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Background paper on the Status of Jerusalem

Background paper on the status of Jerusalem presented to the Executive Committee.

01 September 2000

Background paper on the status of Jerusalem presented to the Executive Committee meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, 26-29 September 2000


The conflict over the status of Jerusalem is often cited as the most sensitive, central and emotive of the conflicts in the Middle East region as a whole. Jerusalem is a unique city. Apart from being home to two peoples, Israelis and Palestinians, it is central to the faith of Christians, Jews and Muslims alike. There is no city in the world that generates such intense emotions, complicating any political negotiations over its future.

The Middle East Peace process has arrived at a critical stage as the parties have failed to reach an agreement on the final status negotiations, especially on the future of Jerusalem which is seen by many as the most difficult issue at hand. Once the status of Jerusalem is resolved and an agreement reached on the question of refugees, status of Israeli settlements and borders, the parties may be able to move quickly towards cementing a framework agreement that could pave the way toward peace and the establishment of a Palestinian State. In the last several months, Egypt, France and the United States have proposed bridging ideas that could help resolve the dilemma. Unfortunately, Washington is said to be leaning towards a partial agreement that excludes Jerusalem. However, any agreement that excludes Jerusalem will not be supported by the Palestinians, nor by many Israelis, especially as Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has promised to take any such agreement to a referendum or resort to general elections. Both parties know well that delaying an agreement on Jerusalem could only allow the situation there to fester and the city to become an even more dangerous security problem for all concerned.

The Complex Reality on the Ground

The Barak government has continued its predecessor's policy of seeking to negotiate from faits accomplis. Consequently, the atmosphere on the ground has continued to change even as the negotiations are going on, making any withdrawal from Jerusalem or its surroundings more difficult still.

Israel's rather harsh measures against the Palestinians in East Jerusalem have continued during the sixteen months of Barak's governance. He has exploited his good relations with the Clinton Administration to evade implementing signed agreements. He has expanded Jewish settlements and finished what Netanyahu could not even begin, namely the encirclement of Jerusalem through construction in the Abu Ghneim suburb, that had strained Arab-American and American-Israeli relations during Netanyahu's tenure. House demolitions still continue as well. Thirteen more houses have been demolished since May 1999.

Confiscation of Identity Cards. The confiscation of identity cards from Arab residents of Jerusalem also continues, with 2,200 withdrawn over the last three years. Some 900 cases of confiscated identity cards were reported in 1999 alone, affecting 2,466 citizens. Nineteen Palestinian citizens were deported. Of the thousands of IDs withdrawn only 78 were returned.

However the policy of exclusion has backfired. Instead of reducing the number of Palestinians in Jerusalem, that population in East Jerusalem has increased to unprecedented levels. Palestinians have flooded into the city in the last few years to escape the Israeli measures of ID confiscation. By comparison, the number of Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem has increased to 180,000 in this period. The number of Palestinians in Al-Quds has tripled since 1967 in spite of Israeli confiscation of as many as 100,000 identity cards and the demolition of an estimated 2000 homes. Today, some 233,000 Palestinians reside in the city and 40,000 more are outside the city boundaries awaiting permission to re-enter. Even in the highly contested Old City, there are 27,000 Palestinian inhabitants and only 2000 Israeli inhabitants.

House Demolition. The Israeli Ministry of Interior speaks of more than 20,000 "illegal" houses having been built in East Jerusalem. In 1999, the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem issued 141 demolition orders, 19 of which were carried out.

A demolition order was also issued for a mosque in the village of Walajeh, that borders on the Jerusalem settlement of Gilo and is expanding in its direction.

Three more houses were demolished by the end of August 2000, increasing to 92 the number of homes demolished and hundreds of people displaced since the Oslo agreement was signed. Yet Israeli efforts to keep the demographic "balance" at 73.5% Israeli versus 26.5% Palestinian were denied by Palestinian growth, shifting the ratio to 33% Palestinian to 67% Israeli by the end of 1999. In many ways, Israeli attempts to impose a "Jewish" character on the City have failed both demographically and in terms of religion. Exclusivism has failed, as the open multi-faith character of the city today testifies.

Arab residents in Jerusalem have reportedly built 6000 housing units on Arab-owned land in the last several years -- considered illegal by Israel -- openly challenging Israel's settlement policy and evading Israeli building restrictions.

Residency Rights. East Jerusalemites are less preoccupied today about Israeli authority or prospective Palestinian authority than about the prevailing lack of authority. Arabs in Jerusalem continue to boycott to Israeli city council elections, since they do not recognize it. They benefit from less than 10% of the municipal budget though they comprise 33% of the population. Nonetheless, hundred of Jerusalemites have opted for the Israeli ID cards in order to ensure access to health care and their other rights in the city.

East Jerusalem is far from being integrated with West Jerusalem. Israelis rarely come to the East, and vice versa. In many ways, East Jerusalem is already detached from the West and it will be difficult not to treat it otherwise after thirty years of occupation.

Deterring Palestinian Institutions in Jerusalem. There are some 200 Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem today with a monthly budget of approximately US$30 million. They are an important component of the city's life. However Israel has continued over the last two years to violate pledges it made to the Palestinians of East Jerusalem. It has often banned meetings of local NGOs and tried to close some that it accused of being parts of the Palestinian National Authority. It has also sought to isolate Orient House by refusing to allow international dignitaries permission to meet the PLO negotiations bureau there.

The "Greater Jerusalem" Plan. Greater Jerusalem is an area of over 440 km2, three quarters of which lies within the pre-1967 borders and includes the Jewish ring settlements of Givat Ze'ev and Ma'ale Adumim. The "Greater Jerusalem" plan seeks in part to prevent an anticipated demographic parity between Palestinians and Jews, largely due to the higher birth rate in the Palestinian population. When one adds the population of 500,000 Jewish settlers expected by 2015 to the present population of West Jerusalem and the surrounding areas due to be included in the "umbrella municipality" the Israeli demographic goal of 70% Jewish and 30% Palestinian will have been reached. Under the plan, Arab Jerusalem would be permanently separated from the Palestinian towns of Ramallah and Bethlehem that would be incorporated into Jewish Greater Jerusalem. The Barak government has continued even more vigorously to implement this plan promoted by the late Yitshak Rabin and his successor, Benjamin Netanyahu. A US$180 million tunnel construction project has begun under Jerusalem's Mt. Scopus to link Israel's national road network with the settlement of Ma'ale Adumim.

Jerusalem in the Negotiations

In the last two years, and particularly since the election of Ehud Barak as Prime Minister of Israel in May 1999, the Jerusalem has emerged as a central issue in the final status negotiations. However the only agreement reached during this period between Palestinians and Israelis was that signed in Sharm El-Sheikh. It did not address the issue of the holy city per se, but did link the interim stage of the negotiations that includes the implementation of earlier agreements to a "Framework Agreement" on the final status negotiations that include Jerusalem.

Main issues at stake. The crucial outstanding questions are related to sovereignty (who will control the city?), access (who has the right to enter the city?), residency (who has the right to live in the city?) and borders (whatconstitute the legitimate geographical boundaries of the city?).

Israelis and Palestinians have agreed that Jerusalem should remain an open and undivided city, but they differ over the question of sovereignty. Israeli continues to insist that Jerusalem remain under its sovereignty, while the PLO is determined that it become the shared capital of both Israel and a Palestinian state.

Hurdles remaining to be crossed are: the future of Jewish settlements established within the city boundaries after the Arab sector was annexed following the 1967 war; Israel's refusal to allow Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza to enter the city or to establish residency there; the fate of the some 233,000 current Arab residents of the city who are denied civil and political rights equal to those enjoyed by Israeli citizens; the right of return for some 40,000 Arab Jerusalemites now forbidden to enter the city; and the right of Arab residents to participate in future planning, zoning, and the provision of services for the occupied sector of the city currently exercised by the Israeli (Jewish) municipal council of Jerusalem.

Despite the ever changing "facts on the ground" in terms of the demographics and geography of Jerusalem, there are now some signs of movement at political levels that narrow the gaps separating the parties on issues of sovereignty and the administration of the city and the holy places.

The Camp David Summit of July 2000. The future status of Jerusalem was central to the recent Camp David Summit. Negotiating committees were set up there on refugees, borders and security. However, in the midst of the negotiations Israel insisted that no further progress was possible until an understanding on the question of Jerusalem was reached. The parties turned their attention to Jerusalem but did not reach an understanding and the summit ended without an agreement.

In those discussions Jerusalem was divided into two sections, the Old City within the walls of Jerusalem and the city outside the walls. They showed profound differences with respect both to substance and approach.

The Israeli position, transmitted to the Palestinians through the American mediators, proposed Israeli sovereignty over the Haram-Al-Sharif (Holy Sanctuary) with Palestinian "sponsorship" (i.e. administration by the Islamic Waqfs and the presence of the Palestinian flag). The Muslim, Christian and Armenian quarters would also be under Israeli sovereignty, except for a building complex (similar to an embassy) within the Muslim neighborhood that would be under Palestinian sovereignty. As for the city outside the walls, Israel proposed Israeli sovereignty with Palestinian municipal administration over these neighborhoods near the Abu Dis municipality. According to Palestinian sources, they also suggested Palestinian sovereignty over all but two Palestinian villages surrounding Jerusalem, and they proposed building an Israeli highway through Palestinian villages to connect their own settlements and a separate access road for the Palestinians to the Dome of the Rock.

The Palestinian position is based on an elaboration of UN Security Council Resolution 242 and demands Israeli withdrawal from all parts of East Jerusalem occupied after 1967 that would come under Palestinian sovereignty. This proposal would give Israel administrative control, but not sovereignty over the Jewish neighborhood within the walled city and the Wailing Wall. The Palestinians also proposed that the whole of Jerusalem be an open city with shared responsibility for municipal services.

After the summit ended without a final agreement the Israeli government said that it considered all proposals made in Camp David null and void, and the Clinton Administration accepted this.

A Taboo has been Shattered. In fact, Israel's position has started to move closer towards that of the international community. New voices are speaking out in favor of the "division" of the city and recognition of "legitimate" Palestinian rights in it. A prominent political commentator in the leading Israeli daily, Ha'aretz, in a recent article entitled "Courage to Divide," said: ""We will never see the end of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute and Jerusalem will become a scene of bloodshed for generations unless we have the courage to say Yes, Jerusalem must be divided." Meron Benvinisti, the Israeli historian and former deputy mayor of Jerusalem, ridiculed what are termed "creative" ideas on Jerusalem and insisted that only a division or sharing of the city could be viable in the long term.

Ha'aretz editorialists have told Barak that he should forego the "myth" of Jewish holy places that could not be given up in the Dome of the Rock and the Esplanade and claims to sovereignty over places where Muslims pray. That advice, if followed, would set an important precedent applicable to the Christian places as well.

The "Peace Now" movement in Israel is carrying out a new campaign under the slogan: "One City, Capital of Two States". Many Israelis, including six moderate members of the Jerusalem municipality, have signed a petition that demands the sharing of Jerusalem with the Palestinians as a capital of their state. Recent polls show that an increasing number of Israelis are accepting the legitimacy of Palestinian rights to Jerusalem, 55% of those sharing this view said they were supporters of the governing Labor party.

A no less important change has taken place on the official level. Traditionally, Israel has taken a hard, inflexible line on the city, but this position has been substantially moderated in recent months. It always insisted that its claim to Jerusalem as its "Eternal and United Capital" was non-negotiable and that outside parties should not interfere. However, over the last several months Israel has accepted to negotiate over the future status of the city and even encouraged third parties to offer "creative ideas" on how to resolve the question. At Camp David, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak moderated his position and agreed to the principle of partitioning the city. In so doing he shattered the taboo of "United Jerusalem" and seems to be pulling Israel along with him, however slowly, to face the facts of what making peace in the region requires.

But Barak is under severe political pressure and needs help to grasp the historical opportunity at hand and to avoid repeating the mistake of Lebanon. There he made the courageous and ultimately popular decision to withdraw Israel's occupying forces, but failed to capitalize on that move to make a historical peace with both Syria and Lebanon because he was unwilling to concede sovereignty over a few hundred meters of shoreline on Lake Tiberius. More than ever, Barak needs today the wisdom and vision to go the extra mile toward reconciliation in Jerusalem. By going all the way in the Holy City, he could go down in history as the one who set the final stone in the solid foundation for durable peace in the Holy Land that his predecessor, Yitzhak Rabin, gave his life in building.

The Benefits for Israel. Many in Israel agree that a solution to the Jerusalem question is beneficial to Israel. First, and presumably most important for Israel, is its security. As one of Israel's leading sociologists, Baruch Kimmerling, put it recently, sharing Jerusalem with the Palestinians as the capital of a their state is the best way to safeguard the security of Israel in the long run. This view is increasingly discussed in Israel. Ever more Israelis seem to be coming to terms with the reality that the Palestinians' struggle for justice cannot be partialized or contained by military or police force. As events in these last days of September 2000 have so tragically demonstrated, if the parties are unable to reach an agreement that includes Jerusalem, violence will find its way into the streets of the Holy City, the "capital of Israel". This is a development no reasonable Israeli official or citizen wants. Second is international recognition. By recognizing Palestinian rights to Al-Quds (East Jerusalem) Israel will pave the way to international recognition of its claim to Yerushalyim (West Jerusalem). So far, as former British Foreign Secretary Malcom Rifkind put it, the international community considers Israel "to be a military power in East Jerusalem and to have only de facto authority over West Jerusalem." In confirmation of this, less than two years ago the UN General Assembly voted 149 to 1 voted in favor of a resolution that held Israel's decision to impose its laws and jurisdiction and administration over the Holy City of Jerusalem to be illegal and therefore null and void.

Since sovereignty is embedded in recognition by the international community, Israel has much to gain in accepting the international community's demand that it relinquish its claims as an occupying power in Al-Quds and much to gain in terms of international recognition of it sovereignty in Yerushalyim, and the Jewish Quarter and the Wailing Wall in the Old City. Not a one of the world's 192 sovereign states recognizes Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem today. With an agreement, most of them would.

The Palestinians are Ready for a Solution. It is widely believed that the Palestinians are prepared to make a deal. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is ready to agree to any lasting solution on Jerusalem that includes shared sovereignty, divided sovereignty or a mix of both as part of a final solution to the conflict with Israel. In other words, the Palestinians seem ready to accept a political separation in a physically undivided Jerusalem: divided sovereignty and shared control of Jerusalem. The Palestinians are asking that Al-Quds comprise no more than one third of the size of Jerusalem as officially recognized at the time of Partition in 1948. Two-thirds of that city was illegally seized by Israel, which has since confiscated most of the Arab property and built its governmental institutions there.

The Need for a Creative and Lasting Solution

Despite the demographic changes in the city, there are no integrated neighborhoods in today's Jerusalem. Therefore neither sovereignty nor administrative authority should be an obstacle in the way of peace. Political separation between the Arab, Christian and Muslim East and the Jewish West is now possible. A fully open city is possible with a form of symbolic, shared or divided sovereignty replacing the imposed barriers and blockades within the city boundaries.

As for the Muslim and Jewish holy places, Arafat has recently said that he recognizes the Jewish right to worship at the Western Wall and that worshipers would enjoy security under full Israeli protection. This position is echoed by Israel, that has said that Muslims who wish to worship at the Al-Aqsa Mosque should not have to undergo Israeli security checks. Moreover, the Basic Agreement between the Holy See and the Palestine Liberation Organization (attached) signed on February 15, 2000 has underlined the importance of "freedom of religion" and "freedom of conscience" and the need to protect the equality of human and civil rights for all citizens in the Holy Land and particularly in the Holy City. While denouncing unilateral actions affecting Jerusalem, that agreement also ensured that access to the Christian holy places be open and safeguarded.

All of this ought to bode well for a historic decision on Jerusalem that would pave the way toward real peace. It could build on the example of Washington D.C. that has a special autonomous status and a special police force. In Jerusalem, such a police force could report to the police forces of the two respective countries. It could also have an administrative structure for a fully demilitarized, open and physically undivided city. The option also exists of including the approximately one million population of surrounding towns and villages in a cosmopolitan city.

As a reward for making peace in Jerusalem, and as a means of guaranteeing security and coexistence in the city, the international community could move some of its substantive institutions or their branches to the city, and in so doing help to revive the economy and improve living conditions. Jerusalem could become a force of stability and coexistence rather than a source of division and conflict. This could be aided by international encouragement for a special religious and political status of Jerusalem.

There are rational ways today to accommodate conflicting imperatives regarding Jerusalem. If the parties intend to reach a final settlement, then the issue of Jerusalem should not be postponed. The Holy City should be seen as an asset rather than an obstacle in the negotiations. In fact, if approached the right way, Jerusalem could be the reservoir of spiritual as well as the political refreshment that would nurture peace instead of being a poisoned well that threatens it. Jerusalem should be the engine for peace, a source of stability and coexistence, rather than a casual inheritor of the peace process, or worse: a continuing source of division and conflict.

International pressure on those directly or indirectly involved in the negotiations has yielded many benefits, and the international position on Jerusalem is winning the day, slowly, but steadily. Israeli exclusivism and narrow claims over the city are being abandoned in favour of the emerging pragmatic and probable solution for Jerusalem of sharing the city.

These developments underscore the importance of the appeal by the World Council of Churches (WCC) that the churches around the world speak out even more boldly and in unison and stand in solidarity with the local Christians. The efforts and initiatives of international Christian bodies and the local Christian communities need to be more closely coordinated for more effective ecumenical advocacy.

Legal, moral and political pressure needs to be maintained in order to nudge the parties to make the extra effort to reach a settlement in Jerusalem and in the Holy Land. The recent participation of Christian representatives in the Jerusalem special meeting of Muslim Foreign Ministers in Morocco, in August 2000, was a welcome step in the right direction. So was the attendance of representatives of Christian communities at the special session of the Arab League in September 2000, where the Arab "face" of East Jerusalem was clearly and unequivocally portrayed by Muslim and Christian participants alike.

As one Christian scholar has put it, the parties to the peace process need less to seek to solve the problem of Jerusalem than to listen to the Holy City for it will resolve their differences. It is opening its gates and the parties to the conflict dare not shy away from it now, but rather enter it together, for it is only by finding a solution to the question of Jerusalem that will they be set free.

World Council of Churches and the Question of Jerusalem since December 1998

Immediately after the Eighth WCC Assembly in December 1998 adopted its "Statement on the Status of Jerusalem", WCC International Relations staff embarked on a series of new meetings with the Heads of Churches and Christian Communities of Jerusalem and with the leadership of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC), to present and seek their advice on follow-up. Numerous meetings have been held since, both in Geneva and Jerusalem, to discuss the peace process, especially the future status of Jerusalem. WCC representatives met again with all the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches and Christian Communities, as well as with Muslim and Jewish religious leaders and scholars, civil society partners, politicians and officials of the Israeli government and the Palestinian National Authority.

The evolving situation of Jerusalem has been continuously monitored, and information, analysis and advocacy proposals have been provided to both local and international churches and partners. There has been a strong emphasis on accompanying and supporting the local churches, articulating and interpreting their positions to the international ecumenical fellowship and on building awareness and an informed Christian network worldwide. Efforts have been made to support and strengthen local civil society organizations, especially those working on human rights and peace concerns.

Relations with the Local Churches. In an official letter to the General Secretary of the WCC in 1999, the Patriarchs and Heads of the Christian communities in Jerusalem requested that Jerusalem be kept high on the Council's agenda during the critical period of the final status talks when the two parties agreed to negotiate the future of Jerusalem. The WCC Central Committee in 1999 responded positively to this request and reiterated its conviction that Jerusalem is central to the faith of Christians and calling again on them to pray and work "for the peace of Jerusalem".

At a high level closed meeting in October 1999 facilitated by the WCC and the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) Jerusalem Liaison Office, the churches of Jerusalem decided to set up a committee of lay experts to advise them on legal matters relating to the final status negotiations and asked WCC to accompany this process. Subsequently some church leaders expressed their desire to visit to Geneva and Rome to meet with the General Secretary and the Pope for mutual consultations. But for various reasons, neither one of those plans have materialized.

During the Camp David talks the three Patriarchs of Jerusalem wrote a significant letter (attached) to President Clinton, Mr. Barak and Mr. Arafat reminding the negotiators of the ages-long presence of the local Christians in the Holy Land alongside the two other Abrahamic faiths. They appealed to them to ensure that no final decision would be taken which would separate the Christian communities. They referred in particular to the inseparability of the Christian and Armenian Quarters in the Old City that are "firmly united by the same faith". Any arrangement for Jerusalem, they went on to say, should ensure the fundamental freedoms of worship and access by all Christians to their holy sanctuaries and their headquarters in the Old City with a system of international guarantees. The Patriarchs requested the right of representatives of their Patriarchates and of the Custos of the Holy Land to be at the negotiating table. The church leaders later met with the leadership of the Palestinian National Authority to reiterate their support for the Palestinian demand for sovereignty over East Jerusalem

The churches leaders have urged the WCC to hold firm to its 1998 principles on the status of Jerusalem, that were based on the WCC Central Committee's 1994 "Memorandum of the Churches on the Significance of Jerusalem". In addition they asked the WCC to strengthen its leadership role in international advocacy, in cooperation with its member churches, other regional ecumenical bodies, Roman Catholic Bishops Conferences, Church World Communions, and intergovernmental and governmental bodies.

Relations with the Holy See. Discussions continued with the Apostolic Delegate of the Holy See to Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and a meeting was held with a senior official of the Holy See's State Secretariat to learn more about the position of the Holy See on the status of Jerusalem, to share the WCC's position and concerns, and to explore areas of mutual interest and possible action in favor of maintaining and strengthening the Christian presence in the Holy Land.

Local and Regional Advocacy. The WCC's statement of principles on the status on Jerusalem was communicated and interpreted to a wider public audience in Israel and Palestine in an effort to influence public opinion and encourage further dialogue. In 2000, this included participation in an international human rights conference held in Jerusalem and placing a newspaper advertisement in local papers on that occasion. The WCC statement is also being distributed to ecumenical groups visiting the Holy Land through the local Ecumenical Outreach Programme, and being translated into Arabic for wider circulation throughout the Middle East. Further discussions have been held with MECC leadership and member churches and with local ecumenical and civil society groups on possible avenues of dialogue and cooperation on a regional basis.

The WCC team on Interreligious Relations and Dialogue has addressed the issues from an interfaith perspective, especially through consultations on the Spiritual Significance of Jerusalem (Glion 1993, Thessaloniki 1996). These were organised in close collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews and the Lutheran World Federation. Building on these experiences and in response to requests from Christians, Jews and Muslims in the interfaith network, the team is exploring ways to contribute further to the Council's work on the Status of Jerusalem in cooperation with International Relations. In the area of service and development, the Regional Relations team has continued its cooperation with the MECC's Department for Service to Palestine Refugees and with international funding partners to support that work.

Awareness Building and International Advocacy

Europe. International Relations staff joined representatives of ICCO and EZE, and Palestinian NGOs in the founding meeting of the European NGOs Inter-network for Palestine (ENIP), and participated in the November 1999 APRODEV delegation to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. ENIP organized a briefing session with European Parliamentarians urging them to take the necessary steps to ensure a constructive role for the EU in the Middle East for the establishment of an independent, sovereign, democratic, viable and peaceful Palestinian state. ENIP, a network of secular and Roman Catholic and Protestant organizations and coalitions, is organizing an advocacy campaign in different European countries in October 2000.

WCC International Relations sponsored a public presentation at the Ecumenical Center in Geneva in September 2000 on the geopolitical situation in Israel and Palestine, to which were invited UN policy makers, government missions, NGOs, local churches and the media.

USA. In cooperation with the WCC-USA office, International Relations facilitated a week-long study seminar and exposure tour on the Question of Jerusalem for young adults from member churches in the USA. The main aims of this pilot project were to allow young adults from WCC member churches to learn first hand the main issues at stake for the future of Jerusalem, to listen and learn from the communities living in Jerusalem, to experience first hand the realities on the ground and to foster an advocacy network for Jerusalem. (Full report available) There are plans to continue activity on an annual basis, providing opportunity to young adults from member churches from around the world to learn first-hand about the reality of Jerusalem.

The WCC also offered support for the nation-wide campaign for a Shared Jerusalem launched by the Churches for Middle East Peace in the USA and welcomed the letter sent by the leaders of American Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Churches to President Clinton promoting a shared Jerusalem.