Press release, Palestinian BDS National Committee, 11 December 2009
Today, prominent Christian Palestinian leaders are releasing a historical Kairos Palestine Document, calling on churches around the world "to say a word of truth and to take a position of truth with regard to Israel's occupation of Palestinian land." Unambiguously endorsing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) as one of the key nonviolent forms of solidarity that international faith-based organizations are urged to adopt, the document affirms: "We see boycott and disinvestment as tools of justice, peace and security ..."
Kairos is an ancient Greek term meaning the right or opportune moment. The Kairos Palestine Document is inspired by the liberation theology, especially in South Africa where a similar document was issued at a crucial time in the struggle against apartheid. Informed by a lucid vision based on the universal principles of "equality, justice, liberty and respect for pluralism," Palestinian Christians issue this document today to explore a morally sound way out of the "dead end" reached in the Palestinian tragedy, "in which human beings are destroyed."
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) salutes the moral clarity, courage and principled position conveyed in this new document, which emphasizes that resisting injustice should "concern the Church" and is "a right and a duty for a Christian," adding that it is "a resistance with love as its logic."
The BNC keenly notes the importance of releasing this historical call on this day, 11 December, which marks the 61st anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194, issued in 1948, calling for the return of the Palestinian refugees to their homes of origin "at the earliest practicable date." Whereas Palestinian refugees are still awaiting their return six decades later, we share the message of hope in today's Palestinian Kairos: "One of the most important signs of hope is the perseverance of the generations and the continuity of memory, which does not forget the Nakba (catastrophe) and its significance. This land is our land and it is incumbent upon us to defend it and reclaim it."
Particularly praiseworthy is the Kairos's emphasis on urging all churches to positively respond to the call by Palestinian civil society, including religious institutions, for "a system of economic sanctions and boycott to be applied against Israel," which, the document clarifies, "is not revenge but rather a serious action in order to reach a just and definitive peace."
Full document [PDF]
The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) Member organizations: Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine,
General Union of Palestinian Workers, Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), Palestinian National Institute for NGOs, Palestinian Federation of Independent Trade Unions (PFITU), Palestine Right of Return Coalition, Occupied Palestine and Golan Heights Initiative (OPGAI), General Union of Palestinian Women, Union of Palestinian Farmers, Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (STW), National Committee for Popular Resistance, Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), National Committee to Commemorate the Nakba, Civic Coalition for the Defense of Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem (CCDPRJ), Coalition for Jerusalem, Union of Palestinian Charitable Organizations, Palestinian Economic Monitor, Union of Youth Activity Centers-Palestine Refugee Camps
Original press release at Electronic Intifada