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Waging Peace: Doing Justice Through BDS

Waging Peace: Doing Justice Through BDS

Date(s) - 09/18/2015 - 09/20/2015
All Day

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Wake Forest Baptist Church


Contact Person:
GJ Tarazi
(336) 758-5297
Wake Forest Baptist Church


Waging Peace: Doing Justice Through BDS

September 18-20, 2015

Wake Forest Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, N.C. 

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Program Overview

The boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement has proven to be effective as a nonviolent response to the injustices of the 48-year old Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. Proponents have put the illegal, inhuman and unjust treatment of Palestinians under the glaring light of justice using BDS strategies. Israeli right wing Knesset leaders have called it an “existential treat.” Should churches and church bodies use BDS strategies? Why? How? This gathering is designed to provide participants with timely information, hearing the attitudes and perceptions of people who are directly involved in using BDS, and opportunities to interact with and ask questions about BDS and other strategies for doing justice.

The three purposes of this gathering are to Learn about the philosophic foundation of BDS, its history, strategies, and effectiveness, and what churches, organizations, and individuals are doing with boycott, divestment, and sanctions strategies; Discern what you and your church can do to bring peace with justice to the Holy Land by using BDS strategies; and Act by networking with other churches, organizations and individuals to participate in these efforts.


Friday night, September 18

6-9 pm: Palestinian Hafleh (Arabic for Party!) This will take place in the Magnolia Dining Room on the campus of Wake Forest University. The evening will include Palestinian music and traditional

dance. Palestinian Americans will share poetry and stories of their family’s Nakba experiences. The Nakba Museum Project of Memory and Hope will display artwork and photography by Palestinian artists living under the occupation.

Saturday, September 19

Morning Prayer in the chapel.

Keynote speaker, Jonathan Kuttab, will respond to the question, “Why should BDS be considered a strategy for doing justice in the Holy Land?” He will share BDS history, principles, variety, effectiveness, its use in the occupied territories, and as a strategy being used by churches, and peace/justice organizations.

Panel of church and organizational activists who are using/supporting BDS will share the efforts and strategies with which they are involved. Panelists who have already accepted our invitation include Janet Lahrs Lewis (United Methodists); Steve Feldman (Jewish Voice for Peace); Tarek Abuata (Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace, Friends of Sabeel North America, and Christian Peacemaker Team-Palestine); Diane Dullin(Kairos USA and UCC). Round-table discussions will take place after the panel. Invited church members will facilitate discussions to describe what they are doing to bring about peace with justice in the Holy Land. They will distribute handouts and share how attendees can collaborate in their efforts.

Ecumenical & Interfaith Panel:

Panelists will share their intimate experiences with BDS within their respective church and organization; explain why they advocate for the use of BDS; and take questions. Panelists will facilitate round-table discussions immediately after the panel.

Prayer & Letter Writing

This quiet room is available all day for individual prayer and contemplation. There will also be a list of names of people in Palestine and Israel who are working for peace with justice. Letters and cards will be sent to these laborers for justice.


Rev. Ben Wagener and Rev. Steve Hyde will be available for discussions about the process of discernment, to answer questions and to provide spiritual direction.

Responding to Myths, Questions & Objections

G.J. Tarazi will be available to discuss the “myths” that hinder the work of justice, offer responses to questions and concerns about the situation in the Holy Land, and provide more comprehensive narratives from all perspectives.

Round-Table Church Discussions

Church leaders will share what they are doing in their churches to bring about peace with justice in Palestine and Israel, answer questions, and share how to get involved.

“A Call to Action” by Steve Hyde, Senior Pastor, Ravensworth Baptist Church, Annandale, Va.

Sunday September 20

11am Worship Service at Wake Forest Baptist Church (on the Campus of Wake Forest University)

Speakers and Presenters:

Jonathan Kuttab

Jonathan Kuttab is a leading human rights lawyer in Israel and Palestine. He was born in West Jerusalem, but after the Six Day War, his family moved to the United States. After practicing with a Wall Street law firm for several years, he returned home to co-found the Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence, Al-Haq (lawyers and others who assist with human rights issues), and the Mandela Institute for Political Prisoners. He is licensed to practice law in Palestine, Israel, and New York, and serves on the board of The Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem.

Janet Lahrs Lewis

Janet Lahr Lewis is a missionary with the Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church serving in the Middle East as liason between ecumenical groups, Israel and Palestine. Focusing on advocacy and activism, Janet’s responsibilities are numerous. She is the main contact for VIM teams and United Methodist visitors who wish to follow the recommendation of the General Conference to spend a significant amount of time in the area with local Christians, acting to make those connections with UMC partner organizations and Advance Projects. – See more at:…

Steve Feldman 

Steve is a professor of dermatology at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. He attended the Hebrew Academy of Washington, a school his grandfather helped to found. Feldman’s book Compartments had a profound influence on the Middle East Study Committee Report of the Presbyterian Church (USA), “Breaking Down the Walls.”. Feldman is author of A Jewish American’s Evolving View of Israel published by the American Council for Judaism and A Doctor’s Prescription for Peace with Justicepublished by Americans for Middle East Understanding. He serves on the board of the Coalition for Peace with Justice where he works with Alliance supporter Ralph McCoy. He speaks to community and church groups on the impact of Compartments on people’s perceptions, particularly with regard to Middle East conflicts.

Tarek Abuata

Tarek Abuata grew up in Bethlehem, Palestine, and moved to the United States along with his family at the age of 12, two years after the 1987 Palestinian uprising. After receiving his J.D. with a focus in international law from the University of Texas Law School in 2002, he spent a year in Palestine working with the Negotiations Support Unit, a group of advisers to the Palestinian Negotiations. Over the past 15 years, Tarek has been involved in various nonviolence workshops, including trainings led by Dr. Bernard La Fayette, one of the leaders of the Civil Rights movement in the United States. In addition to his speaking and nonviolence trainings, Tarek serves as the Palestine Coordinator for the Christian Peacemaker Teams-Palestine and interim Executive Director of the Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace.

Diane Dullin

Director of Church Participation and Denominational Relations, Kairos USA

How will we bring the devastating truth of the illegal military occupation of Palestine to our United Church of Christ delegates?

How do we tell them that boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) are the most powerful tools we have for non-violent, church-based, grassroots activism in the Holy Land?

Steve Hyde

A native of Arkansas, Steve is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University. He received his theological training at the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky (Master of Divinity) and Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey (Doctor of Ministry). Before coming to Ravensworth in 2001, he was pastor of churches in Kentucky, Arkansas, and Maryland, and for eleven years was the Coordinating Producer of Capital Concerts in Washington, DC (producers of The National Memorial Day Concert and A Capitol Fourth).

Steve and his wife, Jean, have three sons and five grandchildren.

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