Wednesday, June 13, 2007

LWF sees 40th Anniversary of Six-Day War as "Occasion to Revive Vision of Peace in Holy Land"


40th Anniversary of Six-Day War: An Occasion to Revive Vision of Peace in Holy Land

Time for Members of House of Abraham to Recognize Each Other as Sisters, Brothers

GENEVA, 8 June 2007 (LWI) - The general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko, has called for revival of the vision of peace in the Holy Land and revitalization of the search for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In a statement on the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War and the occupation of the Palestinian territories he stresses "it is time for the members of the House of Abraham - Israeli and Palestinian; Jew, Muslim and Christian – to recognize each other as sisters and brothers, to refrain from instrumentalizing holy scriptures to achieve political goals, and to work together for peace in the Holy Land." Without peace with justice in the Holy Land, he says, there can be no true peace in the world.

The momentous events of the Six-Day War and the occupation of the Palestinian territories in 1967 fundamentally altered the modern history and politics of the Middle East, and continue to reverberate today, the general secretary explains. For this reason, the LWF Council at its meeting this year in Lund, Sweden, had noted the forthcoming 40th anniversary of the war, and had called for actions by the international community for an end to the occupation, and for the LWF member churches to join ecumenical coalitions for that purpose.

"The violence and suffering of occupation is a bitter legacy of Israel's military triumph 40 years ago," the general secretary continues, and brings misery and despair to entire communities, as well as entrenching displacement and dislocation. The military legacy of 1967 fuels the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and feeds resentment and tensions throughout the Middle East and beyond. "Its consequences for the unity of the global village are deep and pervasive. It drives a wedge between Jews and Muslims in the Holy Land and throughout the world. It threatens the future existence of an indigenous Christian presence in the land of Christ's birth," he states.

The occupation of the Palestinian territories is based on presumptions and ideologies that identify exclusively with one branch of the House of Abraham against the other, Dr Noko says. These ideologies, and the methods by which the occupation is maintained, undermine everything contained in the promise, whereby God gave the land to the children ofAbraham, and refute the authority by which the promise was made. The occupation entraps both the occupied and the occupier as well as all people of goodwill who yearn for peace in the Holy Land. After 40 years of being trapped, the time has come for release. "A release from occupation must be achieved for the sake of both peoples, for the dream of two states living side-by-side in peace to become a reality, and for the sake of peace in our global village," Dr Noko concludes.

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The full text of the statement by LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko can be found at the Lutheran World Information web site:

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The LWF is a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund, Sweden, the LWF currently has 140 member churches in 78 countries all over the world, with a total membership of nearly 66.7 million. The LWF acts on behalf of its member churches in areas of common interest such as ecumenical and interfaith relations, theology, humanitarian assistance, human rights, communication, and the various aspects of mission and development work.Its secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland.)

[Lutheran World Information (LWI) is the LWF's information service.Unless specifically noted, material presented does not represent positions or opinions of the LWF or of its various units. Where the dateline of an article contains the notation (LWI), the material may be freely reproduced with acknowledgment.]

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