Peace in the Middle East

Two page layout from How To Make Peace (still unpublished) written, illustrated and designed by Alicia Bay Laurel

In response to the recent escalation of horrifying events in the middle East, the Shalom Center, a peace organization in Philadelphia, is requesting that people send the letter below to the following:

Hon. Condoleeza Rice, Secretary of State, Call (202) 647-5291; E-mail her from

Hon. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, through Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General, 212-963-7160 or Fax 212-963-7055, or Email at

Dear Madame Secretary of State:
Dear Mr. Secretary-General:

My heart is broken for the dead and the maimed, and for their families, of all our Abrahamic peoples who have suffered anew in the past few weeks.

I fear that the terrible events of last week, last night, this week, may set even worse fires— possibly war that extends into Syria, Iran, possibly a regional conflagration even beyond the terrible toll of death in Iraq.

I think it is morally unacceptable, religiously forbidden, and historically self-destructive for any government or political group to resort to acts of revenge or to such collective punishments as endangering food, fuel, and electricity supplies.

All troops and irregular forces must be brought safely home into their own territories, and must halt all attacks upon their neighbors.

Captives – new and old— who have not been convicted of serious crimes should as an act of compassion be returned safely home.

I think the parties now consumed by violence are too caught in their own fear and anger to take these steps on their own. So I urge the US government to act vigorously to support these steps.

And I urge the United Nations to convene an Emergency Conference for Middle East Peace with the aim both of peacefully resolving the present crisis and moving swiftly toward the conclusion of peace among a secure Israel, an independent and viable State of Palestine, and all the other states of the region. .

I especially ask you to be conscious that you are acting under the gaze of God and history. I pray that the One Who makes peace in the ultimate reaches of the universe will teach us NOW to make peace among all the children of Abraham, and all who dwell upon our planet.
Shalom, salaam, peace!

Remember, you can revise the letter if you wish.

Three other addressees:
Ambassador of Israel, Daniel Ayalon, Public Affairs Office,
Ambassador of Lebanon, Dr. Farid Abboud,
Permanent Observer, Mission of Palestine to the UN, Ambassador Dr. Riyad Mansour: