ERUSALEM, September 21, 2010 – The Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land (CRIHL) met in Jerusalem on Monday, September 20, and drafted the following statement which was copied to Senator Mitchell in support of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations:
September 21, 2010
The Honorable Senator George Mitchell
US Special Envoy to the Middle East
c/o David Hale, Deputy Special Envoy to the Middle East
Dear Senator Mitchell,
The Council of the Religious Institutions of the holy Land (CRIHL) representing the high official Israeli and Palestinian religious authorities, welcomes and supports the resumption of peace negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian governments in the spirit of peace, justice and reconciliation.
The CRIHL wishes to thank the US administration for its ongoing efforts and reiterates the importance of respecting the religious attachments of the three religions – Jewish, Christian and Muslim – in the holy land and especially in Jerusalem. The members of the CRIHL accordingly encourage all parties to persist in this process and reaffirm the conviction that it is our shared responsibility to find the right way to live together in peace.
In accordance with the declaration of the religious leaders of the CRIHL when hosted in Washington DC, “we urge all those in positions of leadership involved in the negotiations, to seek the advice of religious leadership of our respective communities, especially on issues regarding holy sites and the holy city of Jerusalem” and “to engage religious leadership in efforts to prevent religion from being used as a source of conflict, and instead serve the goals of just and comprehensive peace and reconciliation.”
On behalf of the CRIHL,
Rev. Dr. Trond Bakkevig, CRIHL Convener
The CRIHL represents the high religious authorities of the Holy Land: the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, the Palestinian Ministry of Religious Affairs (Waqf), the Palestinian Sharia Courts and the assembly of the Heads of Churches of Jerusalem. For more information, please visit the CRIHL website.