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In Theory:

Were comparisons insensitive?

A conference at a Pasadena church to discuss Middle East issues has touched off tension between area Christians and Jews.

February 16, 2008

Since the 9/11 attacks, temples have been burned in France, cemeteries destroyed, and Jews have been threatened, boycotted, beaten and killed.

Instead of this meeting, meet and focus on the world’s real problems of disease, illiteracy, poverty, violence, instead of scapegoating the Jews and demonizing Israel.

Temple Isaiah

Newport Beach

My friend, the Rev’d Dr. Naim Ateek, founder of Sabeel International and speaker at this conference, is a Palestinian Christian who walks in the footsteps of proponents of non-violence like Gandhi and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and finds inspiration in scripture like 1 Peter 3:11b, “Seek peace and pursue it.”

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He has written Justice, and Only Justice (see Deuteronomy 16:20a) and many articles such as “Suicide bombings are theologically and morally wrong.”

Sabeel, which means “The Way” and “Spring of Water” in Arabic, is an peace movement initiated by Christians in the Holy Land who seek a just peace based on two states, Israel and Palestine, as defined by international law and existing U.N. resolutions, and very similar to the Bush administration’s policies. Sabeel ( www.sabeel.org) promotes theological, moral and legal principles for reconciliation.

Many voices witnessing to possible resolutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be heard; surely these include those of Jews, Muslims and Palestinian Christians.

The Very Rev’d Canon Peter D. Haynes

Saint Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church

Corona del Mar


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