Statement on the Recent Violence in Israel and Palestine

We, Presbyterians for Middle East Peace, are saddened and heartbroken at the loss of life in Israel and Palestine. We condemn those who have turned towards violence and hatred to pursue their own political agendas. From the Jewish nationalists parading through Jerusalem chanting “Death to Arabs” to Palestinians inciting violence aimed at innocent Jewish civilians, we are seeing extremists pushing their narrow agendas that only further the violence and divides between Palestinians and Jews. We are dismayed that President Mahmoud Abbas has once again turned from democratic principles and canceled recent elections. We are perplexed that Israeli cannot put aside their personal agendas to form a lasting government. We are angered watching Hamas take advantage of inflamed passions for their own agenda, the destruction of the State of Israel. Hamas’ actions and the response by the State of Israel, are costing the lives of innocent Israelis and Palestinians.

PFMEP stands by our opinion that the pathway to a more positive future for Israelis and Palestinians is two states for two people. We strongly encourage that both parties declare an immediate and lasting ceasefire, return to the table and re-engage in the peace process. Nothing will be gained, except for more bloodshed, by delaying this action. In order to take the next steps toward peace, the leaders of Hamas and the State of Israel must put aside their internal political agendas and pursue peace.