WHEREAS, many children and young people are not being educated for peace but are being exposed to hatred and intolerance in textbooks and the media; andWHEREAS, the 26th General Synod of the United Church of Christ continues to affirm the right of the peoples of both Israel and Palestine to live in peace, side by side in two secure and economically viable states; and
WHEREAS, the 25th General Synod of the United Church of Christ passed two resolutions focusing on the actions of Israel, entitled "Tear Down the Wall" and "Concerning the Use of Economic Leverage in Promoting Peace in the Middle East," and has yet to fully address other forces contributing to the ongoing violence, oppression and suffering in the region; and
WHEREAS, many children and young people are not being educated for peace but are being exposed to hatred and intolerance in textbooks and the media; and
WHEREAS, in recent months violence has dramatically escalated between the Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas, especially in the Gaza Strip, in spite of the fact that Israel disengaged from Gaza in September 2005; and
WHEREAS the potential for Palestinian civil war has never before been so real, and if it comes to pass would be disastrous for everyone in the region; and
WHEREAS, the escalating violence between Fatah and Hamas now calls us to consider whether we may have overlooked many aspects of an extraordinarily complicated situation and extraordinarily complicated relationships in the region; and
WHEREAS, we reaffirm our call to act as peacemakers in this war-torn yet holy land;
"In his statement, which appears on the UCC website, Rev. Thomas asserts that the 'be it resolved' clauses are the only binding parts of the resolution and thus suggests that by invoking the 'whereas' section, Fair Witness is somehow misleading the public," says Dexter Van Zile, UCC layperson and member of Fair Witness's Executive Committee.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the 26th General Synod of the United Church of Christ recognizes the need for ongoing balanced study, commentary and critique related to the conflict in the region;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the 26th General Synod condemns all media programs, publications, advertising campaigns, textbooks and groups that perpetuate violence instead of promoting peace; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the 26th General Synod directs the Executive Council to establish a Task Force to engage in ongoing and balanced study of the causes, history and context of the conflict, including appropriate responses to the situation that may or may not lead to further support of economic leverage and removal of the security barrier. The Task Force is to report to the 27th General Synod in 2009 for any necessary further action, and also to report to all settings of the Church so that they, too, may have a deeper understanding of the situation.
The 25th General Synod of the United Church of Christ passed two resolutions in 2005 concerning the ongoing violence in the Middle East ("Tear Down the Wall" and "Concerning the Use of Economic Leverage in Promoting Peace in the Middle East"). We continue to be committed to assisting the Palestinian and Israeli people in finding a just two-state solution that will ensure a secure, peaceful and productive future. Because the "Tear Down the Wall" resolution focused solely on the actions of Israel, we also have a responsibility to more fully understand and name the ways other nations and forces have contributed to the situation...
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