lentil and rice pilaf

How should the church respond to the oppression of the Palestinian people?

Regarding the recent massive destruction in the Palestinian refugee camp in Jenin, below are some excerpted suggestions by PalestinianAmerican Christian lawyer, Jonathan Kuttab (who has spoken at NUMC).

“Particularly disheartening is the response of the churches. We seem to be satisfied with offering “our thoughts and prayers”. We seem to be saying that there is “no balm in Gilead” for the broken children of God in the Holy Land.”

Elements of a proper Christian response

In order for Christians to have a clear and powerful message, our response must include elements that provide for hope, healing, and positive outcomes:

• A rejection of violence and militarism. As we encourage Palestinians to use nonviolent tactics, we need to communicate to Israelis that they need other forms of dealing with Palestinians than forever resorting to greater displays of force. We cannot accept positions or courses of action based on the defeat of or crushing the other side.

• A commitment to talking to each other. Negating or dehumanizing significant populations should be rejected.

• A commitment to justice, fairness and equality. We must reject practices that discriminate against one group at the expense of another. It requires rejection of anti-Jewish antisemitism as well as Islamophobia, and anti-Palestinian bias. We must reject unjust structures and institutions which promote racism and apartheid.

• Recognition that we live in a broken, sinful world often means that we must champion positions that may be unpopular. We need to offer people a vision of peace with justice that runs counter to existing unjust realities.

• We must resist despair and hopelessness that allows the unjust status quo to exist and persist.

The Christian message is one of good news for all people. Both Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs need to hear that message from Christians, loud and clear.

Jonathan’s whole article can be found at https://www.fosna.org/the-fosna-blog/jenin