Brethren staff take part in Churches for Middle East Peace delegation meeting with Palestinian president




The Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) delegation at St. George's Cathedral, Jerusalem. At right is Nathan Hosler, director of the Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness, who is serving as chair of the CMEP board. Third from left is Roy Winter, associate executive director of Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries.
Photo courtesy of CMEP

The Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) delegation at St. George's Cathedral, Jerusalem. At right is Nathan Hosler, director of the Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness, who is serving as chair of the CMEP board. Third from left is Roy Winter, associate executive director of Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries.

From a CMEP release

A Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) delegation that included two Church of the Brethren staff members--Nathan Hosler, director of the Office of Public Witness, and Roy Winter, associate executive director of Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries--has met with Palestinian President Abbas on the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

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Nov. 2 marked the 100th anniversary of the historic declaration by Lord Balfour of Great Britain that “[viewed] with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” The Balfour Declaration also stated “that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.”

CMEP executive director Mae Elise Cannon, CMEP board chair Nathan Hosler, and a delegation from CMEP member denominations including Church of the Brethren and the Christian Reformed Church in North America, met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. During the meeting, President Abbas expressed appreciation to Rev. Dr. Cannon for CMEP’s work. 

CMEP’s delegation also attended an event hosted by President Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah, recognizing nine British citizens who walked more than 3,000 kilometers over 4.5 months to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people on the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. Called a “Just Walk to Jerusalem,” the journey was organized by Holy Land Trust and Amos Trust. At various times, more than 60 British pilgrims joined the walk “in penance for Britain’s failure to ensure the Balfour Declaration’s promise.” Watch a video from one of the participants at www.youtube.com/watch?v=djvwafyJBzU&feature=youtu.be .

Churches for Middle East Peace lamentd the unilateral translation of the Balfour Declaration into support of one people group over another.

CMEP is committed to a just and durable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in which Israelis and Palestinians realize the vision of a just peace, which illuminates human dignity and cultivates thriving relationships. CMEP works for an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, and seeks to promote a solution that advances security and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians.

CMEP’s executive director Elise. Cannon wrote from Ramallah: “Today is a day of celebration for many within the Jewish community and of devastating loss for the Palestinians. In the midst of these contradictory realities, may church leaders be committed to justice and equal rights, security, and opportunities for a prosperous future, for all people living in Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories.”

Formed in 1984, Churches for Middle East Peace is a coalition of 27 national church denominations and organizations, including Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and Evangelical traditions, that works to encourage US policies that actively promote a comprehensive resolution to conflicts in the Middle East with a focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. CMEP works to mobilize US Christians to embrace a holistic perspective and to be advocates of equality, human rights, security, and justice for Israelis, Palestinians, and all people of the Middle East.

-- Jessica Pollock-Kim provided this release from Churches for Middle East Peace.

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