Jerusalem in the wake of President Trump’s speech

Kairos Palestine Statement: 12/12/17. “Trump’s speech is a decisive step that will not secure Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but will reinforce our very existence on our land, and will prompt us to be more insistent in our demand for a just and final peace.” 

Full text here, and below: 

President Trump made a speech yesterday in which he said that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Prior to Trumps’s speech yesterday, Patriarchs and the heads of churches in Jerusalem addressed a letter telling Trump that: “We believe that this step will lead to more hatred, conflict, violence and anguish for Jerusalem and the Holy Land, and will hinder the aspired goal of unity and peace.” Many other leaders in the region and the world told Trump the same words but he did not listen to anyone. 

Along with the heads of our churches, we also stated in the letter: “A final peace settlement cannot be realized without Jerusalem being for everyone.” 

Jerusalem is the city of our prayers, the city of our daily life, and the capital of our political life. 

Trump’s speech removed the mask from the face of US politics. The US is a party to the conflict and cannot be an arbiter. One hundred years ago, the powerful of the earth started their oppression of us. One hundred years ago in 1917, another man called Balfour, in the British government of that period, promised our land to the Jewish people. The powerful of the earth oppressed us and we became strangers on our land and in our homes, people who must be removed simply because we are Palestinians.

Trump’s speech is a decisive step that will not secure Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but will reinforce our very existence on our land, and will prompt us to be more insistent in our demand for a just and final peace.

We appeal to the international community to undertake the right steps, to take this moment of truth and demonstrate the necessary courage to apply international resolutions. The international community certainly knows what the right step to do is. We appeal to churches in America to stop politicians in their country from their oppression of us. You too should take the right step, take this moment of truth, and stand by the Palestinian people whose freedom and lands have been plundered. Keep your relationship with the Jewish people, but tell them words of truth and justice based on the teachings of Jesus Christ; tell them that their life cannot be at the expense of another people.

Israel remains outside human and international laws, and still imposes its hegemony on another people. A moment of truth is required from the international community; a moment of truth is required of churches in the US. They need to tell the rulers of this world what the writer of the Psalms  said: “Be instructed, ye judges of the earth”.

The powerful are not only those with weapons; the power of legitimacy is stronger. The Palestinians have legitimacy. There is also the power of the meek, of whom Jesus Christ said that they will “inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:4).

To our people, we say take the right stand, the Christmas stand, the stand of peace and justice, the stand of seekers of freedom and the restoration of all rights. Yesterday, following Trump’s speech, lights on the Christmas tree in Bethlehem were switched off in mourning at the unjust rulers on this earth. However we will light the tree again, and will celebrate Christmas as the feast of peace, light, love and truth. Let us continue to be strong with the power of faith and the power of love. With this, we present an olive branch to every one of our adversaries and oppressors, for no matter how long. Right will prevail and peace is the nature of our holy land. Peace is the message of Christmas. Take the right stand, which is that of love, with which you will pass along the road of just and real peace.

Merry Christmas to all despite all the oppression imposed on us by the rulers of this earth. They will open their eyes one day and see peace. Then they will come to us to make peace together…

A year of peace to all

Bethlehem 12/12.2017

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