Friday, May 5, 2006
The Presbyterian group travelling the Holy Land on a "fact finding" and "peace" mission (see below: Presbyterian Group Meets All the Usual Suspects) seems to be wrapping up...and coming to the desired conclusions.
Younan asked rhetorically, "What does the Middle East want? Democracy or justice?"...
...After the Bishop spoke, conference participants gathered in groups of eight for discussion. This was an intentionally different configuration from the presbytery teams. The groups were asked to consider: a question they have been pondering, a new insight they have gained, and the best idea they had heard for how to implement their learnings from the trip. Comments made during their reports back to the full group included:
- Bring Palestinians to the United States to share their culture [Like this?]
- Visit your congressman urging their support of Palestine
- Email or write to commissioners of the 217th General Assembly (2006) urging support of divestment
- Start an olive oil cooperative
- De-bunk the myth that the region is dangerous
- When presenting material be intentional not to talk to like-minded people. In other words, challenge yourself not to "preach to the choir."
Update: Wow. Just when you think you've read it all. You can get a sense of the ability of some of the participants to apply context by reading a couple of the notes home written by one participant, Arthur Suggs, a PC(USA) minister from New York. No need to fisk these, you can read them for yourselves.
Israeli soldiers, of course, don't carry AK-47's. And here:
No, I can't. I'd like to know how he came upon that story. Look, I'm always very careful in doubting any horror story I hear, after all, a lot of things are possible. Israelis are, after all, human (imagine!). They lie, they steal, they murder, they rape...but not systematically, not as a matter of course, and not in a way to separate them particularly from any other society, even American society. Nevertheless, aberrations occur. Still, I'll break my usual policy of caution here and go way out on a limb to say, that... incident... did... not... happen. Some people will believe anything. You've got to read the rest of that entry to believe it.
Actually a common problem in Arab tribal society. In fact I've posted links to articles about that issue cropping up in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Marrying your cousin -- it's a result of the occuPATION!
You folks in the PC(USA) trying to keep your denomination on the right side of sanity have your work cut out for you.
Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: The Right Conclusions (Updated).
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