Resources on Israel/Palestine
United for Peace & Justice in the Holy Land (adopted from statement of principles from Millennial Voices for Peace)
E4J is part of an emerging movement seeking peace and justice in the Holy Land. As inhabitants of an increasingly interconnected world, as followers of Christ who believe that faith should inform action, as United States citizens invested in the endeavors of our country, and as friends and family members of those actively experiencing the conflict in the Holy Land, we hold a personal connection to this land and to its people.
We share in the heritage of faith and tradition that was born out of the Holy Land, and we desire to see redemption and flourishing in the land. We hope to be ambassadors of peace and reconciliation and advocates for both the Palestinian and Israeli people (2 Cor. 5:18-20).
We are inspired by those of different faiths who seek to understand the experience of the other under a mutual respect and shared commitment to peace. We are inspired by all who live in fear and oppression yet choose to love their enemies and pray for those who dispossess, terrorize or oppress them (Matthew 5:44).
We believe all children – be they Israeli or Palestinian – have the right to live in safety, free from violence, fear and want. We believe it is God’s will that all the children of this land live in peace and without fear (Matthew 19:14).
We believe that frustration without action or compassion will never lead to positive change. Thus, we are dedicated to working towards constructive outcomes for those who experience the destructive power of conflict. We are committed to being quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger (James 1:19).
We call for the end to all violence, vengeance (retribution), fear, and hatred of Palestinians toward Israelis and Israelis toward Palestinians. We are committed to reconciliation and nonviolent bilateral change, believing that this is the only way to achieve a long term solution and a lasting peace that affirms the God given dignity of all people. We reject the notion that advocacy is practiced within a narrative in which we must choose between polarized sides. We challenge all arguments that place narratives unavoidably and unalterably in opposition to each other. We instead seek to tread a different path, in which the historic and present pain and suffering of all peoples are heard, felt, and validated, and in which a future solution represents the legitimate, holistic needs of both Palestinians and Israelis.
Violent acts of terror do not advance the cause for peace and justice, but undermine those who pursue it. We believe that sustainable peace cannot be fully realized in the presence of terrorism, nor under the realities of military occupation. Long term solutions do not include an indefinite occupation, as it is a significant contributor to poverty in the Palestinian territories and source of fear and oppression for all people in the Holy Land. We stand alongside the Israeli and Palestinian men, women, and children leading the way on this difficult journey toward peace and justice.
It is time to venture beyond solidarity and into peaceful activism. E4J is committed to a movement that mobilizes our U.S. national resources (churches, communities, government) to act as a catalyst for establishing peace and justice in the Holy Land.
Note: Go here if you would like to sign the statement
Helpful Resources on Israel/Palestine
Skeptics Guide to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Dale Hanson Bourke
With all of the heat surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, even the most basic facts can be hard to grasp. How do we make sense of what we read in the Bible―and what we read in the news? In this Skeptic’s Guide™, Dale Hanson Bourke sheds light on the places, terms, history, and current issues shaping this important region. Offering an even-handed presentation of a range of views on the most controversial issues, she provides a framework for American Christians to use in understanding why the conflict occurred, why it continues―and what remains to be done.
The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine Ilan Pappe
Renowned Israeli historian, Ilan Pappe’s groundbreaking book revisits the formation of the State of Israel. Between 1947 and 1949, over 400 Palestinian villages were deliberately destroyed, civilians were massacred and around a million men, women, and children were expelled from their homes at gunpoint.Denied for almost six decades, had it happened today it could only have been called “ethnic cleansing”. Decisively debunking the myth that the Palestinian population left of their own accord in the course of this war, Ilan Pappe offers impressive archival evidence to demonstrate that, from its very inception, a central plank in Israel’s founding ideology was the forcible removal of the indigenous population. Indispensable for anyone interested in the current crisis in the Middle East.
Righteous Victims Benny Morris
At a time when the Middle East has come closer to achieving peace than ever before, eminent Israeli historian Benny Morris explodes the myths cherished by both sides to present an epic history of Zionist-Arab relations over the past 120 years. Tracing the roots of political Zionism back to the pogroms of Russia and the Dreyfus Affair, Morris describes the gradual influx of Jewish settlers into Palestine and the impact they had on the Arab population. Following the Holocaust, the first Arab-Israeli war of 1948 resulted in the establishment of the State of Israel, but it also shattered Palestinian Arab society and gave rise to a massive refugee problem. Morris offers distinctive accounts of each of the subsequent Israeli-Arab wars and details the sporadic peace efforts in between, culminating in the peace process initiated by the Rabin Government. In a new afterword to the Vintage edition, he examines Ehud Barak’s leadership, the death of President Assad of Syria, and Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon, and the recent renewed conflict with the Palestinians. Studded with illuminating portraits of the major protagonists, Righteous Victims provides an authoritative record of the middle east and its continuing struggle toward peace.
A Land Full of God: Christian Perspectives Toward the Holy Land Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, ed. (to be published 2016)
A collection of essays from Christian leaders with varying views on The Holy Land, peace building, and how US Christians can and should be involved.
Blood Brothers Elias Chacour
As a child, Elias Chacour lived in a small Palestinian village in Galilee. The townspeople were proud of their ancient Christian heritage and lived at peace with their Jewish neighbors. But early in 1947, their idyllic lifestyle was swept away as tens of thousands of Palestinians were killed and nearly one million forced into refugee camps. An exile in his native land, Elias began a years-long struggle with his love for the Jewish people and the world’s misunderstanding of his own people, the Palestinians. How was he to respond? He found his answer in the simple, haunting words of the Man of Galilee: “Blessed are the peacemakers.” In Blood Brothers, Chacour blends his riveting life story with historical research to reveal a little-known side of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the birth of modern Israel. He touches on controversial questions such as “What behind-the-scenes politics touched off the turmoil in the Middle East? “, “What does Bible prophecy really have to say? “, and “Can bitter enemies ever be reconciled?”
The Lemon Tree: an Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East Sandy Tolan
In 1967, Bashir Al-Khayri, a Palestinian twenty-five-year-old, journeyed to Israel, with the goal of seeing the beloved old stone house, with the lemon tree behind it, that he and his family had fled nineteen years earlier. To his surprise, when he found the house he was greeted by Dalia Ashkenazi Landau, a nineteen-year-old Israeli college student, whose family fled Europe for Israel following the Holocaust. On the stoop of their shared home, Dalia and Bashir began a rare friendship, forged in the aftermath of war and tested over the next thirty-five years in ways that neither could imagine on that summer day in 1967. Based on extensive research, and springing from his enormously resonant documentary that aired on NPR’s Fresh Air in 1998, Sandy Tolan brings the Israeli-Palestinian conflict down to its most human level, suggesting that even amid the bleakest political realities there exist stories of hope and reconciliation.
Mornings in Jenin Susan Abulhawa
A Novel – A story about the life of a Palestinian family throughout the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, following their displacement from 1948 until today.
The Israelis: Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Land Donna Rosenthal
This is a great book to look beyond the politics at the diverse lives, aspirations and challenges of ordinary Israelis.
Dark Hope: Working for Peace in Israel and Palestine David Shulman
For decades, we’ve been shocked by images of violent clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. But for all their power, those images leave us at a loss: from our vantage at home, it’s hard for us to imagine the struggles of those living in the midst of the fighting. Now, American-born Israeli David Shulman takes us right into the heart of the conflict with Dark Hope, an eye-opening chronicle of his work as a member of the peace group Ta‘ayush, which takes its name from the Arabic for “living together.”
5 Broken Cameras (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2125423/)
An enlightening documentary sharing some serious eye-opening truths about journalism and its suppression.
A beautiful film about nonviolent Palestinian resistance and solidarity expressions by Israeli activists, with a positive message and example to our societies. Palestinian community organizer Ayed Morrar and his daughter Iltezam unite local Fatah and Hamas members along with Israeli supporters in an unarmed movement to save their village of Budrus from destruction by Israel’s Separation Barrier. Budrus won over 20 awards internationally and was hailed by the New York Times as the “must-see documentary of the year.”
A documentary that follows the lives of Palestinian and Israeli kids, and what happens to them when they grow up in conflict.
The Gatekeepers (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2309788/)
A documentary featuring interviews with all surviving former heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency whose activities and membership are closely held state secrets.
A love story amidst the occupation and working within a system of collaboration and manipulation.
Little Town of Bethlehem (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1602609/)
“Little Town of Bethlehem” shares the gripping story of three men, born into violence, willing to risk everything to bring an end to violence in their lifetime. A Christian, a Muslim, and a Jew-shaped by events of their Palestinian and Israeli upbringing-find inspiration in the words and actions of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. Sami, Ahmad, and Yonatan believe that violence can indeed be stopped but recognize their own struggles will remain. Yet they will struggle together to discover a common humanity through non-violent action. In the city of Bethlehem where it is said God became man, these men stand alongside others whose central desire is to be accepted and treated as fully human. Their story brings fresh hope to the ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel while taking a stand against violence throughout the world.
The Wanted 18 (http://www.justvision.org/wanted18)
Humorous and thought-provoking, The Wanted 18 shows the power of mass mobilization and nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation during the First Intifada – an era too-often simplistically depicted with stone-throwing Palestinian youth facing armed soldiers. This is a poignant film about nation-building from the bottom up, by the people not the politicians.
My Neighborhood (http://www.justvision.org/myneighbourhood)
Only 25 minutes long, this short film tells the story of a young Palestinian boy. Mohammed El Kurd is a Palestinian boy growing up in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. His family loses half of their home to Israeli settlers leading a campaign of court-sanctioned evictions to guarantee Jewish control of the area. This Peabody Award-winning film captures voices rarely heard, of those striving for a shared future in the city.
Home Front (http://www.justvision.org/homefront)
A series of four short films chronicling the resolve of a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, where families are struggling to keep their homes in the face of escalating Israeli settlement expansion. Residents are surprised when support comes from the most unexpected of places. Richard Branson called Home Front “films that make a difference.”
Encounter Point (http://www.justvision.org/encounterpoint)
A story of everyday leaders who refuse to sit back as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict escalates. Encounter Point follows a former Israeli settler, a Palestinian ex-prisoner, a bereaved Israeli mother and a wounded Palestinian bereaved brother who risk everything to promote a future of freedom, dignity, security and peace for everyone in the region.
Websites and Newspapers
Churches for Middle East Peace – http://cmep.org/
CMEP works to encourage U.S. policies that actively promote a just, lasting, and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ensuring security, human rights and religious freedom for all the people of the region.
Millennial Voices for Peace – http://www.millennialvoicesforpeace.com/
“We are a movement of young Christians in their 20s and 30s dedicated to designing and implementing a national campaign for peace and justice in the Holy Land. Our mission is to promote a holistic understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict within U.S. communities by creating space for dialogue and advocating for both Israelis and Palestinians who are pursuing peace and justice in the Holy Land.”
Prayers for Peace – http://prayersfortheholyland.org/
Violence and chaos in the Middle East have left many around the world hopeless and feeling helpless. As followers of Jesus, we refuse to be sidetracked by the temptation to despair. Prayers for Peace (P4P) provides a way for Christians of diverse political and theological backgrounds to stand up for peace and unite in supplication to God with a special focus on prayers for the Holy Land. Prayers for Peace provides Jesus’ followers with the common language of prayer around which to mobilize their energy and passion for the land that gave birth to our faith. To combat the prevailing images of discord, Prayers for Peace will highlight peace-building organizations that we may pray for them as they live out the reconciliation offered in the Prophets and Jesus’ message of shalom.
Another Voice – http://www.anothervoice.info/
A group of Israeli Messianic Jewish and Palestinian Christian women.
Haaretz – http://www.haaretz.com/
Jerusalem Post – http://www.jpost.com/
972 – http://972mag.com/
“+972 Magazine is a blog-based web magazine that is jointly owned by a group of journalists, bloggers and photographers whose goal is to provide fresh, original, on-the-ground reporting and analysis of events in Israel and Palestine. Our collective is committed to human rights and freedom of information, and we oppose the occupation. However, +972 Magazine does not represent any organization, political party or specific agenda.”