In January 2002, more than a dozen senior Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders from the Holy Land met in Alexandria, Egypt and concluded an unprecedented joint declaration pledging themselves to work together for a just and lasting peace. Beginning in the immediate wake of its signing, USIP has provided support through grants and programmatic partnerships to a variety of activities designed to further the goals of that Declaration, engaging Israeli and Palestinian interfaith leadership in the pursuit of peace within and between their communities.

20160328-Typically-Lebanese-Sean-Long-Flickr.jpg
Photo Courtesy of Flickr/Sean Long

The agreement, printed in full, below, became known as the First Declaration of Alexandria of the Religious Leaders of the Holy Land, and pledges the faith leaders to use their religious and moral authority to work for an end to violence and the resumption of the peace process.

First Alexandria Declaration of the Religious Leaders of the Holy Land – January 21, 2002

In the name of God who is Almighty, Merciful and Compassionate, we, who have gathered as religious leaders from the Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities, pray for true peace in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, and declare our commitment to ending the violence and bloodshed that denies the right to life and dignity.

According to our faith traditions, killing innocents in the name of God is a desecration of his Holy Name, and defames religion in the world. The violence in the Holy Land is an evil which must be opposed by all people of good faith. We seek to live together as neighbors, respecting the integrity of each other's historical and religious inheritance. We call upon all to oppose incitement, hatred, and the misrepresentation of the other.

  1. The Holy Land is holy to all three of our faiths. Therefore, followers of the divine religions must respect its sanctity, and bloodshed must not be allowed to pollute it. The sanctity and integrity of the Holy Places must be preserved, and the freedom of religious worship must be ensured for all.
  2. Palestinians and Israelis must respect the divinely ordained purposes of the Creator by whose grace they live in the same land that is called Holy.
  3. We call on the political leaders of both parties to work for a just, secure, and durable solution in the  spirit of the words of the Almighty and the Prophets.                                                                       
  4. As a first step now, we call for a religiously sanctioned cease-fire, respected and observed from all sides, and for the implementation of the Mitchell and Tenet recommendations, including the lifting of restrictions and return to negotiations.
  5. We seek to help create an atmosphere where present and future generations will co-exist with mutual respect and trust in the other. We call on all to refrain from incitement and demonization, and to educate our future generations accordingly.
  6. As religious leaders, we pledge ourselves to continue a joint quest for a just peace that leads to reconciliation in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, for the common good of all our peoples.
  7. We announce the establishment of a permanent joint committee to carry out the recommendations of this declaration, and to engage with our respective political leadership accordingly.

Host & Chair

His Eminence Sheikh Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, Grand Mufti of the Al-Azhar & His Grace the then-Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. George Carey.

Signatories

  1. The Shephardi Chief, Rabbi Bakshi Doron;
  2. The Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel, Rabbi Michael Melchior;
  3. The Rabbi of Tekoa, Rabbi Menachem Fromen;
  4. Rabbi David Rosen, President of the World Conference on Religion and Peace;
  5. The Rabbi of Savyon, Rabbi David Brodman;
  6. Rabbi Yitzak Ralbag, Rabbi of Maalot Dafna;
  7. Chief Justice of the Sharia Courts, Sheikh Taisir Tamimi;
  8. Minister of State for the Palestinian Authority, Sheikh Tal El Sider;
  9. Mufti of the (Palestinian) Armed Forces, Sheikh Abdusalam Abu Schkedem;
  10. The Mufti of Bethlehem, Sheikh Taweel;
  11. Representative of the Greek Patriarch, Archbishop Aristarchos;
  12. The Latin Patriarch, His Beatitude Michel Sabbah;
  13. The Melkite Archbishop, Archbishop Boutros Mualem;
  14. Representative of the Armenian Patriarch, Bishop Arist Shrivinian and The Bishop of Jerusalem, The Right Reverend Riah Abu El Assal

Related Publications

View All

Latest Publications

Keith Mines on Secretary Blinken’s Trip to Colombia

Keith Mines on Secretary Blinken’s Trip to Colombia

Thursday, October 21, 2021

By: Keith Mines

As Secretary of State Antony Blinken travels to Colombia, USIP’s Keith Mines notes there is still work to be done in implementing and expanding the 2016 peace agreement with the FARC insurgency, saying that “consolidating the peace in a place like Colombia was almost as hard as fighting the war itself.”

Type: Podcast

Global Policy

Iraq’s Election Raises More Questions Than Answers

Iraq’s Election Raises More Questions Than Answers

Thursday, October 21, 2021

By: Dr. Elie Abouaoun

Muqtada al-Sadr, a Shia cleric whose Mahdi Army followers battled U.S. forces during the years of the occupation, made big gains in Iraq’s parliamentary election on October 10. His victory could pose problems for the United States and Iran. But despite the Sadrist List’s electoral success, it is not a given that al-Sadr will be the next man to lead Iraq, or even be the only kingmaker. USIP’s Elie Abouaoun examines the outcome of the election, the electoral process and the implications for Iraq’s future.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

 Une ville du Sahel conçoit un moyen d'améliorer les réformes – et l'aide internationale

Une ville du Sahel conçoit un moyen d'améliorer les réformes – et l'aide internationale

Friday, October 15, 2021

By: Jasmine Dehghan ; Sandrine Nama

La recrudescence cette année des troubles violents dans le Sahel en Afrique – des attaques djihadistes élargies, des coups d'État ou des tentatives militaires dans quatre pays, ainsi que le nombre constamment élevé de victimes civiles – souligne que des années de travail pour renforcer les forces militaires et policières n'ont pas réussi à réduire l'instabilité. Pour réduire l'extrémisme et la violence, les pays doivent améliorer la gouvernance, et des analyses récentes soulignent le besoin particulier de renforcer le sentiment des gens que leurs gouvernements peuvent assurer la justice et trouver des résolutions équitables aux griefs populaires. Un tel changement est une tâche extrêmement complexe et une ville du Burkina Faso a élaboré un plan de réformes locales avec un processus pour gérer cette complexité.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Democracy & Governance

A Sahel Town Builds a Way to Improve Reforms—and Foreign Aid

A Sahel Town Builds a Way to Improve Reforms—and Foreign Aid

Thursday, October 14, 2021

By: Jasmine Dehghan; Sandrine Nama

This year’s escalation of violent turmoil in Africa’s Sahel—widened jihadist attacks, military coups or attempts in four nations, and continued high civilian casualties—underscores that years of work to reinforce military and police forces have failed to reduce instability. To undercut extremism and violence, countries must improve governance, and recent analyses underscore the particular need to build people’s confidence that their governments can provide justice and fair resolutions of popular grievances. Such change is an immensely complex task—and one town in Burkina Faso has shaped a plan for local reforms with a process to manage that complexity.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Democracy & Governance

In Africa, U.S. Should Focus More on Democracy, Less on China

In Africa, U.S. Should Focus More on Democracy, Less on China

Thursday, October 14, 2021

By: Thomas P. Sheehy; Paul Nantulya; Gustavo de Carvalho

Even as the United States draws lessons from its unsuccessful, 20-year effort to build a sustainable peace in Afghanistan, it is shaping policies to engage the political and economic rise of Africa. Both the shortcomings in Afghanistan and the opportunities of Africa underscore the imperative of building policy on a full appreciation of local conditions. Yet on Africa, China’s growing presence has seized Americans’ political attention, and scholars of African politics say this risks distracting near-term U.S. policymaking. A requisite for U.S. success in Africa will be to focus on Africans’ desires—which include an ambition to build their futures by democratic means.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy; Democracy & Governance

View All Publications