From Michael: Kairos Palestine at 10 – Looking into an Abyss
9 December 2019
Dear friends and supporters of Indiana Center for Middle East Peace,
On November 29, 350 people gathered in Bethlehem to commemorate the Tenth Anniversary of the landmark Kairos Palestine: A Moment of Truth document (December 11, 2009). Terry Dougherty and I were present at the Fifth Anniversary meeting in Bethlehem in 2014. Those gathered issued a “Call to the Church.” This is how those gathered described the present state for our Palestinian friends:
Since the launch of A Moment of Truth ten years ago, life in Palestine has rapidly deteriorated under the illegal occupation by the State of Israel. The oppression is more aggressive and brutal. Our imprisoned and besieged sisters and brothers in Gaza, non-violently gathering in the March of Return, were the targets of a bloody and deadly response. Settlements continue to expand. Threats of annexation of the Jordan Valley and the settlements themselves grow without a word of condemnation from the major powers. We are experiencing the continued dispossession of our land, our freedom and our human rights.
Add to this, three more appalling developments: U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; the U.S. Secretary of State’s announcement that the U.S. government no longer deems West Bank settlements to be “inconsistent with international law”; and the State of Israel’s recent adoption of the Nation State Law which clearly reveals that de facto apartheid has become de jure apartheid. The failure of the peace process is further evidence that the current status quo is unsustainable.
… [W]e lament that there are still many who use the Bible to justify the occupation and who unquestioningly support the State of Israel. For the most part, the global Church is failing us.
We are standing as if on the edge of a cliff, looking into an abyss.
… In response to exclusive ideologies and theologies, we join our voice to those of many others – Jews and Muslims—who call for a world in which all are treated as equals, believing this is the only guarantee of a just and lasting peace.
So, for our part at Indiana Center for Middle East Peace, we recommit ourselves to solidarity with the Living Stones in Palestine and Israel, and Jews and Muslims of conscience, as they resist the Israeli and, sadly now, American strategies of apartheid and ethnic cleansing in Palestine and Israel, and seek to find new and creative ways to impact our fellow citizens in NE Indiana.
Here’s the link to the original Kairos Palestine: A Moment of Truth document (December 11, 2009), even more critically important today:
Next week, the actions urged by those gathered in Bethlehem.