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National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East

 

P.O. Box 6307 Hamden, CT 06517
TEL: (203) 710-0715 | FAX: (203) 974-7881

April 14, 2005

President George W. Bush
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

We write on behalf of the thirty-eight Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders of the National Interreligious Initiative for Peace to commend the clarity and resolve of your commitment to achieving Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace so evident in your meeting this week with Israeli Prime Minister Sharon. We are confident you will bring equal clarity and resolve to your meeting with Palestinian President Abbas.

As you may know the National Interreligious Initiative, composed of leaders of more than two dozen diverse national religious organizations, was formed in late 2003 to support U.S. leadership, in coordination with other members of the Quartet, in pursuing implementation of the Road Map to Peace. We continue, despite differences in perspective and constituency, to be united in support of the Road Map, including a negotiated timetable for specific reciprocal steps and effective monitoring of its implementation. We commend you for reiterating your clear commitment to the vision of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.

We are united in supporting your insistence that both the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority carry out their commitments in the Road Map and not engage in unilateral actions which might jeopardize the goal of negotiated peace. We commend your strong support for Israel's plan to withdraw from Gaza. We support your call for Israel to meet its Road Map obligations regarding settlements in the West Bank and to work with Palestinian leadership to improve the daily lives of Palestinians. Looking forward to your meeting with President Abbas, we support your call for increased aid to the Palestinian Authority and your call for the Palestinian Authority to meet its Road Map obligations regarding democratic reform and financial accountability, and effective action to prevent violent attacks against Israelis.

Clearly, Prime Minister Sharon's plan to withdraw from Gaza and abandon some settlements combined with President Abbas' commitment and actions to prevent violent attacks on Israelis present a new opportunity for progress toward peace. It is hopeful that since their Summit in January there has been less violence than at any time since the Summit you hosted at Aqaba. Yet it is clear that the new opportunity is fragile and will not last without active fair and firm high level U.S. leadership.

We continue to look forward to a meeting with you and with Secretary of State Rice to show the breadth and depth of interreligious support for your vision and leadership, and to discuss how we can help you complete the process of achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Respectfully,

Bruce E. Wexler
Ronald J. Young
National Co-Coordinators

The Reverend Charles Gibbs

enc: List of National Leaders

CC: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice  


National Interreligious Leadership Initiative For Peace in the Middle East

Christian Leaders 

His Eminence, Theodore Cardinal McCarrick
Archbishop of Washington 

His Eminence, William Cardinal Keeler
Archbishop of Baltimore

His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios, Primate
Greek Orthodox Church in America 

His Eminence, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate
Armenian Apostolic Church in America  

Most Reverend William Skylstad, President
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 

The Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold III, Presiding Bishop
Episcopal Church  

Bishop Thomas Hoyt, Jr. President
National Council of Churches

The Reverend Clifton Kirkpatrick, Stated Clerk
Presbyterian Church (USA)  

Bishop Mark Hanson, Presiding Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 

The Reverend John M. Buchanan, Editor and Publisher
Christian Century  

The Reverend John Thomas, General Minister & President
United Church of Christ 

Richard J. Mouw, President
Fuller Theological Seminary 

Bishop Sharon Zimmerman Rader, Sec. of the Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church 

The Reverend Leighton Ford, President
Leighton Ford Ministries  

The Reverend Chris Hobgood, General Minister, President
Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ)

David Neff, Editor and Vice-President
Christianity Today  

Richard E. Stearns, President
World Vision  

Jewish Leaders  

Rabbi Harry K. Danziger, President
Central Conference of American Rabbis (Reform) 

Rabbi Peter S. Knobel, Board of Trustees
Union of American Hebrew Congregations (Reform)  

Rabbi Paul Menitoff, Executive Vice President
Central Conference of American

Rabbis (Reform) Rabbi Janet Marder, Past President
Central Conference of American Rabbis (Reform)

Rabbi Jerome M. Epstein, Executive Vice President
United Synagogue Council (Conservative) 

Rabbi Merle S. Singer
Temple Beth El, Boca Raton, Florida (Reform) 

Rabbi Amy Small, President
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association 

Rabbi David E. Stern
Temple Emanu-El, Dallas, Texas (Reform)  

Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Rector
University of Judaism (Conservative) 

Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, Dean
Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies (Conservative)

Rabbi David Saperstein, Director
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism 

Rabbi Alvin S. Sugarman, Vice President
A Different Future 

Muslim Leaders  

Dawud A. Assad, Former President
Council of Mosques, USA 

Dr. Sayyid Muhammad Syeed, Secretary General
Islamic Society of North America 

Naeem Baig, General Secretary
Islamic Circle of North America 

Nahid Angha, Ph. D., Co-Director
International Association of Sufism (IAS) 

Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, Leader
The Mosque Cares 

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Founder
American Sufi Muslim Association

Iftekhar A. Hai, Founding Director
United Muslims of America

Imam Yahya Hendi, Chaplain
Georgetown University

Imam Hassan Qazwini
Islamic Center of America 

Organizations for Identification Only April, 2005



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