Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Christian Zionist Fail to Support Israel!

Churches for Middle East Peace
issued the following statement:
[Washington, DC- July 31, 2008]

Last week, Christians United for Israel (CUFI) convened its
annual "Washington-Israel summit" that included a
day of lobby visits on Capitol Hill and a "Night to Honor
Israel." Yet despite CUFI's stated objective to support
Israel, absent from the group's public message or
Congressional talking points was any support
for Israel's current efforts, with U.S. encouragement, to
negotiate a two-state peace agreement, an integral
element to Israel's long-term security.
The three "asks" for CUFI's Congressional visits were
support for the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act, the Iran
Sanctions Enabling Act and providing military aid to
Israel. The words "Palestinian" or "Israeli-Palestinian
conflict" were nowhere to be found in the entire talking
points document, nor was there any mention of
Israel's participation in the Annapolis peace process
launched by the United States last November.

Also missing from CUFI's message was support for
or even acknowledgement of the current Israel-Syria
talks being mediated by Turkey. Instead the only
mention of Syria in the talking points was a warning to
members of Congress that Israel's enemies,
especially Syria, are "rapidly upgrading their military

Commenting on CUFI's conference message,
Ambassador (ret.) Warren Clark, Executive Director of
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) said, "It is
unfortunate that a group coming to Washington to
advocate in support of Israel would fail to support
Israel's efforts to achieve the blessings of peace
through a negotiated agreement with the Palestinians
and other Arab neighbors."

In a newsletter to its supporters this week, CUFI
described its third annual advocacy conference as an
event when "Christians from all fifty states and around
the world gathered in Washington, D.C. for the sole
purpose of supporting the State of Israel." Yet Israel's
leaders did not receive support for their diplomacy and
peacemaking efforts. The head of Israel's Annapolis
negotiating team, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, last
December described the establishment of a
Palestinian state as "not just a Palestinian dream - it
is also an Israeli interest." In May, Israeli Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert called Israel's peace talks with
Syria a "national duty." Former Israeli Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon said a "democratic Palestinian state fully
at peace with Israel will promote the long-term
security and well-being of Israel as a Jewish state."

Christians United for Israel claims that it "unites all
pro-Israel Christians in America under one
umbrella." However, there are a great many
American Christians who support Israel's security and
the creation of a viable Palestinian state as essential
to that goal. "As people of faith," Clark said, "we must
not ignore the important opportunity presented by the
negotiations now underway to help end this tragic

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is a
coalition of 22 Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant
national church bodies that work together in pursuit of
a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
where two viable states, Israel and Palestine, live side-
by-side within secure and recognized borders.