Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Episcopal bishop and St. Olaf college students concerned about justice and peace

Episcopal presiding bishop writes to Obama on Israeli-Palestinian peace process

This news courtesy of the ENS staff. For the complete story and the full text of Bishop Jefferts Schori's letter, go to this link: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/79425_126599_ENG_HTM.htm

January 18, 2011

[Episcopal News Service] Stressing the urgency of peace between Israelis and Palestinians, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori last weekend wrote to President Barack Obama urging United States leadership to "reignite a negotiations process that can produce immediate and sustainable steps toward a just, comprehensive and lasting peace."

The Jan. 16 letter also cautioned against U.S. use of its veto power in the U.N. Security Council to block a possible resolution on Israeli settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories. Use of the veto "would send the wrong signal to both parties, as it would be interpreted by many as a break from past U.S. positions against settlement building," the presiding bishop wrote.

Stalled peace talks
The presiding bishop's letter comes at a moment when U.S. efforts to broker direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are stalled. The parties briefly came to the table in September in direct negotiations orchestrated and mediated by Obama, but those talks faltered when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to extend a temporary freze on the construction of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. Palestinian negotiators have maintained that a full settlement freeze is a condition of their participation in peace talks.

[Full story and complete text of the bishop's letter at: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/79425_126599_ENG_HTM.htm]

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St. Olaf College students get a view from the Holy Land

This news courtesy of St. Olaf College News. For the full story, go to this link: http://www.stolaf.edu/news/index.cfm?fuseaction=NewsShorts#5019

JANUARY 18, 2011

St. Olaf students participating in the Interim program in Israel and the Palestinian territories received a tour of the Lutheran World Federation in Jerusalem last week from Rev. Mark Brown '78, the organization’s regional director.

The students, led by Associate Professor of Religion Jim Hanson ‘83, are taking a course titled Historical Geography and the Bible in the Holy Land. It’s the first St. Olaf group to visit Israel in more than 11 years. In addition to touring the Lutheran World Federation compound that is located on the Mount of Olives, the group has toured an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, a Palestinian refugee camp, and many sites pertaining to Biblical history.

[For the complete news brief and photo, go to: http://www.stolaf.edu/news/index.cfm?fuseaction=NewsShorts#5019]

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