.- The U.S. bishops have urged co-sponsorship of a Senate resolution that seeks to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Marking the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War between Israel and a coalition of Arab states, the resolution acknowledges that the only way toward a better future for both Israelis and Palestinians is “to put an end to decades of confrontation and conflict and to live in peaceful coexistence, mutual dignity, and security, based on a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace,” noted Bishop Thomas Wenski in a June 13 letter to the Senate. Bishop Wenski is chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Policy.
“Resolution 224 appropriately affirms a two-state solution, with the State of Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security,” Bishop Wenski continued. “A majority of Israelis and Palestinians yearn for such a two-state solution,” he said.
The bishop noted that resolution renounces violence and terror, reaffirms an unwavering commitment to Israel’s security, and calls on the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority to recognize Israel, renounce terrorism, and accept past agreements.
“It calls on both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to work for peace and to refrain from ‘any actions that would prejudice the outcome of final status negotiations,’” he said.
The resolution also urges the U.S. government “to pursue a robust diplomatic effort” to make a two-state solution a top priority.
The U.S. bishops said they believe this resolution is consistent with President George Bush’s vision of a two-state solution to the conflict and adds additional impetus to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s recent initiative for peace.
The USCCB Office of International Justice and Peace issued an action alert to dioceses across the country, asking them to contact senators in support the resolution.