A delegation of U.S. leaders from historic African-American denominations traveled to Israel and Palestine in November and determined that Palestinians living in the West Bank suffer the same injustices African Americans experienced in the pre-civil rights United States. At a gathering representing 35 mainline denominations, the trip delegates condemned the 400-mile barrier Israel is constructing. “It makes me sad to see this wall and to hear so many say this wall has been built with money I have sent to the U.S. government in tax dollars,” Bishop E. Earl McCloud Jr. of the African Methodist Episcopal Church told Church World Service.
The group hasn’t determined what steps it will take to address the issues that surfaced from the trip, but Rev. Charles Mock of the National Baptist Convention identified compassion as the first. “We’re neither pro-Israeli nor pro-Palestinian,” he told Sojourners. “We’re pro-love and justice. It is love and justice that equal genuine peace.”