This article is part of the Jesus Now - Peace and Justice series.
As many of you here will know, in Arabic Sabeel means 'The Way' and also a 'Spring of Water.' Sabeel seeks identify a path to peace, and also the wellsprings of faith for those who would travel that path as peace-makers. Sabeel's goal is to develop a spirituality based on justice, peace and nonviolence, in order to secure liberation and reconciliation for the different national and faith communities in Israel/Palestine.
Sabeel also works to promote a more accurate international awareness regarding the identity, presence, and witness of Palestinian Christians.
I know that the Sabeel members in Jerusalem and in Nazareth deeply appreciate your presence here today. On their behalf I thank you for turning out to demonstrate your support for all who are suffering in this war and your desire for the violence to stop — immediately.
We must put the focus where it belongs — on people.
- not lines on a map
- not the rights of national states to defend themselves
- not some plan for a New World Order — or even a "new Middle East"
It is people that matter: not land, not nations, not empires.
So we need to focus on the problem, and the problem is the occupation. For almost 60 years, the indigenous people of Palestine have been driven from the homes and their lands. The occupation must be named as the underlying evil and it must be addressed. It must be ended.
- The solution to the violence and the fear that is destroying both Arabs and Jews will not be found in a wall that divides.
- The solution will not be found in more guns, smarter rockets and bigger bombs.
- The solution will not be found by bombing their neighbours back to the stone age or breaking up their homeland into isolated bantustans.
The solution will only be found when the occupation is resolved, when the land is returned, when the exiles are allowed home and when neighbours live together in peace.
- The first step towards that solution is to stop the killing.
- A second step towards that solution is to start talking.
- And a further step towards that solution is to dream of a future together in the lands that we all call Holy.
In the name of the God of Abraham and Sarah — the God known to us in the Torah of Moses, the same God encountered in the actions and teachings of Jesus Christ, and the same God proclaimed in the message of the Prophet (peace be upon them all) — we call for an end to the killing, the start of genuine negotiations and the construction of a peace founded on justice for all the peoples and communities of the biblical lands.
Thank you for listening and thank you for caring.
©2006 Gregory C. Jenks