For over two months, a heavy air of pain has enveloped both Israelis and Palestinians, leaving innocent lives in turmoil and communities in despair. In this frightful time, the often-unheard voices are those of Palestinian Christians, not just in the West Bank and Gaza but also within Israel. As a Christian Palestinian born and raised in Israel, the current situation leaves me profoundly grief-stricken and heartbroken. We, the Palestinians in Israel, witness the suffering of our people in Gaza and the West Bank and feel a deep sense of solidarity, yet often find ourselves voiceless, our narratives overshadowed, not only in Israel but in the global discourse as well.
The Christian Zionist theology, which has influenced much of the US’s perception of our region, overlooks the complexities and the multi-faceted nature of our society. Our existence challenges the monolithic narratives Christian Zionism supports and calls for a broader understanding of our region’s history. We strive to ensure our voices are accessible to the global audience, and we seek to bridge the knowledge gap, hoping that our efforts will bring the realities we face daily to light. Yet, despite these efforts, we find ourselves abandoned, particularly by our Christian brothers and sisters in the US. Our pleas for advocacy and support often seem to fall on deaf ears as we navigate the delicate balance of expressing our truths while ensuring our safety and livelihoods.
In Israel, the act of sharing our opinions on social media or engaging in public discourse is fraught with risks – risks of losing jobs and educational opportunities, or facing legal consequences. We need allies who can speak out and advocate for those who cannot. The Palestinians in the West Bank, who endure ongoing systemic injustice, and the Palestinians in Gaza, who are undergoing an unprecedented horror, rely on these voices of solidarity to amplify their struggles and bring about meaningful change so that security, dignity, and freedom can be enjoyed by all.
The message here is not one of division but of unity and understanding. It’s a call to recognize the shared humanity transcending cultural boundaries and religious beliefs. We are educators, thinkers, and peacemakers. Our voices matter, and in hearing them, there’s a chance for greater understanding and a step toward a more just and peaceful future for all.
In this spirit of collective action, I see the work of Telos as a beacon of light in these turbulent times. Telos’s mission to form and equip communities of peacemakers is essential. Their approach breaks down barriers of ignorance and isolation, fostering a deeper understanding of the realities faced by both Israelis and Palestinians. It’s a step towards undoing one-sided advocacy and building a more informed and empathetic global community. Their belief in measuring any solution by its ability to uphold dignity, freedom, and security for both Palestinians and Israelis profoundly resonates with my core Christian values of compassion, justice, and the inherent worth of every human being. By joining Telos, we’re not just witnessing change; we are invited to become part of it.