Today we had the privilege of hearing Father Jamal Khader and Nidal Abu Zuluf (I will post this talk when ASAP) talk about the Palestine / Israel issue. A number of interesting and challenging things came out as these two indigenous theologians shared the story of the Kairos Palestine: A Moment of Truth document, “A word of faith, hope and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering.” Father Khader was clear, “this is not a religious problem.” What we have is a justice problem. We have a problem with how we read the Old Testament. We have a problem with how we read the Old Testament in light of the New Testament. We have a problem that demands a hearing and attention from the church. The church of Jesus Christ can’t sit by and watch human rights being violated on a daily basis.
Nidal Abu Zuluf challenged us in the end that all must come and see. He, like am convinced that if you come and see then you will be compelled to act. Father Kahader made it clear that to be pro-human rights is not to be anti Jewish. To hold the state Israel accountable is not to be anti-Jewish. To stand against The Occupation and the abuse of Palestinians and Palestine is not to be anti Jewish. We have to separate these issue and be able to talk about human rights and holding states accountable who abuse other human beings. As we come the Holy Land we should embrace the totality of pilgrimage and enjoy those spaces and places we have designated as sacred / holy and we must also engage the injustices that are presently happening in this place we call Holy. Pilgrimage involves sacrifice according to Nidal Abu Zuluf. We have to pick up our cross and follow a Luke 4:18 Jesus. When you come to the Holy Land what will you see, who will talk to and what cross will you pick up?