Religious Leaders Send Letter to U.S. and Arab Officials Calling for Mideast Peace

An appeal for peace to the heads of 15 nations at war in the Middle East has been sent jointly by the Archbishop of Philadelphia, John Cardinal Krol; the president of the Philadelphia Board of Rabbis, Rabbi Elias Charry; and the executive director of the Metropolitan Christian Council of Philadelphia, Dr. Rufus Cornelsen. Copies of the open letter were also sent to President Richard M. Nixon, Secretary of State William P. Rogers and the United Nations Secretary General U Thant. This was the first time, according to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, that the city’s three major religious leaders had formulated a mutual statement of concern on an international moral issue. In the letters the three religious leaders declared:

“We appeal to you to desist forthwith from military conflict and to begin direct negotiations with one another to seek an unopposed peace so that the people of the Middle East can develop their full creative potential. This is civilization’s only proven way of bringing about a peace which is just and will endure. We speak in the name of God and out of compassion for humanity. We are brothers. Common to our faiths–Islam, Christianity and Judaism–is the imperative that we live as brothers.” The addressees included Israel Prime Minister Golda Meir, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, Jordanian King Hussein and other heads of state of Arab nations.

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