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Efrat Ben Ze'ev [Ruppin Academic Centre], Nadim Ruhana [TAU], Uri Davis [U of Durham, U.K], Adel Mana'a [Van Leer] in THE NAKBA: MEMORY, REALITY AND BEYOND, Jerusalem, November 12-19, 2008

7th International Sabeel Conference



November 12-19, 2008

MARK YOUR CALENDARS, AND SPREAD THE WORD! The conference will focus on the

commemoration of 60 years since the Nakba, and the complex issues of memory, narrative,

and identity raised by the events of 1948. The conference will include: 4 nights in

Nazareth, with trips to villages that were destroyed in 1948 and visits with the localChristian community; 4 nights in Jerusalem, with trips to Jaffa, Ramle, and Lidda;

Lectures, workshops, discussions, and cultural events focusing on the last 60 years and the

future for Christians living in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories; Optional preconference

travel to holy sites in the
Galilee; Optional post-conference travel to understand

the Occupation including visits to holy sites in Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

Troubled Past, Complex Future

Among those who struggle for justice and peace in Palestine, our focus has been the fight to

end the illegal Occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. However, in order to truly

understand the complexities of memory, narrative, and identity faced by the Palestinian

community, it is vital to examine the events of 1948—what the Palestinians refer to as the

Nakba, or Catastrophe. For 60 years, the Nakba has cast its shadow over the struggles of

identity and narrative undertaken both by Palestinian citizens of the state of Israel and

those in the Occupied Territories. As the nonviolent resistance to Occupation continues, the

question of what it means to be a Palestinian remains.

As Israel begins its celebration of 60 years since independence, the Palestinian community

will commemorate 60 years since the Nakba. During this important year, Sabeel believes

that it is vital to examine the impact of 1948 on the quest for justice and peace in the Holy

Land. It is only by examining and understanding the past that the Christian community—

and, indeed, all people of this land—can begin to move towards a future of justice and

reconciliation. For Palestinian Christians, and those Christians who are now citizens of the

state of Israel, the question of identity becomes even more complex. As this community

continues to address identity crisis, it also questions what resources within its past can

enable to it to construct a more just and hopeful future.

In addition to the question of identity, this conference provides an opportunity to address

the ongoing refugee crisis which had its genesis in the Nakba. As Christians, we must face

the challenge of finding a just resolution to the longest standing refugee crisis in the world

today. This conference will provide an opportunity to hear directly from the refugees, and to

explore options for a just and hopeful future for these Palestinians.

Sabeel believes that Christians are called to prophetically speak of justice and hope in the

face of injustice and hopelessness. While memories of 1948 are often shocking and

disturbing, the necessity of shining the light of justice and truth on the events of the past

remains. By so doing, Sabeel hopes to forge a path from remembrance to justice and mercy

and to challenge Christians and the global community to come to terms with 1948, to have

a better understanding of the Palestinian Christian community inside the state of Israel, and

to find a just solution to the refugee crisis.

The Questions

 What truly happened in 1948, and what did the Nakba mean for Palestinians?

 How have the events of 1948 shaped the complex identities of modern Palestinians

and Israelis, and especially Christians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

and Israel?

 Why has the refugee crisis remained unresolved for 60 years, and what can

churches and the international community do to promote a just resolution of this


 How will the events of 1948 continue to effect the quest for a just peace in

Palestine and Israel?

 What do the events of 1948 reveal about injustice within Israel in addition to the

injustice of the Occupation?

 How can those who seek justice for Palestinians as well as Israelis face the truth of

1948 while moving beyond memory to justice and reconciliation?

The Forum

These are some of the questions we will address at our Seventh International Conference. A

roster of respected theologians, academics and activists from around the world will gather in

Nazareth and Jerusalem in November 2008 to lead panel discussions, lectures, workshops,

bible study and worship. Participants from many countries and a variety of faith

denominations will have an unparalleled opportunity to learn, share insights, and work


The Invitation

We invite you to be a part of this important conference through your financial support. Your

generosity can enable us to:

 Organize and facilitate an international dialogue on these challenging questions

 Host prophetic speakers from around the world.

 Provide assistance to participants from developing countries.

 Publish the conference proceedings so that others may benefit from what has been


To provide a tax-deductible financial contribution for this important international conference,

mail your gift to Friends of Sabeel—North America with a note stating it is for the "7th

International Conference". Mail to Friends of Sabeel, PO Box 9186, Portland, OR 97207.

For more information, email: conf2008@sabeel.org

or call: (972) 2-532-7136 This is the phone number for Sabeel in Jerusalem.


Prices include room and full board, and registration fee, all ground transportation

costs, including airport transfers to and from Jerusalem and taxi tips.

US $ 1,288.- one person in a double 4 star hotel

US $ 1,528.- single 4 star hotel

US $1,131.- one person in a double 3 star hotel

US $ 1,271.- single 3 star hotel

Prices are for 4 nights in Nazareth; 4 nights in Jerusalem. Pre-conference and postconference

costs not included.
Airfare not included (see below). Pre-conference optional:

holy sites and reflection in the Galilee; post-conference optional: Occupation 101 (two-day

exposure visits to understand the occupation).

The prices above include all expenses except overseas travel. Payments are to be made

directly through Shepherds Tours (see below).
Does not include airfare (see below).

For questions, contact conf2008@sabeel.org or world@sabeel.org

Air Travel:

You may arrange your own air travel or make flight

arrangements through Shepherds Tours.

Shepherds Tours

9 Azzahra Str.

P.O. Box 19560


Tel: 972-2-6284121

Fax: 972-2-6280251

Email: info@shepherdstours.com





Monday, November 10 - Nazareth

  • Evening —Arrivals for Pre-conference

Tuesday, November 11 - Nazareth

  • Pre-conference—Galilee Holy Site Tour
  • IFOS Coordinators meeting

Wednesday, November 12 – Nazareth

Theme: "A Time for Welcome"

  • Pre-conference – Nazareth tour
  • Optional Nazareth tours

Seventh International Conference begins

Theme: "A Time to Welcome"

16:30 Opening Worship

  • Church of Annunciation
  • Prayers led by Bishop Marcuzzo

17:30 Reception with community and clergy

19:00 Dinner in hotels

20:00 Optional Lecture:

"Who are the Palestinian Israelis? What is the work of Sabeel Nazareth?"         

Thursday, November 13 – Nazareth

Theme: "A Time to Remember"

8:30 Worship and Welcome

9:30  Lecture: The National Nakba --  Dr. Rashid Khalidi

10:30 Panel: The Nakba and 1948

  • Memory and Nakba: Dr. Efrat Ben Ze'ev
  • Reconstructing the Nakba: TBD

11:00 Coffee break

11:30 Panel: The Present Reality of Palestinian-Israelis

  • The Political Reality: Nadim Ruhana
  • The Legal Reality: Wakim Wakim
  • The Socio-economic Reality: Basel Ghatas

13:00 Lunch

14:30 Lecture: Can Israel be a State for all its Citizens? TBD

  • The Palestinian-Israeli Response: TBD

16:00 Panel: The Challenge of Israel as a Jewish State

  • Israel's Role in the Middle East: TBD
  • Structural Racism : Uri Davis
  • Arab Identity in a Jewish State: Abir Kobty

17:30 Free time

19:00 Dinner

20:00 Worship with homily

"Where do we go from here?" Bishop Elias Chacour

Friday, November 14  - Demolished Villages

Theme: "A Time to Mourn"

8:30 Opening Lecture: The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine:

  • The Human Nakba: Dr. Johnny Mansour
  • The Role of Memory Today: Eitan Bronstein

9:30 Buses depart to demolished villages

18:30 Dinner

19:30 Group debriefing

20:00 Prayers and sharing – Rev. Sari Ateek

Saturday, November 15  - Nazareth

Theme: "A Time to Work"

8:30 am Tours of Nazareth

12:00 Lecture: How has the Nakba Affected Theology? Rev. Naim Ateek

13:00 Lunch/Resource Room opens

14:00 Workshops A.1

15:00 Workshops A.2

16:00 Coffee Break

16:30 Workshops B.1

17:30 Workshops B.2           

19:00 Dinner/ Resource room closes

20:00 Poetry event

Sunday, November 16 – Nazareth and Jaffa/Ramle/Lidda

Theme: "A Time for Worship"

8:00 A 1948 Testimony Josef Ben-Eliezer

Worship: Local congregations in Nazareth and surrounds

12:30 Lunch with families

14:00 Depart from hotels

15:30   Tours of Jaffa, Lidda, Ramle

18:00 Back to Jerusalem

19:00 Dinner

20:00 Optional film at Notre Dame -- Jerusalem: East Side Story

Monday, November 17 – Jerusalem/Bethlehem

Theme: "A Time to Speak"

8:30 Bible Study on Refugees

9:30 Panel: "The Creation of Refugees"

  • "Historical Overview" Adel Mana'a
  •  UNRWA film

11:00 Coffee break

11:30 Panel: "The Refugee Situation Today"

  • OCHA – Allegra Pacheco
  • UNRWA – Sami Mshasha

12:30 Lunch

13:00 Depart for Bethlehem

13:30 Walking tours of Dheishe /Aida /Beit Jibrin/Aroub Camps

16:00 Lecture: Refugee Rights Today

  • Muhammad Jarradat, Badil
  • Refugee testimony  TBD

17:00 The Church's Response

  • Rifat Kassis, World Council of Churches
  • Constantine Dabbagh, NECC DSPR
  • EAPPI/CPT testimony

19:00 Dinner at Dheishe w/ guests from the camps and Bethlehem area

20:00 Cultural Evening

Tuesday, November 18 – Jerusalem/Jaffa

Theme: "A Time for Mourning"

Morning off – Optional Nakba Walk in West Jerusalem

11:00 Overview by Jeff Halper

12:00 Departure for Jerusalem and surrounds

Contemporary Way of the Cross: to meet community, witness the impact of the wall and continuing house demolitions

  • Mount of Olives (At Tur, Abu Dis, Azzaria)
  • North (Anata, Beit Hanina, Kfar Aqab)
  • South (Walaje, Nu'eman, Al Khader)

16:30 Panel: Jerusalem and 1948

  • The History and the Reality: Mahdi abdel Hadi
  • The Legal Challenges: Elias Khoury
  • Civil Rights in Jerusalem: TBD

18:00 Strategy for the Future: TBD

19:00 Closing dinner at Seven Arches

Wednesday, November 19 - Jerusalem

Theme:" A Time for Peace"

8:30     Morning worship

9:30     Moving forward: The cost of the struggle

Bassam Aramin, Combatants for Peace

Dr. Bernard Lafayette, Civil Rights Movement, USA

            Mairead Maguire, Northern Ireland 

12:00 Closing worship, Church of the Redeemer

Homily, Bishop Munib Younan

1:00 Lunch and goodbyes


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