Just six days from today, I’ll embark on a peace mission on behalf of American Baptists to travel to Israel. This trip will serve as a good-will delegation to Israelis and Palestinians. In light of the recent conflict and violence, it is more important than ever to find a peaceful solution for this area of the Middle East.
This is no Holy Land Tour.
The delegation consists of the American Baptist Churches General Secretary, Roy Medley, the President of ABC-USA, Ruth Clark, and a handful of lay and clergy leaders within the denomination. We will meet with local leaders in business, media, health care, education, human rights, faith, culture, and politics. The delegation will be guided by a panel of experts who will also help balance and interpret these meetings so that, by the end of the trip, the delegation will grasp the basic issues of the conflict and a variety of perspectives and emotions. We will meet with both Israelis and Palestinians.
So, what is the purpose of this trip?
The purpose of the trip is to further our knowledge of the issues related to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The visit is hosted by Telos an organization that works for a pro-Israeli, pro-Palestinian resolution that recognizes the right of Israel to exist and the right of the Palestinians to a state in their homeland. Telos strengthens the capacity of American faith communities – and especially American evangelicals – to help positively transform the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The trip was in jeopardy over the Thanksgiving holiday as missile attacks increased. We kept in close contact with Telos as they monitored the situation. I was able to breathed a sigh of relief when a ceasefire was enacted.
It’s my prayer that this trip will invoke positive outcomes. That Israelis and Palestinians know that American Baptists want to aid in peaceful solutions. That trust can be earned and relationships form. Look for blog posts about the trip here at AlanRudnick.org