Bishop Pates Reiterates Opposition To Israel’s Cremisan Valley Plan In Letter To Secretary Of State Kerry

May 6, 2013 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—The U.S. bishops supporta two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and oppose policiesthat undermine a just resolution to the conflict, such as Israel's decision tore-route the separation wall through the Cremisan Valley, said the chairman ofthe bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace in a letter toSecretary of State John Kerry.

In his May 6 letter, Bishop RichardE. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, said the proposal would harm the livelihood of 58Christian families in the region. He added, "The route will separate a Salesianmonastery from a Salesian convent, and will separate both from their lands. TheSalesian Convent and Primary School will be surrounded on three sides by thebarrier that will confiscate most of the convent's lands."

Bishop Pates echoed the concern ofthe Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, who spoke on behalf of all bishops in theHoly Land in saying that such moves only exacerbate tensions in the region.

"The Cremisan Valley is a microcosmof a protracted pattern that has serious implications for the ongoingIsraeli-Palestinian conflict," wrote Bishop Pates. "As the wall moves andconstricts more communities in the West Bank, the possibility of a futuretwo-state resolution becomes less likely. Moving the wall and disassociatingPalestinian families from their lands and livelihoods will incite moreresentment against the State of Israel among residents of the West Bank, notless, increasing the frustrations that can lead to violence."

The full text of Bishop Pates'letter is available online:

Bishop Pates wrote to Kerry'spredecessor, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in November 2012:


Keywords: Israel, Palestine, conflict, two-state solution,USCCB, Secretary of State, John Kerry, Bishop Richard E. Pates, Des Moines,International Justice and Peace, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, CremisanValley

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