Dr. Ashrawi: ELCA briefing on Palestine
Dr. Ashrawi: “The search for a just peace requires international commitment”
Today, PLO Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, conducted two separate meetings with a visiting delegation from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) headed by Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton, the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA, and with British Consul General Dr. Alastair McPhail, at the PLO Headquarters in Ramallah.
Dr. Ashrawi briefed the ELCA delegation on the latest political developments, including current Palestinian initiatives and political options for the future; Israel’s ongoing violations of international law and human rights, including the escalation in Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise, the expansion of the apartheid wall and checkpoints, the annexation and political, geographical and cultural transformation of Jerusalem, the targeting of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and its worshipers and Israel’s efforts to incite a holy war in the region, Israel’s most recent horrific war in Gaza, the superimposition of ‘Greater Israel’ on historical Palestine, and Israeli policies of ethnic cleansing, particularly in Jerusalem, Area C and the Negev; the substantial diminishment of Christians from Palestine due to Israeli policies of military occupation; Israel’s withholding of Palestinian tax revenues; and the domestic situation and rift in Palestine, as well as issues of mutual interest and cooperation.
Both Dr. Ashrawi and the ELCA Delegation emphasized the need for a just peace and for the American government to play an even-handed role in ceasing Israeli violations.
In her meeting with Dr. McPhail, Dr. Ashrawi stressed, “We call on the British government to vote positively in the future at the United Nations Security Council and support our efforts to seek an end to the military occupation within a definite timeframe, and to recognize the State of Palestine. Such moves would constitute a significant contribution to peace and justice, and rectify the grave historical injustice suffered by the Palestinian people since the days of the British Mandate.
Israel must not be enabled to destroy the two-state solution and the prospects for peace. We call on all members of the international community to put an end to Israel’s culture of violence, impunity, power politics, and militarization, and to support our non-violent course of action towards international law and multilateralism to achieve self-determination and justice,” concluded Dr. Ashrawi.