Saturday, May 21, 2016
When I try to reflect theologically on the Israeli and Palestinian conflict given my, many new insights from our study tour, I find myself returning again to the Kairos document. This bold Christian statement of faith has, it seems, fallen out of our attention over the years since its release in 2009. We were blessed during our study tour to meet with several of the Palestinian leaders who wrote and are now advocating for Kairos Palestine. They maintain a website at http://www.kairospalestine.ps/ and easily found via Google.
Section Four of the Kairos document is titled "Love", and has provoked some of the strongest backlash and criticism in American Church circles. The Kairos document connects "love" and "resistance." This is a difficult word, which we in the U.S. need to consider deeply. Copied here are several paragraphs of Section Four. But it is crucial to read the whole document and understand its internal flow and connections. Nonetheless these two sentences from Section Four have provoked widespread criticism:
The aggression against the Palestinian people which is the Israeli occupation, is an evil that must be resisted.
The roots of "terrorism" are in the human injustice committed and in the evil of the occupation.
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4.3 Through our love, we will overcome injustices and establish foundations for a new society both for us and for our opponents. Our future and their future are one. Either the cycle of violence that destroys both of us or peace that will benefit both. We call on Israel to give up its injustice towards us, not to twist the truth of reality of the occupation by pretending that it is a battle against terrorism. The roots of "terrorism" are in the human injustice committed and in the evil of the occupation. These must be removed if there be a sincere intention to remove "terrorism". We call on the people of Israel to be our partners in peace and not in the cycle of interminable violence. Let us resist evil together, the evil of occupation and the infernal cycle of violence.
"Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem."