For a dive beneath the escalating Palestine-Israel conflict into root causes, see this Associated Press explainer and a brief history in this VOX video. MCC has been present in the land since 1949, and this 15-page MCC Frequently Asked Questions booklet has sections including recent history and what the Bible says about Palestine and Israel. To go in-depth, see Inhabiting the Land, a short book by Alain Epp Weaver, who worked with MCC in Palestine for over a decade. The question of how to describe the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories is crucial and contested. The UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice consider the occupation a serious violation of human rights and international law. Yet violations are often not criticized by the U.S., which blocks UN Security Council statements on Israel in ways similar to China on Xinjiang and Syria. Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu of South Africa recently declared a moral responsibility to intervene with the European Union, United Kingdom, and USA, “all of which have consistently provided military support and diplomatic cover for Israel’s violations of international law.” 2021 reports from two leading human rights organizations, Human Rights Watch and the Israeli agency B'tselem, contend that Israel’s discriminatory policies have crossed a threshold that meets the United Nations definition of apartheid. It is also important to recognize the alarming rise in antisemitism in the world, noted in January by the UN Secretary General. The Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism provides guidelines to identify and oppose antisemitism while protecting free expression and supporting justice for the Palestinian people and lasting peace for all. Finally, a glimmer of light amid the inter-communal violence, a Times of Israel article about Jews and Palestinians pushing back peacefully.   

(Recommended reading from our May 2021 Global Briefing)