U.S National Inter-religious Leaders release statement: Twilight of Hope for Palestinian Israeli Peace
Twilight of Hope for Israeli-Palestinian Peace
Twilight has fallen on the possibility of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As
Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders committed to peace, we urge immediate, sustained U.S.
leadership before darkness falls on the hopes for a peaceful resolution.
We recently witnessed shadows of dusk. We mourn for the lives lost and shattered during the violence
that gripped southern Israel and Gaza. What we have seen, recently and before, will keep happening if
movement towards a viable two state-solution continues to stagnate. The status quo is unsustainable and
dangerous to both Israelis and Palestinians. Now is not the time for another cycle of recriminations. It
is time to break the cycle of violence with bold initiatives for peace.
The current dangerous stalemate, including the legacy of past failed peacemaking efforts, undermines
our security and that of others, destabilizes the region, fuels terrorism and extremism, allows continuing
Israeli settlement expansion, and prolongs Palestinian disunity. These realities and the absence of
negotiations threaten to kill the prospect of a viable two-state peace agreement, the only realistic
solution to the conflict.
As people of faith, we proclaim that we should never underestimate what is possible. Egypt and the
United States helped achieve a ceasefire in Gaza. With the support of the international community,
Israelis and Palestinians can achieve a lasting peace. A new dawn is possible.
As members of the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East (NILI), we
affirm President Obama’s support for a negotiated two-state peace agreement that provides for a secure
and recognized Israel living in peace alongside a viable and independent Palestinian state.
We know the challenges are daunting, but we believe a bold new initiative for an Israeli-Palestinian
peace settlement should be an immediate priority of the new Administration in 2013. We fear the
opportunity for a peaceful resolution is rapidly waning and the current stagnation encourages the
rejectionists on both sides. Our nation has unique leverage and credibility in the region. Indeed, no past
progress towards peace has occurred in this conflict without U.S. leadership, facilitation or staunch
support. Once again, we need active, fair and firm U.S. leadership to help break the current deadlock
and to achieve a two-state peace agreement now before it is too late.
The Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders of NILI are committed to mobilizing broad public
support for U.S. leadership for peace. We will mobilize the strong support that exists in churches,
synagogues and mosques across the country.
Twilight is upon us; but the hope for a new dawn remains. Let us together bring the new light of hope
and work for negotiations leading to a final status agreement.