United Church of Christ
Palestine - Israel Network

                Reverend David Good 
        Pastor in the United Church of Christ
      Tree of LIfe Journeys and Conferences
                     TREE OF LIFE MANIFESTO
I know it may seem outrageous, but we are the answer to someone else's prayer. We are the fulcrum on which this fragile world is balanced. We can be a bridge between the Israelis and the Palestinians. We can be a gate in a place that has known so many, too many walls. We will not sit on the sidelines and wring our hands in despair. We will be a voice for those who think that no one listens and no one cares. We will live and work for that day when nationalism no longer rears its ugly head. We will do all that we can to restore justice and decency and integrity to our human institutions. We will live and work and dream for that day when the streets of Jerusalem shall be filled with boys and girls, Jews and Christians and Muslims playing in the street, no longer divided, no longer afraid.

               Archbishop Desmond Tutu
               Letter to UC-Berkeley Student Leaders
                    (photo by Front Line Defenders)
"I have been to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that remind me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid. I have witnessed the humiliation of Palestinian men, women, and children made to wait for hours at Israeli military checkpoints, routinely, when trying to make the most basic of trips to visit relatives or attend school or college, and this humiliation is familiar to me and the many black South Africans who were corralled and regularly insulted by the security forces of the Apartheid government."

"When we talk of peace, let us talk about justice -- 
the key to peace. As Israel continues its destruction 
of Palestinian olive groves, homes, schools, hospitals, and lives through its occupation and discriminatory policies, I join many Palestinians, Jews, Muslims, UCC members, other Christians, and many more in working towards freedom, equality, and justice for all peoples in Israel/Palestine. There has never been a more exciting time to work for change and I hope you'll join us!"
                       Anna Baltzer
            Author of Witness in Palestine
                             Recommended Books
          Some of these books can be ordered at a discount from  
​                                       www.middleeastbooks.com

Abunimah, Ali. One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Picador, 2007.

Abunimah, Ali. The Battle for Justice in Palestine. Haymarket Books, 2014.

Adelfang, Osie Gabriel, ed. Shifting Sands: Jewish Women Confront the Israeli Occupation. Whole World Press, 2010.

Ateek, Naim Stifan. Justice and Only Justice: A Palestinian Theology of Liberation. New York: Orbis Books, 1999.

Ateek, Naim Stifan. A Palestinian Christian Cry for Reconciliation.  Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2008. 

Baltzer, Anna. Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2007.

Beinart, Peter. The Crisis of Zionism [Paperback]. Picador, 2013.

Bennis, Phyllis. Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer. Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2012. 

Blumenthal, Max. Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel. NY, NY: Nation Books, 2013.

Braverman, Mark. Fatal Embrace: Christians, Jews, and the Search for Peace in the Holy Land. Austin,TX: Synergy Books, 2010. 

Burge, Gary. Whose Land? Whose Promise?: What Christians Are Not Being Told about Israel and the Palestinians. Pilgrim Press, 2004.

Carter, Jimmy. Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid [Paperback]. Simon & Schuster, 2007.

Chacour, Elias (with David Hazard). Blood Brothers. Eastbourne, UK: Kingsway, 1984.

Chacour, Elias (with Mary E. Jensen). We Belong to the Land: The Story of a Palestinian Israeli Who Lives for Peace and Reconciliation. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2001.

Chomsky, Noam. Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians. Rev. ed. South End Press, 1999.

Christison, Kathleen, and Bill Christison. Palestine in Pieces: Graphic Perspectives on the Israeli Occupation. London: Pluto Press, 2009.  

Cook, Jonathan. Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of the Jewish and Democratic State. Pluto Press, 2006.   

Cook, Jonathan. Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair. Zed Books, 2008.

Cook, Jonathan. Israel and the Clash of Civilizations: Iran, Iraq, and the Plan to Remake the Middle East. Pluto Press, 2008.

Davis, Uri. Apartheid Israel: Possibilities for the Struggle Within. London: Zed Books, 2003.

Davis, Uri. Israel: An Apartheid State. London: Zed Books, 1987.

Ellis, Marc. Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation: The Challenge of the 21st Century. 3rd ed. Baylor University Press, 2004.

Finkelstein, Norman G. Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.

Finkelstein, Norman G. Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict [Paberback]. 2nd ed. Verso, 2003.

Halper, Jeff. An Israeli in Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel. London, New York: Verso, 1995. (Order from www.icahdusa.org.)

Halper, Jeff. Obstacles to Peace: A Re-framing of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD). (Order from www.icahdusa.org.)

Hass, Amira. Drinking the Sea at Gaza: Days and Nights in a Land under Siege. New York: Metropolitan Books, 1999.

Khalid, Rashid. Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East. Beacon Press: 2013.

Khalidi, Rashid. Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness. Columbia University Press, 2009.

Lerner, Rabbi Michael. Embracing Israel/Palestine: A Strategy to Heal and Transform the Middle East. North Atlantic Books, 2011.

Makdisi, Saree. Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation. Revised edition. W.W. Norton & Company, 2010.

Mearsheimer, John J, Stephen M. Walt. The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008. 

Mulhall, John W. America and the Founding of Israel: An Investigation of the Morality of America’s Role. Los Angeles, CA: Deshon Press, 1995.

Neff, Donald. Fifty Years of Israel. Washington, DC: American Educational Trust, 1998.  (A collection of 54 articles published in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.) 

Olson, Pamela J. Fast Times in Palestine: A Love Affair with a Homeless Homeland. Seal Press, 2013.

Pappé, Ilan. The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Oxford, UK: Reprint. Oneworld Publications, 2007.

Peled-Elhanan, Nurit. Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Education. I. B.Tauris & Co Ltd., 2012.  

Peled, Miko. The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine. Just World Books, 2012. 

Qumsiyeh, Mazin B. Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment. Pluto Press, 2011.

Qumsiyeh, Mazin B. Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle. London: Pluto Press, 2004.

Reinhart, Tanya. Israel/Palestine: How to End the War of 1948. 2nd ed. Seven Stories Press, 2004.

Reinhart, Tanya. The Road Map to Nowhere: Israel/Palestine since 2003. Verso, 2006.

Ring, Kenneth, and Ghassan Abdullah. Letters from Palestine: Palestinians Speak Out about Their Lives, Their Country, and the Power of NonViolence. Wheatmark, 2010.

Rosen, Rabbi Brant. Wrestling in the Daylight: A Rabbi's Path to Palestinian Solidarity. Just World Books, 2012. (Also see his blog: www.rabbibrant.com.) 

Ruebner, Josh. Shattered Hopes: Obama's Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace, Verso, New York.

Said, Edward. The Question of Palestine. Vintage, 1992.

Shlaim, Avi. The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World. W. W. Norton & Company, 1991.

Tolan, Sandy. The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East. Reprint. Bloomsbury USA, 2007.

Wagner, Donald E. Anxious for Armageddon: A Call to Partnership for Middle Eastern and Western Christians. Herald Press (PA), 1995.

Wagner, Donald E. Dying in the Land of Promise: Palestine and Palestinian Christianity from Pentacost to 2000. Melisende, 2001.

Weizman, Eyal. Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation. Verso, 2012. 

Zertal, Idith, and Akiva Eldar. Lords of the Land: The War over Israel's Settlements in the Occupied Territories, 1967-2007. Reprint. Nation Books, 2009.

Zaru, Jean. Occupied with Nonviolence: A Palestinian Woman Speaks. Fortress Press, 2008.

Zionism Unsettled-A Congregational Study.  See review below

"During my visits to Palestine/Israel I saw with my own eyes Israel’s willful destruction of Palestinian lives on both sides of the green line. It is abundantly clear that the Nakba that started in 1948 is still ongoing. Having met and listened 
to Israelis and Palestinians who are working hard to build peace with justice and equality, I feel committed to share their stories. We must do all we can to end our complicity in supporting oppression and prolonging the agony 
in the Holy Land."

     Dr. Hassan Fouda
     Human Rights Activist
Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli attack on Gaza, December 27, 2008 to January 18, 2009, resulted in between 1,166 and 1,417 Palestinian deaths and 13 Israeli deaths (4 from friendly fire).  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaza_War
The attack on Gaza in November 2012 left more than 160 Palestinians dead, many more injured, and thousands homeless.
Killing of Palestinians is almost a daily occurance. The impact on children is specially repungent. 129 Israeli children and 1,516 Palestinian children have been killed since September 29, 2000.

Gaza and Refugee Facts
There are more than 6 Million Palestinians living in exile. According to the UN relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) the number of Palestinians classified as refugees is 4,950,000
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_ refugee

We, Palestinian Christians together with Palestinian Muslims and all people of conscience have struggled together against occupation and colonization that are integral to the Zionist project in Palestine. We repeatedly called on the international community to not support ethnic cleansing but to support human rights and justice. The most recent calls asked for Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions in similar form to what was done against apartheid in South Africa. These include the BDS call of 2005 and the Christian Kairos Palestine call (a moment of truth) in 2009. Peace can come through justice and this will benefit all people in the Holy Land. It would liberate Palestinians and Israelis.
                                                                                                                     Mazin Qumsiyeh 
     Professor at Bethlehem and Bizeit Universities
Palestinian Peace Activist in Nonviolent Resistance 
Check out how much money is sent to Israel by your state, county, and town by going to the site below. Click on the orange dot on your state for the first figures, then scroll down and click on your county for the rest. How might that money be used for local concerns in your state?
              On the Legality of Israeli Settlements

Excerpts from the International Court of Justice resolution 
on the legality of the Wall 

120. As regards these settlements, the Court notes that Article 49,
paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention provides: 
"The Occupying
Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its 
own civilian population
into the territory it occupies." That provision prohibits not only deportations
or forced transfers of population such as those carried out during
the Second World War, but also any measures taken by an occupying
Power in order to organize or encourage transfers of parts of its own
population into the occupied territory.

In this respect, the information provided to the Court shows that, since
1977, Israel has conducted a policy and developed practices involving the
establishment of Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, contrary
to the terms of Article 49, paragraph 6, just cited.

The Security Council has thus taken the view that such policy and
practices "have no legal validity". It has also called upon "Israel, as the
occupying Power, to abide scrupulously" by the Fourth Geneva Convention
"to rescind its previous measures and to desist from taking any
action which would result in changing the legal status and geographical
nature and materially affecting the demographic composition
of the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem
and, in particular, not to transfer parts of its own civilian population
into the occupied Arab territories" (resolution 446 (1979) of
22 March 1979).

The Council reaffirmed its position in resolutions 452 (1979) of 20 July
1979 and 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980. Indeed, in the latter case it
described "Israel's policy and practices of settling parts of its population
and new immigrants in [the occupied] territories" as a "flagrant violation"
of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The Court concludes that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied
Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established
in breach of international law.

                                                A New Congregational Study Resource
                                                                 Zionism Unsettled
Review of Zionism Unsettled – A Congregational Study Guide, Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA) The Rev Diane Dulin


With the recent publication of Zionism Unsettled – A Congregational Study Guide, the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA) provides an invaluable resource for our churches. This study booklet with accompanying DVD gives congregations an effective tool to use in the study of Zionism past and present. Options for a one-week overview, a four-week study or an eight-week study are provided. 

The task of understanding the historical beginnings, evolution and current impact of Zionism is urgent for several reasons. Studying Zionism with fresh perspective is essential because of the current fusion of Zionist theological exceptionalism with substantial political power, ethnic nationalism and military occupation. This explosive mix endangers both Israelis and Palestinians.  

Moreover, contemporary political Zionism compromises Christian theology. Zionism uses the Bible to create and sustain oppression of minority populations: the Christians and Muslims of Israel and Palestine. We have seen this misuse of the Bible before in South African apartheid and Jim Crow segregation laws in the American South. Most fundamentally, Zionism contorts our own theological insights as Christians – our embrace of Christ’s witness to God’s universal love and regard for all. 

Finally, within the United Church of Christ there is need to study Zionism without fear or reluctance. This commitment to study Zionism fearlessly engages us in seeking the New Word which God gives to us. Although controversial, this type of fresh study is what we do. Our careful Biblical and theological work in areas of sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism and other misuses of scripture has shaped our spiritual and covenantal contributions within and through the United Church of Christ. The Kairos Palestine statement (2009) calls us to listen again for God’s word through the witness and suffering of Palestinian Christians and Muslims. Zionism Unsettled helps us continue in this task.


The 72 page study guide provides concise, factual summaries of the theological thought and the political fusion of Zionism to national politics within Judaism, beginning with Theodore Herzl and continuing through Vladimir Jabotinsky and David Ben-Gurion. A theological/political review of Israel’s leading politicians and public policy makers documents Zionism’s changing emphases throughout the decades of Israel’s existence. The guide culminates in timely fashion by describing Benyamin Netanyahu’s potent blend of Revisionist Zionism and nationalist appropriation of the Bible as history. Dissenting Jewish voices and preeminent thinkers are also referenced, demonstrating that the Jewish community has always included those who wrestled with and opposed political Zionism. Jewish writers and thinkers such as Hannah Arendt, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, Martin Buber and others were prescient in describing the unfortunate but predictable outcome for a political system which uses force to privilege one group over all others.  

Zionism Unsettled outlines common myths about Israel which perpetuate false conclusions and destructive outcomes. Substantial coverage is given to historic Christian anti-Semitism and the forces which led to countless brutalities committed against Jews, culminating in the Holocaust. While admitting these sins and decrying their brutal results, this resource concludes that Palestinians are actually ‘secondary victims of the Holocaust’: Christian efforts to atone for our sins against Jews have contributed to our passive acceptance of unjust expulsion, ethnic cleansing and ongoing human rights abuses committed against Palestinians.

Helpful background is provided to describe the evolution of Roman Catholic and Protestant theological perspectives and actions. Our own Reform tradition and mainline liberal Protestantism come into play with a frank discussion of the early Puritans’ “errand into the wilderness.” This movement (sometimes called Manifest Destiny) was modeled after Old Testament themes and falsely legitimized ethnic cleansing of Native Americans in the United States. We are not strangers to the heady mix of theological rationalization combined with existential opportunity.

Finally, this resource evaluates renowned Protestant theologians including Paul Tillich, Reinhold Niebuhr, Krister Stendhahl and Paul van Buren. We find documentation of the blind spot we long have harbored on this issue. This resource does not let us off the hook, but instead calls for thoughtful soul searching.  

Our Challenge

Already there are loud voices condemning this study resource. It is denounced with crass accusations. Zionism Unsettled is a fertile resource in our efforts to listen carefully for the God who speaks a new word for this new day. Our study of this material is one way to implement commendations to study Zionism as outlined and urged by Palestinian Christians via Kairos Palestine – for they, too, have called us to a careful and timely study of Biblical theology, living faith and verifiable facts on the ground in the land where Jesus walked.  

Order it through the website: www.TheIPMN.org. 

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