Many statements have been made about the current situation unfolding in the Holy Land. As an organization who partners with local Community Leaders in both Israel and Palestine, we want to express our deep concern for the ongoing and unspeakable violence unfolding there.
From the start, we want to make it clear we strongly condemn the acts of terrorism and violence and the taking of lives and hostages committed by Hamas. We are deeply concerned for the welfare of all of the hostages and join the chorus of voices pleading for their immediate release and for the ceasing of all violent acts at the hands of Hamas.
We also want to say we cannot look away from or support the ongoing attacks and collective punishment currently being meted out by the IDF on the people of Gaza, many of whom are civilians (women, children, the elderly) trapped in a place they cannot escape. We cry out for an immediate ceasefire and for the restoration of water, electricity, and humanitarian supplies to Gaza.
We realize that our world is polarizing around this conflict. If you speak out in support of one side you will most likely be canceled by the other. This, sadly, is what maintains silence in the presence of injustice and allows oppression to continue unchecked. Silencing voices will never create a path towards a just peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land.
It is our hope in sharing our concerns to point you towards listening and learning and to encourage you to take a deeper look into the very complex and nuanced narratives surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. May this crisis in the Holy Land cultivate a sincere curiosity in you. Follow the thread of curiosity beyond the headlines to the human stories of Palestinian and Israeli families. Let them teach us about the centuries of tension, the world powers, and what injustice feels like in daily life. Peace will not be accomplished until the roots of this conflict are addressed with honesty.
Simply choosing a side without a fuller understanding of both sides of the larger story can sadly become the first step in dehumanizing one people group and elevating the value of another.
As people of faith in a God who has placed his Image on every single person, we must fight against this way of thinking and seeing.
To be proactive, we want to share some resources with you that have been meaningful to us. They have compelled us to be thoughtful and open learners as we seek to deepen our own awareness of the conflict. We hope you find them meaningful and thought-provoking as well.
“The History of Israel & Palestine” (The Pour Over)
With God On Our Side (Full Documentary)
“A Jewish Case Against Zionism” (article) by Joshua P. Hill
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Tough Questions, Direct Answers by Dale Hanson Bourke
The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan — a true story of families on both sides of the historical conflict
Yet in the Dark Streets Shining: A Palestinian Story of Hope and Resilience in Bethlehem by Bishara Awad & Mercy Aiken
Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land by Sandy Tolan
Please continue to pray with us for an end to the violence and for true peace to come to Israel and Palestine. As we pray, may we be called back to our shared humanity. To hearts that remember that all people are made in God's image and are of equal value and worth. As people of faith, may our posture ever be to uphold the dignity of all people and to seek justice, mercy, truth, peace, and reconciliation on behalf of the oppressed.
A quote worth pondering:
"Peacemaking doesn’t mean passivity. It is the act of interrupting injustice without mirroring injustice, the act of disarming evil without destroying the evildoer, the act of finding a third way that is neither fight nor flight but the careful, arduous pursuit of reconciliation and justice."
- Shane Claiborne
Love Your Enemies
You must have a group size of at least 6 members to join this trip. Please view the Small Team trips or call our Servicing Department for more options at 888-475-6414.
For most trips, you must have a group size of at least 6 members. Please view the Small Teams tab on each Community page or call our Servicing Department for more options at 888-475-6414.