The Holy Land Advocacy Team works to promote justice and peace in the Holy Land for Palestinians and Israelis through education, advocacy, and accompaniment. Palestinian Christians, and specifically our friends in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, live in deplorable conditions of occupation and inequality. Despite these circumstances, they are on the forefront of working for peace, creating hope and striving for the opportunity to experience the fullness of human rights we would expect for all people. As members of churches in the United States, we have a particular responsibility to advocate for a more just and equal treatment of the Israel/Palestine conflict, as well as to insist that our government abide by its own laws regarding human rights and foreign aid.
“The Psalmist laments and cries out, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?” Palestinians have long asked “how long?” and looked for signs that they are not forgotten. The prophet Jeremiah’s message conveys God’s promise of hope during a time of yearning for home, for Jerusalem. Jeremiah offers comfort that God’s plans guarantee the welfare of the people, and a future of hope. Seventy years of displacement and dispossession, half a century of occupation, and generations of yearning are enough. We trust in God, that the hope the prophets foretold is not only a promise for all of God’s children, but will be realized, and we pray—and recommit to working—for the realization of God’s justice and peace for all peoples.”
An Excerpt from 70 Years On: Seeking a Hopeful Future in a Time of Yearning, an ecumenical document for the 70th anniversary of the “Nakba” (Day of Catastrophe) on May 15, 1948, remembering the displacement and dispossession of 750,000 Palestinians following the establishment of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948. The document was signed by more than a dozen religious groups in the United States, including the ELCA. Read the full document at: http://blogs.elca.org/peacenotwalls/elca-joins-more-than-a-dozen-other-churches-and-christian-organizations-in-a-statement-70-years-on-seeking-a-hopeful-future-in-a-time-of-yearning/
Members of the Holy Land Advocacy Team are available to present on this topic in your setting or to recommend speakers for you. Contact the synod office if you need contact information.
May, 2021 Resources
The curated and timely resources below are offered as a way to aide congregations wishing to engage more deeply and respond to the escalation of the conflict between Israel and Palestine that began in April, 2021 and continues now into mid-May.
Academy Award Nominated Short Film from 2021 is available on Netflix. Trailer: https://youtu.be/-Kl09vy6p2c. Yusef and his daughter Yasmine set out to buy his wife an anniversary gift. Between the soldiers, segregated roads, and checkpoints, how hard can it be to go shopping?