Tackling the crisis faced by the Palestinian people through religious and theological discourse, reverend Jamal Khader, chairperson of the department of religious studies and dean of arts at Bethlehem University, said that the occupation of Palestine by Israel is against the tenets of Christianity, and “contrary to all that the Bible is about”.
Taking the audience through the various forms of oppression that people in Palestine have been facing over decades, Mr. Khader said that explanations offered by leading theologists justifying Israel’s actions were “extremely flawed” and against the spirit of religion and humanity.
Delivering a public lecture in Bangalore on “Peace and justice in the holy land: the role of Christian Palestinians” on Sunday, Mr. Khader said that it angered him when theologists tried to convince him that the suffering of Palestinians is part of the “lord's plan or his scheme of things”.
His movement against Israeli oppression and occupation was based on the tenets of non-violence, he said and added that his people were looking towards India for support on this. Thus far, he said, India has not supported Palestinians or their struggle. “It is constantly supporting Israel by entering into agreements on defence equipment worth billions of dollars,” he said.
Mr. Khader spoke about Kairos Palestine, a movement that is opposing the Israeli occupation in Palestine through non-violent protests and campaigns. “We appeal to countries, including India, to support us and help stop this injustice,” he said.