Introducing the Larnaca Statement – Lausanne Movement

The roots of the Lausanne Initiative for Reconciliation in Israel-Palestine (LIRIP) go back to the Third Lausanne Congress, Cape Town, 2010. The second day was devoted, through a range of plenary speakers and seminars, to one of the six major congress themes “Reconciliation: Building the peace of Christ in our divided and broken world.” The…

Source: Introducing the Larnaca Statement – Lausanne Movement

Chris Wright on the recent Larnaca Statement signed by Messianic and Palestinian Christians in the conflict in Israel-Palestine.

Benjamin L Corey – 5 Reasons We So Blindly Support Israel in Spite of the Truth or Biblical Ethics

mary-joseph-israeli-soldiers

Over the course of time I’ve noticed a troubling trend: it’s *almost* impossible to have a reasonable discussion with fellow Christians who believe we are called to give unwavering support the modern secular nation state of Israel.

This of course, has led me to try to figure out why this is the case. Why do so many Christians reject basic facts about Israel? Why do so many of us have an aversion to believing truth on this issue?

As your list-maker-in-chief, I have a few ideas as to why this seems to occur. So, here are my 5 reasons so many of us irrationally support Israel– in spite of truth or biblical ethics:

1. Bad theology regarding Israel has led us to become victims of our own confirmation bias

2. We don’t listen to Palestinian voices– not even our Christian brothers and sisters in Palestine

Continue reading “Benjamin L Corey – 5 Reasons We So Blindly Support Israel in Spite of the Truth or Biblical Ethics”

LOI participants write powerfully on reconciliation | Lausanne-Orthodox Initiative

Source: LOI participants write powerfully on reconciliation | Lausanne-Orthodox Initiative

Rev. Mitri Raheb – Palestinian Lives Matter

Mitri Raheb

Rev Mitri Rageb

NOTE: Here is a timely message on the current violence in Israel/Palestine that Lutheran Rev. Mitri Rageb, from Bethlehem, has published three days ago on Facebook.

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Palestinian Lives Matter

A new wave of political unrest is here. Within the last five weeks over forty young people from Palestine were killed and over 1100 injured. These are not mere numbers, but young people with faces, names, and dreams. Yet, as if their lives do not matter , the Israelis are easing their already loose laws on using arms with a clear message of shoot to kill. For the Israeli government, these young Palestinians are rebels that do not deserve to live. They must be taught a lesson. To add salt to injury, you hear the western politicians talking about Israel’s right to defend itself, and stand shamelessly with Israel. Thus, to those international players the lives of Palestinians are worthless while the life of an Israeli is so precious. This pattern reminds us of how the world viewed the lives of black people under apartheid and how racism against blacks is felt in so many countries around the world. The same applies to Indignous peoples, and the oppressed. The most dangerous thing however, is when young people from those oppressed groups are pushed to the point where they start looking for a life after death but do not believe any more in a life before death that is worth living. In this context, we have three messages to share:
Continue reading “Rev. Mitri Raheb – Palestinian Lives Matter”

The Illusion of Calmness – HLT

Source: The Illusion of Calmness – HLT

Sami Awad, from the Holy Land Trust, on the current surge of violence in Israel/Palestine:

‘Real calmness in the Holy Land can only manifest itself if a real peace emerges between the communities of the land, not the politicians. It is a peace that is founded on the principles of mutual trust and respect and a desire to truly bring a sense of justice, equality and equity to all those who live in the Holy Land. It is a peace that addresses the existential fears of the past on both sides and does not allow that fear to be manipulated by the political establishments.

The structures of oppression, control and fear must be dismantled and if not dismantled by choice of the leaders, then dismantled by the force of the people through nonviolent engagement, working in unity and/or separately. A leadership must emerge that is motivated by a vision of peace and justice, not of maintaining calmness, making false promises, and creating space for prosperity of the few.’

Message of A Palestinian Christian to ‘Christians United for Israel’

My name is Elizabeth Daoud. I, like over a million Palestinians, am both Palestinian and Christian. I actually come from the Assyrian Orthodox Church, the first and original church of Christians in the Middle East. My parents were born in Palestine and have a long blood line from Jerusalem and Bayte Sahour. Many members of my family were first hand victims of the “nakbah” and had to flee their homeland after being expelled from their homes by Zionist militias, leaving them without the right to return to their land, even to this day. Today in Palestine, Christianity is experiencing what some believe is a crisis. The plight of Palestinian Christians, similar to what Palestinian Muslims are going through, is daily injustice at the hands of oppressive, doctoral and inhumane police forces of the Israeli government. This is occurring in both the West Bank and Gaza, where my Palestinian people live under a brutal and illegal military occupation, and also inside Israel itself, where Palestinians, Muslim and Christian, live as second-class citizens.

Palestinian Christians, like their Muslim brothers and sisters, have lived under Israeli policies of occupation and injustice while many living in the West deny this fact. Many Palestinian Christians feel betrayed by Christians living in North America and Europe who support the state of Israel and the oppression of the Palestinian people. We see them as hypocritical, standing by a state that has left us Palestinians, indiscriminately Christian and Muslim, without a state for over half a century.

Today, Palestinian Christians live under harsh, extreme oppression and apartheid policies. While Christian and Muslim Palestinians living in the West Bank under the heavy hand of martial law are not permitted to vote, undocumented Jewish settlers are subject to civil law and are allowed to vote in Israeli elections. South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who fought to end Apartheid in South Africa, has even embraced the movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel until they respect my people’s equal rights, an end to the occupation and the return to the homeland which Israel expelled them from, saying, “I have witnessed the systemic humiliation of Palestinian men, women and children by members of the Israeli security forces … Their humiliation is familiar to all black South Africans who were corralled and harassed and insulted and assaulted by the security forces of the apartheid government.” Palestinian land continues to be confiscated and Palestinians continue to be humiliated by the Israelis for their religious beliefs. They were almost unable to celebrate Christmas in 2014 due to riots and street fights caused by the Israeli Police. They experience unemployment, poverty and illegal occupation. Moreover, they are routinely prohibited from visiting one of the most holy sites of Christianity: the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the Old City of Jerusalem, the church that commemorates Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection from the dead.

As a Palestinian Christian, it is truly upsetting and disappointing to see Christians United for Israel justify the oppression of Palestinian Christians under the banner of Christian values. Palestinian Christians don’t have the smallest right to visit even the holiest of sites that started Christianity because of Israeli policies. How can Christians United for Israel be in support of this when indigenous Christians are being prevented from exercising Christianity in the very place that Jesus walked. I end this by calling upon CUFI to please stop justifying oppression, persecution and repression of my people in the name of the message of the Bible and my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Elizabeth Daoud is a Rutgers Business School senior double majoring in finance and management information systems.

(Source, HERE)

Gaza: One Year On – Clinging to Hope amid Despair