I am now here in the West Bank as an Ecumenical Accompanier (EA). See http://eappi.org The term of service is three months. I am in the South Hebron Hills with the placement house in Yatta. I pray that I may walk with love, mercy, humility – that I can reflect Christ as I accompany my Palestinian neighbours; that they know they are not alone.
I also found that many people in Israel do not know what is happening in the West Bank and Gaza – the systematic displacement and discrimination of Palestinians.
There are Israeli peace groups telling the story, for example, soldiers who are “breaking the silence” (http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/), an amazing group of women (http://www.machsomwatch.org/en) and Rabbis for Human Rights (http://rhr.org.il/eng/). This gives me a glimmer of hope.
We, in Canada, have supported the Israeli occupation by not calling on Israel to honour UN resolutions, International Law and Geneva Conventions. But Canada’s history is also one of displacement and occupation so we may not want to point our finger to others because one would be pointing back at us.
In 2009, the leaders of the Christian Churches publish a document called, A Moment of Truth: A word of faith, hope, and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering.
“This document is the Christian Palestinians’ word to the world about what is happening in Palestine. It is written at this time when we wanted to see the Glory of the grace of God in this land and in the sufferings of its people. In this spirit the document requests the international community to stand by the Palestinian people who have faced oppression, displacement, suffering and clear apartheid for more than six decades. The suffering continues while the international community silently looks on at the occupying State, Israel. Our word is a cry of hope, with love, prayer and faith in God. We address it first of all to ourselves and then to all the churches and Christians in the world, asking them to stand against injustice and apartheid, urging them to work for a just peace in our region, calling on them to revisit theologies that justify crimes perpetrated against our people and the dispossession of the land.”
You can find the document at: http://www.kairospalestine.ps/sites/default/Documents/English.pdf