplies and places of worship. If Israel built the wall on its land, the world would affirm its right to self-defense. Most is being built on confiscated Palestinian land. The ELCA policy, in shorthand, is “Two states, three faiths.” That seems the right course for the situation and within our church’s competence and authority to voice.
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