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Experience the Holy Land - B&W
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Whitewashing Israel Apartheid and Occupation
The Kairos Palestine statement on the Chicago lawyers trip in 2019 See the statement
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These guidelines were developed in 2010 at a consultative meeting in Geneva to promote justice tourism for pilgrims to Palestine-Israel. Representing 14 countries, a group of 27 theologians, Palestinian Christian activists and professionals in the tourism industry called on Christian pilgrims to live their faith as they visit the Holy Land, going beyond homage of ancient sites to show concern for the Palestinian people living there whose lives are severely constricted by the Israeli occupation of their lands.
The meeting was organized by Alternative Tourism Group (ATG) in cooperation with the Ecumenical Coalition on Tourism (ECOT ), Kairos Palestine and the World Council of Churches (WCC) through its initiative the Palestine-Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF).
Can Tourism Be Liberatory?
by Raphael Magarik
Jewish Currents - 27 July 2023
An Interview with Jennifer Lynn Kelly, author of
Invited to Witness: Solidarity Tourism Across Occupied Palestine.
I spoke with Kelly about the history of solidarity tourism to Palestine, its political possibilities and ethical challenges, and how Palestinian guides are reimagining tourism. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Raphael Magarik: People often think of tourism as shallow, consumerist, and apolitical. How is solidarity tourism different?
Jennifer Lynn Kelly: In solidarity tourism, guides educate tourists about their context, their conditions, and their freedom struggles. In each of the tours considered in my book—which range from the week-long tours across historic Palestine, to day tours of cities or villages in the West Bank, to two-hour tours in the eastern part of occupied Jerusalem or in West Jerusalem—guides focus on the history of Palestinian displacement and provide an alternative to Zionist narratives. For example, on bus tours through the West Bank, guides will point to sprawling Palestinian terraces and explain how Palestinians have always cared for the land. In doing so, they are intervening in the Zionist idea that Palestine was “a land without a people for a people without a land.” By assembling these kinds of itineraries, the guides are pressing tourism into the service of anti-colonial work.
Read more: https://jewishcurrents.org/can-tourism-be-liberatory
See the book Invited to Witness:
or on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Invited-Witness-Solidarity-Occupied-Palestine/dp/1478019298
To see tour providers with trips that UMKR would recommend, click here.
The Holy Land holds profound significance for United Methodists, as it does for all Christians, Jews and Muslims. When we go there, we “walk where Jesus walked” and feel a connection perhaps never before experienced. We also encounter the real people living and working in this region, all children of one God.
In order to live our values when we visit the Holy Land, UMKR urges all United Methodists to use the UMC General Conference resolutions on Israel/Palestine (see them below), especially the resolution on Holy Land Tours. See it on our website
Tell your tour organizer it is important to you that your tour comply with these important church guidelines for travel in Palestine/Israel.
Walk with the people of our faith in the place where it all began.
Experience the Holy Land of the past and the present
by breaking bread and worshiping with the descendants
of the original disciples of Christ who have kept our faith
alive through the ages.
For decades, millions of Christians have come to the
Holy Land only as spectators, touring holy sites as they
would museums, not knowing that these are living places
of worship and never realizing that their pilgrimage was
missing something very important: meaningful interaction
with those who share our faith.
Questions to ask tour organizers
Whether you are leading a tour or going on one organized by others, the following questions can help you discern whether the tour follows UMC resolutions regarding the Holy Land.
• Will we have opportunities to visit and worship with Palestinian Christians?
• Can you assure us that none of the hotels or restaurants we will use are located in the Israeli settlements?
• Will we spend at least one night in Bethlehem with opportunities to meet local people beyond tourist sites and shopping?
• Will we visit at least two UMC Advance Special Missions? Download UMC Advance Projects
On our website, you will find tours that can provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience. They all provide significant opportunities to know the people of the Holy Land. Click here to see recommended tour providers and upcoming trips.