The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales on January 30, 2020, voiced opposition to the “Peace to Prosperity” plan for the Holy Land proposed by the US Government. The UK government has expressed support for the plan.

The Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land issued on January 29, 2020, also raised concerns about the ‘Peace-to-Prosperity’ plan.

The Bishops’ statement follows:

Our governments have a responsibility to uphold international law and protect human dignity in the Holy Land. This unilateral initiative does not do so.

We are extremely concerned that the UK government has welcomed the proposal. The government should continue to insist upon meaningful dialogue, a viable two-state solution and the application of international law.

We echo the words of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land:

For decades the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict has been at the center of many peace initiatives and proposals for a solution.

As has been said many times in the past, we think that no proposal and no serious perspective could be reached without the agreement of the two peoples, Israelis and Palestinians. These proposals have to be based on equal rights and dignity.

The plan “Peace-to-Prosperity” does not contain these conditions. It does not give dignity and rights to the Palestinians. It is to be considered a unilateral initiative since it endorses almost all the demands of one side, the Israeli one, and its political agenda. On the other hand, this plan does not really take into consideration the just demands of the Palestinian people to their homeland, human rights, and a dignified life.

This plan will bring no solution, but rather will create more tensions and probably more violence and bloodshed.

We expect that the previous agreements signed between the two parties be respected and improved based upon complete human equality among peoples.

We call on all churches to pray for the Holy Land, to work towards justice and peace and to be the voice of the voiceless.

The Rt Rev Declan Lang
Bishop of Clifton
Lead Bishop, International Affairs
Catholic Bishops’ Conference England and Wales

The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun
Lord Bishop of Southwark
Lead Bishop, International Affairs
Church of England

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