20.07.06 15:13 Alter: 6 yrs

Statement by World Association for Christian Communication on hostilities in Lebanon


Thursday 20 July 2006

Yet again one country is suffering the full military onslaught of another unimaginably more powerful. Israel justifies its action in the name of self-defence and territorial integrity. People die on both sides, but the consequences for Lebanon are disproportionate, including the total destruction of its infrastructure and future stability.

Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni says that it is using "a window of opportunity for military operations". Hezbollah justifies what it does in the name of liberation. But, the war is not simply a consequence of recent actions. It is the latest aspect of an ongoing imbalance of power and disdain for justice in the region.

WACC's partners in the Middle East have called on the nations of the world to do what they can to bring an end to the attack on Lebanon. They are urging diplomatic action to end the crisis. But the governments of many countries have not responded to this terrible situation.

The Rev. Randy Naylor, General Secretary of WACC, called on WACC members and the mass media "to vigorously question governments' actions regarding the emergency in Lebanon and to urge the international community to take immediate steps to stop the hostilities."

"WACC believes that the mass media should play a critical role in revealing the broader context and imbalances, challenging misperceptions and calling governments to account." He emphasised that "prominent and in-depth coverage of all the options for a peaceful and just solution is vital".

WACC endorses the call for churches, ecumenical bodies, international humanitarian organizations, and institutions of civil society throughout the world to bring moral and spiritual pressure to bear upon their countries' governments to stop the killing, to bring the different parties into dialogue, and to provide immediatehumanitarian assistance to Lebanon.