U.S. Jewish, Christian leaders to work for Middle East peace
Sept. 29, 2005
A UMNS file photo by Aaron Chan
Palestinian children cross through a gap in a wall separating the town of Abu Dis from Jerusalem.
By Michele Green*
JERUSALEM (ENI) - A group of Christian and Jewish leaders from the
United States has pledged to work together for Middle East peace,
despite disagreements over issues such as Israel's West Bank barrier and
The 16 Jewish and Christian leaders made the Sept. 18-23 visit to Israel
and the Palestinian territories to calm tension created by
disagreements over recent decisions by a number of mainstream Protestant
groups in the United States.
Two United Methodists were part of that delegation: Vidette Bullock
Mixon, director of corporate relations for the United Methodist Board of
Pension and Health Benefits, and Jim Winkler, chief executive, United
Methodist Board of Church and Society.
Several Jewish groups described the decisions to re-examine investments
in companies seen as helping Israeli occupation, as well as criticism of
a barrier to separate Israelis and
Vidette Bullock Mixon
Palestinians, as being one-sided and anti-Israeli.
The delegates said their five-day visit succeeded in strengthening ties
and proving that "Christians and Jews can work together to seek peace
even when there is disagreement on specific policies and solutions."
"As a result of these days," delegation members said in their statement,
"we will now be even more effective advocates for a secure, viable and
independent Palestinian state alongside an equally secure state of
The Jewish delegates included leaders from the American Jewish Congress
and the Anti-Defamation League, which has been particularly critical of
decisions by prominent U.S. Protestant denominations, including the
Presbyterian Church (USA), the Episcopal Church and the United Church of
The Christian delegates included leaders from the National Council of
Churches, the Presbyterian Church and the Alliance of Baptists.
The delegates want to mobilize their religious communities as well as
ordinary people to support the establishment of a Jewish and Palestinian
state side by side in peace.
*This article was distributed by Ecumenical News International. United
Methodist information was added by United Methodist News Service.
News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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