This week the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations began hosting a two week seminar in conjunction with Columbia Theological Seminary (Decatur, GA). The class titled, “Israel, Palestine and the Future of the Middle East” is taught by Mark Douglas, professor at CTS, and our director Mark Koenig.

In the first three days, the class has heard from several different perspectives on several different issues. On Monday, after arrival and introductions, the class learned about the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations and heard a brief history of Israel and Palestine. The class also heard from Doris Salah, the retired General Secretary of the YWCA of Palestine on her experiences of eviction, occupation, and self-determination.

After learning a bit more of history on Tuesday morning, the class heard from Yousef Zeidan from the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the UN. For lunch they headed to the Delegates’ Dining Room across the street from our ministry to UN premises. And in the afternoon, the class heard from Yotam Goren, from the Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN.
Wednesday the class heard from Chris Iosso, and PC(USA) Coordinator for the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy on PC(USA) Policies. The class also heard from Terry Dunning, Moderator of Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI) on Corporate Engagement. And from the Associate for International Issues from the Office of Public Witness in Washington D.C., Catherine Gordon on the subject of the PC(USA) in Washington and the PC(USA) Boycott of Israeli products coming from the occupied Palestinian Territories.

The seminar has about a week and a half left with many more issues to explore and perspectives to be heard. You can follow along with what’s going on in the seminar through our Facebook page and our Twitter account and by following #CTSatUN.

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