This post is part of a series on peacemakers I met in Israel/Palestine.
In preparation for our recent trip to Israel/Palestine we read through a number of books and other resources. One of the particularly moving ones is a book called Blood Brothers by Archbishop Elias Chacour. I had read this book back in 2013 and blogged about my favorite parts of it (see: Blood Brothers). To say that it moved me would be an understatement. It strongly shaped my view of nonviolence that I was reevaluating at that time. This book is a great introduction if you want to learn more.
Chacour tells the story of growing up as a Palestinian child in the midst of Israel becoming a nation. I’ve written previously on the significance of this if you aren’t familiar with much of the modern events that have shaped this conflict (see: Israelites or Israelis). Today, Bishop Chacour offers a Christian narrative of peace and nonviolence in working to bring about ways to move forward through the conflict. The stories he tells are incredible and cause you to think of ways we could radically live for others.
Here are some of the profound things he said in our time together (some of them are my paraphrase of what he said):
It is a territorial conflict rather than a racial or religious one.
The land does not belong to you. You have to belong to the land.
Two truths he always focuses on: 1) God does not kill, and 2) God is love. (He said that he forgot all his seminary training and this is all that remains).
He doesn’t pray for anything for the Palestinians that he does not also pray for Israel.
Would you be willing to raise hell for the oppressed, the poor, and the marginalized?
Can you tolerate the cross until you reach the resurrection?
Click here to get a copy of his book.