We are American Christians seeking to serve the cause of peace in the Middle East. We have heard the agonized cries of Palestinians--Christian and Muslim--who have been driven from their ancestral homes and/or deprived of their fundamental rights. We have heard from Jews of the fear which grips their hearts and the vision which inspires their hope. We have listened to the accounts of trial endured by the Christians of the holy land, whose churches have existed from the time of Christ. And with these laments in our ears, we have struggled to hear the word of God for this situation so that the church of Jesus Christ may fulfill its calling to be an agent of justice and a bearer of peace.
In our quest, we are not striving to solve directly the public political questions of nation states, but rather to address fundamental human and religious concerns which affect the peoples of the Middle East and the world....
I. Questions for the American church
In our struggle to hear, discern, and to act, we have raised these questions.
A. We question biblically the vision of nationalism and statehood limited to any particular people as the means for building a durable and just peace in the holy land. We long, rather, for the vision of land and peoplehood secured for both Israeli people and Palestinian people in the holy land.
B. We question how Christians can believe that the Old Testament gives to the modern state of Israel divine and unconditional ownership of the land of Palestine, to the exclusion of the indigenous people. We believe that an honest, open, and comprehensive understanding of the Bible prohibits these claims and raises the priority of God's justice for all people as the means to nourish the hope of reconciliation between Israeli and Palestinian.