longer have a special covenant with God
because the Church has taken their role].
But just this weekend a group of 30
young men and women were at Tiberias
studying what it means to cross the lake.
You know the story of Jesus crossing the
lake? There is a storm. Everybody is frightened, but Jesus crosses to the side of the
Romans, Gentiles who eat pigs. He went
with His blessing. With healing. And they
didn’t like it. They kicked Him out.
FT: What is your motivation? Should we
be involved in reconciliation, and if so,
SM: To be a Christian is to be a disciple
of Jesus. It’s to follow Jesus. You’re not
following a set of manuals. You are following Jesus, and Jesus came to reconcile
us to God and command us to love our
enemies. So if you are Christian, you need
to love your enemy.
Canadians are also involved in the con-
flict, as believers are taking sides and there
is quite a bit of division. If you call yourself
a community, you have to be engaged with
others. If you call yourself a follower of
So when you visit Bethlehem and the
bus drives through the wall, you go to the
Church of the Nativity, you go to the sou-
venir shop and you are out. And you don’t
meet with the local Christians, and it is
such a pity and so hurtful too.
Jesus, the implication is that your love of
God will be tested and your love for others
will be different. The Church in Canada
can be a blessing to both peoples.
In Musalaha we recognize the intractable conflict, the level of dehumanization,
the stages of reconciliation. We have found
that we need to take people out to the desert. [Musalaha sponsors retreats there for
mixed groups of Israelis and Palestinians.]
The desert is not just an exotic place. The
desert is a place that means a lot, especially for Christians. In the silence of the
desert you encounter yourself with God.
And this is where the challenge happens.
Find more about Musalaha at www.
musalaha.org. Canadians can support its
work at www.hopeoutreach.ca. FT
SaLIm munayer was interviewed
by DaVID Lyon, a professor at
Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.,
on October 20, 2012. Preliminary
transcription was by Courtney Reeve.
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