Shalom Life | December 12, 2014

Christian Clerics from Jerusalem Urge Europe to Recognize Palestinian State

Open letter comes on the heels of Sweden's announcement that they will be the first EU nation to recognize a state of Palestine

By: Daniel Koren

Published: October 10th, 2014 in News » World

Christian Clerics from Jerusalem Urge Europe to Recognize Palestinian State

Photo Caption: East Jerusalem


Days ago, newly appointed Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven announced that Sweden would be the first member of EU to recognize a Palestinian State, bringing in hundreds of theories, editorials and op-eds on the matter, many of which questioning why the Nordic countries are being so cold to Israel, and why Löfven decided to focus on this particular issue over anything else.

Needless to say, Netanyahu and the Israeli government's reaction hasn't been entirely welcoming.

Now, in the wake of Löfven's announcement, three leading Jerusalem-based Christian clerics, all of whom are Palestinian, have written an open-letter to heads of European governments, urging them to follow Sweden's lead and recognize a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The open-letter was written from clerics from Catholic, Green Orthodox and Lutheran sects, including former Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, the Greek Orthodox archbishop of Sebastia, Atallah (Theodosios) Hanna, and Lutheran World Federation president Bishop Munib Younan, stating:

"From Jerusalem, our occupied capital, we send our urgent message to the whole world and particularly to Europe – we are yearning for justice and peace."

"Recognising Palestine and defining Israel's borders is a first step towards that goal," they continued. "We are tired of calls for resumptions of negotiations while we can't reach our churches due to a foreign power and our people continue to be humiliated by an undesirable occupation.

"Europe has a moral, legal and political duty to hold Israel accountable and support Palestinian non-violent initiatives to end the Israeli occupation, including the recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 border with east Jerusalem as its capital."

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