Iona Community issues new position statement on Israel/Palestine
The Iona Community has published a Position Statement on Israel/Palestine this month, December 2016. This is a response to the call of Palestinian Christians in the Sabeel-Kairos Palestine document of 2009, and is timed to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration.
The Position Statement makes clear the Iona Community’s challenge to Christian Zionism as “a distortion of the Christian faith, in its abuse of scripture to oppress Palestinian people”. It commits the Iona Community to the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel as “an act of nonviolent solidarity, pursuing equality, freedom, and justice” undertaken “in obedience to Jesus’ teaching to love our enemies whilst resisting evil”. It also calls for an apology from Britain for the 1917 Balfour Declaration and its role in dispossessing Palestinians of their land.
The Position Statement is the outcome of a six-month process of discussion and prayer, led by a working group on Palestine/Israel, and involved consultation amongst Iona Community members and with Palestinian and Jewish friends in Scotland. The process was informed by Hind Khoury, Secretary General of Sabeel-Kairos Palestine in Bethlehem, who addressed a plenary of the Iona Community in October.
The Statement also calls on Churches and Christian denominations in Britain to follow suit and fully endorse Sabeel-Kairos Palestine’s call to boycott Israel.
Leader of the Iona Community, Peter Macdonald said: …
“In their commitment to justice and peace, many members of the Iona Community have worked in Israel / Palestine. When the Palestinian Christians called for international solidarity in ‘Sabeel-Kairos Palestine’, the Iona Community helped to launch Sabeel-Kairos in Britain. We make clear that a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians is dependent on an end to the oppression of the Palestinian people.”
The Position statement is published in a specially themed edition of the Iona Community magazine ‘Coracle’ focusing on Israel/Palestine, in December 2016.