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From hearing firsthand accounts about the plight of Palestinians to collaborating with a local group that makes textile art, being part of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Mosaic of Peace conference in the Holy Land was a memorable experience for past participant Megan Acedo.
Under the often-crushing weight of Israeli sanctions, HaMoked advocates for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is one of 17 denominations and faith-based organizations to sign a letter to the incoming Biden administration seeking safety for indigenous Christians living in the Holy Land.
The Presbyterian delegation visiting Israel-Palestine this past spring took a unique tour of Jerusalem — one that most who visit one of the most holy cities in the world seldom see.
Fayrouz Sharqawi, the global mobilization coordinator at Grassroots Jerusalem, spent three hours with the delegation explaining the realities that she, as a Palestinian woman, lives daily.
Osama (last name withheld) is a licensed Palestinian tour guide. He recently stood with one of his tour groups in the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron with his head bowed and his expression troubled as a group of Israeli Jewish tourists walked through. The last person in line was an Israeli guard carrying a machine gun. It is a traditional sign of respect for visitors of any faith to remove their shoes and for women to cover their heads. This group had done neither. “No respect,” he said quietly. “No respect.”
The Israel/Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has endorsed the platform of the Movement for Black Lives (MBL) saying the group is “in full solidarity with the MBL struggle.”
While state and national government leaders debate on the acceptance of refugee families, Weisiger says it didn’t take long for her church and five others to begin work to resettle families in their community. Community connections were made as a result of peacemaker visits that have enabled the church to continue engaging in the work of peacemaking in their own backyard. The Peacemaking Program connected the church not just to the wider church, but to refugee resettlement agencies and interfaith organizations engaged in peacemaking in the heart of Philadelphia.