On Palm Sunday in Jerusalem, Palestinian Christians at the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center shouted "Hosanna!" and invited the churches of the world to work for liberation anew—by thinking about their investments.
Rev. Naim Ateek, a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, is canon of St. Georges (Anglican) Cathedral in Jerusalem and is founder of Sabeel, which has produced a 15-page statement that, in Ateeks words, will go out "to all hierarchies of churches everywhere in the world." It was inspired by the economic boycotts that helped end apartheid in South Africa. Its mandate: selective divestment by churches from corporations and companies profiting from the occupation.
The document, titled "A Nonviolent Response to the Occupation: A Call for Morally Responsible Investment," addresses the reality of Israels occupation of the Palestinian territories, the continued building of the separation wall, and illegal settlements on Palestinian land.
"We had the Contemporary Way of the Cross, the Via Dolorosa for Palestinians," Ateek, 68, told Sojourners, recalling programs at Sabeel before the start of the second intifada in 2000 dissuaded most internationals from coming. "This is a liturgy we created where we take [visitors] to the stations of the cross that Palestinians have, such as demolished homes, destroyed villages, checkpoints. Every one of those is a station of the cross, a station of suffering."