A message from Presbyterians for Middle East Peace - August 2011

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To our Presbyterian friends and colleagues,

Presbyterians for Middle East Peace is an organization dedicated to working with all people of good will to end the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. We are clergy, elders, deacons and members of the Presbyterian community.

We seek to follow Jesus — in his respect for the dignity bestowed upon all human beings; in his challenge to all of us to love one another; in his call to share resources with each other; in his love for all people without discrimination or conditions; in his offer of new life through faith in him. We hear his call to servanthood, and to humility.

Middle East peacemaking has been a major focus of Presbyterian General Assemblies, and there are multiple advocacy groups within the Church presenting viewpoints and actively seeking support and endorsement. Our goal is to help concerned Presbyterians respond thoughtfully to the variety of viewpoints and proposals put before the Church.

On our website ( www.pfmep.org ), and through our newsletters, we hope to provide a basic understanding of the facts on the ground and the challenges to be overcome in the pursuit of peace. We believe that the best path to peace is the two-state solution based on what are called "roadmap" or "quartet" principles. Our Statement of Principles is available on our website. We also believe that an effective peacemaker must be able to communicate and partner with people of good will on both sides of the conflict.

In this newsletter, our focus is on Kairos Palestine, a document produced by a group of Palestinian Christians that has been presented to the Christian community. We hope you find this material helpful in thoughtfully responding to Kairos Palestine and other efforts within our church focused on Middle East peacemaking efforts. As we approach the next Presbyterian General Assembly in 2012, we hope to be a helpful resource for sound peacemaking policy. 

  

Kairos Palestine and the Middle East Peace Process

 Promotion of the Kairos Palestine document has become a major focus of the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) Movement, and has been presented to several Christian church bodies, including the PCUSA, for endorsement.  We believe that the document should be approached carefully.  Some elements of Kairos Palestine are consistent with a Christian perspective on peacemaking, while much of  the document's content is controversial, and, many would argue, counterproductive to advancement of peace in the Middle East.
 
Our goal is to provide our readers with material to help them make their own assessment of Kairos Palestine, and develop a reasoned and thoughtful response.  Below are several articles we think will be helpful:
 
Disentangling Kairos Palestine  provides an overview of the controversy surrounding Kairos Palestine. 
 
The Kairos Palestine Document and PCUSA's Response: Time for a Candid Discussion  discusses Kairos Palestine and the approach the PCUSA has taken to the document.
 
Where We Are  is an article by Rev. Dr. John Wimberly, who is co-moderator of Presbyterians for Middle East Peace.
 
An "Opportune" Moment of Historical Revisionism  is an article by Ethan Felson.  We at Presbyterians for Middle East Peace believe that effective communication with the American Jewish community can be beneficial in the cause of advancing Middle East peace, and has often been inadequate in past PCUSA deliberations on Middle East peacemaking.  
 
Links for articles:
 
 

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