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The two-state plan and the fate of Jerusalem; contradicting interests

While the Trump-administration proposed a two-state solution, the Executive Committee of the MECC Middle East Council of Churches represent a totally different standpoint.


President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed a new peace plan for the Middle East on Tuesday. The plan includes an independent Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem, Catholic News Agency reports.

Trump said Jan. 28 that the plan offers a “win-win opportunity for both sides” and a “realistic two-state solution that resolves the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel’s security.” 

Netanyahu, who was in Washington on Tuesday for the unveiling of the plan, also used the term “realistic” when describing the proposal and said that it “strikes the right balance where others have failed.” 

In the conflicts that damage the Middle East, Christians in that region can experience “the mystery of God’s love”, his compassion and his love for every human being even in the midst of many difficult circumstances. This is underlined in the statement released by the Executive Committee of the MECC Middle East Council of Churches, gathered on Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 January in Larnaca (Cyprus), for two days of coexistence and common work lived in the context of the Week of prayer for Christian unity. 

Regarding Cyprus, which hosted the ecumenical summit, the members of the Executive Committee of the MECC explicitly asked for an end to the occupation that led to the division of the island, while regarding the situation in Palestine they expressed support to those who suffer “the consequences of the occupation, apartheid policy” and the indiscriminate expansion of illegal settlements on Palestinian territory,

while demanding respect for the freedom of following the rites and practices related to one’s faith for all Palestinians, Christians and Muslims, also in East Jerusalem, defined in the document as “the capital of an independent Palestinian state”.

The final MECC release also expresses support for the Egyptian people committed to free themselves from violence and extremism and to consolidate the principle of citizenship as an essential factor in civilian life. “Inviting the peoples of the region to make the principle of citizenship prevail, together with rights and duties” reads the press release “requires a review of the systems and laws” that helps to combine national unity and recognition of diversity, and free civil life from any sectarianism.

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