UCC / Disciples of Christ Global Ministries Statement "On the Situation in Gaza"
The following statement was issued by the Common Board of Global Ministries over the weekend on the situation in Gaza. The statement and an accompanying article can be found by clicking here.
The Common Global Ministries Board of the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, November 10-12, 2006, is deeply dismayed by the continually worsening situation in Gaza. We, board members, are especially saddened by the deaths of eighteen Gazans this past week—described by Israel as a “technical failure.” Their fate is emblematic of the reprehensible conditions in which the people of Gaza live. Since the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in August 2005, Israel has continued to control access to and isolate Gaza, and otherwise inhibit daily human activity. We hear from our Christian partners there that they are far from adequately able to carry out their ministries of health and healing, rehabilitation, vocational training, and emergency relief for their community. Our own executive staff has been prevented from visiting them in their place of deepest need, having been denied access to enter Gaza by the Israeli authorities.
There is no justification for violence. In the words of one analyst, “every confrontation or war waged by Israel on the basis of aggression and occupation only brings more political and social forces in the Middle East into the circle of resistance.”[*] Neither aggression nor resistance need find cause; their justifications can be eliminated with resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that ensures two secure and viable states in which all people enjoy—among full citizenship rights and other basic needs—freedoms of movement and worship, access to necessary resources, and sovereign political expression.
The situation in Gaza has continually been overshadowed by other news, but our awareness compels us to speak out
- to call attention and respond to the dire humanitarian crisis there by our churches;
- to express in all possible ways our accompaniment with our partners in Gaza to enable them to carry out their work and ministries; and
- to pray and advocate for a comprehensive settlement to the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict aiming to bring about a just peace; and an end to violence in, and the suffering of, all people of the region.
[*] Nassar Ibrahim, “The War on Lebanon,” in News From Within, XXII:7 (August, 2006), p. 14.