Ahed Tamimi – Living Resistance Tour

Ahed Tamimi, presently in prison in Israel, the harsh occupier of her home country, Palestine,  is called ‘the Palestinian Jeanne d’Arc’. She has become, at only 16 years old, the most powerful symbol of Palestinian non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

If you want to understand more about why is she considered dangerous to the heavily armed occupier, you may read this well written article, by Nina Fischer.

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A Cry for Help from Jerusalem

TJerusalem by night

I have just received a desperatee call for help from a very good Christian Palestinian friend. It is related to the implications of the recent decision of the American president to move their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

My friend is telling me that more and more of the evangelical churches in Palestine (representing something like 1% of the Palestinian Christians, who are, themselves, about 1% of the entire Palestinian population in the West Bank) are adopting a Zionist theology, in an attempt to schmooze American churches to support them financially (you may rightly call it ecclesial prostitution). This is, of course, a luxury that historical churches in Palestine (not only Greek Orthodox, Melkite, and Latin churches, but also Anglicans and Lutherans) do not have. Continue reading “A Cry for Help from Jerusalem”

Open Letter from Christian Palestinians to the World Council of Churches and the Ecumenical Movement


Pope Francis at the Apartheid Wall in Palestine

Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. (Isa. 1:17)

Background

As we meet this month in Bethlehem in occupied Palestine, we are still suffering from 100 years of injustice and oppression that were inflicted on the Palestinian people beginning with the unjust and unlawful Balfour declaration, intensified through the Nakba and the influx of refugees, followed by the Israeli occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem and Gaza and the fragmentation of our people and our land through policies of isolation and confiscation of land, and the building of Jewish-only settlements and the Apartheid Wall.

We are still suffering because of one political declaration from a Western Empire, based on a twisted theological premise. Even some churches and few Christian leaders supported the establishment of the colonial state in our land, and totally ignored – even dehumanized – the nation, our people that had already existed here for centuries and paid the price for atrocities committed in Europe.

Hundred years later with thousands of lives lost, towns and villages razed from the face of the earth – though not our memory –, millions of refugees, thousands of homes demolished and continued incarceration of prisoners, our Nakba goes on. Continue reading “Open Letter from Christian Palestinians to the World Council of Churches and the Ecumenical Movement”

Yohanna Katanacho – The Trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem: Theology Faces Politics

yohanna-katanacho
Dr. Yohanna Katanacho

I want to compare between the trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem in the first and twenty first centuries. I am a Palestinian Israeli citizen. I live in Nazareth and continually commute to Bethlehem. In fact, this Christmas I am travelling with my family from Nazareth to Bethlehem. There are several roads that lead to Bethlehem. There are three major options: one in the east, one in the middle of the country, and one in the west next to the Mediterranean Sea. I shall call them: the eastern, central, and middle roads. Which road should I choose? My decision depends on the political situation, my identity, the cost of travel, time, and traffic jams. Jews don’t like to travel through Palestinian towns. Palestinians don’t like to travel through Jewish settlements. In addition, there are checkpoints on the way. These checkpoints are a potential delay depending on Identity, that is, Palestinians or Jewish. If Israeli soldiers at certain checkpoints discover that I am a Palestinian then I am a potential risk in their eyes. It means delay in my trip. In short, travelling is a political decision connected to my identity. As I reach Bethlehem, I usually come through a neighboring town called Beit-Jala. At the entrance of the town, there is a big sign saying: Israeli citizens are not allowed to enter this region by law. However, the checkpoint is not guarded by soldiers or monitored. Entering into Bethlehem is not only a political question it is also a legal question. In addition, it is a theological question. Should I break the law to enter Bethlehem? Continue reading “Yohanna Katanacho – The Trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem: Theology Faces Politics”

Yohanna Katanacho – Yom Kippur. A Palestinian Christian Perspective

yom-kippur

Today, we celebrate in Israel the day of atonement or Yom Kippur. It is a day of repentance, humiliation before God, and forgiveness. On this day, there is no eating, no bathing or washing, no anointing, and no marital relations. It is a day dedicated to seeking the forgiveness of God. It is a day in which God expects from those who follow Him to forgive the sins of others.

Can Jews forgive the sins of the nations who attacked and abused them? Can they reflect on their own sins that led our country to the current situation? Can Palestinians forgive the Jewish people? I pray that I will discover my own sins on this day and will seek to forgive and bless all of my neighbors. I also pray that my Jewish neighbors will seek true forgiveness that is much more than just ritual celebrations. Perhaps, the test of Yom Kippur is more than ritual! It is also an ethical one. Furthermore, it seems to me that Jewish ethics today cannot be divorced from the Palestinian question. The latter is the litmus test for the authenticity of celebrating Yom Kippur in Israel in the 21st century. Such forgiveness would change the hearts of the nation as well as its politics leading to the support of a politics of peace and reconciliation rather than war and further alienation. May God answer the desires of all the hearts that seek forgiveness and bless them with true atonement! As a Christian I found this atonement embodied in the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth who died on the cross for my own sins. Continue reading “Yohanna Katanacho – Yom Kippur. A Palestinian Christian Perspective”

Southern Baptists Adopt Controversial Resolution on Israel – EthicsDaily.com

By: Brian Kaylor Southern Baptists at their annual meeting adopted a pro-Israel resolution deemed by some Arab Baptist leaders as unbiblical and harmful to their peacemaking efforts.

Source: Southern Baptists Adopt Controversial Resolution on Israel – EthicsDaily.com

A new act of political prostitution and blatent injustice in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Shame, Paige Patterson!

Protest Against the Ahava ad on the Patheos Platform

Ahava

Dear friends,

I am, for a few years now, a subscriber to some of your newsletters, which I find very useful and informative.

I am writing to you because of something that troubles me lately on your newsletter.

On the Patheos newsletter, that I receive regularly, there is for some time now a prominent publicity add for Ahava products. As you probably know, these are produced by an Israeli company functioning on stolen Palestinian land, in the occupied West Bank. I find this add questionable from an ethical point of view. I hope you do too, even if you may not agree with a DBS approach on these matters, as I do (remember the way DBS worked in debunking the apartheid system in South Africa)..

Do you think there is anything we could do to have this add removed from the newsletter? Thanks a lot, and sorry to bother with this. It is important for me, as someone who worked for over 16 years for World Vision in the Middle East, and I have witnessed first hand the utter suffering produced by the Israeli occupation in the (not so) holy land.

Yours faithfully

Danut Manastireanu, PdD