Pope urges two states
May 15, 2009
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Pope Benedict XVI urged Israel to allow the Palestinians to establish a state.
"Let it be universally recognized that the State of Israel has the right to exist, and to enjoy peace and security within internationally agreed borders," the pope said Friday at Ben Gurion Airport as he ended his first Holy Land visit. "Let it be likewise acknowledged that the Palestinian people have a right to a sovereign independent homeland, to live with dignity and to travel freely. Let the two-state solution become a reality, not remain a dream."
Benedict said the separation barrier running through the West Bank was "one of the saddest sights for me" during his tour. The pope also referred to his tour of Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial, and his meeting with Holocaust survivors.
"That appalling chapter of history must never be forgotten or denied," he said.
Israeli President Shimon Peres called on the pope to use his leadership to repudiate terrorism carried out by religious fanatics. "Nowadays vile fanatics are emerging and are attempting to impose an alternative interpretation of the will of God," Peres said. "We believe that God yearns for life and respects life; Their distorted image of God is that He permits and even encourages murder, terror and violence."
The WCC-led week of action is in its fourth year. Participants are invited to pray, educate and advocate, inspired by the theme "It's time for Palestine". A prayer offered by the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem has been sent to more than 120 countries, along with invitations to join World Week.
Christians Join Jews in Washington to Fight PA State
(IsraelNN.com) A powerful Christian activist group is joining hundreds of thousands of Jews Monday at a massive rally in Washington DC to protest the Obama administration's pressure on Israel to accept the establishment of a Palestinian Authority state within its current borders.
The Christian Friends of Israeli Communities (CFOIC Heartland), which links Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria with Christian churches and individual sponsors around the world, launched its internet initiative over the weekend.
The group urged its members to contact the White House and oppose President Barack Obama's plan to pressure Israel into dividing the country with the Palestinian Authority.
It also urged members to show up en masse for the rally, scheduled to last from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. – the same time, approximately, that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is set to meet with President Obama at the White House.
The email, sent to a list of tens of thousands of people, informed members that the White House has been pressuring Israel to agree to a two-state solution in exchange for U.S. cooperation against Iran.
"Iran poses an existential threat to Israel and to the entire free world," noted the statement, signed by U.S. CFOIC director Kimberly Troup and Israeli office director Sandra Oster Baras.
"The two-state solution is synonymous with full Israeli withdrawal from the heart of Biblical Israel. This poses an existential threat as well as a spiritual threat to the Nation of Israel.
"We are calling on you to stand up for Israel and to stand against Obama's plan. Appeasement of Arab tyranny is no solution at all… Say no to a two-state solution. Say yes to Biblical Israel!"