In an impassioned letter, Palestinian Christians have called on the World Council of Churches (WCC) to take concrete measures against Israel until it abides by international law. Their letter, which has been published online, reads:
“Things are beyond urgent. We are on the verge of a catastrophic collapse. As a Palestinian Christian community, this could be our last opportunity to save the Christian presence in this land. Our only hope as Christians comes from the fact that in Jerusalem, the city of God, and our city, there is an empty tomb, and Jesus Christ who triumphed over death and sin brought to us and to all humanity, new life.”
About 200000 Christian Palestinians currently reside in historic Palestine, descendants of some of the oldest Christian communities in the world. Like their fellow Muslim Palestinians they too suffer under Israel’s regime of occupation and apartheid – their only crime being that they are Palestinian.
The letter by the Palestinian Christians to the WCC reminds the WCC of the role it played in the boycotts against Apartheid SA and calls on the WCC to play a similar role today:
“[We call on you to] call things as they are: recognize Israel as an apartheid state in terms of international law…we are disturbed by the fact that states and churches are dealing with Israel as if the situation were normal, ignoring the reality of occupation, discrimination, and daily death in the land. Just as churches united to end apartheid in South Africa and whereby the WCC played a courageous and pivotal prophetic and leadership role, we expect you to do the same!”
The letter ends with a call to the WCC and Christians world-wide to support the Palestinian struggle against, what they term, “Israeli Apartheid” and in particular for the “intensification” of the BDS boycott of Israel:
“We need your costly solidarity. We need brave women and men who are willing to stand in the forefront. This is no time for shallow diplomacy Christians…we ask that you speak in support of economic measures that pressure Israel to stop the occupation and that you support atheltic, cultural, and academic measures against Israel until it complies with international law and UN resolutions…this is our last peaceful resort…in response to Israel’s war on BDS, we ask that you intensify that measure.“