Date: Sun, 12 Mar 1995 15:38:04 GMT
Sender: Activists Mailing List >ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.missouri.edu>
From: "James R. Lynch" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: AFSC/FCNL Jerusalem Statement
Date: Fri, 10 Mar 1995 23:40:49 -0500
From: "Liz Perch, Amercian Friends Service Committee" <lperch@OMNI.VOICENET.COM>
CONTACT: Kathy Bergen 215/ 241-7019/ Jim Fine 215/898-4661 Joe Volk 202/547-6000/ Jim Matlack 202/ 483-3341
PHILADELPHIA, PA/WASHINGTON, DCThe American Friends Service
Committee (AFSC) and the Friends Committee on National Legislation
(FCNL) issued a joint statement today expressing concern over
conditions in Jerusalem that the two Quaker organizations said
a grave threat to the (Israeli-Palestinian) peace process and the
The joint statement, entitled
Jerusalem: Barrier or Gateway to
Peace, sets out five
broad principles of fairness and
equity that the two Quaker organizations say should guide a
settlement on Jerusalem, and which they hope will help encourage a
wide-ranging public discussion on it.
It also cites the year-long Israeli military closure of Jerusalem to Palestinian residents of the West Bank and Gaza, on-going Israeli settlement construction and land seizure, and delay in achieveing democratic Palestinian self-government among the conditions threatening to upset the peace process and preempt a negotiated settlement on Jerusalem.
Our concern is that if these problems are not addressed now,
said AFSC spokesperson Kathy Bergen, coordinator of the Middle East
Program in the Peace Education Division,
it could become impossible
to reach a satisfactory future agreement on the already very difficult
question of Jerusalem.
The five principles are:
These principles, the statement's authors say,
power to produce an agreement on Jerusalem that can be the strong
cornerstone of Israeli-Palestinian peace and an example to the
world of concord and cooperation in the wake of bitter conflict.
Our deepest conviction, as we note in our joint
statement, is that `Jerusalem must be shared, that the city cannot be
the exclusive domain of Israelis or Palestinians if there is to be a
lasting peace between the two peoples.' We believe that the
possibility of this shared future is rapidly receding.
The joint AFSC/FCNL statement calls on the Clinton Administration, as guarantor of the peace process, to encourage Israel to end the military closure of Jerusalem and halt settlement activity. It urges the United States to encourage both Israel and the PLO to promote genuine Palestinian democracy, including free elections. The statement also warns against recent calls in Congress to move the United States embassy to Jerusalem before Israel and the Palestinians reach accord on the city's future.
Any step to move the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to
Jerusalem now, Bergen says,
would be fatal to the peace
processthe match that ignites the dry straw.
The AFSC, founded in 1917 as a practical expression of the faith of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), has supported programs and projects in the Middle East since 1948.
As a public policy arm of the Quakers, FCNL has advocated Israeli-Palestinian peace since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. In publications and congressional testimony, FCNL has advocated a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the Arab- Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and argued against any militarily imposed or otherwise coerced settlement.
AFSC and FCNL have consistently supported self-determination for both Israelis and Palestinians.