We believe that the major contribution we can make as denomination, agencies, institutions, and individuals is to raise awareness of the plight of Palestinians – particularly our sisters and brothers in Christ - among our members and friends. Personal and institutional change comes from study, experience, and informed reflection. Consequently most of the recommendations below deal with the tools and structures that are necessary for this process.
We believe that the CRC has already in place structures and programs that can provide a wide range of learning opportunities for our members – all focused on encountering groups and individuals, Palestinians and Israelis, who are organizing to bring the good news of justice and peace. The recommendations that follow are based on this:
- That CRWM and/or CRWRC begin talks with Marlin Vis and RCA representatives to investigate ways to collaborate ranging from:
- Joint CRC/RCA educational efforts that promote and build on present Vis efforts via electronic media and speaking tours
- Alternative tour and study/work opportunities for RCA/CRC youth groups
- Financial support for Marlin and Sally Vis’s work
- CRWM should include Sabeel, Musalaha and Holy Land Trust as options for the Summer Mission Program of CRWM. CRWM can and should include the relevant information on serving in one of these organizations as they recruit for the SMP. As least two and up to five young people should be recruited to take part in this program.
- CRWM should offer summer internships to Calvin Seminary students in Palestine to work/volunteer with one of these organizations.
- CRWRC (Service Link) should include these organizations and their programs in their mandate and area of operation. Several people could/should be sent to volunteer in these organizations each year.
- CRWM/WRC, Calvin, Dordt, Trinity, King’s, and Redeemer should include and recruit Palestinian speakers/professors/peace activists as headliners in major CRC conferences and events held in North America (Calvin January Series, summer academic workshops).
- CRWM should investigate becoming more involved with Rev. Victor Altallah of the Middle East Reformed Fellowship (MERF). The Back to God Hour and the RCA’s Words of Hope is already supporting MERF working through him in their Middle East Broadcast network from Cyprus.
- The Office of Social Justice should contribute at least the following four major tools for denominational education and action:
- A Middle East peace and justice site within their www.crcjustice.org site that makes available this report and other key resources for educational purposes.
- A general power-point/slide presentation of this trip report for use by those needing to make presentations. An annotated list of books and materials for further study.
- A current “action list” of ten things people can do to support the Christian community and work for peace in the Middle East.