" The angel said to the women, 'Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him' " (Matthew 28:5-7)
Photo by Charlotte Marshall
Messages to Palestine this Easter
As Easter approaches we would like to encourage each and every Kairos member to send a message of love, hope and solidarity to our brothers and sisters in Palestine.
As many of you will know, this Easter, and for the past 50 years, our friends have struggled to worship and celebrate Easter because of the restrictions placed on their lives by the Israeli occupation.
Despite all the challenges that remain in bringing about an end to this occupation, we encourage you to send a hopeful message of support as we continue to strive
together to bring justice, equality and peace to all in Palestine and Israel.
A message from Palestine at Easter
Our apologies that we had not received the Easter message from the Churches in Palestine before we needed to send this newsletter, but these words from 2014 seem ever-relevant to our struggle together for justice.
From the Evangelical Lutheran Church
in Jordan and the Holy Land;
"Our call as Arab and Middle East Christians is to be instruments of peace, ministers of reconciliation, defenders of human rights, and apostles of love. I invite you to join with your brothers and sisters in the Middle East as we proclaim the truth of Christ’s peace in our hearts to the world. I ask you this Easter Sunday to pray for peace based on justice with reconciliation based on forgiveness in Palestine and Israel. I implore you for the sake of the Gospel to pray that politicians will find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Syria. I ask you to not forget us nor cease accompanying us in our journey, for our mission is yours and yours is ours. Our mission continues to be one of a prophetic Church, implanting the power of Resurrection Peace in the hearts of all
peoples. This is the reason that even in the midst of our doubts and suspicions we hear His gentle voice saying, “Peace be with you.” And all of us with one voice will astonishingly reply, “My Lord and my God!”
BDS crackdown continues
Following the recent law passed by Israel giving them power to deport and ban BDS activists from entering the country, there have been several developments including the deportation of a Chilean human rights activist
and re-arrest and interrogation of BDS movement founder Omar Barghouti
Despite the great personal cost he has endured, Omar Barghouti remained strong in the face of this most recent personal attack on his rights and freedom, sending a message of gratitude and hope
to those supporting him.
At times like this it is easy to feel unnerved, or even fearful of the consequences of our support for Palestine. We want to reassure you that silencing the BDS movement is Israel's aim because the BDS movement is working in exposing the occupation for what it really is, calling Israel to account for its oppressive regime.
We encourage you to keep pursuing justice and equality in every way you can at this time. We may well be facing the point at which solidarity becomes costly to us - but the long term gain will be freedom for all.
UN Report Censored
In our last newsletter we highlighted a report by UN-ECSWA which concluded that Israel is an apartheid regime, and urged governments to support boycott, divestment and sanctions initiatives.
The next day the report was officially censored by the UN and removed from their website. The head of the UN body responsible for the report has resigned, and the authors have spoken out
against this censorship.
The authors have made the report available to read online and download here. Please share this with your contacts and raise awareness of the important issues it addresses.
There is also a petition you can sign calling for the UN to either endorse the report or disprove its findings.
The debate on antisemitism
As you may well be aware, the recent adoption of the IHRA's antisemitism definition by the UK government has caused much debate and controversy in the UK community.
To help you understand the concerns and issues we have put together a resources page on our website which includes briefings from Free Speech on Israel (logo above), articles by Charlotte Marshall
and Mark Battison, and the recent Counsel opinion by Hugh Tomlinson QC.
Please visit this page on our website to find out more
Kairos week on Iona
We are delighted that the Iona Community working group for Israel and Palestine are organising a week at the Abby focussed on the Kairos movement, with speakers from Palestine, the UK and the USA.
The week takes place from the 27th May - 2nd June
and it's still possible to book a space - but hurry!
The 2017 programme for the Abby includes more information on the Kairos week and you can book your space using this form. We hope to see you there!
Wishing you all a peaceful and blessed Easter.
Charlotte Marshall and the Kairos Britain team