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Rep. John Lewis Call For Peace in Middle East

July 28, 2006
Press Release

Rep. John Lewis, a long-time proponent of non-violence, called for peace in all Middle East conflicts. Rep. Lewis is more than an advocate for non-violence, he practiced non-violent resistance during the Civil Rights Movement, was arrested and jailed over 40 times and was beaten by police during the Freedom Rides and several non-violent protests against legalized segregation and discrimination.

More recently, Rep. Lewis, along with four other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, was jailed after a peaceful protest in front of the Embassy of the Sudan against the violence in Darfur. He was also arrested during the anti-apartheid efforts against South Africa during the 1980's. He has been an out-spoken critic of the war in Iraq. He made this statement recently about the conflicts in the Middle East.

"Over 300 civilians in Lebanon were killed in one week. The United Nations reports more than one-third of them are children. And Prime Minister Siniora has pleaded for mercy. What will it take for us as a world community to finally say enough is enough? We must stop the violence and give peace a chance.

"When will the warring factions in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and the United States be willing to say that they have spilled enough innocent blood? When will they say it is time for us to lay down the tools and instruments of war?

"Can we hear the words of Gandhi, perhaps stronger now than ever before, ‘We must choose non-violence or non-existence?' Are we finally willing to hear the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. ‘We must learn to live as brothers and sisters or perish as fools?' Can we, the most powerful nation in the world, use our influence, to raise these questions and give peace a chance?

"We are one people, one family--the human family--and we must find a way to understand each other, to make peace with each other, and learn to live together. We must find a way to lay down the tools and instruments of war."