All in Theological Reflections

A Palestinian Christian visits an Evangelical Festival Abroad - Part 1

The other day, a friend told me about an Evangelical festival [1] taking place in one of the major cities I was visiting. It was sponsored by more than 150 Evangelical churches in that city. She encouraged me to visit but also warned me that it might be more supportive of the Jewish people than Arabs, and more specifically Palestinians. I was intrigued and off I went. 

A Challenging Encounter

Last week I had a very interesting encounter with guests who came to see the offices where I work. After the usual superficial introductions, the conversation turned to questions about who they were and why and what they were doing in the country. Slowly their story began to unfold. They were Christians and were newly married; having come to Israel for their honeymoon. They came on a tour and had planned to stay for the three-month period that their tourist visas allowed and investigate what life in Israel was like.

Submission: An Assault on Identity

Time and again I think myself above it, too strong, and then stumble and fall at the feet of patriarchy, told once again that to be strong is not appropriate. From all sides, I hear that I should be “submissive” - that to have dreams and ambitions, to fight for what I am passionate about, is not appropriate for me, a woman. I have too many goals; I am too independent, too much of a risk-taker. These are not the qualities of the ideal woman. I am not “domestic” enough; my ideas and opinions are too strong and don’t fit in the community I find myself in. 

Is your empathy boundaried?

I regularly walk in Jerusalem by a Jewish neighborhood that borders a Palestinian one, and while Palestinians can cross freely into the Jewish one, and I into the Palestinian one, I rarely do anymore. A simple street runs between the two neighborhoods, but it represents something bigger, a divide that is not meant to be crossed. A few years ago it was easier, but since then X-marked blocks, raids, attacks and more have come and gone, and Israeli security guards intermittently patrol the area.

Rampant Radical Rhetoric

I’m a person who likes to read. I read widely and appreciate many styles and genres including news, non-fiction, journalism, poetry, theology, literature, academic and scientific writing and many kinds of fiction. I tend, however, to stay away from, or only occasionally visit, the popular forms of social media like Facebook and Twitter. After all, I can’t read everything. . . 

True Generosity or False Charity: 3 Challenges

As I attended a dinner recently, a friend approached me, asking if I had heard about a specific evangelical Christian organization. “They do amazing work helping Palestinian refugees and women, and I know you care about these issues too,” remarked my friend. She seemed very enthusiastic, so, out of curiosity, I checked them out when I arrived home.

Diversity among Christian Palestinians

As part of working in a Christian community, one experiences the unpleasant dark side of leadership where such behavior does not represent the merciful and just spirit of Christ. Power, authority and money are areas that leaders abuse sometimes, and young emerging leaders are confronted with disappointments. This is part of life, and each one responds to it differently.  Johny, Salma and myself were having lunch together when Johny asked Salma "How do you respond to injustices you faced with leaders towards you?"

Division – Is it anathema?

Lately, I’ve been asked – why do you write controversial posts; why do you sign, or worse, even write statements? After all, you know your voice is coming from the margins of your community. You know your views won’t be accepted; they’ll be misunderstood, opposed, attacked. And, worst of all, you will be causing division.