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Palestinian-Jewish Relations – Human Rights & Justice in the Holy Land

Dr Miriam Pepper offers the following resources and ways forward.

October 2011

The Relations with Other Faiths Committee of the NSW/ACT Synod is working to meet with Jewish and Muslim leaders to seek collaborative ways forward for free and open discussion on the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. Read more about the committee and its work.

Some background information and history

Stewart Mills, from Balmain Uniting Church, is very knowledgeable about the conflict and deeply engaged in peace building.  He wrote his masters thesis on the topic “Empathising with the enemy: Transformation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict by overcoming psychological and structural obstacles”.  Stewart’s blog is at palestineisraelsolutions.blogspot.com and there is all kinds of helpful material there, and you can access his thesis here.

For a commentary on the history, go to israelandpalestinediary.blogspot.com and there is a link to a PDF document stored on Google scholar here that discusses some of the 20th century history that was covered in the al Nakba documentary.

Some recent documents/statements/initiatives from the churches:

Kairos Palestine, a statement from Palestinian Christians to churches across the world.  You can download a copy from here.

World Council of Churches activity/news: here.

Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel: www.eappi.org.  NCCA is involved in this, www.ncca.org.au.

National Council of Churches 2010 resolution on Palestine and Israel: 7th National Forum, 566 Resolutions.  For a commentary about the NCCA resolution, including the response from the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, see Israeli settler boycott, the NCCA and interfaith.

Act for Peace’s work in Israel/Palestine: www.actforpeace.org.au

2008 Assembly statement on Israel-Palestine, download from here.

2010 Synod Standing Committee resolution on Gaza: SC100702.mins_mostrecent.pdf (scroll to resolution 156/10SC on the bottom of the page numbered 114.)

Ecumenical Working Group on Palestine-Israel.  Based in Canberra, a part of Churches Together ACT.  I can’t find any website/webpage for them.

What can we do?

Write to our local member(s) asking that the Australian government support the Palestinian Authority’s request that Palestine be recognised as a state.  Stewart Mills has written a letter to the Prime Minister about this, view it at Australia's obligation to recognise Palestine.

Get in touch with/support Friends of Bethlehem, which is a group based in the Marrickville area, supporting Bethlehem which is in the West Bank. friendsofbethlehem.org.

Keep our eye out for resources that are currently being prepared by the Assembly, under the leadership of Gregor Henderson, to give guidance to churches. The resources are expected to be ready in late October.