From Bridget Rees, the Revd Dr Stephen Sizer, and Mrs Jennifer Oldershaw
Sir, — We write in response to Chris John’s comments on the Sabeel
(Letters, 28 April).
Chris John asked whether Sabeel could speak for Christians in the Holy Land.
Sabeel is an ecumenical centre based in east Jerusalem, which also has a base
in Nazareth. It has widespread support among all the denominations of
Christians in Israel/Palestine, and as such is a voice that should be heard.
Most of its local supporters and members are, of course, inevitably
Palestinian, though it has many Israeli supporters in the Jewish as well as the
Christian community. Palestinian Christians and Sabeel are concerned for a
solution to the current situation which brings a
just peace for all communities and faiths in the land and gives
Palestinians a viable state.
Chris John states that Sabeel does not favour a two-state solution, when in
fact it has always been committed to the democratic process and a two-state
solution. Any one-state solution could come about only if both peoples agreed.
The latest statement on this from Sabeel after the recent elections makes
this clear: “Sabeel’s Statement on the New Realities in Palestine” (
How tragic it is that peace-makers such as Sabeel and Canon Naim Ateek are
maligned and targeted in this way; but, of course, Jesus told us to expect such
attacks (Matthew 5.9-10), and many of his followers have received them.
BRIDGET REES, STEPHEN SIZER
Friends of Sabeel UK
9 College Green
Gloucester GL1 2LX