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International Church Action for Peace in Palestine and Israel

May 19, 2008

By pwrdf

4-10 June 2008
A joint advocacy initiative convened by the World Council of Churches and supported by KAIROS

Let us make one thing absolutely clear… We are committed and indeed passionately so, to peace, security and justice for all in the Holy Land. We believe that such a condition is eminently possible.
—Former Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 2005
As Christians, we believe that all human life is sacred and that violence is wrong.It is especially painful to hear about ongoing conflict in the Holy Land. The year 2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the 1948 founding of the state of Israel in the aftermath of the Holocaust. 2008 is also the 60th year of the Nakba, Arabic for ‘catastrophe’, which refers to the forced expulsion of Palestinians from their lands when Israel was formed. A sustainable and just peace that will end the violence and insecurity requires recognition of the Palestinian right to self determination and a sovereign Palestinian state, recognition of Israel as a sovereign state, and respect by both states for human rights and international law. On behalf of our eleven member churches and agencies in Canada, KAIROS joins with the World Council of Churches in its worldwide call to Christians.
PRAY
Pray for peace in Palestine and Israel
Include the KAIROS Bulletin insert on June 8 in your parish.  Bulletin in PDF format.  Pray with churches living under occupation, using a special prayer from Jerusalem on Sunday, June 8, for parishes  worldwide.

EDUCATE
Educate on the impact of the military occupation on the peoples of Palestine and Israel

Background on the Canadian churches’ views on conflict and peace in Israel- Palestine:

  • KAIROS Middle East policy
  • KAIROS 2008 paper on options for Economic Advocacy Measures
  • KAIROS 2002 paper Our Continuing Hope for a Just Peace in the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict
  • World Council of Churches program

ADVOCATE and ACT
Advocate and Act for just and peaceful solutions.
Recent federal positions on Israel and Palestine have not been helpful; serious human rights violations have gone unchallenged by our government.

  • Work towards a meeting with your Member of Parliament in which you can discuss your concerns and start a dialogue.
  • Respond to KAIROS urgent actions on the Middle East. Consider forming a learning circle on Israel and Palestine in your parish, community, or with other faith groups.
  • KAIROS invites Canadian church communities to consider some of the economic advocacy measures suggested in a recent strategy paper.
  • Buy and promote fair trade, organic olive oil imported from Palestine. This is one way of advocating for economic justice for the Palestinian people and supporting farmers who are struggling to survive under a military occupation. Oil is available through Zatoun and Ten Thousand Villages, a cross Canada network of fair trade stores.

KAIROS works on behalf of Canadian churches with partner organizations in Palestine and Israel to fund local peace-building initiatives. Through your gifts to your national church, you too support this work.  KAIROS unites eleven Canadian churches and church agencies in work for social justice. KAIROS works on a broad range of justice issues in Canada and around the world.

For more information on the Middle East,
contact Lyn Adamson, Global Partnerships Coordinator, Middle East.

Even if I knew the world would come to an end tomorrow, I would go into the garden and plant an olive tree. Unless we plant now, there will be no shade for our children, no oil to heal the wounds, no olive branches to wave for peace when it comes.
–Rev. Mitri Raheb, Lutheran pastor in Bethlehem

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