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Does Sabeel recognize Israel’s right to exist?

Sabeel does not call for an end to the State of Israel. It accepts the presence of Israel in the land that was once Palestine and asks that the two peoples be allowed to live together in this land as equals with full rights for people of both groups.

This acceptance of an Israeli presence in the land of Palestine is poignantly expressed in the words of the founder of Sabeel, the Rev. Naim Stifan Ateek, in his book Justice and Only Justice: A Palestinian Theology of Liberation, written and published during the early years of the First Intifada:

“It took me all these years to accept the unacceptable: a Jewish state on the part of ‘our’ Palestine. As a boy, remembering my family’s harsh exile from Beisan, and later, as a person of faith and a clergyman, my own struggles with hate, anger, and humiliation were not easy. But these feelings had to be challenged continuously by the demands of love and forgiveness. At the same time, I knew without a doubt that injustice is sinful and evil; that it is an outrage against God; and that it is my duty to cry out against it. It has taken me years to accept the establishment of the State of Israel and its need—although not its right—to exist. I now feel that I want it to stay, because I believe that the elimination of Israel would mean greater injustice to millions of innocent people who know no home except Israel.”