• PALESTINE \ Aug 30, 2001
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    Christian Peace Team in Hebron issues a Statement of Conviction
Christian Peace Team in Hebron issues a Statement of Conviction In 1995, members of the Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron wrote a statement that detailing what they would like to have happen should they be injured or killed in the course of their work. Throughout the Hebron project's existence, the team has chosen to reiterate this statement on occasions of threats or acts of violence against them. Since verbal and physical threats by settlers against the team have increased dramatically in the last several weeks and since the CPT women's apartment has twice been hit by bullets fired from the roof of the Avraham Avinu settlement, we are issuing it again at this time. We reject all forms of violence, regardless of the perpetrator's identity or motivation. If injury or death of team members occurs, it will be the result of policies that promote contempt for human rights and human dignity. We continue to operate under the firm conviction that God's redemptive power is at work in this place.

Statement of Conviction

We would like our wishes, as stated below, to be respected in the event a crisis occurs, such as injury or death: We reject the use of force to save our lives should we be caught in the middle of a conflict situation or taken hostage. In the event that we die as a result of some violent action, we reject the use of violence to punish the people who killed us. Should our deaths come as a result of attacks by soldiers, settlers or other extremists/militants in Hebron, we ask that our deaths be regarded as no more tragic than the murders of dozens of Palestinians who have died here in the last decade. We ask that all legal nonviolent means be taken to ensure that these deaths do not continue.

Should our lives be threatened or we are harmed, we ask that the perpetrators be held accountable. We think it is possible that a collaborator or unstable individual could be encouraged to harm us, and ask that this possibility be investigated in the event of our death. We also ask that the people who care about us look into the root causes of violence found amongst oppressed peoples struggling for liberation.

All of us who are part of Christian Peacemaker Teams recognize there are certain risks inherent in this work. We believe that until people committed to nonviolence are willing to take the same risks for peace that soldiers are willing to take for war, people will always choose violence as the most viable solution to their problems. If more blood is shed on our account, then our deaths will indeed be in vain. If our deaths promote the sort of soul-searching that leads to a rejection of armed conflict characteristic of this occupation then our deaths will indeed have redemptive value.

Following a central tenet of our faith, we do not hate the people who have harmed us (Matthew 5:44-45). We believe that those best able to love their enemies will ultimately emerge the victors in this bloody conflict.

LeAnne Clausen ; Kathleen Kern

Dianne Roe ; Rick Polhamus ; Greg Rollins