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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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A difficult, yet eye-opening, journey

Christian & Jewish leaders visit Israel and the Palestinian territories

Protestant and Jewish leaders traveled to the Holy Land in September, hoping to shed light on disagreements over Israel’s security barrier and the use of divestment to bring about change in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The 16 leaders are among a group of 35 interfaith leaders who have met the past 18 months to discuss concerns of both communities.

Participants met with politicians, religious leaders, academics and journalists from both sides of the conflict. They spoke about proposed divestment campaigns, anti-Semitism, environmental and economic issues, and more. They also toured areas of the separation barrier and met with residents, including a Palestinian family whose house had been demolished three times.

In a Sept. 22 statement, the group said the visit demonstrated that U.S. Jews and mainline Christians can work together on peaceful solutions despite disagreements: “A trip that started from many different places has brought us closer together in hope and faith. While there were many difficult moments, our trust in each other deepened.”


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