Israel-Palestine resolutions spark impassioned testimony

Tarek Abuata
Tarek Abuata of the pro-Palestinian Friends of Sabeel North America testifies at a hearing on General Convention resolutions related to Israel and Palestine, July 6. (photo: David Paulsen / Episcopal News Service)

Resolutions fast-tracked for consideration at Episcopal General Convention.

By David Paulsen | Episcopal News Service | Jul 6, 2017

“It’s a family fight, and like a family fight, there are two sides.”
— Katy Dickinson, Deputy, Diocese of El Camino Real in California

“It is not a family fight when my father has been abusing my mother and raping her for 70 years.”
— Tarek Abuata, Executive Director, Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA)

Dozens of people representing a broad range of inter-religious voices testified July 6 at a joint hearing on resolutions related to Episcopal Church policy toward Israel and Palestine, a contentious issue at past General Conventions that this year was discussed openly and, for the most part, cordially.

Some read their prepared statements by scrolling on their smartphones or shuffling through notes on paper. Others gave testimony from memory or off the cuff, and many of the nearly 50 people who addressed the committees shared grim examples of life and death in the region, from Gaza to the West Bank.

“I’ve heard stories of hope and stories of pain, from both Israelis and Palestinians. We need to listen to both,” said retired Bishop Ed Little, previously of the Diocese of Northern Indiana, who spoke from his experiences during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

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