HEBRON REFLECTION: A call to let go of fear for the sake of justice


22 April 2011
HEBRON REFLECTION:  A call to let go of fear for the sake of justice

by Paulette Schroeder

I recently finished reading the Kairos Palestine Document,
(www.kairospalestine.ps <https://cpt.org/wp-content/uploads/IMG_0316-2.jpg>
) a text full of faith and hope put out by the shrinking Palestinian Christian
community in Israel/Palestine, which now amounts to just 1.5% of the total

 Now into my third year as a member of the Christian Peacemaker team in
Hebron, West Bank, I daily encounter Palestinians whose freedom has been taken
from them.  The separation wall has turned their towns and villages into
prisons, separating them from one another.  Israeli settlements control their water and natural resources
and their ability to raise their crops.  The military checkpoints subject their brothers, their
uncles, and their fathers to daily humiliations.  Like one young Palestinian businessman recently said to me at
a checkpoint:  “I’m living in quicksand.  I’m trapped.”  I
wonder if any Palestinian neighbor of mine thinks about all the creative
possibilities within him/herself.  I
worry, too, whether more than forty years of military occupation may have
smashed such hopeful thinking.

But the cries of hope ring out loudly from the Kairos Document:

  We also declare that the Israeli Occupation of Palestinian land is a sin
against God and humanity because it deprives the Palestinians of their basic
human rights, bestowed by God.  It distorts the image of God in the
Israeli who has become an occupier just as it distorts this image in the
Palestinian living under occupation.  We declare that any theology,
seemingly based on the Bible or on faith or on history, that legitimizes the
occupation is far from Christian teachings, because it calls for violence and
holy war in the name of God Almighty, subordinating God to temporary human
interests, and distorting the divine image in the human beings living under
both political and theological injustice.”
It becomes ever more clear to all of us living in Occupation that there will be
no peace until there is justice in this land.  When we acknowledge the
rights of each person by virtue of his/her humanity, it is self evident that
our world, our countries, can no longer wait for the right leader.  It
also follows, therefore, that no one can ignore the suffering of our world.
 As the Civil Rights movement slowly pushed justice forward for the
African American; as the Berlin Wall chipped, cracked and finally smashed into
smithereens; as South Africa destroyed the wall of apartheid, so too each of us
must stand up, step forward out of any fear and do our individual part to
restore the dream of God for our world. 
None of us is inadequate for the task at hand, i.e. of rebuilding our
world into a world of justice, ushering in the peace, the shalom, the salaam of

 A complete version of the Kairos Palestine Document is available here.

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