FOSNA, AMP, and JVP Joint Statement on Interfaith Dialogue
Recently the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh announced that it will sever its public ties with the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary after the seminary hosted the Rev. Naim Ateek and Tarek Abuata—two Palestinian Christians whose lives have been dedicated to non-violence and justice.
In doing so, the federation has chosen to remove itself from the growing interfaith community striving to address issues of injustice and inequality, domestically and internationally. At a time when 500 Palestinians have been detained merely for sharing their dissent on Facebook, the tour Liberation Theology: Palestinians Speak Justice was a way for Americans to hear the stories of two Palestinian peace activists and to be reminded that a heartfelt commitment to justice is intrinsic to all three Abrahamic faiths.
As people of faith, we are morally obligated to challenge those asking us to turn our backs on those suffering injustice. We are convinced that justice can never come while we uphold the supremacy of one group over any other. Even as we continue to open ourselves to mutual accountability, we recommit ourselves to hold accountable those who deny the humanity of Palestinians and we invite the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh and all persons of good will to recognize that attempts to stifle free speech in academic and religious institutions are not consistent with the shared longing for peace and justice that our faith traditions have nurtured in us.