Time for a Mideast Reset


We fully agree with a commentary’s plea for peace, urging Palestinians and Israelis to rise above hate and violence (“On 50th anniversary of war, a plea for peace,” May 30). For 50 years, Israel has occupied the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, creating Jewish-only settlements; bulldozing more than 800,000 olive trees; claiming the water in the West Bank; demolishing Palestinian homes; maintaining checkpoints that hold Palestinians for hours on their way to their lands, schools and hospitals; and imprisoning them without charge. The 1949 Geneva Accords, signed by Israel, outlaw the occupation and all those activities. Ancient Israelite law ordained every 50th year as a time to right wrongs involving property and restore equity; all holdings must be returned to their original owners. The United States should help restore justice by withholding its annual $3 billion aid, 90 percent of which goes to buy American weapons, and should press Israel to grant Palestinians their human rights.

Rabbi Meryl Crean, Glenside, and the Rev. Cliff Cutler, Chestnut Hill

Christmas in the Middle East – December 17

The Venerable Canon Bill Schwartz, Archdeacon of the Anglican Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf will be at Saint Paul’s for a reception and talk on December 17 at 7 p.m. at the Rectory, 18 E. Chestnut Hill Avenue. Everyone is invited. Bill is one of the best and most knowledgeable evangelists for Christianity in this part of the world.

Archdeacon Schwartz will be discussing Christianity in the Middle East, past, present and future. He will provide firsthand testimony and perspective on the crucial and life-giving work our Anglican Communion is doing throughout the Middle East, and answer your questions. Perhaps most importantly, Archdeacon Bill can offer thoughts and ideas about how our diocese might form closer bonds of friendship with the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, and walk with our sisters and brothers in that region as they experience extraordinary challenges, changes, and a sense of hope.

Bill, originally from Nebraska, has been in Cyrpus for forty years. The Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf comprises a huge geographical area, including Cyprus, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq,and Yemen. Churches throughout the region are under the care of Bishop Michael Lewis and Archdeacon Bill Schwartz. Please plan to attend this stimulating evening at the Rectory with Archdeacon Bill to discuss the Christian Church in the Middle East– both the birthplace of Christianity, and where Christians today are facing some of the most serious challenges confronting the Church anywhere in the world. For more information, please contact Cliff at 215-242-2055 and ccutler@stpaulschestnuthill.org.