Christian Denominations, Church-Based Groups Urge Joe Biden to Stop Military Assistance to Israel, Pursue Peace Between Palestinians, Israelis


Up to ten Christian denominations and church-based organizations urge President Joe Biden to actively pursue peace between Palestinians and Israelis by terminating military aid to the Israeli government. The group described the deteriorating human rights situation and the spike in violence in a letter delivered to the president over the weekend. The statement focused on the occupied Palestinian area as well as Israel.

Call for Peace

According to Presbyterian Church USA, The letter states, "U.S. military aid to Israel maintains in part this brutality, making the U.S. government complicit in ongoing atrocities." "As U.S. churches and church-based organizations, we demand a shift to halt U.S. collaboration and request that the U.S. government hold Israel accountable for its atrocities by cutting military aid." It asserts that the new Israeli government is attempting to "undermine the rule of law in Israel" and is directly endangering the rights of women, LGBTQ communities, and Israeli-Palestinian citizens, adding that decades of Palestinian suffering have resulted from abuses and a lack of accountability.

Statistics from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs indicate that Israel demolished more than 7,000 Palestinian-owned structures, including 1,450 constructed by international donors, including the United States. It led to more than 10,000 Palestinians being displaced and 140,000 Palestinians suffering losses.

In addition to the PC USA, American Friends Service Committee, the Church of the Brethren, Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Mennonite Central Committee U.S., PAX Christi U.S.A., The United Methodist Church- General Board of Church and Society, and United Church of Christ also signed the letter.

In 2022, the European Parliament called for the start of real peace talks as to how the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the occupation of Palestinian territory could be brought to an end. The Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have reaffirmed their unwavering support for a negotiated two-state solution based on the lines drawn in 1967, with two independent, democratic states and Jerusalem serving as the capital of both states. They have also urged the rest of the international community to support Israel and Palestine in negotiations leading to a final status agreement and mutual recognition.

Also Read:Israel Designates Six Palestinian NGOs As 'Terrorist Organizations'

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Center for Preventive Action reported that the struggle between Israelis and Palestinians might be traced back to the last decades of the nineteenth century. The United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 181 in 1947, sometimes known as the "Partition Plan," intending to divide the territory under British Mandate in Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab governments. 

The establishment of the state of Israel on May 14, 1948, was the spark that ignited the first Arab-Israeli War. Israel emerged victorious from the conflict in 1949. However, the outcome resulted in the uprooting of 750,000 Palestinians and the partition of the land into three distinct regions: the State of Israel, the West Bank (west of the Jordan River), and the Gaza Strip.

In the subsequent years, tensions increased throughout the region, notably between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, and Syria after the 1956 Suez Crisis and Israel's invasion of the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria signed mutual defense pacts in anticipation of a potential Israel force deployment.

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