On Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 October, Sabeel’s Director Omar Haramy participated in a conference organized by the Lutheran Church of Sweden. The theme of the conference was the importance of shifting power. Sabeel gave a presentation about shifting power from a Palestian liberation theology perspective and led two bible study workshops with close to 40 people in each workshop. Over 800 participants attended the conference. Participants came from different parts of Sweden.
Category: Friends of Sabeel
Sabeel participated in a conference held both in Seattle, Washington and virtually about justice and peace in Palestine/Israel.
On Saturday 24 September, Sabeel participated in a conference held both in Seattle, Washington and virtually about justice and peace in Palestine/Israel. The conference included a conversation among faith leaders from Sabeel, Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA), Kairos USA, and Falastiniyat, and Dr. Alice Rothchild. Sabeel’s Founder Reverend Naim Ateek, FOSNA Founding Executive Director Reverend Richard K. Toll, FOSNA Executive Director Jonathan Kuttab, and Former FOSNA Program Director Reverend Don Wagner participated in the conference.
Sabeel Nazareth launched a new documentary film about the village of Kufr Birim
On Wednesday 14 September, a group of young people from Sabeel Nazareth launched a new documentary film about the village of Kufr Birim In 1948, the Palestinians living in the village were forced to leave their homes and land. Since 1948, nothing has remained in the village but the church, which was maintained by the community. Although the Israeli High Court ruled that the people could return to the village, the Israeli government has not allowed them to do so. The documentary film is an initiative of young people from the village who want to share the village’s history and learn about it by documenting their families’ stories.
Friends of Sabeel France
President of the Friends of Sabeel in France
12, rue de Kirchberg
F- 67290 Wingen S/ Moder – France
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 89 43 05
It all started with an Ecumenical Accompaniment mission by a retired French pastor in April 2004. His name : Gilbert Charbonnier. After a few days, the person in charge of the EAPPI volunteers fell ill and was replaced by a member of the Sabeel staff in Jerusalem. This gave Gilbert the opportunity to discover something completely new to him. A bit later, the whole group of EAPPI volunteers were invited to share one day of the 5th International Conference of Sabeel, on Challenging Christian Zionism. Gilbert also had the opportunity to talk to Rev. Naim Ateek. All this was new to him, but he was soon convinced that it was important, and started studying Palestinian Liberation Theology.
Already convinced of the major significance of the Israeli-Palestinian ‘conflict’ on the geopolitical level as well as on the level of inter-religious dialogue, he came to realize that his next mission was to share his experience and discoveries with his fellow Christians in the various churches of France. To his surprise, there was a greater interest in Catholic than in Protestant circles. This brought him to collaborate with the ecumenical organization, “Chrétiens de la Méditerranée”.
After attending the 7th International Conference of Sabeel in Nov. 2008, focusing on The Nakba, a project to create a special association on a French national level and in an ecumenical spirit matured. It materialized on June 17, 2010, in the city of Avignon, when the association Amis de Sabeel France / Friends of Sabeel France officially came into existence. Pastor Gilbert Charbonnier was elected as its first president. In June 2012, Pastor Ernest Reichert, who had a long relationship with Middle Eastern churches, took over as president. We currently have 9 members of the Board coming from all over France and rooted in the Catholic as well as in Protestant churches.
Today we have about 150 members. One of our major aims is to increase the awareness of our church members and leaders of the importance of the Israeli-Palestinian issue on all levels, the more so since the real issues at stake are not really apprehended by our church congregations, and that their leading bodies have never officially and publicly taken a position on the Kairos Palestine Document. We have the impression that their main concern is to avoid hurting in any way the religious Jewish communities in France. This however should not hinder them from coming down in favor of justice.
For this reason, we strive to work on two levels: to discourage a predetermined reading of Holy Scriptures, both Old and New Testament, so as to counter a conscious or unconscious Christian Zionist reading, and to dispatch widely the information transmitted, mainly through Sabeel, on the situation on the ground, the concerns and challenges the Palestinian people face in the Holy Land today. That is why we translate every week into French the Sabeel Wave of Prayer, as well as other documents like Cornerstone, or the Christmas and Easter Alerts, and send them to about 800 addresses. And many of the addressees of these documents dispatch them again to their own networks, so that the information reaches more than 1000 people. This way we can compare ourselves to the yeast in the dough.
Having this in mind, we organized, together with the association Chrétiens de la Méditerranée, a symposium in Paris on June 1st, 2013 on the theme ‘From Christian Zionism to the Kairos-Palestine Document’. Speakers from various Church backgrounds, Palestinian as well as French, presented the issues at stake, the position of their Churches, and how to confront various biblical readings. Bishop Elias Chacour and Mrs. Nora Carmi introduced the participants to the Palestinian situation as they experience it. And thanks to the dedication of members of our Board, we were able to propose the complete proceedings of the symposium by the end of the same year.
We also translated into French and published the book ‘A Palestinian Christian Cry for Reconciliation’ by Rev. Naim Ateek. Unfortunately, we were not able to sell many copies of it, which made us once more aware of the limits of our project. But we continue and are about to publish the translation of Jean Zaru’s book ‘Occupied with Nonviolence’, another Palestinian witness to peaceful resistance. We also regularly translate and dispatch the documents for the yearly World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel, as well as other PIEF documents.
On another level, we have managed to convince some French young people to participate in Sabeel Summer Youth Gatherings. On their return, they shared their experience with their friends and fellows, and thus spread new awareness on often unknown issues. And at our General Assemblies, which take place in a different town of France every year, we invite witnesses such as former EAPPI volunteers or filmmakers to share their own recent experiences on the ground. We have also questioned, and invited others to question political leaders on their position regarding the Israel-Palestine issues.
The great project we are presently working on is to organize, together with the French Protestant Federation, a Symposium for people having responsibilities in the main Christian Churches in France. It will take place at the beginning of March 2016 in Paris, with the participation of some Church leaders from Palestine, in view of sharing the realities and the challenges Christians have to face in Israel and Palestine today.
Our challenges remain constant : change the minds, primarily of Christian people, in our country. There are quite a number of secular organizations in France taking the defense of the freedom and dignity of the Palestinian people and promoting BDS actions. We collaborate with them on personal levels, point to widespread attitudes in our church circles that are close to Christian Zionism, and try to also penetrate the Evangelical world – which is quite difficult because of these very Christian Zionist attitudes. Another difficulty is that people publicly advocating BDS initiatives are presently prosecuted by law in France, which we cannot admit.
We may also have to develop contacts with Jewish, Moslem, and other religious organizations concerned with the issues we want to face, though such contacts already exist on personal levels. The Palestinian experience certainly can be very helpful to us in our local and national challenges related to a multicultural, multi-religious, and also a very secularized society. We are also aware of the importance of exchanging information with other Chapters of Friends of Sabeel in Europe and elsewhere. Our main task, however, appears to be promoting the Sabeel, and biblical, values of justice, peace, reconciliation, and living together in spite of all kinds of differences, with the constant refusal of any resort to violence. The way all these values are embodied in the struggle of our Palestinian brothers and sisters is a great help for us. However few we may be, we will not give up.
President of the Friends of Sabeel in France
12, rue de Kirchberg
F- 67290 Wingen S/ Moder – France
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 89 43 05
Friends of Sabeel Australia
Friends of Sabeel Australia Inc was formed in 2003 to support the work of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem. We are an Incorporated Association under Queensland law (registration number IA32173).
Our primary objectives are:
- To raise awareness in Australia and provide education concerning Christians in Israel and Palestine as well as neighbouring countries; and
- To support the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem in all its work.
We work in partnership with other communities and organisation whose values and mission align with ours, and specifically the Australian Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN), of which we are a founding member, and the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network (PIEN).
Our current activities and campaigns are reflected on our Sabeel Australia Facebook page and the Sabeel Australia website.
Our community network across Australia primarily operates by social media, with occasional online seminars and workshops as well as live events.
We collaborate with the global Sabeel network, and with other ecumenical and interfaith organisations.
Please follow us on Facebook, share our posts in your personal networks, and participate in our events.
We invite you to join the Sabeel Australia community so that you have a voice in shaping our local priorities for advocacy and education.
PO Box 592 Burpengary Qld 4505 | www.sabeel.org.au | firstname.lastname@example.org
Office above AGE UK
60 The Parade
Tel: 07999 549896
Charity number: 1116817
Friends of Sabeel UK was started in 1996 by Jan Davies at the invitation of Naim Ateek, Founder and Director of Sabeel.
Jan first visited Israel/Palestine in March 1982, the first of many visits, when she was working with Christian Aid. She had very little prior knowledge of the situation for Palestinians and her initial visit to the region was huge in terms of discovering the issues and difficulties experienced by the Palestinian people there. Jan became convinced of the need to tell people back at home in the UK of the situation. A poster she saw in Gaza in 1982 said:
May more eyes see
More ears hear
More lips speak
Jan’s passion was, and is, to enable the sharing of the Palestinian story in the UK.
When Jan stood down as coordinator, Jennifer Oldershaw took her place and when she retired some 5 or so years later Anne Clayton became coordinator. Anne is now also stepping down but all three have been passionately committed to supporting the Palestinian Christians in their life and work for justice and peace.
Friends of Sabeel UK works with the ecumenical network of Churches in the UK and with other organisations, eg. Kairos Britain, committed to peace and justice in Israel/Palestine.
We are committed to:
- Supporting the Sabeel Theology Centre in Jerusalem in its work for the promotion of religion for the benefit of the community.
- Supporting and encouraging the Christian community in the Holy Land (Israel and the Palestinian areas of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem) in their life and witness.
- Raising awareness in the United Kingdom concerning Christians in the Holy Land and promoting links with them.
The Main Challenges over the past five years have been many but over the last few years we have concentrated more of our efforts on the following:
1. Targeting the Next Generation: involving and energizing young British Christians
We have been very encouraged as a Board to see the growing number of young people that have become involved in FOSUK over the last few years. While knowing that we have much yet to do, we have taken or sent a dozen young people to visit or to conferences and have raised the financial support to enable them to go and see for themselves the realities on the ground. Two interns have worked with us in the UK office for periods of time ranging from 2 to 6 months and we have had the opportunity to speak at University groups, Theological Colleges and appropriate church groups.
Perhaps the greatest encouragement is to see two of the young people who participated in Sabeel’s Young Adult Conferences now on the UK Board and passionate about the issues in Palestine.
2. Informing and Educating the Churches
There have been many opportunities to speak in various places and at an increasing number of the more Evangelical Churches, sometimes with great interest and support and sometimes with opposition to what we were saying. We have been able to offer these groups an up to date picture of the present state of Palestine/Israel realities and to present and critique the Zionist Theology that nurtures uncritical support for Israel’s unjust policies.
We have also held an Engaging Evangelicals Day when we gathered around 30 leaders of churches and Christian organisations together to discuss how they could better work towards justice and peace in Israel/Palestine.
We have been especially grateful to Colin Chapman who wrote a Bible Study for us to accompany the Kairos ‘Time for Action’ document. Called ‘Israel/Palestine, Using the Bible Today’, it is a series of four studies addressing the following questions:
1. How should we use the Bible today in thinking about Israel/Palestine?
2. What is special about the land?
3. What is our vision for a just society?
4. How should we fight injustice and work for justice and peace?
To date we have sold around 200 copies.
3. Pilgrimages and Conferences: for people to hear and see for themselves the realities on the ground
A good number of our Board and members have attended Sabeel’s International Conferences and more than 40 people have been involved in the three UK Witness Visits in 2012, 2014, and 2015. On average around 80 to 100 have attended our Annual Conference held each summer. We have had a variety of topics and speakers at these conferences among whom were: Naim Ateek, Mark Braverman, Ilan Pappe, Iyad Burnat, Colin Chapman, Munther Isaac and Yohanna Katanacho.
We have also hosted Hind Khoury and Nora Carmi, Naim Ateek and Mark Braverman, Munther Isaac and Iyad Burnat on speaking tours around the UK.
4. Leadership Development
We are fortunate to have been able to send young people out to learn alongside the younger Sabeel staff in Jerusalem on the Young Adult Conferences and this has helped them come back passionate about what they have seen. Two are now on our Board and many are involved where they live and study in justice issues to do with Israel and Palestine.
In addition to all the above, we continue to have an extremely committed network of members and supporters. Many receive the weekly Wave of Prayer, using it for individual prayer, in groups and in their churches. There are a number of Regional Groups who hold their own local events to raise awareness of the Palestinian situation and the work of Sabeel. We send out a monthly e-bulletin with news from Palestine/Israel, listings of events and resources, and we produce our own Newsletter which is sent out with Sabeel’s Cornerstone magazine.
Friends of Sabeel Sweden
Friends of Sabeel in Scandinavia, gathering people from Denmark, Norway and Sweden, was founded in May 2001. The aim was and is to support Sabeel Jerusalem and its ecumenical work for a just peace and an end to the occupation.
We have worked independently in Norway and Sweden by: taking action, holding seminars and workshops, arranging witness visits, participating in advocacy, and attending Sabeel’s International Conferences. During the first years there also was a Sabeel group in Denmark. In 2016 we are formally going to start FOSS (Friends of Sabeel Sweden) and FOSN (Friends of Sabeel Norway). In reality this is how we have worked for the last years. And, of course, people in Denmark are welcome to join us!
There are many organizations working for a free Palestine in Sweden. As FOSS is a very small organization, totally dependant on volunteers, we are dependant on cooperating with others and with different churches. With success we have arranged many public events in cooperation with other friends of a free Palestine, also with people coming from Sabeel Jerusalem to witness.
Come and see – go and tell! This is an important method to get more people committed. We try to support people to attend the Witness Visits that Sabeel invites us to in Jerusalem. We have also given scholarships to young people, to make it possible for them to attend the youth conferences held in Jerusalem. And last year we started the network, Young Friends of Sabeel Sweden!
One of our main challenges is to make more and more people and politicians in Sweden more knowledgeable of the situation for our Christian Sisters and Brothers in Palestine – yes, for all people – and the need for a just peace, not only peace!
Friends of Sabeel Sweden
Friends of Sabeel Scandinavia in Norway
Sabeels venner I Norge
Tel: +47 47340649
As the struggle for a just peace continues in the Holy Land, Friends of Sabeel Norway aims to amplify the voice of our Palestinian Christian brothers and sisters by standing up for the oppressed, working for justice, and seeking peace-building opportunities.
History and Organization
Friends of Sabeel Norway (FoSN) was established in 2001 under the umbrella of Friends of Sabeel Scandinavia, which is based in Sweden. Rev. Kjartan Ruset served as the first chair of FoSN from 2001 to 2007. Since 2007 Hans Morten Haugen has served as the chair. Haugen’s previous positions were with the Church of Norway (CoN) Council on International and Ecumenical Relations and with Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), as Representative in Jerusalem. Eilert Rostrup, previous International Director of YMCA/YWCA Norway, now Director of the Karibu Foundation, was vice-chair until 2014, when he was replaced by Sven Oppegaard, a former Assistant General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation. An Executive Committee was established in 2014, which now also includes Tyler Dale Hauger of the Karibu Foundation.
In addition to the Executive Committee, FoSN operates with a Steering Group that consists of approximately ten women and men from across the country. FoSN also works to mobilize young leadership, and all but one of the approximately 10 Norwegian participants at the Sabeel Young Adult Conferences have been women. The first meeting of Young Friends of Sabeel Scandinavia took place in Southern Sweden in October 2014, with three Norwegian participants.
In Norway some of the major emphases of FoSN activities have been to convene seminars and to write in the media, in order to influence and possibly change attitudes and positions of the churches. Yet, our work includes wider advocacy efforts for a just peace.
Based on calls from the Sabeel office, FoSN has addressed the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on issues such as Palestinian statehood; detention of Palestinian children in Israeli prisons; and the OECD Tourism conference in Jerusalem. In addition FoSN has called for a renegotiation of the EFTA – Israel Free Trade Agreement – as it does not effectively prevent settlement products from entering the EFTA markets.
FoSN has also initiated and facilitated a dialogue between churches and church-related organizations on BDS issues. In November 2014 a joint letter on this topic with seven signatories including the CoN and NCA, was sent to the Norwegian Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Trade and Industry. Further, in June 2015, a letter was sent to four Norwegian importers expressing concern related to Norwegian import of settlement products.
We seek cooperation with many partners, for instance through the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel, and in showing the film “The Stones Cry Out” in the presence of the producer, Yasmine Perni. We have also facilitated seminars with Ched Myers, one of the main speakers at the 2011 Sabeel Conference.
While not being a member of the Association of Norwegian NGOs for Palestine, we have responded to their calls for joint letters on certain occasions, including the ten year commemoration of the 2004 International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion on the Wall.
Advocacy work is also done through writing op-eds in Norwegian newspapers. FoSN has published op-eds in a wide variety of Norwegian media, including liberal, centre-right, Christian and moderately Zionist newspapers.
Theological work is by far the most important part of FoSN work. Most of our op-eds have been on theological issues, linked to justice issues. FoSN has had the pleasure of hosting Naim Ateek in 2002 (Oslo), 2004 (Oslo and Trondheim), 2007 (Oslo), 2009 (Oslo and Kristiansand), 2010 (Trondheim and Bergen) and 2012 (Oslo, Molde, Ålesund and Volda/Ørsta/Ulsteinvik). Moreover, in 2008 Sabeel Board member Salwa Duaibis led seminars in Stavanger and Haugesund. On all these occasions there has been cooperation with the local bishops, and the support came from CoN Development Education Service.
On the first of Naim Ateek’s visits, there was an emphasis on meeting politicians and political advisors. Later, the emphasis of his visits shifted toward encounters with staff and students at theological institutions, Christian university colleges, as well as folk high schools and a Bible school.
Immediately following Naim Ateek’s Norway visit in 2012, FoSN received support from the CoN National Fund to convene regional seminars on reading of the Bible. These seminars were held in three cities (Grimstad, Trondheim and Bergen) in 2013. Presenters were Anne Sender from the Jewish community and various theology professors, as well as Hans Morten Haugen and Rev. Jens Olav Mæland. Mæland is another Sabeel friend, who has published significant books and articles on Christian Zionism. In 2014 NCA supported similar seminars, held in the city of Ålesund. At the time of these seminars, FoSN had op-eds in all the regional newspapers, co-authored by CoN bishops, deans and priests. Hence, the main message reached a wider audience.
In October 2015 a seminar was organized by the Norwegian Bishops’ Conference concerning the interpretation of biblical statements on the topic of promised land. Here, FoSN was invited to participate. While appreciating the lecture’s strong warnings against Christian Zionism, we challenged the linking, by one of the bishops, of “land” and “promises” allegedly present in the New Testament. In a subsequent interview, the bishop was clearer: “The establishment of the state of Israel is not God’s revelation and the act of God. It is human work.” This emphasis is important.
We will continue to work with the other churches in Norway. The regional seminars mentioned above were a start, and the open meeting in Oslo in September 2014, entitled “Christian Zionism – an Obstacle for a Just Peace?” is another example. The CoN and the Christian Council of Norway were co-hosts.
We believe that FoSN is increasingly recognized. In terms of support by individuals (those receiving Cornerstone), FoSN has grown steadily, and has been able to send money to Sabeel over the years. Still we wish for more contributors.
In autumn 2015 FoSN paid for a letter to be sent to all 1260 congregations in the Church of Norway, with the hope that church offerings could be designated to Sabeel’s work. We hope that this letter can introduce Sabeel’s important work to a wider audience, and can give Sabeel a broader outreach as we continue the work ahead.
Hans Morten Haugen
0283 Oslo / Norway
Tel: (+47) 47340649
Friends of Sabeel Netherlands (FOSNL)
Vrienden van Sabeel Nederland
3991 EA Houten Netherlands
Tel: (+31) 030 6377619
Friends of Sabeel NL was founded in 2007 on August 25th. That day was a special day: a representative from Sabeel Jerusalem, Jonathan Kuttab, came to the Netherlands to be present and to deliver a lecture.
Preparation for the foundation started in 2006. Within the Protestant Church a department was working on subjects concerning the Middle East. That department was familiar with the work of Sabeel and organized workshops to alert people to the situation of the Palestinian Christians in the Holy Land. Unfortunately, there were some problems within the Protestant Church, such as the organisation ‘Church and Israel,’ and so the Middle East group decided to be independent: the task group Turningpoint. This task group decided in cooperation with Church in Action, ICCO etc. to create Friends of Sabeel NL.
Friends of Sabeel NL works to support the vision of Sabeel in the Netherlands: working for a just peace for the people of Palestine and Israel in a nonviolent way and by promoting reconciliation.
Our aim is to support Palestinian Christians in their nonviolent protest against the occupation and to help them to live their life under Israeli government and occupation. We want to alert Christians in our own country to understand the plight of Palestinian Christians. And we want to give publicity to the Israeli organisations that stand up for human rights.
The board of FOSNL consists of 10 people, most of whom are theologians or ministers except for our treasurer who is a very capable economist. The board meets regularly to discuss theological viewpoints and organize activities.
Friends of Sabeel NL works for a just peace by several activities:
We organise national conferences for members and other people who are interested (and hopefully will become members). During these conferences there are speakers, among them Radiah Qubti and Joni Espar (Zochrot), who give lectures and lead workshops.
In 2014 there were two important meetings. In January there was a special symposium because of the doctoral dissertation defence of Janneke Stegeman, then member of the board. At the symposium, Mitri Raheb, minister in Bethlehem and co-writer of the Kairos-document, and Mark Braverman, director of Kairos USA, delivered speeches. In her dissertation ‘Decolonizing Jeremiah: Identity, Narratives and Power in Religious Tradition’ Janneke Stegeman analyzes constructions of identity within Jeremiah 32 and its ongoing reception history. The latter includes its contemporary reception in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In September that year a conference was organised during the national Peace Week. At the conference a former member of parliament, Anja Meulenbelt (politician) who is very dedicated to the problems of the Palestinians, especially in Gaza, was our guest and contributed to the success of that conference. A speaker also was Debby Farber of Zochrot (the Israeli NGO raising the Nakba to the awareness of the Jewish public). During the afternoon a movie was shown about four survivors of the Holocaust who criticise the policy of the Israeli government.
We had conferences with special guests from Palestine: Naim Ateek and Susan Nathan. In March 2015 we organised a meeting where the movie “The Stones Cry Out” was shown and where Daoud Nassar gave a presentation. Due to the publicity mainly given by the churches those conferences are rather well attended.
The last conference was held this year at October 9th in Amsterdam where the book of Mitri Raheb was presented. His book Faith in the Face of Empire has been translated by members of FOSNL and Kairos Palestina NL. Besides Mitri Raheb, several other important speakers were present.
Besides national conferences, we also organise regional conferences to attract attention from local church members and to raise awareness of the struggle of the Palestinian people, especially the Christians.
We consider it important to alert the members of the protestant churches to the situation of their Palestinian brothers and sisters because the protestant churches in the Netherlands have a strong feeling of connection with the state of Israel, justifying domination of the land from the perspective of ideas of election and the land promise, as well as recompense for the Holocaust.
Criticism of the government of Israel is badly accepted by the Protestant Church. Sometimes speakers are strongly criticised during regional conferences and workshops; they have to choose their words carefully. There are meetings with the church leaders to discuss the viewpoint of the Protestant Church; we critique their mistaken premises not only during meetings with them but also in letters written to them.
FOSNL works together with other groups in the Netherlands concerned with seeking justice and peace for the people in Palestine and Israel.
A few years ago Kairos Palestina NL and Friends of Sabeel NL did their best to promote the sale of wine from the Cremisan Valley; e.g., churches were asked to use the wine at the Holy Communion.
Together with some trade unions the campaign of BDS is discussed. It calls for a selective disinvestment in those companies that are making money on the Occupation in the hope of putting pressure on these companies to withdraw from their support to the Occupation.
The Cornerstone is sent to our members together with our own magazine “Uitweg” where information can be found about contact with Palestinians, reviews of books, conferences, reports of witness trips etc.
“Come and See” is the title given to the study trip to Palestine organised mainly for ministers to raise awareness of the situation of the Palestinian Christians. But, in fact, everyone who is interested can take part. Until last year, the guide of those trips was a representative of the Protestant Church who was delegated to Jerusalem to support the work of Sabeel. Unfortunately there are no longer such representatives, but the trips are still going on. During the trip, meetings and visits are arranged with Palestinian and Jewish organisations that work for justice, peace and reconciliation.
The trip includes, e.g., a meeting with Elias Chacour, archbishop of the Greek Catholic Church who works at friendship and solidarity between Jews and Palestinians; a visit to the Mossawa Center, the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel; a meeting with women of AEI Open Windows, a Palestinian organisation that furthers education, peace building and dialogue in the Palestinian cities of Hebron and Bethlehem; a meeting with a representative of Rabbis for Human Rights and a former soldier of Breaking the Silence and, of course, a meeting with Sabeel Jerusalem. It is an extensive trip that makes people very well aware of what is going on in Israel between Jews and Palestinians and of the problems Palestinians have to cope with. After the trip the participants are supposed to tell the story of the Palestinian people/Christians in their family, environment and their own churches. That is what they also do (because of the commitment they made) and in that way more and more people become aware of the miserable situation of the Palestinians in Israel and in the occupied zones.
Friends of Sabeel NL has their own website with messages from Palestine, information about books that are worth reading, information about conferences, the wave of prayer, translated every week by a member of the board, news from the board, accounts of trips, etc.
“Tell our stories in your own family, churches and country” is what the women of AEI Open Windows ask us during the Come and See trip.
Friends of Sabeel NL tries to answer their call by these activities so that finally justice will be done to the Palestinian people/Christians.