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Palestine and Israel
Take action: Third Thursdays for Palestine and Israel
Recent letters to Secretary of State Kerry
Letter regarding European Union decision on settlements, November 13, 2013
Letter on Prawer Plan to displace Bedouin communities in the Negev (southern Israel), October 16, 2013
MCC U.S. board acts for peace through its investments
On March 16, 2013 the board of directors of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. unanimously decided that MCC U.S. will not knowingly invest in companies that benefit from products or services used to perpetrate acts of violence against Palestinians, Israelis and other people groups. Read more.
Church leaders request review of U.S. military aid to Israel
On October 5, 2012 fifteen Christian leaders released a letter to members of the U.S. Congress, saying it is their “moral responsibility to question the continuation of unconditional U.S. financial assistance to the government of Israel.” Ron Byler, executive director of Mennonite Central Committee U.S., is one of the signers of the letter. Read the letter.
The situation in Palestine and Israel today confronts us with profound theological issues that challenge the roots of our faith.
Our experiences confront us with new questions about our understanding of God and what it means to be peacemakers in this context. Throughout the Bible, God calls the people of Israel to express care for “the other” and the stranger and to work for justice for everyone living on the land. The prophetic tradition repeatedly emphasizes that the people of God are accountable for exercising justice and compassion. The current situation in Israel/Palestine calls us to reject the temptation to reduce God to a tribal god who cares only for the well-being of one people.
The biblical witness testifies that God chose a particular people for the purpose of bringing blessing to “all the families of the nations.” We did not find blessing between peoples in Israel/Palestine. Rather, the situation we encountered impressed upon us the urgency for rediscovering God, as revealed in both the Old Testament and in Jesus, as the One whose compassion and care extends to all people, all of whom have been created in God’s image.
Christians have inflicted horrific suffering upon the Jewish people through the millennia, including the Holocaust. Tragically, Christian anti-Semitism continues. It is reprehensible. It cannot be reconciled with the biblical message, nor is it consistent with our vision of anti-racism.
We renew our commitment to God who disavows human vengeance, calls us to love our enemies and requires us to pursue reconciliation and peacemaking with all people. We understand this to be the essence of God’s nature and healing purpose in the world…
- Excerpted from An Open Letter to Mennonite Church USA Congregations: Becoming Peacemakers in Israel/Palestine, June 2007.