Letters of support

Letter from Prof. Mark Braverman, Executive Director Kairos US, and Professor at the Stellenbosch University, Faculty of Theology

This is a superlative document and The Convivencia Project is critically important initiative. You have covered, as far as I can see, all the bases, connected all the dots, and taken the discourse forward in giant steps. I love so much about it, so I won’t even try to count the way. Just this -- I love "Zionism was a false and failed answer to the desperately real question many of our ancestors faced of how to protect Jewish lives from murderous antisemitism in Europe.”  My own expression of this in my writing and speaking has been: “As a Jew I understand the impulse toward and rationale for Zionism only too well — but I see it as a catastrophically wrong turn in our quest for security and dignity. One day we will see this and be on our knees in contrition for the harm we have done.” 
 
And this: It is not yet available to the public online but I highly recommend a piece by Noura Erakat and John Reynolds in the current issue of Jewish Currents titled “Understanding Apartheid.”  Their thesis is that a “radical critique” of Israeli apartheid is needed that understands its foundation in settler colonialism. If you know Erakat’s work (Reynolds is new to me) you know that the piece is articulate, scholarly, comprehensive and compelling. I will get it to you as soon as it becomes publicly available. Or go ahead and subscribe to Jewish Currents (also recommended) and get them to send you the Summer 2022 issue right away.
 
Thank you for inviting me, Stephen. I will be pleased and honored to participate.  I will have a lot to say about how Christian-Jewish interfaith activities have been used in the service of preventing scrutiny of Zionism and blocking criticism of Israel, in particular from my experience working with churches in the U.S. and other countries (e.g. the Netherlands and Germany).  I will also talk about what is happening in the global church arena with respect to activism for Palestine and challenging Christian Zionism, and offer some analysis and thoughts about where the movement is now and how it can direct its efforts. And yes, I do support one democratic state. 

Letter from Prof. Allan Aubrey Boesak, University of Pretoria, and President, The Sankofa Institute for Pan African Leadership and Prophetic Ministry
 
I think this is an excellent, and absolutely necessary initiative at a time when the Israeli state is more violently and criminally desperate than ever before, but simultaneously when solidarity with and support for the Palestinian cause seem to finding new allies, despite, and perhaps because of the persistent assaults on Palestinians and their allies within and without the Jewish community.
 
Yes you are right. We have long understood that the religious and biblical justifications claimed by apartheid constituted a denial and perversion of the most basic tenets of our faith and should be declared a heresy. In 1982 the world church joined us and it turned out to be one of the most efficacious actions taken against apartheid. Because we recognise such frightening similarities in the Israeli apartheid State and its pernicious ideologies and actions, I have been arguing for some time now that Christians, at least, should think of the support of Christian, Evangelical, Zionist biblical and theological justifications in the same way. I think this is an important part of the battle and a crucial avenue to pursue. In the World Communion of Reformed Churches we are working towards the same goal. The Convivencia Alliance also recalls for me the United Democratic Front, the political movement that brought our people together across those artificial barriers of race, religion, colour, culture and class that was so successful in its mobilization of people in the struggle for freedom and justice in South Africa, and whose political agenda always included Palestine.
 
Anyway, this is my long-winded way of affirming your recollection of our role in declaring apartheid a heresy, a perversion of the gospel and a blasphemy. I continue to argue that the ability to take a stand in the anti-apartheid struggle in those final stages of the 1980s was the litmus test of our spiritual and political integrity. Such is the case today with the cause of Palestinian justice. So I think that the Convivencia Alliance will be a powerful instrument to put that choice before people at this time. It will be an honour to join others in making a contribution to this worthy cause.
 
Please add my name to the list with these designations (should you need them):
Prof Allan Aubrey Boesak, Professor of Black Liberation Theology and Ethics, University of Pretoria, and President, The Sankofa Institute for Pan African Leadership and Prophetic Ministry.
 
Warmest greetings and God's richest blessings upon you and the important work you are doing,
Allan Boesak