Palestinian state more than ‘wishful thinking’
I was intrigued by Margaret Rouhani’s reaction (“Letters: Talking about Israel and Palestine in a post-truth era,” Feb. 2020, p. 4) to the excellent cover article in the December edition of the Anglican Journal (“You weep before you get to Bethlehem,” Dec. 2019, p. 1). Intrigued by what seems like a knee-jerk, biased reaction to the lengthy article’s one-line reference to Mahmoud Abbas as “president of the State of Palestine.” Rouhani responds by saying that “no such state exists (outside of wishful thinking).” This statement requires correction.
As of 2019, 138 of the 193 United Nations member states have recognized the State of Palestine, and since 2012, the designation “State of Palestine” has been used on official United Nations documents. This designation can also be found on Palestinian postal stamps and official documents. In 2013, international media reported that Mahmoud Abbas was given the right to sit in the General Assembly’s beige chair, reserved for heads of state waiting to take the podium and address the General Assembly. This reflects Abbas’s position as President of Palestine, whether Margaret Rouhani cares to acknowledge it or not.
Locating the “truth” in the ongoing Israel/Palestine conflict is not an easy task, something that I learned first-hand from both Israelis and Palestinians while on a recent two-week KAIROS Canada delegation to that region. But to dismiss and reduce the State of Palestine to an act of “wishful thinking” betrays an unwillingness to afford the Palestinian people with the basic dignity they deserve.
The Rev. Andreas Thiel
Poetry and prayer
I would like to thank you for your full-page article on the Rev. Malcolm Guite, priest and poet, in your February 2020 issue (“Something Understood,” Feb. 2020, p. 3). I’ve enjoyed a live concert featuring Rev. Guite and Canadian singer-song-writer Steve Bell, and was thrilled to have Rev. Guite autograph my copy of his book Sounding the Seasons.
This book has inspired me for some years now. I use it on an ongoing basis on our parish blog; most recently, I read “Candlemas” to the congregation at its Morning Prayer service (Feb. 2).
Moreover, as a textile artist, it inspired my piece entitled Incarnation to Resurrection: Reflections on the Colours of the Church Year, which was juried into an international art quilt exhibition, sponsored by Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA), that is touring through 2021. Currently in Europe, it returns to North America to be shown at a variety of US venues later this summer.
Prayer in poetry…and poetry as prayer…comingled with music and inspiring art: ancient, yet ever new ways of expressing our faith.
(Mrs.) Margaret Blank