Israel, Palestinians & Mid-East
- Created: December 14, 2012
- Written by Kairos Palestine
The Palestinian Kairos document was issued at a time when the political process was facing a stalemate. Amid a diminishing hope for peace, it came to present a ray of hope which contributed to its fast and widespread reception on both the local and international level.
At the conference commemorating the third anniversary of Kairos, the church, as a group of believers, agreed that we are all suffering and that we are all on board of the same ship. The differences we have are in form rather than content and substance. Islamic and Christian unity is based on a solid sense of belonging to Arab nationalism, citizenship, tolerance, diversity and coexistence.
1- From Despair to Hope
We heard your voices:
The people of Gaza are living witnesses of hope in their resistance, steadfastness and aspiration for a better future. Their steadfastness is reflected in their resolute insistence to remain on their homeland. At a time when the Israeli occupation is destroying everything in Gaza, the Christian institutions are building more schools and expanding their services.
From the Galilee, we heard the voices of Palestinian youth who feel a sense of the loss of identity and the need for handling this through more contact and communication with their Palestinian sisters and brothers in Palestine in order to restore the Palestinian memory and their sense of belonging to the Arab nations.
From the Palestinians in Diaspora and based on testimonies of young returnees: there is a need for action to encourage the young people to return to their homeland. A national plan should be put forward in order to encourage emigrants to return home and to familiarize them with Palestine, the Arabic language and the Arab Palestinian culture.
2. Kairos: A choice between negotiations and resistance
Israel is heading towards extremism and is pulling the rest of the region into continued violence.
Human Beings need to break out from their religious and doctrinal isolation in order to truly know themselves, their humanity and that of others. Only then can they emerge from this circle of violence.
Our fundamental objectives for today are as follows:
1- Ending occupation
2- Ending the apartheid
3- Asserting the right of return
We call for BDS to help realize these objectives. BDS movements in Palestine are not new. They started in Jaffa in 1933, were adopted in Beit Sahour in 1987 and are ongoing both in Palestine and worldwide.
The aim of BDS is not revenge but rather achieving justice, equality and ending the injustice imposed on the Palestinian people.
Edward Said said: “Either equality or nothing”
From Despair to Hope
- Strengthen the communication between the people and the church leaders in order to examine the challenges and unite future plans to have one church vision. This can be achieved through the formation of joint committees on various levels between lay people and the clergy in order to handle social and political issues, and take initiatives to consolidate this trend.
- Work on developing and launching a Middle Eastern Kairos document.
- Kairos is both a movement and a tool that should be used particularly in the Galilee and even the Golan areas as well as among the Palestinians in Diaspora to work for justice through:
- Raising the awareness of the Palestinian identity
- Communication among the Palestinian people, especially across generations
- Training of emissaries to promote and communicate the Kairos document and other Palestinian issues
- Employing innovative means of resistance (such as: art, theatre and other means)
- Activate efforts to involve Palestinians in the Diaspora through:
- Communication with Palestinian emigrants, especially the youth.
- Organized tours in order to keep them connected with the homeland and the Arab Palestinian culture and family life, so they can cope with feelings of alienation and strengthen their sense of belonging with the land and the people.
- The Kairos movement should follow up on this issue with Palestinian governmental parties and the Palestinian civil society.
- The Kairos Movement should discuss the establishment of a Ministry of Expatriates with the Palestinian Authority to activate the engagement of Palestinian communities in Diaspora in the national Palestinian initiatives.
- There is tremendous and great potential among Christian members of the Palestinian communities in Diaspora, which should be engaged through churches.
Kairos: A choice between negotiations and resistance
They say: “Peace, peace and no peace” … this reality forces us to seek more choices other than pointless negotiations. The Kairos “Moment of Truth” document was a light following the darkness of a series of wars, living under occupation and the degradation and violation of human dignity, giving renewed hope and vision.
Both negotiations and resistance have limitations, positive and negative. Resistance in all its forms is a legitimate right for the Palestinian people. Kairos has adopted innovative non-violent resistance as a method and strategy for liberation through:
- The prophetic voice that promotes dialogue, advocacy and preaching the word of truth.
- Adoption of all forms of boycott and nonviolent popular resistance.
- Maintaining steadfastness and institutional building in the areas of health, housing, education and other areas of need.
- Strengthening the relationship between the land and the people and the sense of identity and belonging.
- Setting up a plan to strengthen cooperation with the Palestinian civil society organizations and call for the prevalence of the rule of law and build a Palestinian state on the basis of citizenship and diversity.
- Develop a media strategy to promote the document on the local and international levels as well as the development of mechanisms and strategies to respond to the Zionist media attacks against Kairos, its drafters and supporters.
- Call for the rejection of the idea of a Jewish State of Israel and its religious hegemony and political monopoly on Jerusalem.
We are requested to re-visit the Kairos document and expand it to include the Arab World, the Middle East and Palestinians anywhere and everywhere. All churches in the region, their laypersons and leadership, should heed this request and cooperate to implement it; Jesus, the Redeemer and the Savior came to end slavery and injustices. We, the followers of Jesus, will not stand silent and we will defy injustice.
Let us stand for a moment of truth … resist and say: No to occupation, no to racism, no to the religious state and no to extremism…
Yes to justice, yes to freedom, yes to peace and yes to human dignity
Yes to Palestine!