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Monday, October 18, 2010

Dear Chilean miners, please do not accept Israel's invitation

Dear Survivors of the Chilean Mine Trap,

You do not know me. I am just an American blogger/peace actvist who has followed your heroic efforts to survive your 69 day ordeal and the heroic efforts to save you. With wonder I watched as you were brought up one by one to freedom from your underground hell, where for so long you did not know if you would live or die. Indeed the whole world watched as you were rescued in thunderous joy that you would be reunited with your loved ones who had sat vigil for you for so long, insisting you were alive, insisting the rescue effort keep on, praying together for your safety. The entire world rejoices in your safe return above ground to your loved ones.

Now it is your time to recover from your ordeal, to readjust to above ground living with all the physical aspects that entails as well as the emotional ones. Yet people who wish to somehow attach themselves to your rescue and what they see as your celebrity status are now issuing public invitations for you to visit them.

Beware the Trojan horse bearing gifts. For their all-expense paid trip invitations are being issued with their own interest and image at heart.

Today I read that you have received an invitation from the Israeli Tourist Ministry to visit the Holy Land where Christianity began, where the holiest of Christian sites are located. They have offered to pay for your entire trip there, for you to visit "Israel". They are offering you this trip at Christmas time as a "gift to you"

I am asking you please to not accept this invitation. You are not just being invited to visit "Israel", you are being asked to visit holy sites which have been under the Israeli occupation of Palestine for 42 years, sites that Palestinian Christians are routinely denied access to by their occupier.

In June the Vatican issued a paper deploring the denial of access to Christians to the holy sites under occupation, calling the occupation "unjust".

You would be taken to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in occupied East Jerusalem which Israel routinely denies access to for Christian Palestinians. You would also be taken to Bethlehem, the birth place of Christ, which has been under Israeli occupation for 42 years. Nearby is the home of Daoud Nassar's Tent of Nations which is continually under threat of demolition by Israel.

Christian Palestinians suffer just as horrifically under the occupation as do their fellow Muslim Palestinians.

For this reason the Kairos Declaration was issued which calls for an end to the 42 year long occupation of Palestine which is in direct violation of international law.


We, a group of Christian Palestinians, after prayer, reflection and an exchange of opinion, cry out from within the suffering in our country, under the Israeli occupation, with a cry of hope in the absence of all hope, a cry full of prayer and faith in a God ever vigilant, in God’s divine providence for all the inhabitants of this land. Inspired by the mystery of God's love for all, the mystery of God’s divine presence in the history of all peoples and, in a particular way, in the history of our country, we proclaim our word based on our Christian faith and our sense of Palestinian belonging – a word of faith, hope and love.

Why now? Because today we have reached a dead end in the tragedy of the Palestinian people. The decision-makers content themselves with managing the crisis rather than committing themselves to the serious task of finding a way to resolve it. The hearts of the faithful are filled with pain and with questioning: What is the international community doing? What are the political leaders in Palestine, in Israel and in the Arab world doing? What is the Church doing? The problem is not just a political one. It is a policy in which human beings are destroyed, and this must be of concern to the Church.

We address ourselves to our brothers and sisters, members of our Churches in this land. We call out as Christians and as Palestinians to our religious and political leaders, to our Palestinian society and to the Israeli society, to the international community, and to our Christian brothers and sisters in the Churches around the world.

Read the entire Kairos Declaration HERE

Every day Christian Peacemaker Teams in the Occupied Territory work to protect Palestinians from their military occupation and settlers who routinely assault them.

In Latin America liberation theology has played a large role in providing solace and support to the oppressed. Palestine also has an organization, Sabeel-Palestine Liberation Theology, which calls for the freedom of the oppressed under Israeli occupation and government policy. These are your brothers and sisters in Christ, in humanity.

As peace talks in lifting the occupation of Palestine have not gotten anywhere in 42 years, Israel has continued to violate international law by continuing to build settlements in the occupied territories. Israel has refused to extend their ten month freeze on building which is in direct contravention of international law.

Now the Ministry of Tourism of Israel has issued you an invitation for an all-expense paid trip to visit the "holy sites" in "ISRAEL". The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the holiest of Christian shrines, is located in occupied East Jerusalem. Bethlehem, the birth place of Christ, is located in the occupied West Bank. These are only two Christian holy sites that Israel wishes to take you to and to somehow capitalize on your celebrity by their offer.

As a Christian myself, I beg you not to accept this invitation, not while Israel refuses to withdraw from their 42 year long illegal occupation of Palestine. Christmas is our time to celebrate the birth of Christ, not to do so to the detriment of those living under occupation in his birthplace by accepting a gift from their occupier.

Dear miners, you may never read this letter to you, but should it somehow reach you, it was written to you from my heart, to the hearts of you brave men who survived, by the grace of God, you are still with us.

Blessings to you in peace,


Mary Hughes Thompson said...

Beautiful, Robin. Now, how do we get the message to the miners?

Robin said...

Ask Pat maybe? Maybe? I wish so much they don't get sucked into becoming Israel's latest greatest PR tool just because they've been duped. It is such a low life thing to try to use these miners in this way.


c'est une honte abolue ! merci pour ce renseignement.

Anonymous said...

Robin, ring the Chilean Embassy or email them and ask for a list of all their newspapers and radio stations with emails and send it to the lot. Especially the one in their nearest town. This is absolutely brilliant.


annie said...

Please have this translated into Spanish

Janet said...

Other groups would like to send message so if anyone has an address please let us know.

Cunnagh said...

Thanks for this warning ~ we must alert our churches and leaders to this attempt by Israel to gain some "good points" ~ disgraceful. How dare they be so cruel, to manipulate these men like this.

Robin said...

Hi all! This is being translated into Spanish right now Annie

This is the website for the Chilean Bishop's Conference

It has been sent to the Palestinian Foundation in Chile and is spreading.

But everyone can write their own letters too! Use mine if you don't have time but the whole urgent need is to stop these miners from being used in such CYNICAL manner for Israel's pr machine. The Minister of Tourism even admitted it in the JPost article!

'“Within the framework of the new positioning of Israel as the Holy Land, with Jerusalem at its center, the ministry is working to turn these tourists into ambassadors for Israel in their home countries,” Meseznikov said."

They have just gone too far with this one and HOPEFULLY they can be shamed out of existence. Not keeping my hopes up that that will happen, but one by one, as they try to do this, no no NO, no way!

Robin said...


Vous êtes les bienvenus. Merci à vous. Je ne parle pas français alors j'utilise un outil de traduction. Bénédictions

brian said...

Is israels apartheid govt offering a free lunch? or just currying favor with chileans and generating better press coverage?

Anonymous said...

nice robin..... but why could you simply not have had to mention you're personal sect or religion or what have you..... i agree..... "what the hell does israel have to do with chilean miners"?.... a PR stunt no doubt, i wish it could have been left at that and not followed by a violin tale making your organization.... because thats all it is, in truth... just like the vatican .... wich is more of a criminal organization..... but neither's hands are free of blood.
i'd say the vaticans probably a little worse so their cries of unjustice should also be seen as a PR stunt..... or a way of pointing a finger in another direction....
"when you point a finger there are 3 pointing back at you..(literaly).
it is only my personal belief that eveyone will begin to get along when we put "faith" aside for a while and focus on the future colectivley, empiricaly, and ethically..... religious organizations are not based on ethical progress, they are by nature conservative and admit to little or no error, thus paralizing progress,
Nico from Argentina
p.s. : hope this makes it on to the page

Robin said...

Nico, the invitation by Israel is made in CYNICAL manner by Israel appealing to the miners visiting the HOLY SITES in "Israel".

First, if you can't see that Israel is appealing in a way that they are saying they are the keepers of the "holy sites" then I don't know what to say to you. Christmas in the "holy land" in this case is an invitation to visit OCCUPIED PALESTINE and there is nothing holy about that whatsoever. The sad part is that Bethlehem benefits from tourism, especially at Christmas, this also is a fact.

However it is not OCCUPIED PALESTINE who is issuing this invitation in a blatant pr attempt.

Blech! Come visit "Israel" at Christmas my rear end! It's not Israel they would be visiting!

Also Nico, Chile has one of the highest populations of Palestinian Christians outside Palestine.

I would be happy to leave religion out of the conversation, but that will only happen when the "only democracy in the Middle East" stops discriminating against all non-Jews, when Palestinians are granted what is legally their right under international law, the right of return and freedom from occupation which is perpetrated by ISRAEL upon all non-Jews. It is ISRAEL who keeps religion in this conversation, not me, or others who deplore what has been done to Palestine.

Anonymous said...

E-mail address:

Web page:

write to Chile's Embassy

Anonymous said...

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a cell phone jammer

Sonnet said...

Will you help Mrs. (Mary) to send this open letter to Chilean workers before they go? Thanks.

Robin said...

Dear Sonnet,
I am so sorry I didn't get your comment til today. I don't know how to contact you. Please go to my profile/more about me and email me. Unfortunately the miners accepted the invitation BUT they had a long list of people they wanted to take with them so I have not heard if Israel will do that for them or not.

If you read here, contact me so I know exactly what it is you would like me to help you with.

Blessings to you,