Gathered in Meeting for Worship, 16 July 2006, Friends felt a teaching Presence in the midst.

In our hearts was a most painful sense of the suffering of the peoples of the Middle East, as markedly intensified hostilities have broken out among the peoples of Israel, Lebanon, and Gaza Palestinian peoples resulting in indiscriminate injury, death, and destruction of homes, infrastructure and habitat. This turmoil coincides with the struggle in Iraq, still under United States occupation since 2003, where increasing death, injury, instability, and chaos signal an ominous acceleration of  inhumanity. The president of the United States refused to join with other nations and the Secretary General of the United Nations to call for a cease-fire and immediate cessation of hostilities

Friends revisited our inmost faith that each person is a precious branch springing from God who has been and is our Holy Ground.  Each person of whatsoever country, religion, or outward difference exists through divine love. We pray that we will experience the calling to witness to the love of God for all persons and to lift up care for all our sisters and brothers. We hold in our hearts that Muslims, Jews, and Christians are descended from Abraham who was chosen to be father of this segment of humanity. Are we not our brother’s and sister’s keeper?

Reliance on weapons and force fosters hostility and harm and is inconsistent with the love and care and justice that we seek for each person in the world.  To answer evil with evil renders us evil. Violence promotes a burgeoning cycle of violence and resultant profound suffering, in body, mind, and spirit. Accordingly, we will learn to speak truth to power to turn away from brutality and weapons of any sort; seek to mend differences nonviolently through acts of love and care; and pursue justice and peace through respectful consultation with all parties.

Therefore, we call upon President George Bush and leaders of all parties engaged in the conflict to join with the international community to call for an immediate cease-fire; to promptly stop the flow of weapons of any kind to warring parties; to provide immediate humanitarian assistance where needed and open sufficient access for delivery of such; obtain UN Peacekeeping missions as indicated;  engage seasoned diplomats of goodwill to promote the peace process; and work toward reconstruction of  destroyed communities.

We Hold in the Light that with sincere effort, our world will be blessed with grace to transform our human shortcomings and that innocent persons will be lifted up and find comfort and peace.


Approved in a Called Meeting at the rise of Meeting for Worship
23 July 2006


This Minute (Epistle) was sent to the following recipients:

Secretary General Kofi Annan, United Nations
President George W. Bush, U.S.A. Permanent Representative of the United States of American to the UN
Iranian Interest Section, Washington, D.C. Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the UN
Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN
Embassy of Lebanon, Washington., D.C. Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the UN
Embassy of Syria, Washington, D.C. Permanent Representative of Syrian Arab Republic to the UN
Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the UN
The Honorable Arlen Specter, Senator of Pennsylvania to the United States Senate
The Honorable Rick Santorum, Senator of Pennsylvania to the United States Senate
The Honorable Jim Gerlach, Representative of Pennsylvania, 6th District, to the United States Congress

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