“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:19-23)
Like other Western colonial-settler experiments, for over 70 years, Zionists have been systematically erasing the culture and history of indigenous Palestinians to justify their forced removal and the theft of their land. Ilan Pappe, in his book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, calls this ‘memorocide’ and in The Palestine Nakba, Nur Masalha elaborates,
“The founding myths of Israel have dictated the conceptual removal of Palestinians before, during and after their physical removal in 1948… The de-Arabisation of Palestine, the erasure of Palestinian history and the elimination of the Palestinian’s collective memory by the Israeli state are no less violent than the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in 1948 and the destruction of historic Palestine.”
This is why books such as Ancestral Journeys and Western Missions are so vital in recording the memories and eyewitness accounts of Arabs and Palestinians who experienced the arrival of Western colonialists to the Middle East, were co-opted into their wars, witnessed the rise of Zionism and then became refugees in the Palestinian Nakba. Anita Damiani-Shanley’s book will most certainly help perpetuate their heritage and rightful historic claim to Palestine.
Ancestral Journeys is however much more than the story of two families, one Arab and the other Scottish joined in marriage. It traces the influence of missionaries, archaeologists, traders and colonialists competing with each other for a share of the Near East as the Ottoman Empire met its demise. Richly illuminated with family photos, the three main chapters trace the ancestral journeys of Damiani-Shanley’s extended family from Scotland and Lebanon to Iraq and then to Palestine. A fourth chapter traces the role of the Anglican Church in Palestine.Continue reading
For too long, many churches have shied away from talking about Palestinian Christians from the pulpit, but we know that for our faith to be truly alive, we must preach good news to the poor and freedom to the oppressed (Luke 4:18).Continue reading
“Kairos Palestine, the most extensive Palestinian Christian ecumenical non- violent movement, is based on Kairos Palestine document: A Moment of Truth, launched in 2009, affirming that the Palestinian Christians are part and parcel of the Palestinian nation, calling for peace to end all suffering in the Holy Land by laboring for justice, hope and love, embraced by the Christian community, signed by all historically recognized Palestinian Christian organizations, and endorsed by the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem”.
Global Kairos for Justice, a worldwide coalition of concerned Christians from different churches, denominational and national (or people of faith), churches and church related organizations born in response to the Kairos Palestine “Moment of Truth: a word of faith, hope, and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering, which was launched in 2009. GKJ is committed to none violent means, calling for ending of the Israeli colonization of Palestine and advocating for the right of self-determination of Palestinian people and peace with justice for all people in the holy land.
At the recent Sabeel-Kairos AGM, Stephen was appointed a trustee of the charity.
Sabeel-Kairos is a small and energetic Christian UK charity committed to supporting peace and justice in the Holy Land. We are a network of individuals, organisations and communities of all backgrounds across the UK who stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people by promoting and advocating on the messages of Kairos Palestine and Sabeel Jerusalem.
The network continues the work of the Christians who issued the Iona call in 2012, and the subsequent writing of our key publication ‘Time for Action’. We seek a just and lasting peace in the region based on the realisation of full human and political rights for all.
United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR) and Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) hosted a webinar with two recognized authorities on Christian Zionism, a disturbing political theology embraced by millions of Americans who now have a tremendous influence on US foreign policy with regard to Israel and Palestine.
In this webinar, Rev. Drs. Stephen Sizer and Munther Isaac help us understand the theology of Christian Zionism, why it is an inaccurate interpretation of Scripture, how it is harming Palestinian Christians and the entire Middle East peace process, and how to counter this theology in our churches.
The Methodist Federation for Social Action together with United Methodists for Kairos Response recently hosted an online seminar on Christian Zionism with Revd Dr Munther Isaac and myself speaking. You can watch the seminar here. An outline of my presentation and additional resources are accessible here.
The annual Sabeel-Kairos Conference will be held virtually this year. The trustees are delighted to be joined by speakers from our two key partners in Palestine – Rev Dr Munther Isaac from Kairos Palestine, and Omar Haramy from Sabeel Jerusalem.These two fantastic speakers will cover the key themes of the conference; ‘You cannot serve God and the occupation’ and ‘Antisemitism, Israel and Palestine.’ There will be chance to ask your questions in an interactive Q+A on both topics. Book your place here