ELCA and ELCJHL Response to Jewish Nation-State Law

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In her Aug 6 letter to Bishop Azar of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), Presiding Bishop Eaton joins Bishop Azar in calling on the Israeli Knesset to rescind the recently adopted law titled: “Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People”.

Bishop Azar’s statement on the Jewish Nation-State law calls “on the many citizens of Israel and all people of goodwill to voice their objection to this law, and to stand for a future in which all the people in the land will enjoy equal rights, with equal responsibilities.”

In Bishop Eaton’s letter she writes “Like you, I am quite disturbed about several aspects of this new law. It excludes ethnic and religious groups that have been living in this land for centuries, restricts the international human right to self determination solely for Jews within Israel, determines the status of Jerusalem outside of any negotiation or international agreement, sets forth one language as that of a multilingual nation, and encourages Jewish settlement, which appears to be not restricted to within the de facto pre-1967 borders. A number of these provisions effectively codify a second-class status for all who are not Jews, yet who are citizens or residents of areas under the control of the State of Israel. This is a violation of fundamental democratic principles and internationally-recognized human rights.”

Bishop Eaton calls “upon my own elected officials to object to this law and its intent. I encourage the members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and our ecumenical and inter-religious partners to continue together in the urgent pursuit of a future of peace with justice in Israel and Palestine.”

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