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December 10, 2012
The Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America (BPFNA) affirms the November 29, 2012 action of the U.N. Assembly to admit Palestine as a non-member observer state. This action, which came 65 years to the day of the adoption of Resolution 181 partitioning the British mandate of Palestine, at last signifies movement to allow the people of Palestine the dignity under international law to claim a homeland. While it is likely that outbreaks of violence on the ground will continue, this action presents a successful (non-violent) diplomatic strategy. It advances Palestinian national aspirations and demonstrates there are alternatives to the armed struggle that Hamas and Israel have asserted is necessary.
The resolution passed with 139 delegates voting yes, 9 no, and 41 of the 193 members abstaining. The 9 no votes were cast by Israel, the U.S., Canada, the Czech Republic, Panama, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, the Marshall Islands, and Nauru (these Pacific Island states are former U.S. trust territories. They have special security and international affairs agreements with the U.S. and generally vote with the U.S.). The only BPFNA nation that voted in support of the resolution was Mexico.
We urge the BPFNA membership to monitor the responses to this significant U.N. action in local, national, and international forums, as well as in faith communities. We also encourage participation in interfaith forums that help contribute solutions toward resolving this complex and enduring challenge in the Holy Land. For one example, read about a New York Synagogue's debate on the resolution and the congregation’s differing perspectives.
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