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Al-Liqa’ Center for Religious and Heritage Studies in the Holy Land

The Arab Christian and Muslim Heritage Conference in the Holy Land
Christian – Muslim Dialogue Conference
25th Session

Titled

The Palestinian National Scheme and the Modern State

19-21 September 2013
Shepard Hotel - Bethlehem

Photo album
Conference Program

First Day of the conference: Thursday 19 September 2013

Second day: Friday 20 September 2013

Third day: Saturday 21 September 2013

Final Communiqué


First Day of the conference: Thursday 19 September 2013

Tens of personalities and families from Galilee and the Triangle as well as many other academicians, religious figures, politicizations, educators , social workers from the Bethlehem and Jerusalem areas attended this conference which was reported in Friday’s front page of Al-Quds daily paper.

Dr. Geries S. Khoury, Director of Al-Liqa’, opened the proceedings with some comments focusing on the dire need for national unity and the West Bank and Gaza. He added his observation as well as about the many works that the Center is undergoing including work’s with other NGO’s like the Sabeel Center. He spoke about the present situation in Arab countries in general and on Arab Christians in particular in light of the upheavals of 2010 – 2013.

The proceedings began with a panel on points of view concerning the concept of the state from a religious points of view by Dr. ‘Abd Al-Rahman ‘Abbad and from a civil point of view by Dr. Walid Mustafa. This session was moderated by Mr. Elias Makhoul from Galilee who also commented on the concept of the state.

Following dinner, the conferees attended a literary evening to eulogize the absent and the present, Dr. Jamal Qa’war of Galilee, who was one of al-Liqa friends and participated in many sessions of Al-Liqa Christian –Muslim yearly Conference.


Second day: Friday 20 September 2013

Following breakfast, attorney ‘Ali Rafe’ of Galilee offered an Islamic invocation and contemplation.

The proceedings of the day began with a panel on several points of view of the future state. An Islamic point of view was presented by Sheikh Jamil Hamameh; a Christian point of view was presented by Rev. Dr. Rafiq Khoury and the nationalist view was  given by Dr. Mahdi ‘Abd Al-Hadi. Dr. Lu’ay Zu’ul moderated the panel and added some comments as well.

Following a Friday Prayer and lunch breaks, Prof. Thiab ‘Ayyoush lectured on the relation of religion and politics from an Islamic point of view comparing in the process these relations in the West. Mr. Mousa Darwish moderated this lecture.

Following a short coffee break, Attorney Dr. Ibrahim Sha’ban gave a lecture which focused on his view of a one state or two states to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict. Ms. Ta’yeed Al-Dab’i moderated this lecture.

This lecture was followed with a panel focusing on the dangers of a Jewish State and the stand of international legitimacy from it. Panelists included Prof. ‘Aziz Haidar, Dr. ‘Abdallah Abu ‘Eid and Attorney Jawad Bulos. Moderator of the panel was Ziyad Shleweit of Galilee.

The day was concluded with a dinner for conferees.


Third day: Saturday 21 September 2013

Following breakfast and a prayer and a blessing by Melkite Catholic Priest of Ramallah, Fr. Julio Brunella, proceedings started.

Prof. Mahmud Abu Katteh lectured on the treatment of the political Islamist movement in the Arab countries and in the West. Dr. Hamzeh Theeb moderated the lecture.

Following a short break, a panel focused on the Palestinian national scheme and where it is going. Mrs. Zahira Kamal of FIDA, Dr. Bernard Sabella of Fateh and Qays Abu Laila of the Democratic Front took part in this panel which was moderated by Mr. Hussein Al-Deek.

It should be noted that all lectures and panels were followed with a question and an answer session and very in depth discussions of the subjects.

Dr, Geries S. Khoury, in concluding the conference, gave a summary and a final communiqué of the conference. This was followed with lunch and the departure of conferees.

 


 Final Communiqué

 

1)     Conferees condemn strongly the destruction of mosques and churches and the assault on Christian and Muslim religious figures, including killing and kidnapping. They consider these acts unethical which contradicts the heavenly religion which calls for love, tolerance and mercy. Conferees pray to the Almighty to help us to maintain our unity and to avoid the upheavals that are taking place in the regime.

2)     Conferees call for all brothers in the Arab countries to stick to  their heavenly religions tolerance and to use logic and wisdom in  finding  just solutions for the conflict in order to allow everyone to live a dignified living.

3)     The need to strengthen the foundations of national unity since this unity guarantees the realization of Palestinian legitimate rights including the establishment of a Palestine state an Palestinian soil with Arab Jerusalem as its capital.

4)     The formation of an assembles of Palestinian attorneys and law specialists to study in depth the danger of a Jewish state and the alternative one state or two states solutions and what is possible to realize in all these schemes.

5)     And since the Palestinian national scheme has reached a dead end as a result of continuous expansion of colonial settlements, conferees see that negotiations reached also a dead end because of Israeli intransigence. Therefore, it is necessary to use all methods to preserve Palestinian rights and the building of a Palestinian state.

6)     We need to return to our heritage which emphasizes our common goal of building our nation and which blocks any attempt to undermine Muslim Christian fraternity.

7)     There is a dire need to set up a civil and democratic Palestinian state which respects and protects its citizens, their rights and their public freedom in light of sovereignty of law.

8)     Conferees advice the dire need to put an end to any attempt to ferment Palestinian / Palestinian differences and to emphasize elements which further unity, steadfastness and resistance in order to attain national goals.

9)     Conferees stress the importance of general and religious education and the need to develop educational curricula which emphasizes the understanding of the “other” and in the process to strengthen fraternal ties between children of the nation, both Muslims and Christians.

10) Conferees greet our prisoners in Israeli prisons and look forward to the day when all of them are liberated and victoriously return to their family.

11) Conferees recommends that the Palestinian National Authority become more involved in the rules of international laws and to join a number of world agreements as well as the formation a committee of experts to study and to submit its results and recommendations.