“Come and See…and Act” KAIROS solidarity delegation visits Palestine and Israel
The KAIROS Church Leaders Delegation to Palestine and Israel took place between Nov 17-28, 2019, bringing together 8 delegates – Indigenous persons, settlers, and newcomers – representing 7 members of KAIROS and the Executive Director of KAIROS (link to bios). The delegation was co-chaired by Bishop Susan Johnson from the Evangelical Lutheran Church and Rev Rosalyn Kantlant’am Elm, from the Anglican Diocese of Huron and staffed by Rachel Warden of KAIROS and Wendy Gichuru of the United Church of Canada.
The delegation aimed to strengthen collective, ecumenical and denominational policies and partnerships in Palestine and Israel, highlighting support for grassroots women’s organizations in peacebuilding and deepening the understanding of the impacts of conflict and occupation on women and girls. Delegates met with partners in Palestine and Israel, learning about their work and context with a focus on women’s empowerment and women’s role in building sustainable peace. From the beginning, delegates committed to education and advocacy upon their return to Canada – sharing what they and heard, amplifying voices and visibilizing the work of partners.
The delegation was ably hosted by KAIROS partner Wi’am: Palestinian Centre for Conflict Transformation, who have extensive experience receiving international delegations.
During the 10 days, delegates travelled to Bethlehem, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Jericho, Tel Aviv, Gaza, Nazareth and Tiberias. They met with women’s groups supported by Wi’am in four communities, visited community development and infrastructure projects, and engaged with civil society organizations, human rights groups and religious and community leaders both in Palestine and Israel.
This blog series follows the daily itinerary of the delegation. Each delegate has written one blog, allowing the reader to follow the delegation through eight voices, experience and reflections. The blogs will be posted between December 10, International Human Rights Day, and December 20.
Blog 1: Not your Grandmothers Pilgrimage!!! By Rosalyn Elm
Blog 2: A conspiracy with the God of Hope. By Jennifer Henry
Blog 3: You are the light of the world…let your light shine before others… By Andreas Thiel
Blog 4: One Day: Three stories of resilience and self-determination. By Susan Johnson
Blog 5: Learning from historical trauma at Yad Vashem. By Lori Ransom
Blog 6: No way to treat a child. By Helen Smith
Blog 7: Sunday November 24th blog: A terrible beauty. By Paul Hansen
Blog 8: Lost Harvest, Seeds of Hope. By Lana Robinson
You can also view some of the many photos taken during the delegation in the following album.