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Israel and Palestine - 60 years

Israel and Palestine - 60 years, comment by the World Council of Churches general secretary

09 May 2008

Comment by the World Council of Churches general secretary

Just as 2008 marks 60 years of aspirations dedicated to securing a homeland for Israelis, 2008 also marks 60 years of the disintegration of Palestinian society and dispersal of some 750,000 Palestinians as refugees. To date, the situation in the Palestinian Territories reflects the absence of peace and a continuation of occupation and conflict. While Israelis celebrate the 60th anniversary of their state, Palestinians are marking six decades of displacement and dispossession.

May this anniversary year cause us all to recommit to the goal both Israelis and Palestinians share that neither can attain without the other, namely, a just peace.

To that end, from 4 to 10 June 2008, WCC member churches and related organizations on five continents are organizing a collective public witness for peace. From Australia to Canada, Norway to Sri Lanka to South Africa, churches will observe this anniversary year with a week of awareness-raising and advocacy called International Church Action for Peace in Palestine and Israel. It is time, we believe, for both nations to share a just peace.

Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia

General Secretary

World Council of Churches