NEW YORK, Jan. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The latest round of Jordanian sponsored talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have concluded without any apparent progress. Both parties made initial proposals of some sort, although precise details were not released due to Jordan's demand for discretion. Israel claims the Palestinian proposals consisted of nothing but old, recycled positions. President Abbas, on the other hand, said the talks are at an impasse because the Israeli proposals lack a "clear vision" on borders and security.
"We pray this does not turn into a squandered opportunity," says Rev. Dr. Bruce Chilton, Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College and Fair Witness Executive Committee member. "The Israelis and Palestinians can take these opening positions -- which is all that the parties were supposed to be presenting in Amman -- and proceed from there to meaningful negotiations. If instead, Israel and the Palestinians stay frozen in the 'blame game,' they will allow yet one more opportunity for peace to slip through their fingers."
"We in the American church should continue to seek out any role we can play in assisting the parties in getting beyond this impasse," notes Rev. Dr. Peter Pettit, Director of the Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding at Muhlenberg College and Fair Witness Executive Committee member. "We should resist any tendency to engage in finger pointing and blame casting that leads only to more conflict and strife, and encourage the parties to build on what they have and go forward to a resolution that brings them justice and peace."
"The tragedy of these two people, each with its own legitimate historic claim and attachment to the same land, needs to end," says Sr. Ruth Lautt, O.P., Esq., Fair Witness National Director. "Not one more Palestinian or Israeli child should have to grow up with the uncertainty and violence that their parents and grandparents have lived with. The challenge to the American church is not to dictate a solution, but rather to support and encourage both the Israelis and Palestinians to find the courage and wisdom to make the difficult compromises necessary to arriving at a just final-status agreement."
SOURCE Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East