Faith Leaders Press for Middle East Peace

( [email protected] ) Dec 08, 2003 11:44 AM EST

WASHINGTON – Faith leaders, representing 100 million congregants, announced plans to mobilize their constituents to press for a greater American involvement in resolving the 56-year-old conflict between the Arabs and Israelis, on Tuesday, Dec. 2.

The 32 Christian, Jewish and Muslim Leaders said they would specifically push President Bush and Congress members to continue the implementation of the “road map” to Middle East peace, which was multilaterally drafted by the U.S, E.U., U.N. and Russia. The plan calls for a peaceful creation of two legitimate states – a Jewish Israel and an Arab Palestine.

For decades, the Palestine Authority has failed to stop suicide bombers who target Israeli-run businesses; in turn, Israel built a restrictive security wall whose planned route is in part of the West Bank.

"We believe that 100 years more of suicide bombings will not drive Israel into the sea," said Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, founder of the American Sufi Muslim Association. "And we believe that 100 years more of targeted assassinations will never dry up the reservoir of young Palestinians willing to give up their lives."

The delegation requested a meeting with Bush. Sen. Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I., and Rep. Amo Houghton, R-N.Y., and are asking their colleagues to support the peace effort. The members also plan to enlist their congregants through messages on church bulletins, emails, sermons and informational packets. They also plan an interfaith "peace walk" in Washington next April.