Representatives of Canadian churches and church-based groups met on Feb. 4 with Arab and Muslim leaders who are similarly committed to “peace with justice” in Israel and Palestine.
Both sides have been careful to note that the meeting signalled nothing more than a commitment to meet face to face more regularly in order to consult and share information about issues affecting peace in the Middle East.
Hosted by the Canadian Friends of Sabeel, the meeting in Toronto gathered an ecumenical forum on the Middle East which includes representatives from the Anglican Church of Canada, the United Church of Canada, the Presbyterian Church in Canada, the Roman Catholic Church and church-based groups such as KAIROS. They were joined by six delegates from the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF), which describes itself as “a national, non-partisan, non-profit” umbrella of over 40 member organizations.
The article goes on to note that “[t]he meeting signals a new beginning of intentional conversation”. Churches pontificating on how to achieve peace in the Middle East is hardly new: presumably prior efforts to establish Elysium were thwarted by the conversations being unintentional.
The only tangible action being suggested is a divesting of church interests in companies that do business in Israel; predictably one-sided and hardly new – however intentional.