Bishop Pates To Secretary Clinton: Moves By Israelis, Palestinians Undermine Peace, Human Dignity

November 8, 2012 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—Both Palestinians andIsraelis have undermined the possibility of a two-state solution in recentactions and policies, said the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops'(USCCB)Committee on International Justice and Peace in a letter to Secretary of StateHillary Clinton.

These actions include rocket attacksfrom Gaza into Southern Israel that "spread fear among Israeli families anddamage the Palestinian cause by undercutting the trust necessary fornegotiations," said Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, November 8. He also decried the Israeli plan to re-routethe separation barrier between Israel and Palestine through the Cremisan Valley.

That plan, said Bishop Pates, would"harm 58 Christian families whose livelihoods and living conditions depend onthese lands" and "cut families off from agriculture and recreational lands,other family members, water sources, and schools – including deprivingChristian Palestinian youth of fellowship with their peers."

He added, "Moving the wall anddisassociating Palestinian families from their lands and livelihoods willincite more resentment against the State of Israel among residents of the WestBank, not less, increasing the frustrations that can lead to violence."

Bishop Pates affirmed USCCB'ssupport for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinians conflict, the endof the rocket attacks and the reversal of policies like the Cremisan Valleyproposal that undermine peace.

"Our Conference reiterates its callfor strong U.S. leadership that holds both parties accountable for building ajust and lasting peace," Bishop Pates said. "Leaders on both sides must giveIsraelis and Palestinians hope for a different future free of fear and full ofpromise."

The full text of the letter fromBishop Pates to Secretary Clinton is available online: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/global-issues/middle-east/israel-palestine/upload/2012-11-Ltr-to-Secretary-Clinton-on-Holy-Land-Rev.pdf

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Keywords: Bishop Richard E. Pates, Secretary of StateHillary Clinton, Israel, Palestine, rocket attackes, Cremisan Valley, State ofIsrael, conflict, peace, USCCB, U.S. bishops, Catholic Church, U.S. Conferenceof Catholic Bishops, Committee on International Justice and Peace

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