14.07.06 09:18 Alter: 6 yrs

Statement on Resumption of Middle East Violence

 

The United Nations and the major powers, including the United States, must move quickly to control the new outbreaks of violence that threaten to plunge the Middle East into yet another round of warfare.

 

All parties to the conflict should cease their military operations, focus on the protection of civilians, and try again to reach peaceful solutions to protracted disagreements and end the relentless provocations.

 

We are seeing wanton disregard for civilians, some 50 of whom have been killed in the Israeli bombing of Beirut. Neither the attacks of Hezbollah on Israel or the Israeli military actions in Gaza and Lebanon can be justified from the perspectives of international law or sound political policy. 

 

I join my voice to that of the Rev. Samuel Kobia of the World Council of Churches in calling for an end to the destruction of roads, bridges, airports and the Israeli blockage of Lebanese ports.

 

The Israeli, Palestinian, and Lebanese people all deserve the right to live in peace and security. Only vigorous action by the United Nations and the major powers of North America and Europe can point toward a better future for the Middle East.

 

Perhaps the time has come for an international peacekeeping operation to keep the warring factions from contact.

 

Our prayers are with all of those being affected by the deplorable resumption of armed conflict in the Middle East.  We think especially of our mission personnel in the region in Israel/Palestine and mission partners in the region, including a mission intern in Beirut.

 

Relief aid is needed in the region, including families in Gaza and those affected by the bombing in Lebanon.  United Methodist can help by sending contributions to the Middle East Emergency Fund #601740, through the Advance for Christ and His Church. The Advance is an official program of The United Methodist Church for voluntary, designated financial giving. One hundred percent of your donation goes to the Advance ministry you choose.

 

Checks may be written to 'Advance GCFA' with Middle East Emergency fund #601740 in the memo area and placed in collection plates at United Methodist churches, or mailed directly to: Advance GCFA, P.O. Box 9068, GPO, New York, NY 10087-9068. Credit card donations may be made by calling (888) 252-6174. You may also make a donation online at http://secure.gbgm-umc.org/donations/donate.cfm?code=601740.

 

R. Randy Day
July 14, 2006