THE world’s largest ecumenical body, the World Council of Churches (WCC), has expressed “deep concern and disappointment” at the decision by the United States to veto a UN resolution that condemned Israeli settlements in the Palestinian Territories.
In a note sent to all its 349 member Churches, the WCC asked them to pray and “to be involved in proactive ecumenical advocacy in solidarity with the Churches in the Middle East”.
The position of Christians in the Middle East was one of the main issues discussed at the gathering of the decision-making body of the WCC, the Central Committee, which met in Geneva from 16 to 22 February.
The WCC resolution, which was passed at the end of the Council’s meeting, censured President Obama for allowing the US to veto a UN Security Council resolution last week, condemning Israeli settlements as an obstacle to peace.
(From the Church Times, 25th February)
There is also a report (by Johanna Rogers) on the children of Gaza:
Still blockaded, Gaza is suffering severe poverty. Children feel it the most.
Two years after the military offensive that brought death and destruction to Gaza, life in the strip remains bleak. Largely cut off from the rest of the world by the blockade imposed by Israel, it is now the most impoverished place in the Middle East.
About 80 per cent of the population is dependent on international aid, and unemployment stands at about 39 per cent, among the highest in the world.
Children, in particular, are still traumatised by the events of early 2009, when the Israeli army bulldozed its way into residential areas. The ensuing conflict killed more than 1300 people, injured more than 5000, and, the UN says, destroyed or badly damaged more than 20,000 homes.
Many children in Gaza now live in great hardship, while their parents struggle to provide for their basic needs, such as shelter, clothes, or food…
Kim: Two words come to mind: on the US veto: appeasement; on the Israeli blockade: inhumanity.