‘Faithwashing’ refers to the use of interfaith relationships and alliances to deny Palestinian human rights and silence criticism of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. It is centred on the idea that at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is centuries-old religious differences as opposed to a settler colonial project that continues to dispossess and disenfranchise Palestinians.
In June, Europal organised a seminar in London to address the issue. The two speakers were Rifat Kassis, director of Kairos Palestine and founder of the Defence for Children Palestine and Daud Abdullah, director of Middle East Monitor (MEMO). According to the organisers, the aim of the seminar was for “attendees to understand more about this growing phenomenon and how interfaith groups are increasingly becoming important vehicles for the normalization Israel’s apartheid practices.”
Rifat Kassis is also a valued member of the Peacemaker Board of Reference as well as Convivencia Alliance, a genuine interfaith movement that repudiates faithwashing.