Dominicans have worked in the Middle East for over 250 years. Some
of the significant groups in Jerusalem are the Dominican men who
conduct a university program in biblical studies at Ecole Biblique.
Dominican women are working in schools, hospitals, and parish work
In spite of hardship, our sisters continue to conduct schools,
and work in hospitals and with refugees. On a recent visit with
our sisters, they described the deteriorating economic conditions
for the Palestinian people. The present political situation, which
includes the system of checkpoints and restriction on travel, has
contributed to the instability and fear of the people. It is extremely
difficult to obtain travel visas.
On this same visit, it became apparent that most Palestinian and
Israeli people desire peace. According to reliable polls, over 70%
recognize the need for two states and desire compromise and negotiation
to achieve this end. Both groups are suffering; their suffering
may differ greatly, but nonetheless, as one gentleman said, “We
are good people; we deserve peace.” This man’s son had
been killed in the present conflict, and he was co-founder with
a Palestinian woman of a peace initiative
In addition, Dominican women and men are present in Jordan, Lebanon,
Syria, Egypt, and Iraq. While we continue interest in and advocacy
for the people of Israel and Palestine, we recognize the inter-relationships
of the wider region and look toward working, with many others, for
peace in the Middle East.
Working Group on Israel Palestine
The Non-governmental Organization Working Group on Israel Palestine
advocates for a just peace by acting within the United Nations community
to bridge the realities of life on the ground in Israel and the
Occupied Palestinian Territories with international debate and policy.
I. The working group is a coalition of organizations that have
met since 1999 to share information and advocate for a just peace
in Israel Palestine. The working group is a unique body whose individual
members are accredited to the United Nations. Each member must also
have an organizational link to Israel Palestine. This dual commitment
enables the working group to bridge the two communities.
II. The working group maintains that a just settlement of the conflict
would be in accord with international humanitarian and human rights
laws and agreements. Such a settlement would recognize:
• the need to end the occupation of Palestinian territories;
• the illegality of Israeli settlements in those territories;
• the rights of displaced persons;
• the need for representative democracy within Israel and
• the on-going responsibility of international third-party
actors in the resolution of the conflict.
III. The working group's advocacy in the United Nations community
• serving as an information resource for NGOs, Missions, and
United Nations bodies;
• engaging with and supporting Missions on specific issues;
• engaging with and supporting the United Nations work;
• engaging with and supporting other local, regional, and
international organizations working toward a just peace.
IV. The working group supports the centrality of the United Nations
and Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, which call for a resolution
to the conflict.
V. The working group supports nonviolent resolution of the conflict.
The working group sees violence as an impediment to peace.
VI. The working group maintains that peace will only become a reality
when all parties have confidence that a power imbalance has been
corrected, their inalienable human rights are protected, and the
demands of justice are respected.