Clergy Asks U.S. to Push Mideast Peace
A group of more than 500 prominent U.S. Jewish, Muslim and Christian religious leaders today called on the United States to support a Middle East policy that would guarantee Israel’s security and Palestinian self-determination.
The new group, the U.S. Interreligious Committee for Peace in the Middle East, accused the Reagan Administration of abandoning any purposeful policy toward the region and said the government should be working actively for an international conference of Israel, the Arab states and the Palestinians.
Ron Young, executive director of the committee, said the group has been in the process of coming together for several months but acknowledged that the unrest and violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza provided new urgency to the group’s effort to refocus U.S. attention on the region.
‘Situation ... Disastrous’
“Recent events dramatically demonstrate that the current situation is disastrous for the Palestinians and, in the long run, will be disastrous for Israel as well,” Young said.
The new American committee includes some of the nation’s most prominent rabbis and clerics on its board.
Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg said that the group is “passionately committed to a moderate solution” to the Middle East situation and that “the only possible solution . . . is an untidy accommodation,” or partition, in which there can be no “undivided Israel” or “undivided Palestine.”