Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE – The Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A), has signed on to the following statement welcoming the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas and calling for renewed negotiations for a two-state solution in the land.
As leaders of American Jewish, Christian, and Muslim national religious organizations, united in the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East (NILI), we welcome the ceasefire agreement of Israel and Hamas, and the negotiations to make it permanent. We were appalled by the kidnappings and murders of Israeli and Palestinian teenagers. We believe the loss of even one human life is a tragedy that grieves God. In the recent weeks of war between Hamas and Israel, we mourn the innocent civilians killed. We offer our prayers as well for the wounded and for the families of all the victims of violence.
This tragic escalation of violence demonstrates once again that there is no such thing as a stable status-quo in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ideas being promoted in some circles for returning to the previous status quo or managing the conflict are dangerous. Acknowledging the recent failed negotiations, we call on Israeli and Palestinian political leaders to renew negotiations to achieve a two-state peace agreement, the only realistic resolution of the conflict in which both people can live in peace, security, and mutual recognition. The crucial choice leaders on both sides face now is between negotiating a two-state peace agreement with a new sense of urgency or condemning Palestinian and Israeli children and youth to continued conflict — more violence, more suffering, and more deaths.