September 26, 2011
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, comments on the Palestinians’ pursuit of statehood by the United Nations.
“The idea of the United Nations arbitrarily and unilaterally declaring
Palestinian statehood would be catastrophic to the cause of peace in the Middle East. The borders and the reality of a Palestinian state must be hammered out by direct negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis. They are the ones who are going to live as neighbors side by side in peace.
“This attempt by the Palestinian Authority to do an end run around
direct negotiations and to gain this diplomatic advantage in the U.N. is counter-productive to the hopes for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
The chief stumbling block in the negotiations has always been the
Palestinians’ refusal to accept the fact of Israel – that it exists and will continue to exist as a Jewish state. The effort by the Palestinians to achieve a form of statehood without direct negotiations with the Israelis will set the cause of true Middle East peace back in important and significant ways, and it should be opposed by our government and by every peace-loving government in the world.”
The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest non-Catholic denomination with more than 16.2 million members in over 44,000 churches
nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn. and Washington, D.C.