Three leaders of the National Council of Churches, operating on the unproven assumption that anyone in the upper reaches of the government cares what they think, have written to President Bush telling him what needs to be done at the Middle East conference in Annapolis this week. Here’s the money quote:

We know that this conference will not be able to address all issues that pertain to this conflict, such as refugees, settlements, and final borders. Nevertheless, we do know that this conference can reaffirm the goals and principles that are central to a lasting peace: an end to the Occupation, and a viable two-state solution; a renunciation of violence by all parties and an affirmation of the rights and security concerns of both Israelis and Palestinians; and a shared Jerusalem, which can one day be a symbol of the peace that is central to the faith of Christians, Jews, and Muslims. [Emphasis added.]

Here’s what I want to know: when did “a shared Jerusalem” become a central goal and principle in any agreement? Unlike the other items mentioned here (ending the occupation, two states, the end of violence, security guarantees), which Israel recognizes must be part of any final accord, the sharing of Jerusalem has never been agreed to even in principle by Israel. I’ve noticed this pattern over and over again in the public pronouncements of the NCC and its creature Churches for Middle East Peace–they simply assume, because they think something needs to be part of a peace deal, that everyone agrees to it, then they repeat it endlessly as if it were so. (I’ve noted them doing it here, here, here, here, here.) Seeing it turn up here once again makes me wonder: are these people simply delusional, or is there some reason why they keep saying these silly things?