Frequently Asked Questions
Who can I talk to about NILI and its mission?
Is the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative a 501(C)(3) organization?
I am a religious leader...how can I support this initiative?
I see there is a form in the left margin to request a User account and to log in. Why should I request a user account and what is the advantage of logging in?
About NILI advocacy
Why is interfaith cooperation important in doing advocacy for Middle East peace?
How does NILI achieve agreement on positions it advocates?
How is NILI effective in doing advocacy?
What is NILI’s position on resolving the conflict?
What is NILI’s position on violence and terrorism?
What is NILI’s position on Israeli settlements?
What does NILI say about Palestinian violent attacks and the Israeli “security wall”?
What is NILI’s position on Gaza, Hamas and the split in governance between Gaza and the West Bank?
Q: Who can I talk to about NILI and its mission?
A: Check the list of signers of the latest NILI statement. Contact the religious leader (or the leader's staff) from your community who signed the statement. In addition you can contact Ron Young, NILI Consultant. Ron has more than twenty-five years experience working interreligiously for Middle East peace; you can download his biography or contact him by email or phone: office: (425) 263–9369 or cell: (425) 327–7545. In addition, you can contact one of the religious leaders from your community who works with NILI.
Q: Is the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative a 501(C)(3) organization?
A: We are an informal organization of the leaders involved, not a legal entity; we are non-commercial and not-for-profit."
Q: I am a religious leader...how can I support this initiative?
A: Sign-up to receive Action Alerts from NILI by using the subscription form to the left. Guided by NILI’s most recent message, send a message to your Senators and Representatives. Invite one or more NILI leaders - possibly a Jewish, Christian and Muslim leader - to speak about NILI in your local community. Contact Ron Young about coming to your community.
Q: I see there is a form in the left margin to request a User account and to log in. Why should I request a user account and what is the advantage of logging in?
A: We send out Action Alerts from time to time and they are sent automatically to all registered users, so having an account enables you to receive these notices. We will not use your email address for any other purpose. Logging in will allow you to edit your profile — e.g., to update your email address.
About NILI Advocacy
Q: Why is interfaith cooperation important in doing advocacy for Middle East peace?
A: First, we believe interfaith cooperation for peace is a fundamental imperative of all three Abrahamic religious traditions, so we do it because our religious traditions command and teach us to do it. Second, by being in relationship with and listening to persons connected to the conflict in a different way or to a different side than we are, we understand the conflict better and can craft more constructive and realistic advocacy. Third, by working and advocating together we will have more effective impact in Washington.
Q: How does NILI achieve agreement on positions it advocates?
A: NILI advocacy statements are based on consensus among religious leaders who endorse them. After discussion, sometimes face to face, but more often by e-mail or phone, a draft statement is developed and circulated for comments. Often, then a revised statement is circulated for endorsement by the leaders. Most times, this process confirms one of NILI’s principles of cooperation, “that our areas of agreement are more important than our disagreements.”
Q: How is NILI effective in doing advocacy?
A: By working together, religious leaders have a stronger, united voice and are more likely to be listened to by the Administration and by members of Congress. In addition to NILI publicizing its advocacy positions, NILI statements are circulated and uploaded on websites of the national religious organizations involved with NILI.
Q: What is NILI’s position on resolving the conflict?
A: NILI supports a two-state solution, involving an independent, viable state for Palestinians alongside Israel, with peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians based on U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242, 338 and 1397, and comprehensive peace between Israel and all her Arab neighbors. NILI believes active, fair and firm U.S. leadership is essential to achieving Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace. (See NILI Advocacy.)
Q: What is NILI’s position on violence and terrorism?
A: From its founding in 2003, NILI has consistently and unequivocally called for an end to violence and urged the United States, in coordination with the Quartet, to work with Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and the Arab states to achieve an effective and durable ceasefire.
Q: What is NILI’s position on Israeli settlements?
A: NILI calls for a halt to all settlement expansion in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan called for, “the immediate adoption of a settlement freeze by Israel” as an essential step to get negotiations going. That has been the position of every U.S. Administration, Republican and Democratic. While both official and informal negotiations have suggested that in a final peace agreement some settlements would be incorporated into Israel in exchange for land swaps, until there is agreement, continued expansion of settlements is a very real obstacle to negotiations for peace.
Q: What does NILI say about Palestinian violent attacks and the Israeli “security wall”?
A: In “Twelve Urgent Steps for Peace,” (December 2003) NILI called on the Palestinian Authority to “Take effective action to halt violent attacks against Israelis, punish those who commit any such acts, and gain commitments from all factions to cooperate in implementing the Road Map,” including achieving an effective, durable ceasefire. At the same time, NILI called on Israel to “Halt construction of the Security "Fence” or "Wall" beyond the Green Line around settlements in areas which require confiscation of more Palestinian land and threaten the viability of a future Palestinian state.
Q: What is NILI’s position on Gaza, Hamas and the split in governance between Gaza and the West Bank?
A: In a letter to President Obama in May 2009 NILI leaders called for U.S. efforts, in coordination with the Quartet, to achieve “an effective, comprehensive and sustainable ceasefire. . . . “ In relation to Gaza,” NILI said, “a ceasefire needs to include Hamas’ halting all rocket attacks on Israel; international measures to prevent smuggling-resupply of rockets; Israel’s stopping all military operations in Gaza, and opening Gaza border crossings to allow humanitarian and reconstruction assistance.” In a letter to Secretary of State Rice in March, 2008, NILI wrote, “the split in Palestinian governance between the West Bank and Gaza is incompatible with a durable peace agreement.” NILI leaders urged the United States to, “support efforts to help form a new unified Palestinian government capable of representing both the West Bank and Gaza, and committed to rejecting violence and negotiating a two-state solution with Israel.”
Please feel free to copy and distribute this material, using the citation:
From The National Interreligious Initiative For Peace In The Middle East
For more information, please contact Ron Young.