In October, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns joined over a dozen other Christian groups in signing a letter to Congress which urges a closer review of U.S. military assistance to Israel in light of required compliance with U.S. regulations regarding aid and human rights. Read the letter here. Reaction to this letter has been strong.
Several groups drafted a petition to express support for those who signed the letter. Read the petition of support below; it is possible to sign it at four websites: Kairos USA, Jewish Voice for Peace, the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and American Muslims for Palestine.
Letter of support and thanks to 15 Christian leaders
Rev. Gradye Parsons, Presbyterian Church (USA)
Bishop Mark S. Hanson, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, The United Methodist Church
Peg Birk, National Council of Churches USA
Shan Cretin, American Friends Service Committee
J. Ron Byler, Mennonite Central Committee U.S.
Alexander Patico, Orthodox Peace Fellowship
Diane Randall, Friends Committee on National Legislation
Dr. A. Roy Medley, American Baptist Churches, U.S.A.
Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, United Church of Christ
Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Rev. Julia Brown Karimu, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Rev. Dr. James A. Moos, United Church of Christ
Kathy McNeely, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Eli S. McCarthy, PhD, Conference of Major Superiors of Men
Dear Church Leaders:
Thank you for your recent letter to the members of the United States Congress asking them to hold Israel accountable in its use of U.S. military aid. We agree that Congress should make the disbursement of U.S. military assistance to Israel contingent on the Israeli government’s compliance with applicable U.S. laws and policies. We join in your call for Congressional hearings to examine Israel's compliance with such laws.
We gratefully acknowledge that your letter reflects the positions of your respective churches and organizations regarding human rights violations by Israelis against Palestinians, the expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied territory, and the right of Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace and security. We agree wholeheartedly with your statement that unconditional US military aid contributes to "the deteriorating conditions in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories which threaten to lead the region further away from the realization of a just peace."
We encourage you to remain steadfast in the course you have begun, despite the verbal attacks that have been leveled and the opposition that is certain to continue in response to your courageous action. Please know that you have our full support and lasting appreciation for the exemplary leadership you have shown.
With respect and gratitude,