Organizations in the Faith Forum on Middle East Policy send out action alerts monthly, focusing on different issues so that members of Congress hear consistently that their constituents support a just and lasting resolution to the Palestinian and Israeli conflict.

Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns’ staff member Anna Engelmann returned from a 10-day delegation to Israel-Palestine on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014. She writes:

“After 10 days in the region, the news of the horrifying attack on Jewish worshippers this past Tuesday serves as a devastating testament to the sentiment that Israelis and Palestinians expressed to me repeatedly: that tensions on both sides are at a boiling point and are headed in an explosive direction. For the past few weeks there have been reports of clashes in Israel and the West Bank every day, with loss of lives on both sides and violence fanning the flames for further violence."

“Brutality such as the attack at the synagogue, a place of worship, carries a particular grief that can only be met with an absolute and unequivocal condemnation of that event and the men who carried it out, as well as a plea to others feeling such desperation in the midst of ongoing conflict to not react with further violence.”

Recent tensions on the Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount complex have led to violence that threatens to further erupt. Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem expressed concern in a statement in which they called for protection of sites and preservation of access.

At the same time, land confiscation, settlement expansion, and home demolitions continue in the West Bank, with Israel resuming its practice of demolishing homes as a punitive measure. And in Gaza, while some restrictions have been eased, the crippling blockade continues.

As people of faith who believe in the value of every human life, we must speak and act to preserve life and prevent further suffering. We must condemn all violence and all calls for revenge. To prevent even more loss of life, it is crucial to address the underlying causes for the violence.

To that end, a Capitol Hill briefing will be held on November 24, on the issue of land confiscation, specifically the recent actions threatening Wadi Foquin and neighboring areas near Bethlehem. This is an important opportunity for members of Congress to become informed on the broader issues that end up leading to what can seem like sporadic violence.

Bethlehem District Threatened by Land Confiscation in the West Bank

Monday, November 24, 2–3:30 p.m.

2168 Rayburn House Office Building

Guests from Wadi Foquin will speak including Mayor and Village Council President Mr. Ahmad Sukar.

For more information:

Contact your members of Congress and ask them to:
  • Attend this important briefing, to learn more about what they can do to address root causes, stop further violence, and promote a just peace for both Israelis and Palestinians;
  • Condemn all violence against civilians and calls for revenge by any person or party;
  • Oppose settlement expansion and other actions and policies that perpetuate the occupation;
  • Recognize the role of U.S. aid to Israel in enabling the Israeli occupation and take action to ensure that this aid is used in compliance with U.S. law and policy.

Use this link to let your elected officials know they have your support in acting to end the violence and foster a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians.