The Convivencia Alliance Website

The Convivencia Alliance is a coalition of Jewish, Muslim and Christian organisations supporting a just peace in Palestine based on One Democratic State, launched in London in May 2022. The founding organisations were Jewish Network for Palestine, (JNP), Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) and Peacemaker Trust.  

Convivencia simply means ‘coexistence’. It is an academic hypothesis, first proposed by the Spanish philologist Américo Castro, regarding the coexistence of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish communities during the period of Spanish history from the Muslim Umayyad conquest of Hispania in the early eighth century until the expulsion of the Jews by Christian rulers in 1492.

By extension the term can describe the contemporary religious and cultural interaction and exchange fostered by such proximity as a way to challenge the various forms of ethno-supremacism and exclusive religious nationalisms emerging in different parts of the world. 

The Convivencia Alliance has grown significantly since the launch and the Convivencia Declaration, outlining the aims and objectives of the Alliance, has already been endorsed by an extensive and growing list of internationally known leaders and organisations

Kairos USA Joins the Convivencia Alliance

Kairos is a Greek term for “favorable time” or “decisive epoch.” Kairos USA is a movement of U.S. Christians representing the body of Christ in all its diversity who believe the time is right for decisive action to end the crisis in Israel and Palestine. We work to unify and mobilize American Christians – lay, academic and clergy – to take a prophetic stance for a just peace. In so doing we heed the call of our Palestinian Christian sisters and brothers, who have called us to stand with them in their struggle for freedom.

We are delighted that Kairos USA has joined the Convivencia Alliance.

Convivencia: A Just Peace in Palestine – Jewish Perspectives

This was the second in a series of four webinars organised by the Convivencia Alliance which took place in January 2023.

The four distinguished speakers were:

Ronnie Kasrils, Cape Town
Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, London
Prof. Daniel Boyarin, San Francisco
Prof. Haim Bresheeth-Zabner, London

The webinar was chaired by Dr. Les Levdow, London

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Justice, Peace and Reconciliation in Palestine: A Convivencia Alliance Webinar

In October, the Convivencia Alliance arranged an international webinar entitled: “The Convivencia Declaration: Justice, Peace and Reconciliation in Palestine – Christian Perspectives: The Struggle for Justice and Peace: Experiences from South Africa, Northern Ireland, USA and Palestine. 

You may watch the entire webinar above or view the four presentations individually by clicking on the speakers below:


Revd Allan Boesak: Professor of Black Liberation Theology and Ethics at University of Pretoria

Mark Braverman: Executive Director, Kairos USA and Research Fellow in Systematic Theology and Ecclesiology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Jonny Clark: Programme Manager for Public Theology at the Corrymeela Community, Northern Ireland

Rifat Kassis: General Coordinator of Kairos Palestine

Read the Convivencia Declaration

The Convivencia Alliance members

Convivencia Alliance Appoints First Chair

The Convivencia Alliance is a coalition of Jewish, Muslim and Christian organisations supporting a just peace in Palestine based on One Democratic State, launched at the P21 Gallery, Euston in London in May 2022. The founding organisations were Jewish Network for Palestine, (JNP), Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) and Peacemaker Trust.  

The Alliance has grown significantly since the launch and the Convivencia Declaration, outlining the aims and objectives of the Alliance, has already been endorsed by an extensive and growing list of internationally known leaders and organisations

Dr Stephen Sizer, who is also the founder and director of Peacemaker Trust, has been appointed the first chair of the Convivencia Alliance. This will be a revolving position shared between the three founding organisations to reflect the joint nature of the Convivencia Alliance. The role will involve representing, publicising and growing the Alliance. 

We are also grateful to our interim Chair, Mr David Cannon, who also serves as the chair of the Jewish Network for Palestine. His conscientious and diligent leadership has been fundamental to the growth of the Alliance and Declaration.

Dr Sizer is convening the first of three international webinars The Convivencia Declaration: Justice, Peace and Reconciliation – Christian Perspectives on Tuesday 25th October 18:00. Speakers include Revd Allan Boesak (South Africa), Mark Braverman (USA) Jonny Clark (Northern Ireland), and Rifat Kassis (Palestine). 

  

Revd Prof Allan Boesak Joins Convivencia Alliance

The Revd Prof. Allan Aubrey Boesak, one of South Africa’s leading anti-apartheid campaigners, Professor of Black Liberation Theology and Ethics, University of Pretoria, and President, The Sankofa Institute for Pan African Leadership and Prophetic Ministry, has endorsed the Convivencia Declaration. In his letter to the Conveners he wrote,

I think this is an excellent, and absolutely necessary initiative at a time when the Israeli state is more violently and criminally desperate than ever before, but simultaneously when solidarity with and support for the Palestinian cause seem to finding new allies, despite, and perhaps because of the persistent assaults on Palestinians and their allies within and without the Jewish community.

Yes, you are right.  We have long understood that the religious and biblical justification claimed by apartheid constituted a denial and perversion of the most basic tenets for faith and should be declared a heresy. In 1982 the world church joined us and it turned out to be one of the most efficacious actions taken against apartheid. Because we recognise such frightening similarities in the Israeli apartheid State and its pernicious ideologies and actions, I have been arguing for some time now that Christians, at least, should think of the support of Christian, Evangelical, Zionist biblical and theological justifications in the same way. I think this is an important part of the battle and a crucial avenue to pursue. In the World Communion of Reformed Churches we are working towards the same goal.

The Convivencia Alliance also recalls for me the United Democratic Front, the political movement that brought our people together across those artificial barriers of race, religion, colour, culture, and class and that was so successful in its mobilization of people in the struggle for freedom and justice in South Africa, and whose political agenda always included Palestine.Anyway, this is my longwinded way of affirming your recollection of our role in declaring apartheid a heresy, a perversion of the gospel and a blasphemy.  I continue to argue that the ability to take a stand in the anti-apartheid struggle in those final stages of the 1980s was the litmus test of our spiritual and political integrity. Such is the case today with the cause of Palestinian justice. So I think that the Convivencia Alliance will be a powerful instrument to put that choice before people at this time. It will be an honour to join others in making a contribution to this worthy cause. Warmest greetings and God’s richest blessings upon you and the important work you are doing, Allan Boesak

Convivencia Alliance

Convivencia Declaration Supporters

Convivencia Alliance Launch

New Middle East peace initiative seeks to harness spirit of Spanish Golden Age.

A new initiative to help bring a just peace in the Middle East was launched in London yesterday, invoking the periods of mutual co-existence enjoyed by the three Abrahamic faiths in medieval Spain and the Ottoman Empire.
Convivencia is a cross-faith, international initiative for a just peace in the Middle East that seeks to substitute the current militarised ‘solutions’ based on racist oppression, brute force, denial of rights and colonial dispossession with an approach predicated on shared values and commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The conveners were Professor Haim Bresheeth and David Cannon of Jewish Network for Palestine (JNP), Massoud Shadjareh of the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) and myself.
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Convivencia: Interfaith Coexistence

Convivencia simply means ‘coexistence’. It is an academic hypothesis, first proposed by the Spanish philologist Américo Castro, regarding the coexistence of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish communities during the period of Spanish history from the Muslim Umayyad conquest of Hispania in the early eighth century until the expulsion of the Jews in 1492.

By extension the term can describe the contemporary religious and cultural interaction and exchange fostered by such proximity as a way to challenge the various forms of ethno-supremacism and exclusive religious nationalisms emerging in different parts of the world. 

Professor Haim Bresheeth has written a short introductory article on Convivencia published by Faith Initiative.

The Executive Summary may be viewed on the website of the Jewish Network for Palestine.

In June 2021, The Jewish Network for Palestine invited me to give a short presentation on Convivencia at their annual meeting. JNP have written a significant document on Convivencia to be launched in the Spring, in liaison with Muslim and Christian organisations.

Jewish Network for Palestine: Convivencia

The Jewish Network for Palestine recently invited me to give a short presentation on ‘Convivencia’ or coexistence at their 2021 annual meeting.

Convivencia simply means ‘coexistence’. It is an academic hypothesis, first proposed by the Spanish philologist Américo Castro, regarding the coexistence of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish communities during the period of Spanish history from the Muslim Umayyad conquest of Hispania in the early eighth century until the expulsion of the Jews in 1492.

By extension the term can describe the contemporary religious and cultural interaction and exchange fostered by such proximity as a way to challenge the various forms of ethno-supremacism and exclusive religious nationalisms emerging in different parts of the world.