News Brief

A council of clerics from Israel and Palestinian areas launched a platform to support peace and combat incitement. The six-point platform was presented Wednesday in Washington by a panel that includes both Israeli chief rabbis, top Muslim Palestinian judges and leading Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant clerics from Israel and the Palestinian areas. The Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land platform includes plans to set up a panel representing alll the faiths that would condemn media or government incitement against any religious group; a board that would review educational materials for incitement; and a “hot line” to address any emerging crisis surrounding access to holy sites. The group, which consulted with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice two weeks ago, met this week with top congressional members and with State Department officials. It was established to offer religious support to Palestinian and Israeli negotiators who are meeting later this month in a conference to be convened by Rice in Annapolis, Md.

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