세계 팔레스타인 연대의 날 선언문.pdf


International Day of Solida rity with the Palestinian People (29 November)

Statement by Korean Christians for Peace in Palestine-Israel



Palestinians are not our enemies

- they are our brothers!



In accordance with the resolution of the 61st General Assembly of the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) on 18-20 November, Korean member Churches, which have been praying for “Glory in Heaven and Peace on Earth”, issued a statement on 20 November expressing our concern and opposition against the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip taking place from 14 November.


On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (Nov. 29), Korean Christians declare the Israeli occupation of Palestine and its blockade of the Gaza Strip is a sin that destroys the peace of Christ, and hereby emphasizes the following positions:


1. The Arab people, known to be descendants of Ishmael, are not Christians’ enemies but brothers.


God promised Abraham, the father of faith, that Ishmael would be blessed to become fruitful and multiply. Despite this, Christians tend to harbor antagonistic feelings toward Arabs not because of their belief system but because of anti-biblical antagonism that has developed from ongoing struggle for dominance between the Christian and Arab worlds since the Western medieval period. Therefore as believers who trust in the promise God in the Bible has given through Abraham, we must respect the lives and rights of the Arab people – descendants of Abraham’s son Ishmael – while recognizing that God’s promise will be fulfilled through Isaac.


2. Israel’s unilateral expulsion and oppression of Palestinians is not right.


The Jewish people settled in Palestine (Canaan) under the leadership of Moses and lived in relative prosperity since the time of David. In 135 AD, Jews were forced out by Romans to various corners of the world and lived in diaspora for the next 1,800 years, while Palestinians lived in the land. In 1948, after World War II, Jews established the state of Israel in the land of Palestine and the conflict intensified between the two sides, with large-scale wars and violence continuing to this day.


It is truly regrettable that Jews had to live in diaspora and suffer like wanderers without a country for 1,800 long years, but that does not justify turning Palestinians – who had lived an equally long period in their land – into overnight refugees and drive them to death with many kinds of oppression. These acts do not accord with faith in God. No matter how difficult, the two sides must find ways to co-exist through mutual dialogue and negotiations. A complete victory of one side over another provokes only war, definitely not a solution.


3. We repent the sins of Korean churches that have turned a blind eye to the war of anti-life oppression and violation of human rights that have occurred in Palestine.


Korean churches have had a flawed and vague notion that Israelis are close brothers and Arabs are enemy aliens. This is likely a result of uncritically embracing the antagonism and fear of Arabs held by Western Christians who first brought the gospel into Korea. The narrow awareness of Korean churches went beyond emotionally supporting Israel to committing the sin of conscious neglect of cruel Israeli attacks based on the weaponry and capital of the Western world. This fully replicates the sin of a priest and a Levite who avoid a wounded man in the parable of the Good Samaritan. We confess and repent that disregarding Palestinians’ cries and wishes for peace has served to perpetuate their suffering.

4. Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip must be stopped immediately and armed assaults must never be repeated.

Since 14 November, Israel has been attacking the Gaza Strip, populated mostly by expelled Palestinians. With the recent bombing(s), over 1,000 children, women and the elderly had either lost their lives or been hurt, and many public and private facilities left shattered. In particular, the account detailed in the statement of the National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine on 20 November, of the destruction of Gaza’s Daloo family, in which 11 members, including five children, were killed, brings us great distress and sorrow. Also in the winter of 2008, Israel sent ground forces to the Gaza Strip, resulting in approximately 1,400 casualties among innocent civilians. In the last five years, some 2,300 Palestinians have lost their lives to Israeli army – and 25 percent of these people were powerless women and children. Presently, 1.6 million people live in the Gaza Strip, registering the world’s highest population density.


Due to Israel’s illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip since 2007, 80 percent of the population has no choice but to depend on relief goods and their water is unfit for either drinking or agricultural use. There is also a high unemployment rate, with 50 percent of the youth out of work, and only 23 companies surviving while most of the other 3,900 companies had gone bankrupt. These manifest the brutal sin of transferring to Palestinians the tears and suffering of the Jewish people – the descendants of Abraham and Isaac – which they had to endure while living scattered across the world in the past. Because taking away the land and resources of Palestinians and violating their human rights are the sins of an anti-faith stance, we as believers call for an immediate halt to the illegal occupation of Palestine and the blockade of the Gaza Strip.


5. The whole world must pay attention and endeavor to resolve the issue of peace in Palestine.


This is not a problem of religion but is a problem of racial discrimination, colonialization and power struggle regarding the geopolitical order of the Middle East. This is not a war on an equal footing but a unilateral pillage, and in the process unspeakable human rights violations and death are continuing to take place.


Particularly, the United Nations (UN) and the Western world have long condoned Israel’s illegal acts, which run counter to many UN resolutions, to international human rights law and to international humanitarian standards and practices. It is now time for the international community to make sincere efforts toward finding a solution for peace and co-existence between Palestine and Israel. From the perspective of the human rights of global citizens, the world must first showcase respect for the basic rights of individuals, before striking a political compromise. In accordance with the UN resolution(s), the independence and peaceful co-existence of Palestine must be recognized.


6. Korean Christians support and participate in the efforts of the world citizens to achieve peace in Palestine.


We are nearing Christmas, which celebrates the birth of baby Jesus who came to bring peace to this chaotic world. We sincerely pray that the peace of Christ descend first on Palestine, which is still shrouded in the smoke of death. We also sincerely pray that the peace of our Lord touch everyone who is praying and acting to this end. Korean Christians will continue to pray and do the best we can to achieve peace in Palestine.



29 November 2012


National Council of Churches in Korea,

National Council of YMCAs of Korea,

National YWCA of Korea,

Korea Church Women United Ecumenical Youth Council in Korea,

Bible Korea

Korea Christian Environmental Movement Solidarity


On behalf of all the participants in the Prayer for Peace of Korean Christians on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.