United for Peace & Justice in the Holy Land (adopted from statement of principles from Millennial Voices for Peace)
E4J is part of an emerging movement seeking peace and justice in the Holy Land. As inhabitants of an increasingly interconnected world, as followers of Christ who believe that faith should inform action, as United States citizens invested in the endeavors of our country, and as friends and family members of those actively experiencing the conflict in the Holy Land, we hold a personal connection to this land and to its people.
We share in the heritage of faith and tradition that was born out of the Holy Land, and we desire to see redemption and flourishing in the land. We hope to be ambassadors of peace and reconciliation and advocates for both the Palestinian and Israeli people (2 Cor. 5:18-20).
We are inspired by those of different faiths who seek to understand the experience of the other under a mutual respect and shared commitment to peace. We are inspired by all who live in fear and oppression yet choose to love their enemies and pray for those who dispossess, terrorize or oppress them (Matthew 5:44).
We believe all children – be they Israeli or Palestinian – have the right to live in safety, free from violence, fear and want. We believe it is God’s will that all the children of this land live in peace and without fear (Matthew 19:14).
We believe that frustration without action or compassion will never lead to positive change. Thus, we are dedicated to working towards constructive outcomes for those who experience the destructive power of conflict. We are committed to being quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger (James 1:19).
We call for the end to all violence, vengeance (retribution), fear, and hatred of Palestinians toward Israelis and Israelis toward Palestinians. We are committed to reconciliation and nonviolent bilateral change, believing that this is the only way to achieve a long term solution and a lasting peace that affirms the God given dignity of all people. We reject the notion that advocacy is practiced within a narrative in which we must choose between polarized sides. We challenge all arguments that place narratives unavoidably and unalterably in opposition to each other. We instead seek to tread a different path, in which the historic and present pain and suffering of all peoples are heard, felt, and validated, and in which a future solution represents the legitimate, holistic needs of both Palestinians and Israelis.
Violent acts of terror do not advance the cause for peace and justice, but undermine those who pursue it. We believe that sustainable peace cannot be fully realized in the presence of terrorism, nor under the realities of military occupation. Long term solutions do not include an indefinite occupation, as it is a significant contributor to poverty in the Palestinian territories and source of fear and oppression for all people in the Holy Land. We stand alongside the Israeli and Palestinian men, women, and children leading the way on this difficult journey toward peace and justice.
It is time to venture beyond solidarity and into peaceful activism. E4J is committed to a movement that mobilizes our U.S. national resources (churches, communities, government) to act as a catalyst for establishing peace and justice in the Holy Land.
Note: Go here if you would like to sign the statement