Press Release: Reconciled Identities
Kehilanews.com, Lisa Loden
Mar 2, 2019
Messianic Jewish and Palestinian Christian disciples of Jesus met in Antalya, Turkey, February 14-17, 2019 for the 5th conference of the Lausanne Initiative on Reconciliation in Israel/Palestine (LIRIP). 27 participants from Israel, the West Bank and Gaza met in Antalya, Turkey, for three days of prayer, study and discussion. Their focus was how to make a difference through practical demonstrations of the reconciling love of Jesus across the boundaries of intractable conflict and the seemingly irreconcilable dividing walls of politicised identities. The group was comprised of Jewish and Arab disciples of Jesus, including participants from Muslim, Orthodox Jewish and Orthodox Christian backgrounds, all committed to working together to achieve peace. Together they affirmed their unity and commitment to work for reconciliation and a just peace in Israel/Palestine.
The conference was sponsored by the Lausanne Initiative for Reconciliation in Israel/Palestine (LIRIP). Its vision is “to promote reconciliation within the body of Christ and our wider communities in Israel and Palestine by creating a network that encourages, under the auspices of the Lausanne Movement, models of gospel-based, Christ-centered reconciliation that will have prophetic impact in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Under the theme of “Exploring our Conflicting Identities” participants gave presentations on Israeli and Palestinian identities and our reconciled identities in Christ/Messiah. Presentation topics included identity theory, Palestinian identity in Israel, Christian focus on Palestinian nationalism, an exploration of Zionism, contested issues in Palestinian society, military service in Israel, and being a Palestinian in Israel under the new Nationality Law. The legal and practical implications of this recently passed law (an Israeli Basic Law which specifies the nature of the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people) were discussed in frank, open and at times heated discussion, with respectful acknowledgement of the various and differing positions held.