""As the crucifixes drenched with Jewish blood drop from our hands, we stand impotent and wordless before this tragedy of Israel and Palestine ... In the name of the crucified Messiah, we must struggle against the conditions which make history a trail of crucifixions. Only then, in solidarity with Jews and Palestinians, can we dream of Messianic times, of a shalom without victims."" With these words, theologian Rosemary Radford Reuther laid out the pitfalls for Christians entering the arena of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Nevertheless, in 1995, a small cohort of pacifist Christians decided to paddle against the currents of history, against the crusades, pogroms, and colonial enterprises of their co-religionists, toward that goal of ""a shalom without victims."" Setting up a project in the West Bank city of Hebron, over the next ten years Christian Peacemaker Teams forged relationships with Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals who were resisting the Israeli military occupation of Palestine. As ""resident aliens"" (See Exodus 23:9) they have sojourned in the Holy Land to support Palestinians and Israelis who reject violence as a means of solving the conflict, who think that one nation has no right to subjugate and exploit another, and who believe all the residents of the region are entitled to the same, exactly the same, human rights. This book charts the growth of CPT in Palestine, how it adapted to changing political conditions, spread to locations outside of Hebron, and developed networks with activists throughout Palestine and Israel.
""In these pages, Kathleen Kern pens a fascinating and important account of the founding and history of the Christian Peacemaker Teams in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict . . . Enlisting dissenting Jews and Palestinians in a struggle for human and political rights, Kern stands as a dramatic Christian witness of the possibility of justice and reconciliation between and among peoples of different faiths. This book narrates the difficulties and sacrifices involved in such a task, a revolutionary task if you will, that continues today.""
--Marc Ellis, University Professor of Jewish Studies and Director of the Center of Jewish Studies at Baylor University.
""As Resident Aliens is a gripping narrative of Christian Peacemaker Teams' attempts to transform prayer into practice as they stand with both Palestinians and Israelis in their struggles for peace. Kern's skill as a writer, a truth-seeker, and a Christian activist shine throughout this troubled history of CPT's mission in Palestine. This book is a significant addition to our understanding of both the crisis in the Middle-East as well as the need for international accompaniment.""
--Ramzi Kysia, Arab-American essayist and pacifist.
""A meticulous, painful, and trustworthy account, written with faith, love, and concern, of ten years of peacemaking efforts under unbelievably difficult conditions-when every person who opens this book makes an effort to get it into the hands of those perpetrating this mess and the (American!) politicians who not only close their eyes to it but actually fund and defend it, we'll be a lot closer to peace.""
--Rabbi Jeremy Milgrom, Palestinians and Israelis for Nonviolence
About the Contributor(s):
Kathleen Kern has worked with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) since 1993, serving on assignments in Haiti, Washington, D.C., Hebron, Chiapas, South Dakota, Colombia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She is the author of, ""The Human Cost of Cheap Cellphones"" and In Harm's Way: A History of Christian Peacemaker Teams (Cascade Books, 2008).
Dewey Decimal Classfication (DDC)