From Michael: Kairos Palestine at 10, part 2 – a Call to Solidarity, Resistance, and Action
As I wrote last week, 350 people gathered in Bethlehem on November 29 to commemorate the Tenth Anniversary of the landmark Kairos Palestine: A Moment of Truth document (December 11, 2009). Those gathered issued a “Call to the Church.” After giving evidence that, “We are standing as if on the edge of a cliff, looking into an abyss,” the Living Stones then issued a call for solidarity, resistance, and action:
So, like those who stand watch upon the tower, we repeat our call and cry out again for your solidarity, your earnest prayers and your commitment to take action. Stand up and speak out in your own setting to insist on a just peace.
+ Vigorously defend the rights of Palestinians and those who stand in solidarity with us to resist the occupation, including your support of all forms of creative and nonviolent resistance including BDS that pressure Israel to end the occupation and your active rejection of attempts to label this resistance as anti-Semitic;
+ Clearly condemn theological positions that justify the privilege of one people over another;
+ Recognize Israel as an apartheid state in terms of international law, especially with passage of the Nation State Law, insisting that no one has exclusive claims to any land because of religion, race and/or ethnicity and that all human beings are created in the image of God and entitled to equal rights and treatment;
+ Speak out against religious extremism in any form, including attempts to create any religious state in our region;
+ Boldly challenge religious partners to include the occupation and injustices in Palestine and Israel as part of any interfaith dialogue;
+ Invest resources in and lead campaigns for church leaders and pilgrims to visit Bethlehem and other Palestinian communities in partnership with the Palestinian tourism sector to increase the number of persons who will witness the results of occupation; challenge exclusive Israeli narratives and itineraries promoted through monopolized tourism as an instrument of the occupation;
+ Dedicate resources to include and open space for youth and young adults to empower a new generation of Palestinian Christian leaders who are committed advocates and who prophetically speak a message of truth as articulated in the message of Kairos Palestine.
Let your resistance to injustice everywhere—especially now in Palestine and Israel—be courageous and informed by the logic of love.
Know that ten years after the first call of Kairos Palestine, we resist fainting and becoming weary and falling exhausted. Empowered by the equal love of God and joined together with others in God’s community of grace—coming on earth as it is in heaven—we mount up with wings like eagles (Isaiah 40.31). We run and grow not weary. We walk and faint not.
God’s design for universal justice, peace and provision may be delayed, but it will not be deterred.
The original Kairos Palestine document from December 11, 2009, titled “A Moment of Truth” (read here), was first a document of the Living Stones, the Palestinian Christians, then adopted by the Palestinian Muslim community, then by Palestinian civil society. Finally, the international community has adopted it as its own call for Palestinian solidarity.
We recommit our support — prayer, financial, and other — to our Mission Partners: Al-Rowwad Theater and Cultural Center (Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem); Tent of Nations Peace Farm (Bethlehem), Wi’am Conflict Resolution Center (Bethlehem); Multipurpose Resource Center, Health Clinic, and Women’s Center (Nablus Old City).
We also recommit ourselves to standing arm-in-arm, shoulder-to-shoulder with our Palestinian friends in their resistance to Israeli apartheid and ethnic cleansing strategies, facilitated by a corrupt US administration, with a renewed vow to resistance in our country.
As our eyes turn to Bethlehem, and the birth of the Child of Light, as the darkness threatens to swallow up hope in our country, may we be points of Light, of Justice, of Hope here, as well as for our friends in Palestine. Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed holiday season and a happy and healthy 2020.