There is sufficient evidence to investigate alleged Israeli and Palestinian war crimes committed in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, the international criminal court has announced. (more…)
Gathering together for Palestine
On Saturday 29th June over 130 people gathered on the hottest day of the year at Carr’s Lane in Birmingham for the Sabeel-Kairos Conference: Faith in Action for Palestine. If you were unable to join us this year then we hope to see you next year at our annual conference (which is growing in number each year). (more…)
Keep working for justice in Palestine
The day finished with quick paced and energised panel discussion and then some reflective worship led by Rev. Enid Gordon. This was followed on by the Sabeel-Kairos AGM. All the minutes and accounts were agreed and accepted and a new chair, the Revd Mark Battison, was elected to the Board. (more…)
Free Mahmoud Nawajaa
Leading BDS activist Mahmoud Nawajaa was dragged from his home on 30th July at 3:30am. Israeli forces stormed his house, blindfolded him, handcuffed him and took him away from his wife and three young children. No charges or evidence of criminal activity have been presented against Mahmoud, yet he remains in administrative detention in Israel. Write to your MP today to demand his release! (more…)
Open letter from Bethlehem Clergy
Bethlehem Christians warn: ‘annexation could be the final straw when it comes to a viable Christian presence in Palestine, as well as the national aspirations to live in freedom, independence, dignity and equality in our homeland in accordance with international law.’(more…)
Cry for Hope: Global Coalition of Christians Issues Call for Palestinian Justice
On the day of proposed illegal annexation of the West Bank, Kairos Palestine and Global Kairos for Justice release Cry for Hope:A Call to Decisive Action
Because we cannot serve God and the oppression of Palestinians (more…)
During lockdown two of our trustees have shared reflections and poems that have helped them keep perspective during this challenging time. We hope you find them as inspiring as we did! (more…)
UK charities ask: Is the UK government abandoning the Palestinian people?
29 June 2020
As a group of UK-based humanitarian, development, human rights and faith organisations working to support the rights and welfare of the Palestinian people, we are gravely concerned by the Israeli Government’s threat to annex more Palestinian land.The UK government has, at times, asserted that annexation ‘could not pass unchallenged’. A reluctance to declare clearly what meaningful steps it will take in response is contributing to a fear of international abandonment felt by Palestinians.
The Kumi Now Initiative invited the Rev.Dr.Stephen Sizer, founder of the Peacemaker Trust to lead an online talk entitled ‘What is Christian Zionism?’, on Tuesday, the 9th of June. The author of ‘Zion’s Christian Soldiers?’ helped us to understand the challenge posed by Christian Zionists and what can be done to counter their influence. (The Kumi Now Online sessions take place on a weekly basis at 6pm (Jerusalem time), more information can be found at www.kuminow.com/online) (more…)
Wave of Prayer – Thursday 4 June
This week’s Kumi Now initiative looks at the work of the Palestine Museum of Natural History, (PMNH) and the Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability (PIBS). The mission of both these institutes, (see www.palestinenature.org) is to research, conserve and disseminate knowledge about the cultural heritage and the natural environment of Palestine. Their joint aim is to use their knowledge to interact responsibly with their environment. (more…)
Black Lives Matter – A Declaration of Solidarity by Kairos Palestine
23 June 2020.
Kairos Palestine expresses its unequivocal support for the Black Lives Matter movement and everyone working for racial justice in USA, the demands of which have resonated in communities around the world. (more…)
Wave of Prayer – Thurs 28th May
Here is a reminder that the Kumi Now initiative will be holding weekly video conferences with different organisations working for Palestine. The conferences will start on Tuesday, the 2nd of June at 6pm Palestinian time, with Dr Mazin Qumsiyeh who will speak from the Palestinian Museum of Natural History about the environmental impact of the Israeli occupation. (www.kuminow.com/online) (more…)
New – Kumi Now sessions live online!
From our partner Sabeel Jerusalem: We are excited to launch the next step in the Kumi Now movement: Hosting weekly video conferences to connect activists with the organizations, yours included, working for Palestine and get everyone involved in activism for Palestine. (more…)
Wave of Prayer – Thurs 21 May
Every year, on the 21st of May, UNESCO celebrates the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. It is a day on which different cultures from all over the world are promoted, alongside ways in which these communities might benefit from sustainable development. At this time, we think of all those Palestinian craftspeople who strive to keep the culture of Palestine alive in Olive wood, mother of pearl, fabric, and many other materials. (more…)
Annexation is illegal, morally corrupt, and threatens the lives of all in the Holy Land. Churches and civil society must speak up.
Call to Action by Sabeel-Kairos UK. May, 2020
Israel’s new coalition government has announced that from as early as July 1st it will legislate to formally annex parts of the occupied West Bank, including the Jordan Valley. Annexation, as well as being illegal under international law, threatens the livelihoods, hopes and daily lives of thousands of Palestinians, who are already experiencing severe restrictions under Israeli occupation since 1967. (more…)
EAPPI – Urgent Campaign Action to MPs
Yesterday (5th May) our friends at EAPPI launched a campaign action targeted at UK MPs regarding Israel’s plans to annex large parts of the West Bank (including the Jordan Valley) from July 1st. Please take urgent action today to help prevent the imminent annexation of occupied Palestine (more…)
Kairos Palestine Statement: The Dire Consequences of Israel’s “Coalition Government”
April 30th, 2020. The board of Kairos Palestine raises an alarm regarding the consequences of the third failed Israeli election in less than a year. The resulting coalition entered on April 20, 2020, combines two of the most right-wing parties—Bennie Gantz’s Blue and White and Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud—in a deal that directly threatens Palestinians’ freedom, health and human rights. (more…)
Wave of Prayer – Thursday 14 May
This week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of BADIL, the Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights. This human rights’ organisation works to protect and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons. (more…)
Wave of Prayer – Thursday 7th May
This week’s Kumi Now initiative looks at the work of Al-Quds University in Jerusalem as it seeks to educate and develop its students to the highest standards despite ongoing occupation and oppression. (more…)
Israel’s new government isn’t a unity coalition. It’s a monster
From Middle East Eye: Billed as an emergency administration to combat coronavirus, this latest line-up just uses Gantz as a fig leaf for annexation
Coronavirus update from Palestine (APRIL / MAY 2020)
Palestine is officially on lock down and the West Bank has more or less been shut down completely. The streets in Bethlehem and Ramallah remain completely empty this week, with all shops closed. (more…)
BDS release Fact Sheet: Coronavirus under Israeli Apartheid
Corona Under Apartheid
“Epidemics … are disproportionately violent to populations burdened by poverty, military occupation, discrimination and institutionalised oppression.” (more…)
Wave of Prayer – Thursday 30th April
This week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of the Palestinian Center for Development and Freedoms, MADA (www.madacenter.org). It was established as a nonprofit organisation in 2006, with its headquarters in Ramallah. It works to support and protect journalists in the Palestinian Territories. They are currently facing greater restrictions and suffer frequent assaults from the Israeli authorities as they try to go about their work.
Easter in Jerusalem: Holy Saturday Service with Sabeel
On Holy Saturday this year over a thousand people gathered virtually to share in a powerful time of prayer and reflection.
Sabeel elders from Jerusalem share lessons of liberation and spiritual survival in the midst of continued dispossession, health crises, and international chaos. During this Easter season, with disruption and death looming we gather together to remember that just as Jesus died on the cross to reveal the eternal, divinity has been revealed in the midst of physical destruction. This powerful service of prayers, readings, and hymns brings hearts closer together as closures continue to separate us.
Our Sabeel elders from Jerusalem share lessons of liberation and spiritual survival in the midst of continued dispossession, health crises, and international chaos. During this Easter season, with disruption and death looming we gather together to remember that just as Jesus died on the cross to reveal the eternal, divinity has been revealed in the midst of physical destruction. This powerful service of prayers, readings, and hymns brings hearts closer together as closures continue to separate us.
Viral Occupation | COVID19 and the Occupation Economy
‘Who Profits’ have released a new and dynamic report where they monitor and analyze the unfolding coronavirus crisis in occupied Palestine. The report will be continually updated as new developments take place. You can find all the latest info from the report here.
The present crisis caused by COVID-19 has laid bare the inequality and violence at the heart of the current global economic system where profit accumulation comes at the expense of our collective rights. As people live in fear and uncertainty of the unfolding crisis’ impact, governments and corporate capital are seizing the opportunity to tighten their control and generate profit.
In this dynamic report, Who Profits will monitor the developments on the ground, providing analysis and sources of the unfolding of the COVID-19 crisis in occupied Palestine. Monitoring developments in Palestine is crucial not because Palestine is an exceptional case, but precisely because it is not. As one political economist put it, Gaza (and Palestine more broadly) may be “the proverbial canary in the COVID-19 coal mine.”
There is no doubt that for Palestinians living under occupation, the acute shortage of testing kits, protective gear and ICU capacity is only the tip of the iceberg. A host of structural issues inevitably compound the virus’ devastating impact.
While it is still too early to tell how the COVID-19 will impact the global and local economy, we can begin by posing the right questions with the following framing in mind:
COVID-19 is not operating in a vacuum. As it spreads through Israeli-occupied Palestinian and Syrian land, it is interacting with the structures of occupation which, while far from novel, are every bit as adaptive, resistant and continually mutating as any member of the corona family.
COVID-19 will not function as a ‘Great Equalizer’ – The myth that a pandemic does not discriminate between the rich and the poor, the powerful and the dispossessed, is patently false. An occupied and besieged population and a systematically de-developed economy are particularly vulnerable to both COVID-19 and the economic fallout.
Desperate times legitimize repressive measures. Declaring a state of emergency often provides the pretext for the introduction of new repressive and exploitative measures and the entrenchment and legitimization of existing ones.
What happens in Palestine does not stay in Palestine. A key reason Israel is continually looking to diversify its portfolio of repression is that it can later turn it outward for economic profit and political gains.
This page will be updated as the situation continues to evolve. If you have further information or specific queries, please contact us at email@example.com or through the information center.
Palestinian Prisoners’ Day 2020
Palestinian Prisoners’ Day is marked this year on April 17th. Today more than 5,000 Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails face the ongoing threat of settler colonialism, apartheid and occupation, accompanied by the new threat to their health and lives posed by the global pandemic of coronavirus (COVID-19), accentuated by institutionalized Israeli medical negligence.
This week’s Kumi Now initiative looks at the work of the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees, (DSPR). It is an ecumenical group run by the Middle East Council of Churches which was originally set up in 1948 as a result of the Nakba. The DSPR focuses on the chronic level of unemployment suffered by young Palestinians, especially those from refugee camps, due to discrimination and economic deprivation. They offer vocational training and start-up loans to empower young people and to enable them to earn an income.
Call for the UK government to formally recognise the State of Palestine
The UK government should formally recognise the State of Palestine based on 1967 lines with Jerusalem as a shared capital. To enable this, the UK government should act robustly to prevent annexation of territory by the State of Israel as well as facilitating peace, justice and dignity for all. (more…)
Wave of Prayer – Thursday 16th April
Sabeel Ministry of the Word
Easter Thursday 16th April 2020
This week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association. Addameer is a Palestinian institution which works to support Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli and Palestinian prisons. It has also launched a global campaign to stop administrative detention. This procedure allows the Israeli military to hold prisoners indefinitely on secret information, without charging them or allowing them to stand trial.
Kairos Palestine have released their 2020 Easter Alert. This years alert comes from Bethlehem in lockdown. In this alert we hear of the deteriorating situation in Palestine this Easter. It is hoped that this alert will encourage Parishes, lay-persons and clergy all around the world to remember this season that marks the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Palestinian Battle against Coronavirus | A Fight Exacerbated by the Continued Israeli Occupation
The YWCA of Palestine calls on the international community to speak up for Palestinians who are fighting the coronavirus under occupation. Please read the full statement here. (more…)
Stop Israeli killer drones from intensifying the EU’s border militarisation
The ECCP (European coordination of committees and associations for Palestine) have released a statement and call to action. Israel’s drones, most made by Elbit Systems, killed 164 Palestinian children in Gaza in 2014. Now the EU uses Elbit drones for anti-refugee policies. Sign this Petition telling the EU to stop financing Israel’s war crimes and respect refugee rights. See the full statement with action ideas below:(more…)
Wave of Prayer – Thursday 9th April
Maundy Thursday, 9th April 2020
This week marks the re-launch of the Kumi Now initiative. Active members of the initiative may find it helpful to plan ahead for future activities, while new members may want to familiarise themselves with the calendar of activities in the Launch Manual or on the website.
Sabeel-Kairos joins 15 other organisations in joint statement to UK Government
A group of leading organisations working on justice and peace in Palestine and Israel have issued a joint statement urging the UK Government to challenge the US ‘Peace Plan’. Read the full statement below. (more…)
Sabeel Kairos Conference 2020 | You cannot serve God and the occupation
We have made the difficult but important decision to change our 2020 conference and AGM from a face-to-face event to an online one.
Given that social distancing is likely to have to continue for some time and the situation in September is an unknown, we do not want to put our members at unnecessary risk by holding a large gathering. It is also likely that international travel will still be affected, making it difficult for us to bring a Palestinian speaker to the UK, something we feel is a very important part of our yearly event.
However, despite not being able to meet in person, we do have a fantastic event lined up for our members! Our online conference will take place on the same day – Saturday 19th September, from 10 am-12 noon.
We are delighted that we will be joined by speakers from our two key partners in Palestine – Rev Dr Munther Isaac from Kairos Palestine, and Omar Haramy from Sabeel Jerusalem. These two fantastic speakers will cover the key themes of the conference; ‘You cannot serve God and the occupation’ and ‘Antisemitism, Israel and Palestine.’ There will be chance to ask your questions in an interactive Q+A on both topics.
In addition to this we will be led in worship by Amos Trust founder Garth Hewitt, and we will be exploring how we can take action together to support justice and peace in Palestine.
Booking onto the conference
Please register your interest by filling in the online form below. We will be in touch in the coming weeks to those registered with information about how to access the online event.
We are holding our AGM on Saturday 19th September, 12.15-1pm following the online conference and a short break. Members who have paid their fees for 2019-2020 are invited to attend the virtual AGM and vote as usual.
Please find below all the information you need regarding the AGM. All files are downloadable and can be returned to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are expecting to have space on the board for 6 Trustees (2 current members are available for re-election within this number). We are looking for trustees with potential fundraising, HR or charity governance experience plus Advocacy and Theology. We welcome all people to stand for these positions at the AGM, from anywhere in the country, all ethnic backgrounds, ages and denominations. Please consider standing for one of these roles to help support our small, but dynamic and energetic charity!
We would like to remind you that only paid-up members of Friends of Sabeel UK as of 1st September 2020 will be eligible to vote at the AGM: please contact the office if you are unsure of your membership status.
Please note numbers 18 and 19 in the Articles of Association setting out the rights of members to appoint a proxy under section 324 of the Companies Act 2006. Please complete and return the S-K Proxy Notice 2020 if you are unable to attend the AGM.
Thank you for your continuing support of the work of Sabeel-Kairos and we look forward to seeing many of you on 19th September!
About the speakers:
Revd Dr Munther Isaac
Munther was born in Beit Sahour, Palestine. He is married with two children. Munther is an ordained minister of the Lutheran Church and serves as an Assistant Pastor at Christmas Evangelical Lutheran Church Bethlehem. Munther is a speaker on Palestinian theology and the theology of the land, active with Kairos Palestine, and Blogger.
Omar Haramy is the Executive Director of Sabeel Jerusalem and a Palestinian Christian leader who lives in East Jerusalem. Omar is a long-time campaigner and advocate for peace and justice and has worked with the Sabeel communities in Israel and Palestine for several years. He recently featured in the film Jerusalem: A Rock and A Hard Place about the realities of living in Jerusalem today.
Garth Hewitt released his first album The Lion and the Lamb in 1973, and his latest, My Name Is Palestine in 2019. Throughout those 40 years Garth has visited areas of poverty, conflict, deprivation, and disaster, prioritizing friendships with local people and bringing them encouragement, but always returning to Europe and the US with personal stories bringing to life media headlines, keeping individual’s stories at the forefront when newspapers have forgotten, and challenging the privileged to share, and to join the protest against injustice. Founding the human rights charity Amos Trust in 1985, Garth worked for 26 years as its Director, and still maintains a role with Amos as Founder.
The Lenten season is traditionally a time of prayer and expectation. At this time of year Christians in Palestine and around the world keep a forty-day period of fasting and prayer for Lent leading up to Holy Week and Easter. We too encourage you to take some time to reflect and to pray for our brothers and sisters in Palestine during this period. We think in particular of those in Gaza who will not be allowed permits to visit loved ones this Easter. (more…)
Dear Prime Minister, We are writing to you as a group of cross-party parliamentarians to express our grave concern over the contents of US President Donald Trump’s so-called ‘peace plan’ for Israel and the Palestinians. (more…)
Bishops reject “Peace for Prosperity” plan and insist on the upholding of International Law
Our governments have a responsibility to uphold International law and protect human dignity in the Holy Land. This unilateral initiative does not do so.. (more…)
Kairos Palestine Statement on The American declaration on peace in the Middle East
“Peace, peace, they say when there is no peace” (Jeremiah: 6:14)
The position announced by the U.S. administration regarding what they termed as the ‘deal of the century’ was in fact an insult to history, humanity, the Palestinian people, and the American dignity itself.
Sabeel-Kairos joins 15 other organisations in joint statement to UK Government
A group of leading organisations working on justice and peace in Palestine and Israel have issued a joint statement urging the UK Government to challenge the US ‘Peace Plan’. Read the full statement below.
It was a privilege and pleasure to spend 9 days in Palestine at the beginning of December, celebrating the 10th anniversary since the launch of the Kairos document ‘A Moment of Truth’ and the first ‘international Gathering’ organised by Sabeel Jerusalem. (more…)
Kairos Palestine 10th Anniversary Conference – Call to the Church November 29, 2019
Conference Statement & Call to the Church November 29, 2019
Meeting in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, we are over 350 persons— women and men, young and old, lay and clergy, Palestinians and friends from all over the world—reaching out to the Church on the Tenth Anniversary of Kairos Palestine: A Moment of Truth.(more…)
Kairos Palestine Statement on the U.S Secretary of State legalizing settlements
November 21, 2019
Kairos Palestine expresses deep disappointment that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced—in a statement that disregards the Geneva Conventions, international law and widespread global consensus—a radical departure from U.S. policy regarding the illegal colonial activities of the State of Israel.
Kairos Palestine have just launched their 2019 Christmas Alert!
This makes a fantastic study resource for the 4 Sundays of Advent, with each week containing a new topic for reflection, prayer and action. Topics include ‘The religious implications of the deal of the century on Christians’ by Rev Dr Stephen Sizer, and ‘Hope is our refuge’ by Yasmine Rishwari. Rounding up the resource is a wonderful Christmas day message by Palestinian theologian Munther Isaac titled ‘This is why for the poor the Gospel is good news!’
We hope you enjoy this resource, which is available for free below.
The Episcopal Church (USA) adopts and implements an Investment Screen
At their fall meeting in Montgomery, Ala. the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church adopted and implemented a human rights investment screen to respond to a 2018 General Convention resolution, which directs The Episcopal Church to “join with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s action, CA 16.06.31, “Justice for the Holy Land Through Responsible Investment.”
Sabeel-Kairos statement on the Methodist Church response to Memorials M37-50 on the situation in Israel/Palestine
This year 12 Methodist Circuits and 5 Synods across Britain submitted a Memorial to Methodist Conference pertaining to the deteriorating situation in Israel/Palestine, and the need for the Church to take concrete actions to end any complicity in the occupation. In this report we analyse the events leading up to the conference, and the response of the Methodist Church to this groundswell of support for Palestine from it’s members.
British Parliamentarians demand British Prime Minister act robustly to any Israeli annexation of Occupied Palestinian Territory
108 British Parliamentarians demand British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson act robustly to any Israeli annexation of Occupied Palestinian Territory. In the letter, sent from the Britain-Palestine All-Party Parliamentary Group, the Parliamentarians insisted that the British Government andd its partners in Europe should respond robustly to demonstrate that flouting international law will have serious consequences for their relationship with Israel, just as there were consequences for Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.
We are delighted to announce the launch of our brand new fundraising resources, including recipe cards and invitations for a Palestinian Brunch and an Olive Oil tasting evening pack – courtesy of the Olive Tree Kitchen! Please download the resources you need from the list below or get in touch with us if you would like further support/ideas in running a fundraising event.
Kairos Palestine release statement on House Demolitions
Kairos Palestine’s statement on House Demolitions Perpetrated by the Israeli Occupation Authorities
Everywhere, and throughout the occupied Palestinian Territories, the Israeli authorities demolish the houses of Palestinians, which the international law stipulates that they be protected and preserved by the occupying authority. In violation to the said law and to implement colonial plans, the Israeli authorities demolish houses, confiscate lands and build settlements on their ruins.
In 2018, the Israeli authorities demolished 2775 Bedouins’ houses in the Negev. People resisted such measures and had their homes rebuilt. The town of al-Araqib, for example, was demolished and rebuilt 145 times. The Jahalin Bedouins of East Jerusalem have suffered a similar ordeal.
In Sourbaher, east of Jerusalem, dozens of houses that existed for years were demolished weeks ago. In Jerusalem, houses have been demolished under the pretext of not having a building permit, or with the intention of displacing the Palestinian population and Judaizing the Holy City. Very recently, a house and a restaurant of a Christian family, in Beit-Jala (Bethlehem area), were demolished according to an arbitrary court decision. The court ruled that the land of this Christian family, inherited from their ancestors, through generations, was not their own. It ordered that the house and restaurant be demolished and the property transferred to the settlers.
Justifications for such actions may include: Violating the laws of the planning department, lack of building permits, or reprisals against individual Palestinian militant attacks on Israeli targets. Indeed, the Israelis impose collective punishment on the families and relatives of militants by demolishing their houses.
A family house is sacred as much as the family. It is a sacred place exactly as a place of worship. People work hard and for their entire life to have their own house built. Yet, it is demolished simply because of an arbitrary and inhumane military decision. The Israelis build settlements in violation to international laws, to the law of nature and to God’s commandments. God said: do not steal. The settlers law says: steal any Palestinian land to build a settlement. Indeed, the houses of settlers are constructed on confiscated i.e. stolen Palestinian land.
We are aware of the fact that we are addressing people with a hard heart, when it comes to the demolition of Palestinian houses. Hearts as hard as their bulldozers that demolish constructed Palestinian houses, resulting in the displacement of thousands of people and depriving them from a home. Their main goal is to compel Palestinians to go away, in every possible way. Houses’ demolitions are one way. Our only sin is that we are in our houses and our land. Their real wish for us is not to exist.
The strength of the weak confronting the oppressor is simply in their natural rights, in remaining steadfast even on the ruins of their houses and against the will of those who wish them to go or not to exist.
The weak’s strength is in God, as says the Psalm: “The needy is not forgotten forever, not for ever does the hopeof the poor come to nothing (Ps 9:18), and also: :For he rescues the needy who calls to him, and the poor who has no one to help. 3 He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the needy from death” (Ps 71: 12-13).
Israel’s survival depends on justice and peace. The power of injustice and weapon does not guarantee survival, nor does it work in confronting people living in their land and homes. Demolition of Palestinian houses and racist statements on the part of some Israeli officials or rabbis are lately getting aggravated. Such racist statements are being instilled in the mind of young generations. The only way for Israel’s survival is justice, and respect of the indigenous owners of the land, whatever has been the history.
We address the state of Israel with a genuine word of truth: It is God’s law that preserves and protects, but laws of demolition can only lead to the demolition of the lawmaker himself. Israelis should always remember that they are the creation of God, and that Palestinians are the creation of God too. In order to guarantee their security, future and survival, Israeli’s must deal with Palestinians on the basis of the God given equality and dignity.
Wave of Prayer – Thursday 4th July
The Wave of Prayer ministry enables local and international friends of Sabeel to pray over regional concerns on a weekly basis. Sent to Sabeel’s network of supporters, the prayer is used in services around the world and during Sabeel’s Thursday Communion service; as each community in its respective time zone lifts these concerns in prayer at noon every Thursday, this ‘wave of prayer’ washes over the world. Sabeel Wave of Prayer – Thursday 4th July 2019
On Friday, 28 June 2019, in excessive use of force against peaceful protesters on the 64th Friday of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege, Israeli forces wounded 128 Palestinian civilians, including 38 children, 3 women, 7 paramedics, and a journalist. Four of those wounded sustained serious wounds.
Lord, we continue to pray for the people of Gaza as they raise their voices in protest. May your will be done so that all the people of this land may come to enjoy the fruits of a just peace.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
This week marks one of three occasions in the year designated as a Kumi Check-in when supporters of Kumi Now are encouraged to evaluate the initiative. Comments on the entries or the non-violent actions demonstrating solidarity with Palestinians would be especially welcome during the first week of July by email,(email@example.com)
Dear Lord, we thank you for the Kumi Now initiative which seeks to inform and to suggest ways of engaging with non-violent actions to show support for Palestinians living under the Israeli occupation.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
An economic workshop took place In Bahrain on Tuesday, the 25th of June and Wednesday, the 26th of June. The event hosted delegations from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Egypt. There were no delegations from Palestine or Israel. The Palestinian Authority boycotted the event after the Trump administration recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Jared Kushner called for major economic investment in the Palestinian Territories, as well as in Jordan, the Lebanon and Egypt, without specifying where such investment would come from. The political details of the White House plan remain secret.
Lord, we pray for the Palestinian people as they watch their future debated in Bahrain without consideration for the internationally recognised rights and concerns. We pray that they and their supporters may not lose heart but remain steadfast in their pursuit of a just peace in Palestine/Israel.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer
Oman announced it would open an embassy in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah. The official pronouncement coincided with the second day of the Bahrain workshop. It was designed to affirm the sultanate’s continued support for the Palestinian people.
Dear Lord, we pray that the presence of the Omani Embassy in Ramallah will help their government keep well informed about the struggles faced by Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and President Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt broke open a new tunnel running under a Palestinian village in East Jerusalem during a ceremony inaugurating a settler archaeological project. The ceremony, inaugurating the “Path of the Pilgrims” in the Silwan neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, was organized by the settler organization Elad.
Lord, we pray that the undermining of the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem in the name of archaeology will come to an end. May the US and Israeli officials and settler bodies come to accept that the internationally accepted division of Jerusalem cannot be changed by underhanded means.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
Salwa Qubti has finally won her forty-year legal battle with the Israeli military. She has been fighting for the right to visit the grave of her father who died in the Nakba over seventy years ago. His grave lies in the Christian cemetery in the village of Ma’lul in the Nazareth area and an Israeli Air Force base is now located over its ruins. Salwa never met her father as she was born in July 1948, four months after her father’s death and burial. The family were expelled from the village by Israelis and sent to live in Nazareth.
Dear Lord, we thank you that Salwa will now feel some sense of closure as she has finally been permitted to visit her father’s grave. We pray that she will be accompanied by her relatives to help her travel, as she is now confined to a wheelchair.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer
World Refugee Day was marked on Thursday, the 20th of June. UNRWA records show that the number of registered Palestinian refugees in 2018 came to about 6 million,
which accounts for about half the number of Palestinians throughout the world, (about 13 million). Palestinian refugees live in Jordan, Syria, the Lebanon, the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, while two thirds of the population of Gaza are refugees suffering unemployment and extreme poverty.
Dear Jesus, when you set out on your ministry in the Holy Land you had no home to call your own. We pray that you will look with mercy on those who have fled and who continue to flee from danger, homelessness and hunger. We pray too that you will bless those who work to bring relief to those suffering poverty and despair.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda.
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
NEW: Investing for Peace Campaign postcard
Please find our campaign postcard here. You can download and print this, or order copies directly from us.
Our 3rd speaker was Adam Sutcliffe from Independent Jewish Voices who offered a fascinating presentation about anti-Semitism. Adam highlighted some of the challenges that we commonly face in our work for a just peace in Palestine and offered strategies of how we can move forward in our work. (more…)
Rifat Kassis – Speaks from the heart
Perhaps our most anticipated talk of the day came from Rifat Kassis who joined us all the way from Palestine. Rifat is the Director of Kairos Palestine and one of its founding members. (more…)
David Cronin takes a long view
Our first speaker was David Cronin, a journalist and political activist living in Brussels. David gave us an insightful and historical long view of Britain’s detrimental involvement in Palestine and the middle East. (more…)
The Gaza Strip is in the grips of a humanitarian crisis. This crisis is man made and is getting worse. The 11 year blockade by Israel has cut the people of Gaza off from Palestine and from the rest of the world. Experts predict Gaza will become unlivable by 2020. (more…)
Sabeel-Kairos and partners letter of support to Kairos Palestine
Sabeel-Kairos have written a letter of support to Kairos Palestine. The letter comes following the German Bundestag’s passage of a resolution condemning the International Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) and equating it with anti-Semitism.
In the letter we express our unequivocal solidarity with the Kairos Palestine Movement and join in condemnation of human rights violations and discriminatory measures under the brutal occupation. We condemn the many atrocities being committed by the Israeli regime and express our deep regret that the Bundestag will help to put Israel above the law.
We join Kairos Palestine is urging the German Bundestag to review its faulty and racist resolution and, instead, issue a call for peace with justice that restores their long-lost justice.
This petition comes from Kairos Palestine and its partner movements, Global Kairos for Justice. In December 2018 people from around the world gathered in Bethlehem Palestine to further the Kairos call for an end to the State of Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people and its occupation of Palestinian territories. With love as its logic, the call is grounded in nonviolent resistance to oppression and violations of human rights.
We are delighted to confirm details for our yearly conference, which will be held this Saturday 29th June at Carrs Lane Church Centre, Carrs Lane, Birmingham B4 7SX.
We are excited to announce that we will be hosting four fantastic key speakers. Rifat Kassis, from Kairos Palestine, David Cronin, author and blogger on Israel/Palestine, and Professor Adam Sutcliffe, from Independent Jewish Voices. You can read more about the speakers below.
We will also be hearing about Sabeel-Kairos’s Investing for Peace campaign alongside campaign partner War on Want, and engaging in a panel debate and plenty of discussion! There will be chance to buy Palestinian crafts and food, view exhibitions and information stalls, and meet like-minded supporters from across the UK.
Booking onto the conference
Booking is now closed for our 2019 Conference. If you didn’t manage to book in time then we hope to see you in 2020!
Rifat is the Director of Kairos Palestine and one of it’s founding members. Born in Beit Sahour, Rifat has long been active in the Palestinian struggle on a number of non-violent fronts, not least on the national and international rights-based advocacy scene. He was arrested several times by Israel for his human rights and community work. Throughout his career, he has been advocating and actively campaigning for the effective application of international human rights and humanitarian law in Palestine, through various professional and voluntary positions.
Adam Sutcliffe is Professor of European History at Kings College London and has an extensive academic record. He is particularly interested in the place of Judaism and Jewish themes in Western thought, on which he has published widely. Adam has frequently been involved in public engagement and expert media commentary, including radio and television interviews, on issues relating to Jewish history, perceptions of Jews and Judaism, minority communities and migration histories in Britain, and approaches to antisemitism, Islamophobia, and other prejudices.
Ryvka works as Senior Campaigns Officer (Militarism and Security) for War on Want, and campaigns against human rights abuses associated with the growing power of the military and security industry, with a special focus on the UK-Israel arms trade. She writes frequently on the topic in IndyVoices, Middle East Eye and has appeared on the BBC and other broadcast channels discussing these issues. Ryvka has a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies from New York University where she specialised in the politics of tourism development in the occupied West Bank.
The Theology of Sabeel: What We Believe Notes from a Talk by Naim Ateek, July 31, 2008, Milwaukie, Oregon
Ten Characteristics of Sabeel’s Theology
It is a contextual theology. Sabeel’s theology arises from a particular context, namely, the Palestinian historical context and experience of oppression under the state of Israel.
It is a liberation theology. We seek, like all liberation theologies, liberation from a particular situation of injustice.
It is an ecumenical theology. We seek to bring together all Palestinian Christians, all the Christians of the land of Palestine who have been divided by so many schisms going back to the 4th century A.D., to work together as one Palestinian local church.
It is an interfaith theology. We seek to bring together Jews, Christians and Muslims, the three peoples of the Abrahamic faiths, to work together for justice and peace in this one land.
It is not identified with any one political party, but we are not apolitical. Rather we deal with politics and with all reality, from a faith perspective. We speak from a comprehensive reality of life.
It is not just critical theology. Rather we offer solutions; we provide a vision of alternatives to the present unjust situation.
It is Biblically-based. We seek to counteract the misuse of the Bible, but offer a deeply rooted vision of how the Bible points to justice, liberation and peace, from the context of a theology of the land.
We critique Christian Zionism. Christian Zionism is a prime example of the misuse of the Bible to promote violence, racism and injustice. We show why this kind of theology is not authentic to the Bible.
We also address the apathy of mainline Christians. Christian Zionism is not just a problem of evangelical conservatives. There is a subtle and more diffuse theology of main line Christians which justifies domination of the land and Palestinian people from the perspective of ideas of election, chosenness and the promised land, as well as recompense for the Holocaust. We critique the mistaken premises of this kind of mainline Christian thinking, especially in the West, that promotes Christian silence and apathy toward the Palestinian plight.
It is a theology of non-violence. We reject all forms of violence and seek to follow Jesus in the Way of non-violence toward authentic justice and peace.
We address the issue of God. What kind of a God do we believe in? A racist God who chooses one people against others, or a loving God of all peoples?
We focus on Jesus Christ as the criterion of interpretation of the Biblical message. This means we emphasize not just Jesus’ divinity, but the fullness of his humanity in his historical context and reality, as a Palestinian Jew living under the occupation of the Roman empire. We are followers of Jesus Christ in his way of non-violent resistance to imperial occupation.
It is a prophetic theology. We stand in the line of the great prophets of ancient Israel in their unmasking of injustice and call for justice.
We stand particularly in the line of the theology of the book of Jonah, the first Palestinian liberation theologian, which we see as the climax of the theology of the Old Testament, and which dismantles the theology of exclusivism and racism of his day. The theology of the book of Jonah discloses a) an inclusive God, a God of all nations; b) an inclusive people of God, a people that includes those on both sides of nationalist conflicts, the Ninevites, as well as Israel; today the people of Iraq, as well as the West; in Palestine, Jews and Palestinians; and c) a theology of the land for all the peoples of the land.
It is an anti-imperial theology. It critiques all theologies of empire, whether the Roman empire in the Biblical context, or American empire today. Sabeel stands in the tradition of the anti-imperial theologies of both Hebrew Scripture and the New Testament.
We challenge Son of David Christology, a messianic theology with its imperial designs, in favour of a Suffering Servant Christology. We reject the false fusion of Suffering Servant Christology with Son of David Christology that occurred later in the Church’s history with its integration into the Constantinian Roman empire. We root ourselves in the Suffering Servant Christology of the early Church with its witness to the non-violent way of the cross.
Ours is a theology of peace and reconciliation. This is not peace at any price, but a way to peace through justice which brings authentic reconciliation of estranged peoples into a new relation of just peace.
We offer a vision of a political solution through the two-state solution, that can provide the basis of genuine equality for two sovereign states that can then negotiate a fuller peace with justice between Israel and Palestine, as well as with the many neighbouring peoples of the region.
Is Sabeel a political organization, or a religious one?
This question assumes that a movement’s goal is religious only if it is completely non-political. But in fact all religious faith communities are intertwined with the whole of society, in its legal, political, social, economic and ideological structures.
What is liberation theology?
Liberation theologies recognise that faith addresses the whole of personal and social life from a faith perspective. Thus a Palestinian liberation theology necessarily addresses the political and social systems that are obstructing justice and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians and seeks to change those toward social and political patterns that will express just relationships.
Does Sabeel recognise the legitimacy of the Israeli state?
Yes, Sabeel recognises the national aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians. Sabeel believes that the stories of both peoples, specifically the history of the founding of the state of Israel and the Nakba that accompanied it, must be re-examined, reclaimed and honoured by both sides in the fullness of truth.
The official history of Israel, particularly since the 1948 war, has often falsified Israel’s history to legitimise its occupation of the land and the displacement of the Palestinians. In recent decades there has been a remarkable development of revisionist history of Israel by Israeli Jews, such as Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949 and Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. This revisionist history confirms what the Palestinians have always known from their own experience from 1948. The purpose of this critical history written by both Israeli Jews and Palestinians is not to demonise Israel, but to recognise the injustice that has been done to Palestinians in the creation and maintenance of the state of Israel in order to create more just relations between these two peoples.
Does Sabeel believe that international law is an appropriate guide when evaluating proposals for a just peace in the Land?
Yes, Sabeel believes that international law is an indispensable guide for the peace process.
Sabeel does not excuse any form of terrorism, Palestinian, Israeli, American or other. It promotes non-violence as the only way to peace and reconciliation. Although most Palestinians do not resort to violence, but cope non-violently with the oppressive situation in which they live day to day, Sabeel sees Palestinian terrorism as rooted in this oppressive situation of occupation. They believe the primary way to end it is to end the occupation. It believes that all people, Israelis and Palestinians, should live in peace and security, but that this is brought about by just relationships, not by repression of one people by another, which foments resistance. Idolatry is found in any effort by an individual or group to make themselves into God, or spokesmen of God, and hence immune to criticism. It is to be rejected wherever it occurs.
Does Sabeel believe that either Palestinians or Israelis have a vocation for suffering that requires they be stateless?
Sabeel seeks and practices interfaith community between Jews, Christians and Muslims and respect for all three religious traditions. It sees Jesus as liberator from unjust oppression who experienced oppression as a Jew living in Palestine under Roman occupation. It is Roman occupation, not ancient Jews, who are responsible for this oppression of first century Jews and the death of Jesus, a first century Palestinian Jew. Sabeel does not think anyone, Jews or Palestinians, have a particular vocation of suffering or should be stateless.
Has Sabeel Founder Naim Ateek ever called for the end of Israel as a Jewish state?
This question is rooted in a presupposition which needs to be carefully examined; namely, that the state of Israel can only “exist” as a Jewish state, that is, as a state in which Jews are the overwhelming demographic majority and only Jews have full citizenship. Palestinian Israelis who are now 24% of the Israeli population are allowed only a second class citizenship lacking many rights and privileges enjoyed only by Jewish Israelis. It is in that context that any effort to create a truly democratic state in Israel, which gives all citizens equal rights, is construed by some as denying Israel’s “right to exist.” Rev. Ateek and Sabeel do not argue for a one-state solution. Recognising the sensitivity of Israeli Jews on this issue, they argue for a two-state solution, Israel and Palestine, both as sovereign states that would be able to negotiate as equals with one another, not a Palestine as a colony under military occupation by Israel. Rev. Ateek believes that both states should be fully democratic, giving equal citizenship to all citizens, Jews and Palestinians, including Jews who might elect to remain in a separate state of Palestine. He envisions the possibility of further development of these two states into a confederation with each other and perhaps with other neighbouring states, but sees the two-state solution as the starting point for this evolution.
Does Sabeel work with any Israeli individuals or groups that promote peace?
Yes, Sabeel works with several Israeli groups who, with great courage, have determined that a just and peaceful solution to the conflict is in the best interests of the State of Israel and also honours the core injunctions of Judaism, such as that in Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what doth the LORD require of thee? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.”
Sabeel seeks to tell the story of the Palestinian experience in Israel and the occupied territories which has been silenced by those who regard any discussion of this experience as “anti-Israel.” It has increasingly attracted stellar Jewish speakers and participants in its conferences from Israel and from the Diaspora, such as Ilan Pappe, Jeff Halper, Anna Baltzer, Susan Nathan, Phyllis Bennis and Joel Kovel. In recent Sabeel conferences a third or more the speakers have been such critical American and Israeli Jews. These Jews, and Sabeel as a whole, reject the stereotype of such Jews as “fringe” and “anti-Israel.” Rather such Jews represent the best of the Jewish ethical tradition and are paving the way for a reconciliation that is pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian together. Sabeel conferences are typically ecumenical and interfaith, bringing together Jewish, Christian and Muslim speakers who share a common vision of peace with justice.
What is Sabeel’s relation to Palestinian Muslims?
Sabeel has close working relations with Muslims, both in Palestine and internationally. Muslims appear as speakers at Sabeel conferences and Sabeel consults with Muslim spokespersons in Palestine. Sabeel’s vision is for a reconciled community in Israel and Palestine of three religions, Jewish, Christian and Muslim and two national identities, Israeli and Palestinian.
To what extent does Sabeel represent Palestinian Christians in the West Bank who live under the Palestinian Authority?
Sabeel does not represent any political party operating within the West Bank, including the Palestinian Authority itself, which is presently controlled by Fatah. It seeks to speak ecumenically for Christians across denominations in both Israel and the occupied territories.
Are Palestinian Christians in the West Bank being persecuted by the Palestinian Authority?
While there are incidents of intolerance and persecution of Christians by Muslims in the occupied territories, this is not the policy of the Palestinian Authority. Sabeel is critical of any such intolerance or persecution, but sees the occupation of the lands of Palestinians by Israel as the primary persecution of both Muslim and Christian Palestinians that needs to be addressed. Any effort to blow such incidents of Christian-Muslim tension out of proportion is a deliberate effort to divide the Palestinian people and to divert attention from the primary issue of the Occupation.
Why is Sabeel calling for morally responsible divestment from Israel?
The campaign of disinvestment in Israel is modelled after the campaign of disinvestment in South Africa that helped end apartheid in 1990. Like that campaign it does not seek to address the problems of any and every nation in the world, which could only diffuse the issue and destroy its effectiveness, but focuses on one nation and one situation seen as particularly egregious. It does not call for general disinvestment in Israel, but rather for a selective disinvestment in those companies that are making money on the Occupation in the hope of putting some pressure on these companies to withdraw from their support of the Occupation and to raise consciousness about the Occupation in general.
12 Ways in 12 Days
Suggestions of ways to reinvigorate our support for Palestine.
Click on the link below to read about some ideas to (hopefully) inspire you, whether you’re just starting out or an ‘old-timer’
Kairos Palestine is pleased to announce the Christmas Alert 2018!
This year the Christmas Alert sheds light on the importance of restoring a new hope for Palestine, the Middle East and the World. We need new light and hope to come from the hearts of all believers in the Christmas message to encourage churches around the world to act!
Let us all together spread the message of Palestinian Christians around the world!
You may not think that cooking a seabass would be a natural entry point to talking about the illegal blockade on Gaza and discussing the call to stop Arming Israel, but we discovered at Greenbelt that it was the most perfect way to bring people to the table to enjoy Palestinian culture and food while talking about the very difficult situation there.
Rev Naim Ateek’s Statement on Israel’s Nation State Law, 8th August 2018
Henry Siegman, a former National Director of the American Jewish Congress said, “Israel has crossed the threshold from ‘the only democracy in the Middle East to the only apartheid regime in the Western world.’”
World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel (WWPPI)
The 2018 World Week for Peace 16 – 23 September
Investing in young people
A week of education, prayer and action for peace in Palestine & Israel, initiated by the World Council of Churches. Planned events below
This year’s theme is “Youth and Children: Raising Hope and Making Change”. Youth and children are the ones who suffer the most in conflicts and under occupation. They are also the ones who will hold the future of Palestine and Israel in their hands, the ones we pray will grow up with peace and prosperity.
Jerusalem, 25, June 2018, The board, staff and supporters of Kairos Palestine and the members of Global Kairos for Justice coalition celebrate the historic pro-justice actions taken by the Presbyterian Church(USA) at its 223rd General Assembly meeting just days ago. We offer our profound thanks to staff, commissioners and advisory delegates of the PC(USA), and to its mission network, the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA) (www.theipmn.org) which worked tirelessly to bring a slate of resolutions to the church’s assembly gathered in St. Louis.
The many resolutions that were overwhelmingly passed include:
Condemnation of the recent violence directed against Palestinians during the Great March of Return in Gaza;
A renewal of the church’s call for an end to the decade-old Israeli blockade of Gaza;
Opposition to U.S. federal and state laws designed to suppress Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) in support of Palestinian human rights;
A call to RE/MAX, LLC to do “everything within its legal and moral power” to stop facilitating the sale and rental of properties in Israeli settlements built on occupied Palestinian land;
A call for the use of diplomatic tools by the government of the United States to bring Israel into full compliance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by granting full equality to its citizens who are Palestinian, by “changing its laws, policies, and practices that favor its Jewish citizens and discriminate against its Christian and Muslim citizens and other ethnic minorities”;
Opposition to Israel’s illegal annexation of Jerusalem.
The resolutions passed following powerful support from local and visiting Palestinians, Black Lives Matter leaders, Friends of Sabeel North America, U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Equal Rights, American Muslims for Palestine, St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee, Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace, St. Louis Jewish Voice for Peace, National Christian Coalition Organizations in Palestine (NCCOP), Kairos Palestine and others.
Because of partners like you, we may be “hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Cor. 4:8-9)
What are we asking Churches to do?
This campaign asks the churches to do these four things
Sabeel-Kairos and partners will be offering tailor-made training sessions on ‘Investing for Peace: A Guide for Local Church Activists’ to interested Sabeel-Kairos Communities and Groups who are committed to starting or continuing local campaigns on Morally Responsible Investment.
Thank you so much for standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people by joining Sabeel-Kairos.
To become a member you will need to fill in our membership form, and pay a small yearly subscription fee. The membership form can be found below, or if you prefer to, download and print our Membership Leaflet and Form and return to:
Office above Age UK
60 The Parade
If you are renewing an existing subscription, please tick the box in the form below.
Membership costs £30 waged/£18 unwaged per year, and details of how to pay are below:
Online – one-off or regular donation.
Please visit our donate page (opens in new window) to pay your fees as a one off donation, or as regular direct debit payment.
Please download and fill in the standing order section of our Membership Form to set up a regular standing order. Please don’t forget to sign and date the form!
Please address all cheques to Friends of Sabeel UK and send to the office address (above).
If you donate online you will have the option of filling in a gift aid declaration. If you pay by others means and are eligible to claim gift aid then please fill in the gift aid declaration in the membership form and return to us at the address above.
What do I get as a member?
As a member you will receive our email and postal mailings, including Sabeel Jerusalem’s quarterly magazine Cornerstone as well as having priority access and booking for our yearly conference and access to all of our resources and information.
Membership fees are one of our most important sources of income, and help us to plan what funds we have available each year for our campaigning and education activities and resources. Without regular givers we would not be able to run our successful Investing For Peace campaign!
STOP THE MASSACRE! FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE! An Appeal from World Student Christian Federation and the Palestine Youth Ecumenical Movement
Since March 30th, the people of Gaza have been exercising their right to protest by marching for the right to return to their homes. The homes from which they were forcefully expelled to make room for the state of Israel. (more…)
Statement on Gaza and Jerusalem, Sabeel-Kairos Palestine, 15th May 2018
” If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they” (Ecclesiastes 5:8)..
Sabeel-Kairos perspective on the current situation, Nakba Day, Tuesday 15th May 2018
This week has been a sad and difficult week for us Palestinians and for all of us who care deeply about our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land. The Great Return March, which has seen peaceful protests in Gaza with violent responses from the Israeli military, came into its seventh week. So far during the Great Return March more than 90 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, with many thousands more injured.
Tens of Thousands Attend Funerals for 60 Gazans Killed in Border Protests | LIVE UPDATES
U.S. blocks Security Council statement calling to investigate Israel over protest death toll ■ Former CIA chief, Congressmen condemn Israeli use of excessive force ■ Israeli army deploys for second day of projected mayhem
Follow live updates on the situation from Haaretz.
Photo: THOMAS COEX/AFP
Death, division and denial as US embassy opens in Jerusalem
Trump applauds ‘a great day for Israel’ as hail of bullets kills dozens of Palestinian protestors
Order your ‘Nakba Doll’ today: The Fabric of Our Lives
Around 700,000 people fled their homes during the Nakba (Catastrophe). Many are still living in refugee camps throughout the Middle East. To commemorate those who fled and the villages that were destroyed in 1948 the YWCA of Palestine has sought out some of the women who escaped and documented their story in a project called ‘Fabric of Our Lives’, each represented by a unique doll. Each of these ‘Nakba Dolls’, hand carved form Palestinian olive wood, is wearing a thob (Palestinian embroidered dress) that is traditional to one of the destroyed villages. These dolls not only tell the story of displacement and dispossession through a female perspective they also provide employment opportunities for refugee women today who make the dolls. Please help these women’s stories be heard and let these villages be remembered by buying a doll.
The Palestinian People are Committed to Seeking Freedom
We are a collection of Palestinian groups and civil society organizations. We address our call to the Palestinian Authority, all Palestinian leaders, Israel, the American administration, the Arab states, the international community, and to all those of good will who support us in seeking our freedom and independence. We issue a call of peace and love, a strong call that stems from the strength of our belief in God, his righteousness and his love for all mankind, at a time when we see that the potential to achieve our cause, i.e. our demand for freedom and independence, is diminishing. The American administration has disregarded our history and our rights in Jerusalem, our city of our prayer and faith, and the capital of our state. Israel is determined to maintain its military occupation over us, particularly in the siege imposed on Gaza, and is supported by the American administration which says that it will present “the deal of the century” to us.
In response, the masses in Gaza are resorting to peace as an effective weapon by organizing peaceful marches in which thousands are taking part. These activities have been ongoing since Land Day on Friday March 30th. This weapon is what the Sabeel-Kairos “moment of truth” document called for to highlight steadfastness, resist the occupation, and demand our freedom: peace is the only weapon we can use to achieve this.
The power of this new weapon became apparent as Israel tried to transform it into violent confrontation by the use of violence in which they killed unarmed civilians and injured thousands. Nevertheless, the peaceful demonstrations have continued.
Israeli and American pressure on Arab countries has attempted to force the Palestinians to stop their peaceful demonstrations. For our part, and on the basis of our vision of faith and God’s love and righteousness for every human being, we urge all Palestinians to continue their peaceful march. Their lack of arms makes them strong as they seek life, freedom and equality. We call on the thousands to continue their peaceful marches in Gaza and in all West Bank regions.
We direct our call to the Palestinian leadership and tell them to be united. The search for freedom does not permit further divisions and splits. Let these demonstrations unite the hearts of all; let them unite those in charge in all factions and unite officials and the people.
We call on Israel and the American administration to respond positively to the call for peace disseminated by these peaceful marches. Rather than viewing them as a threat, they actually offer a way out of the crisis that we have reached with you. Heed the cries of the oppressed, of the people whose freedom you deny, and who were displaced from their land, villages and houses. Change your outlook: maintaining life is more beneficial than creating death.
The American administration says that it will present us with the ‘deal of the century, but by taking Jerusalem from its Palestinian people and placing it under Israeli sovereignty, it is making this deal the beginning of a fresh injustice.
Pressure is also increasing on Arab countries to force Palestinian leaders to accept the “deal of the century” with some modifications. Based on our rights and love for every human being, we say let the people declare the injustices they face until the conscience is stirred of all those in Israel and Palestine, and the world wakes up. We call on the Palestinian Authority to be strong and steadfast in the face of all pressure and solutions that create fresh injustice for the Palestinian people. In particular we state that we do not trust promises given by the strong. We know that the strong have not met their promises in the past and will not fulfill new promises in the future. The “deal of the century” should start with Israel and the American administration recognizing Palestinian inalienable rights. At that point, negotiations may start. Without this clear and binding condition, negotiations, promises and the deal of the century will be no more than a new means of maintaining injustice, depriving us of our freedom, and subjecting us to occupation and racist discrimination.
To Israel and the American administration we repeat that we are committed to our demand for freedom. Our only weapon is peace and your peaceful response is the only source of security for you. You may want to keep us in slavery but we will remain steadfast and say no to slavery. We are confident that the time will come when you recover your conscience, reinstate your human dignity, and look at the Palestinian people as human beings with whom can live in security, justice, peace and equality rather than people you seek to eradicate.
For however long it continues, injustice will burden your conscience one day after another. Your injustice against us and your own power will be the foundations of your defeat. Your ability to be righteous and to treat the Palestinian people fairly and with humanity will be your only salvation.
These facts require the following:
An immediate end to divisions and guaranteed support for a popular movement politically, economically, in the media, and diplomatically.
A clear Palestinian stand on refusing any concessions that infringe on Palestinian national rights, remaining firm in the face of political or economic pressure, and not believing any promises.
The Palestinian leadership and political forces should look for new and creative ways of struggle to achieve Palestinian rights intact. This is required in light of the failure of the peace negotiations, which reached an impasse due to Israeli intransigence and American partiality that protects and supports Israeli practices.
Cease all pressure exerted on the Palestinian Authority to accept unfair American and Israeli proposals; stop all forms of normalization with Israel; refrain from providing a political cover for Israeli aggressive practices against the Palestinian people; and strengthen the BDS movement against the Israeli occupation.
Support the Palestinian struggle through ongoing massive demonstrations that reach a peak in the Nakba commemoration in mid-May.
Launch international initiatives and campaigns against racist Israeli practices that respond to Palestinian peace with violence and the killing of unarmed Palestinians in cold blood. Pressure should be exerted on Israel to desist from the use of violence and to enter a real path for peace.
A popular movement and media campaign to lift the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip and refute President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Popular marches to be organized in support of the Palestinian people’s struggle. Such activities should reach a peak in mid-May to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the ongoing Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe).
Exert pressure on Western governments and states to break their silence and force Israel to respect international resolutions and treaties, end the occupation, and accept a just and final solution.
Despite the extensive power of the Israeli occupation, the political, military and economic support it receives from its donor countries, the killings, destruction, distortion, displacement, siege, starvation, and arrests, the Israeli occupation understands that it has not been able to break the Palestinian spirit rooted deeply in the land and history.
Palestinians are now besieging the occupation in a historic, cultural, ethical, moral and human sense and will be victorious.
We pray to God to guide all to the right path of peace that protects the humanity of man, a just peace and a final peace that liberates every human being from all evil within or against them.
– Sabeel-Kairos Palestine
– Diyar Consortium
– The YMCA/YWCA Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI)
– The National Christian Association (NCA), Jerusalem
– The East Jerusalem YMCA/HQ
– The East Jerusalem YMCA /Beit Sahour Branch
– The Arab Educational Institute AEI, Bethlehem
– Union of Arab Orthodox Club – Jerusalem
– Arab Orthodox Club – Beit Jala
– Arab Orthodox Club, Beit Sahour
– The Arab Orthodox Charitable Society, Beit Sahour
Laws Targeting Israel Boycotts Fail First Legal Test
Issuing the first decision of its kind, a federal judge today blocked enforcement of a Kansas law targeting boycotts of Israel, ruling in an ACLU lawsuit that the First Amendment protects the right to engage in political boycotts.
Vera Eidelman writes for ACLU on Tuesday 30th January 2018
Israel rejects U.N. report on companies linked to settlements
GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations human rights office said on Wednesday it had identified 206 companies doing business linked to unlawful Israeli settlements in the West Bank and it urged them to avoid any complicity in “pervasive” violations against Palestinians.
Stephanie Nebehay writes for Reuters on Wednesday 31st January 2018
Permanent Representative Defends Decision, as Delegations Endorse Two-State Solution, Determination of Final Status Issues (more…)
Support a legal challenge to the Independent Press Standards Organisation
From campaigner Jonathan Coulter:
I need you to help me fund a legal challenge to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) over its irrational and unfair response to a complaint against two newspapers (The Times and Sunday Times), which had both grossly misreported a public meeting held in the House of Lords in October 2016. (more…)
Special Newsletter: Update and Action on Jerusalem
Please read our latest newsletter, a special edition on Jerusalem with actions you can take to stand against Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (more…)
BDS National committee responds to Jerusalem decision
The Trump administration’s anti-Palestinian and illegal act reverses decades of official U.S. policy regarding Jerusalem and contradicts the international consensus. Trump’s policies on Palestine underscore that it is long past time for the world to apply concrete pressure on Israel to respect Palestinian rights through support for our struggle for rights and dignity. (more…)
Actions to take for Jerusalem
PSC have organised actions for us to take regarding Trump’s appealing decision on Jerusalem. There is a protest TODAY (Friday 8th Dec) outside the US Embassy in London, and local protests happening across the UK too. You can also write to your MP. More details below. (more…)
Donald Trump is ‘declaring war’ by naming Jerusalem Israel’s capital
Palestinian Ambassador to the UK Manuel Hassassian writes in the Independent (6 Dec) how Trump’s move signals death to the two state solution and declares war on Muslims and Christians across the Middle East. (more…)
Membership survey results
Many thanks to those of you that completed our members survey in the summer. We collected over 180 responses from members of Sabeel-Kairos and Friends of Sabeel UK. Here is a snapshot of some of the results – and information about where we go from here. (more…)
Save Susiya from imminent demolition
On Wednesday 6th Dec there will be a debate in parliament about the effect of Israeli demolitions on Palestinian communities. ICAHD UK and PSC have produced resources to help you lobby your MP to attend and raise concerns about the imminent demolition of Susiya. (more…)
The truth is simple, but unwelcome
Church Times, 1st Dec. Jewish writer Robert Cohen tells Huw Spanner that solidarity with Palestinians will be costly for Christians. (more…)
‘A Palestinian Theology of Liberation’ by Naim Stifan Ateek
The latest book by Revd Naim Ateek, founder of Sabeel in Jerusalem:
‘Addressing what many consider the world’s most controversial conflict, Naim Ateek offers a succinct primer on liberation theology in the context of the Palestinian struggle for freedom and self-determination. (more…)
India Scraps $500M Military Deal With Israel Amid Rising Popular Concern About India’s Complicity With Israeli Crimes
From IMEMC News, 21 November. Yesterday, media reported that the Indian Ministry of Defense scrapped the $500M deal with Israeli arms manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems for its missile systems. Years in the making, the deal had been celebrated in international media and was finalized after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July. (more…)
WCC Executive Committee releases statement on Jerusalem and Status Quo
22 November. During its meeting in Amman, Jordan from 17-23 November, the World Council of Churches Executive Committee issued a statement expressing concern over the ways in which church institutions and properties in Jerusalem are threatened as a result of contracts of disputed legality, the efforts of radical settler groups, and policies of the government of Israel. (more…)
Palestinians speak out on anniversary of Resolution 242
Mariam Barghouti, Diana Buttu and Haider Eid and other prominent Palestinian voices speak out about the pitfalls of Resolution 242 and what it has meant for Palestine half a century since its adoption. (more…)
Stop Israel’s illegal annexation of land in the Palestinian village of Al Walaja
Seventy percent of the land in the Palestinian village of Al Walaja has already been taken over by Israel as part of their territorial expansion. In its latest move, Israel plans to move a nearby military checkpoint closer to the village and deeper into the West Bank territories. Please sign and share this petition to take action against this. (more…)
Why Israel does not want a sovereign Palestinian state
BBC journalist deletes tweet about UK’s ‘corrupt’ relationship with Israel
From Middle East Monitor, 10 Nov. A prominent BBC journalist has deleted a tweet in which a senior Conservative MP can be seen complaining about the British media turning a blind eye to the corrupt relationship that has allowed Israel to “buy access” in Westminster. (more…)
Today: Remembering Israel’s ‘Operation Pillar of Defence’
From Middle East Monitor: On 14 November 2012, Israel launched “Operation Pillar of Defence” against the Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. Over the following eight days, almost 175 Palestinians were killed and more than 1,000 were injured. Five years later, Gaza is still subject to Israeli aggression, in violation of the terms of the ceasefire agreement. (more…)
Israel bars entry of European MPs over boycott
From The Palestinian Information Center, 13 Nov.
Israel’s Minister of Interior, Aryeh Deri, adopted recommendations by Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs and Public Security, Gilad Erdan, not to allow the entry of a delegation composed of European MPs and heads of French local councils. (more…)
Join the lobby of Parliament for Palestine 2017
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign invite you to join them in parliament on Nov 22nd to meet with your MP and ask them to take action against Israel’s illegal settlements and the abuse of Palestinian children under military detention. (more…)
Balfour sparked a national tragedy for the Palestinian people – with BDS, we are fighting back
Omar Barghouti, founder of the BDS movement writes in Newsweek: When Zionist militias forced my grandmother, Rasmiyyah, and her family out of their home in Safad at gunpoint during the 1948 Nakba, the process of settler-colonialism that was propelled by the Balfour Declaration and that culminated in ethnic cleansing became more than just a national tragedy for the indigenous people of Palestine. It became personal. (more…)
Balfour Declaration Turns 100: Together We Can End its Legacy of Dispossessing Palestinians
From the BDS National Committee: Today marks the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, a document which from the perspective of its Palestinian victims, constituted a declaration of war against the Palestinian people. Together we can end its brutal legacy and create a brighter future with justice, peace and a dignified life for all. (more…)
UK Foreign Secretary: Now is not the ‘right time’ to recognise Palestine
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson declined the Labour Party’s offer to recognise a Palestinian state “now” insisting that “the moment is not yet right to play that card”, amid challenge from Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry. (more…)
New: BDS Toolkit and videos from the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights
Have you been wanting to start a BDS campaign? Or, are you a seasoned activist looking for a good resource to share with others? Is someone you know confused about what BDS is? These new resources are for you! (more…)
Prominent Israelis call for recognition of Palestine
Job opportunity: Friends of Sabeel UK/Sabeel-Kairos Advocacy Worker
We are recruiting!
Friends of Sabeel UK/Sabeel-Kairos wish to appoint a part time advocacy officer to support the development of local advocacy groups and national church campaigns.This is a maternity cover position from January 2018. (more…)
Theresa May should give Netanyahu a piece of her mind – Thatcher would have
Opinion piece by Donald Macintyre in the Guardian: ‘A hundred years after the Balfour declaration that established a pathway to a Jewish state, the prime minister should acknowledge its role in Palestinian suffering’ (more…)
US and Israel withdraw from UNESCO accusing it of ‘anti-Israel bias’
From Al Jazeera News, 13 Oct. The US has announced it will withdraw from the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), accusing the body of “anti-Israel bias”. (more…)
Danish pension fund excludes four companies for role in Israeli occupation
Sampension, a DKK290 billion ($43.5 billion) Danish labour market pension fund, made the announcement in a press release last week, stating that two Israeli banks, Hapoalim and Leumi, as well as Heidelberg Cement and Israeli telecommunications company Bezeq, are now excluded. (more…)
Giro d’Italia’s start in Israel provokes accusations of ‘sport-washing’
La grande partenza in Jerusalem will be a historic first but brings an unprecedented level of political controversy to cycling’s second biggest event (more…)
Why is Human Rights Watch urging engagement with Israel’s banks?
Human Rights Watch has concluded in a new report that there is nothing in Israeli law that forces Israel’s banks to provide many financial services that aid the theft of Palestinian land for Jewish settlements.
While welcoming the report, human rights defenders are criticizing its recommendation that international investors “engage” with Israeli banks, rather than simply divesting. (more…)
Courting the Global South: Will Israel Become a UN Security Council Member?
Ramzy Baroud, Foreign Policy Journal, 21 Sep. “Israel has desperately sought to be legitimized by the UN, while it has done its utmost to delegitimize the UN” (more…)
UN chief calls for lifting of Gaza blockade in face of humanitarian crisis
UN chief Antonio Guterres also held talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Jerusalem and Ramallah on Monday and Tuesday. (more…)
‘By the time they let me go my mother was gone’: Daughters of imprisoned Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar speak out
From Mondoweiss: Ramallah, occupied West Bank — Suha and Yaffa Jarrar have come to accept that their family is never safe. (more…)
US-Israel resume talks on moving embassy to Jerusalem
From Middle East Monitor: The Times of Israel quoted private sources as saying that, on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the issue of moving the embassy with Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s advisor and son-in-law. (more…)
Netanyahu Vows to Never Remove Israeli Settlements From West Bank: ‘We’re Here to Stay, Forever’
From Haaretz: ‘We will deepen our roots, build, strengthen and settle,’ Netanyahu tells settlers at event marking 50 years to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. (more…)
Egypt Set to Reopen Its Gaza Crossing on Regular Basis in September
Rafah border crossing has only opened for 14 days so far in 2017, but Palestinians expect it to reopen after Id al-Adha holiday (more…)
British couple’s message in a bottle reaches Gaza fisherman after 500-mile journey
“I hope one day we would become as free as this bottle was” says Gaza fisherman who found the British couple’s message in a bottle. (more…)
Remembering the Holocaust: Doing Justice to its Memory
‘The story of the Holocaust is a history I have always known, have wanted to know in detail, and which has shaped who I am in the world. It has shaped my commitment to valuing and honoring people’s cultures and histories; my commitment to challenging anti-Semitism; my commitment to challenging all forms of injustice —not in the U.S., not in Palestine, not anywhere’ Article by Jewish psychologist and educator Donna Nevel (more…)
Four Palestinians wounded in Israeli air strikes on Gaza
From Al Jazeera: Israel says attacks carried out after rockets were fired out of Gaza, a claim that Hamas denies. (more…)
Jerusalem Palestinians stripped of residency status
Human Rights Watch report that Israel’s revocations of the residency status of thousands of Palestinians from East Jerusalem over the years illustrates the two-tiered system Israel maintains in the city. (more…)
Jewish settlers burn Palestinian farms in Nablus
From Middle East Monitor: Jewish settlers burnt scores of acres of Palestinian farms on Tuesday (9th Aug) in the neighbourhood of Aqraba to the south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, Quds Press has reported. (more…)
Take Action: Sign the Gaza petition
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign have issued a new petition concerning the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, which is entirely politically caused and preventable if the blockade would be lifted.
The petition calls for:
– the immediate lifting of the blockade of Gaza and allowing of imports and exports;
– the UK government to abide by their obligations under international law to end the siege;
– the removal by Israel of all obstacles to the exercise of human rights by Palestinians in Gaza – including the right to travel and trade.
All proceeds will go to Medical Aid for Palestinians.
WWPPI 2017 resources and actions
The WWPPI is a week of education, prayer and action for peace in Palestine and Israel, initiated by the World Council of Churches. It presents us with an opportunity to organise meetings, pray and take action for peace.
The WCC has produced resources for the week, including:
Noa Gur Golan, young Israeli woman who became a Conscientious Objector in 2017
We are currently finalising an action postcard to Church leaders for the WWPPI which should be available for download and order the week commencing 11th September.
HSBC: Stop Arming Israel!
HSBC is a major shareholder in companies selling weapons and military technology to Israel and also provides those companies with the loans they need to operate. Here’s the latest campaign action you can take (more…)
Brace yourselves for costly Palestinian Solidarity
Opinion piece: Israel’s Assault on Al-Aqsa and Plans to Upend the Status Quo
The Israeli government may have backed down on the imposition of metal detectors at the entrances to Al-Aqsa Mosque, but it has not yet allowed situation to return to pre-July 14 status quo. (more…)
America’s BDS law is an attack on far more than free speech
From +972: The world long ago made clear to the Palestinians that violence is not a legitimate path for seeking independence. Now Congress is trying to criminalize one of the few nonviolent tools left. (more…)
Victory at the UCC gathering
Delegates at the national gathering for the United Church of Christ (UCC) in Baltimore have voted to pass a resolution asserting the rights of Palestinian children!
UNESCO: Hebron heritage request too focused on Muslim history
The PA has not fully made its case for inscription as a heritage site and Israel’s decision to ban the experts from visiting the site make it difficult to conclude if an emergency situation exists, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) said in an 11-page report.
The Spanish parliament has unanimously passed a motion recognizing the right to advocate for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) as protected under the right to freedom of expression and association.
Morally Responsible Investment in Israel and Palestine
“Because they lead my people astray, saying ‘Peace’ when there is no peace, and because when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, therefore I tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall” Ezekiel 13:10-11
Read our guide on morally responsible investment and find out more about how we are encouraging UK churches to engage in this.
Britain’s Balfour Legacy: a Century of Discord and Division
Many, many Jews will feel joy in 2017 as they celebrate 100 years after the British declaration that led to the birth of their nation.
This film will remember the other side of that narrative. (more…)
BDS Movement Turns 12, Marks Anniversary With List of 12 Wins in 2017
July 9, 2017 marks 12 years since the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement was born. It’s been 12 years since an impressively large and diverse coalition across Palestinian civil society surmounted incredible odds to unify around three basic Palestinian rights and a nonviolent, inclusive, anti-racist path of struggle to achieve them. (more…)
LA Times calls BDS a ‘classic tool of peaceful political expression’
We keep track of the growing awareness inside the U.S. mainstream press of the far-right character of Israeli political culture; and this weekend the LA Times published a long editorial slamming the Israeli government for “trying to wall out its critics.” The editorial grants dignity to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) and rejects a new law that bars visits to the country by boycott supporters. (more…)
World Protestant body issues solidarity message with Palestinian Christians
The World Communion of Reformed Churches has urged its more than 225 member churches worldwide to examine their mission, education and investment relationships with Israel and Palestine in the light of the witness of Palestinian Christians. (more…)
6,000 attacks on Gaza in 50 days and zero accountability
Visualizing Palestine has produced a new infographic on the 2014 Gaza war, reflecting on the lack of accountability for the horrendous attacks which killed over 1500 Palestinians and rendered over 11,000 homeless. (more…)
Read: full transcript of the parliamentary debate on Israel and Palestine
US Mennonites vote in favour of divestment from Israeli occupation
On 6th July the Mennonite Church (USA) voted to create an investment screen for the purpose of “withdrawing investments from companies that are profiting from the occupation.” The resolution was approved near unanimously, with approximately 98% of the 548 voters supporting it. (more…)
#OpenGaza: 10 years of the illegal Gaza Blockade
As we mark 10 years of the Gaza blockade the international community cries out for immediate action to end the suffering in Gaza and prevent a looming humanitarian disaster. (more…)
Open letter from the National Coalition of Christian Organisations in Palestine to the World Council of Churches
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed.
“We need you and we need you now more than ever. We need your costly solidarity. We need brave women and men who are willing to stand in the forefront. This is no time for shallow diplomacy Christians. We urge you to hear our call” (more…)
Restoring the Kingdom: Mark Braverman’s sermon
During a recent conference week on Iona, Mark Braverman from Kairos USA delivered a wonderful sermon on restoring the Kingdom. He has shared that with us, and it is available for you to download below.
The Israeli government violates international law. It discriminates against Palestinian Arabs through laws and actions involving ethnic cleansing, cultural genocide and collective punishment. This discrimination is severe, widespread, and unrelenting. It is generally unrecognised.
Palestinian footballers suffer their share. They are arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned without charge, cannot travel freely and cannot meet properly for games and training. (more…)
50 stories of Palestinian life under occupation
In this project coordinated by UN OCHA the lives of 50 Palestinians are revealed, and we catch a glimpse of the experience of living under occupation and the humanitarian impact it has.
A decision has been taken by Kairos Britain and Friends of Sabeel UK to merge together as one new organisation, to combine our efforts to support the Palestinian Christian community, and to raise awareness about the plight of Palestinians in our Churches in the UK. (more…)
PSC Statement: Dignity Won – The struggle continues
On May 27th, after 41 days on hunger strike , Palestinian prisoners suspended the strike after Israeli authorities yielded to the demand to enter negotiations with the prisoners’ chosen leaders.
On Holocaust Memorial Day Jews invite us to share their commitment that never again will institutionalised hatred go unchallenged. On the 15 May Palestinians invite us to consider whether their present institutionalised suffering will continue forever? Nakba offers an opportunity to consider the magnitude of that suffering. (more…)
Starving for Justice
How would you feel if your son or daughter went on a
hunger strike demanding justice for more than a month, and nobody
bothered to call you or check on you and your beloved one?
Hind Khoury: Women, the harbinger of hope in the midst of despair
As we mark 50 years of Israeli occupation this week, the message from Sabeel-Kairos Palestine to the Church worldwide becomes ever relevant and present. In this article, Hind Khoury, Sabeel-Kairos Palestine board member reflects on how women can, and must, play a role in bringing about justice and peace for all in the Holy Land. (more…)
Archbishop’s visit to Israel is widely reported.
The Archbishop of Canterbury’s 12 day visit to Israel and Palestine has been widely reported in the press. The Guardian previewed the visit and published several well balanced articles during the visit. Justin Welby made a surprise visit to Gaza, where he visited several hospitals. He visited Bethlehem in the West bank and met with the Christian Mayor,Vera Baboun.
BDS: Upholding our Rights, Resisting the Ongoing Nakba. The BNC Commemorates the 69th Anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (more…)
5,000 Gazans at risk of death
Generators have become the only lifeline for Gaza’s hospitals and patients who are in need of urgent medical care. (more…)
The new Hamas charter and Palestinian consensus
From Middle East Monitor: Hamas has finally revealed its new charter. The document was launched by the head of the Hamas political bureau, Khaled Meshaal, at a press conference in Doha, Qatar on 1 May. (more…)
Amnesty calls: Israel must end ‘Unlawful and Cruel’ policies to Palestinian prisoners
Israel’s decades-long policy of detaining Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and Gaza, in prisons inside Israel, and depriving them of regular family visits is not only cruel but also a blatant violation of international law, said Amnesty International, ahead of a mass prisoner’s hunger strike which began on 17th April to mark Palestinian Prisoner’s Day.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proposed the first new settlement in decades in the West Bank as ‘Israeli’ occupation officials and the White House agreed on future colonial settlement construction.
The new illegal settlement will be built for roughly 40 families-about 300 residents- evicted in February from the Amona settlement outpost.
Netanyahu’s proposal still requires confirmation by the ‘Israeli’ cabinet.
The announcement comes as US and Zionist officials in recent weeks conducted talks on limiting settlement construction in the West Bank after President Donald Trump asked the ‘Israeli’ entity to hold off.
The Trump administration gave the new settlement tacit approval on Thursday, by refraining from condemning the settlement construction, as past Democratic and Republican administrations have done.
A White House official said the Trump administration has made clear that “further unrestrained settlement activity does not help advance peace”.
Palestinians and the international community consider all construction in the West Bank illegal ahead of final status talks to maintain the Palestinian state on the already Palestinian-owned lands.
“Today’s announcement once again proves that ‘Israel’ is more committed to appeasing its illegal settler population than to abiding by the requirements for stability and a just peace,” said Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
In the same respect, ‘Israeli’ high court in 2014 deemed the community of Amona had been built on private Palestinian land and ordered it razed.
Netanyahu’s office stated on Thursday that some 2,000 new settler units, out of roughly 5,700 recently approved for construction, had been approved for marketing.
Jews rally in Jerusalem al-Quds to condemn Israeli occupation
Thousands of mostly Jewish protesters have rallied in Jerusalem al-Quds to denounce 50 years of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.
Organizers said around 2,000 demonstrators marched to Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City during Saturday’s event which was organized by the Standing Together movement.
The rally was the first in a series of events organized by the group, an umbrella movement consisting of pro-peace organizations and left-wing parties, marking 50 years since the Six-Day War.
The rally was meant to “protest against the continued Israeli control over the territories and especially East Jerusalem [al-Quds], and in favor of a peaceful solution,” the movement said in a statement.
The protesters called for an end to the Tel Aviv regime’s settlement expansion, chanting “No to a government of annexation.”
Mohammed Abu Hummus, the head of the popular committee of Isawiyah in East Jerusalem al-Quds, urged “anyone who believes in the Palestinian people to stand against the racist” Israeli regime.
On Wednesday, the Arab League called for Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied lands and the formation of an independent Palestinian state based on the borders before 1967 Six-Day War that led to the occupation of the West Bank, and other territories. Since then, Israel has built over 230 settlements in the Palestinian lands.
Israel’s so-called security cabinet on Thursday unanimously voted in favor of the construction of the first new West Bank settlement in 20 years. The move sparked widespread condemnations from the UN to European countries.
They’re asking us for a miracle: Save Pope Mountain
Israel is about to wipe out an entire indigenous community based on a new law that could take away their rights to their land. Alone, they will lose everything — but if we show local politicians that a million eyes around the world are watching, we could stop the bulldozers before they start.
Israel takes steps to stop tourists accessing Bethlehem
From Middle East Monitor: Israel has tightened restrictions on the movement of tourists to the occupied West Bank with particular limitations on their access to occupied Bethlehem. (more…)
Addameer calls for month of action for Palestinian Prisoners
Addameer Prisoner Support & Human Rights Association calls on campaigners, activists, and people of conscience to take actions for Palestinian Prisoners’ Day on April 17 and the whole month of April to stand in solidarity with all Palestinian political prisoners. (more…)
Gaza’s sole power plant shuts down
From Middle East Monitor: The sole power plant in the Gaza Strip was shut down on Sunday due to lack of funds needed to buy fuel. (more…)
Israel accuses BDS founder Omar Barghouti of tax evasion
The BNC – leaders of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement -have issued a statement following the arrest and interrogation of founder Omar Barghouti in March
The formal adoption of the IHRA’s definition of antisemitism by the UK Government has caused waves of controversy and debate amongst campaigners for justice in Palestine and Israel. To help you understand the issues and concerns, here is some reading on the topic, including the definition itself. (more…)
Censored UN Report Report on Israel
The UN has officially sanctioned and removed a recent report calling Israel an apartheid regime and urging governments to “support boycott, divestment and sanctions [BDS] activities’
Land Day 2017: Occupation laid hands over more than 85% of historic Palestine
On the Eve of the 41st Anniversary of Land Day March 30th, 2017, President of Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), Ms. Ola Awad, has presented the Anniversary through Statistics and Figures.
Only 12% of Israelis believe full West Bank withdrawal would end conflict
Israeli Jews are today significantly less willing to support a withdrawal from the West Bank than they were in 2005, according to a poll released last Monday by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
UN expert warns of deteriorating situation for human rights defenders in Palestine and Israel
GENEVA (21 March 2017) – Human rights defenders working to draw attention to abuses associated with Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territory are being increasingly targeted as a result of their work, according to a new report from a United Nations human rights expert.
To donate to Sabeel-Kairos and help further our work, please click here
Israeli ministry trying to compile database of citizens who support BDS
From Haaretz, March 21.
Senior officials say attorney general vehemently opposes Minister Gilad Erdan’s bid, arguing his ministry has no legal authority to collect information on Israelis. (more…)
Free human rights defender Issa Amro
Palestinian activist Issa Amro, who has been recognized as a Human Rights Defender by the European Union and the United Nations, is undergoing Israeli military trial on 18 charges dating all the way back to 2010. (more…)
Lent action: send a message to Palestine
Back by popular demand…
Please send a message of hope, solidarity and support to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza during lent this year.
We hear from the organisations that we pass them on to that these messages provide light in darkness, and hope for those that feel forgotten by the world.
Please help us to show Palestinians that they are in our hearts and prayers and actions.
UN – either endorse the UN-ESCWA report on Israeli apartheid or disprove it.
A petition has been launched on change.org calling on the UN to prove, by scientific, factual evidence, that Israel is not an apartheid state, and if it cannot then to endorse the censored report by UN-ESCWA.
Sabeel-Kairos Forum member and leading South African campaigner the Revd Brian Brown wrote this excellent piece in the Methodist Recorder following UN Security Resolution 2334 in December 2016. (more…)
Take action: Write to your MP about Israel’s travel ban on BDS supporters
From The Palestine Solidarity Campaign: Last week, the Knesset passed a law to ban entry to those who advocate for the non-violent boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. (more…)
Israel detains one activist and deports another amid international outcry over boycott ban
From Mondoweiss, 13 March. The longtime Israel activist Jeff Halper was detained for allegedly sharing pro-boycott materials during an occupation tour of East Jerusalem. And the head of the British Palestine Solidarity Committee, Hugh Lanning, was deported from Israel last night when he tried to enter. (more…)
Activists defiant on Israel’s travel ban
‘It’s a sign we’re winning’ – travel ban on BDS supporters heavily criticised, even by those opposed to boycotts, Democracy Now reports. (more…)
WCC gravely concerned over Israel’s travel ban
March 9 – The World Council of Churches (WCC) today expressed grave concern about a new law passed on Monday by the Knesset which reportedly forbids granting entry visas to foreign nationals who call for economic, cultural or academic boycotts of either Israel or the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. (more…)
New video made in Palestine – 28th February 2017
The BDS National Committee has released a beautiful, short new video made in Palestine. It’s called “In Their Own Words: Palestinians Champion BDS,” and features Palestinians of different ages, genders and backgrounds expressing why they champion the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Fairtrade Fortnight is here! Our Fairtrade visitors were denied visas to travel – read on for how you can help lobby MPs about this issue, as well as events around the country from Fairtrade feasts, tea breaks and public talks to markets, school assemblies and seminars where we will be talking about how Fairtrade supports Palestinian community resilience.
WCC general secretary meets with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas
On 26 February, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas formally received the general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit for a meeting to discuss just peace in Palestine and Israel. Abbas was scheduled for a speech at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, in the beginning of the week.
15 Christian churches and organizations call for peace, justice, and equality in Israel and Palestine
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the United Church of Christ, and Global Ministries are among 15 Christian organizations that sent a briefing paper to all members of Congress and to the Trump Administration this morning, calling for U.S. policies that promote peace, justice, and equality between Israelis and Palestinians.
Stop Tzipi Livni from being appointed a Deputy Secretary General at the UN
Please sign the petition and let the UN know that the world will not allow a war criminal and child killer to be Deputy Secretary of the UN! Reject the appointment of Tzipi Livni to a UN post! (more…)
Urgent: Stop the imminent demolition of Khan Al Ahmar
PLEASE TAKE URGENT ACTION BEFORE THIS THURSDAY
Ask your elected representative to act urgently to stop the imminent and unprecedented demolition of an entire Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank (more…)
Longing Belonging and Balfour: A musical theatre telling of the 1917 Balfour Declaration story
‘Chai For All’ will compose an hour-long musical theatre in April with a mishmosh of Jazz Klezmer, Arabic and Ottoman music, Salvation Army tunes, Story and Yiddish song. (more…)
Video: Water inequality in the West Bank
Jewish Voice for Peace meet Palestinians in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh to hear about water inequality between Palestinians and Israeli settlers.
1,000 Olive trees uprooted to build bypass road
The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, said on February 1, 2017 that the Israeli occupation authorities began on Sunday, January 15, 2017 uprooting olive trees and leveling land near the Palestinian villages of ‘Azzun and a-Nabi Elyas in Qalqilya District, under the supervision of Civil Administration (CA) personnel.
Israel’s Settlement Regulation Bill violates International Law
“The Knesset has never before enacted legislation regulating Arabs’ property ownership. As a rule, elected officials legislate for their constituents and those within the area of their jurisdiction, not others…If you want to pass legislation for the West Bank, you have to extend your sovereignty and allow the residents of Judea and Samaria the right to become citizens and vote in Knesset elections. And the meaning is clear”.
100-year-old Bedouin woman’s demolished by Israeli forces
In the latest instance of Israel’s demolition campaign in the Negev region of southern Israel, homes were demolished in two Bedouin villages, which are not recognised by Israel, on Wednesday, while Israeli police surrounded the village of Umm al-Hiran.
Litmus test for adjudicating settler, Palestinian interests
A few dozen trailer homes on a hilltop may have never made such ripples internationally. But the evacuation of Amona, which Israeli security forces started today after a years-long legal battle, has resonated far beyond the 40 families who live among the prickly weeds and rocks of this West Bank ridgeline.
Israel has decided not to partner with an EU cultural programme because it includes an article banning cooperation with illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories, QudsPressreported yesterday.
Europe’s largest pension funds heavily invest in illegal Israeli settlements
Five of Europe’s largest pension funds have — against EU directives — invested up to €7.5 billion ($8.09 billion) in businesses linked to illegal Israeli settlements, according to investigative news team Danwatch.
MPs support motion reaffirming illegality of Israeli settlements
Following a debate in Parliament on Thursday last week, MPs have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a motion that reaffirms the illegality of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory and calls for Israel to halt all construction. (more…)
Justice for Palestine now – end EUROPEAN complicity!
Sabeel-Kairos have joined over 250 European organisations calling on the European Union to recognise over 100 years of continued injustice towards the Palestinians people, and asking them to suspend the association agreement with Israel and cease all complicity with settlement activity. (more…)
Israel approves 3000 new settlement homes
From the Guardian: Israeli security forces began the long-threatened eviction of hundreds of hardline Jewish settlers from the illegal outpost of Amona on the occupied West Bank, hours after the government said it was approving the construction of thousands more settlement homes elsewhere. (more…)
Protest Netanyahu’s visit to the UK: Mon 6 Feb
The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, will be in London to meet PM Theresa May on Monday 6 February. Join the protest opposite Downing Street to oppose his visit. 11.30am to 1.30pm. (more…)
Rafah crossing opens – Gaza situation likely to improve
The Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip reopened Saturday as Cairo and the Islamist organization hailed an improvement in long-tense ties.
Palestinian Authority rejects Netanyahu’s conditions to resume peace talks
The Palestinian Authority has strongly rejected a set of conditions presented by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the resumption of peace talks, including the recognition of Israel as a Jewish State and the continuous security control over areas located between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.
Ask your MP to attend the Parliamentary debate on Israeli settlements
EAPPI are asking you to take action and ask your MP to attend the debate in the UK Parliament on Thursday, February 9th on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Below you can find all the information you need, including a template letter from our Sabeel-Kairos Community group in Reading.
Carrying a pair of borrowed speakers and an MP3 player, a group of 13-year-olds cut through the narrow, graffiti-stained alleyways of the Dheisheh refugee camp, rushing past painted murals of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces.
Prints of Palestine’: Weaving Palestinian heritage into contemporary fashion
Jerusalem-born designer Natalie Tahhan hopes to revive traditional Palestinian embroidery with a modern twist in her collection ‘Prints of Palestine’. By weaving unique historical patterns into elegant modern styles, Natalie Tahhan hopes to demonstrate the diversity of traditional Palestinian embroidery and its importance within Palestinian culture and identity.
This photo was taken in Kfar Qaddum last month. The boy and his friends aren’t there to bait Israeli soldiers or indulge a bout of anti-semitism. Jews from the violent – and illegal – settlement of Kedumim have taken over their farm lands. These villagers are being ethnically cleansed.
Israel cannot shirk its responsibility for Gaza’s electricity crisis
Gaza’s electricity crisis, a source of great hardship to over a million and a half Palestinians, has grown worse in the past couple weeks, so that residents now get power for just three to four hours out of every twenty-four.
Soft Hands”, an exhibition held at the Stars Entertainment Centre by the beach in Gaza City, has been showcasing the traditional crafts and arts of the Palestinian people, many of whom rely on these traditional handicrafts to make a living and preserve their culture and identity.
We in the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the widest coalition of Palestinian organisations that leads and supports the BDS movement, recently took some time to take stock the BDS movement’s most important moments during 2016. You can can read our thoughts in our new blog post where we explain how despite the pain, 2016 witnessed impressive gains for BDS.
Beckminster Methodist Church Sabeel-Kairos Community
Israel lifts restrictions on building more settlement homes in East Jerusalem
From Reuters: “My vision is to enact sovereignty over all the settlements”. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told senior ministers he is lifting restrictions on settlement building in East Jerusalem. (more…)
Obama released $221 million to Palestinians hours before Trump Inauguration
From Haaretz: Officials say outgoing administration notified Congress of move just before Trump’s swearing-in, despite Republican opposition. (more…)
The technology created by Hewlett Packard denies Palestinians freedom of movement in the West Bank and Gaza. Hewlett-Packard sells the tools necessary for state repression: surveillance and population registration technologies. The biometric IDs, fingerprinting, and retinal scanning equipment and software developed by HP are critical to Israel’s ability to maintain segregation and apartheid.
Although this is an American campaign, many of the resources they are producing can be used here in the UK to help us achieve the same goals.
On their website is a presentation and notes to download that you can use in your Church, and also a full list of the other resources available from other organisations campaigning on this issue.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign also has a full page dedicated to the Stop HP Campaign, so please visit there too.
FOSNA has started running Webinars on the campaign, which are free to join and available for anyone to be part of. We will post any future dates here on this page.
UN Security Council takes historic vote on settlements
On Friday December 23rd, the UN Security Council voted by fourteen votes to nil for a motion that condemns settlements as “a flagrant violation of international law” and calls for an immediate and total freeze.
Iona Community issues new position statement on Israel/Palestine
The Iona Community has published a Position Statement on Israel/Palestine this month, December 2016. This is a response to the call of Palestinian Christians in the Kairos Palestine document of 2009, and is timed to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration. (more…)
Centenary of the Balfour Declaration 2017
When Britain promised to give away Palestine
Members of Friends of Sabeel and Sabeel-Kairos have produced a flyer to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, and raise awareness of the unfinished promises and commitments to the Palestinian population that were made in the letter, and the disastrous results of the declaration itself for the rights of the indigenous population. We would encourage you to download and print it yourselves, or to order hard copies please contact Friends of Sabeel on firstname.lastname@example.org
From Bethlehem, WCC general secretary: “Together we are stronger”
Speaking in Bethlehem on the evening of 8 December, World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit reflected on the light from the very first Christmas in the very same town, and what that light means in a global search for just peace.
Prime Minister Theresa May today announced that the UK is formally adopting a definition of anti-Semitism agreed on earlier this year by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).
This definition is not new, however, and it poses a familiar threat to legitimate criticism of the State of Israel. (more…)
Urgent: Save Umm al-Hiran from immediate demolition
Update: January 2017
A recent report from the organisation Haqel – Jews and Arabs in Defence of Human Rights highlights plans for the eviction of families from Umm al-Hiran on January 15th following the breakdown of negotiations with the Bedouin community in December 2016, when they were given the only option to move immediately to Hura with no agreement on their rights or future.
Haqel are calling on people globally to respond by sending a picture of 100 year-old Musa Hussein, who faces eviction if the plans go ahead, to Israeli Embassy’s around the world. We would also recommend that you copy the letter/email/fax to your MP too, so that they are aware of the Israeli governments plans.
For more information and to take action, please visit this website:
Pax Christi International call for a new Israeli-Palestinian peace process
Pax Christi International believes that this is the moment for a renewed commitment to end the violence and to reach a just and sustainable solution guaranteeing the fundamental rights of both Israelis and Palestinians in accordance with international law. (more…)
Displaced once, twice and now three times. The plight of Palestinian refugees in Syria
More than 60 years after the establishment of Israel, there is no Arab-Israeli issue that remains as utterly divisive as the fate of Palestinian refugees. (more…)
Christians and Jews issue joint statement on freedom of speech on Israel and Palestine
Sabeel-Kairos has joined together with Jews for Justice for Palestinians and other prominent Christian groups and individuals to challenge the backlash against criticism of Israel’s policies which affect Palestinian human rights, and the classification of such criticism as anti-Semitic. (more…)
Where does Donald Trump stand on Israel?
This is the first of two posts about the reaction to Donald Trump’s election as President of the USA – they serve to demonstrate the diverse views and uncertainty around what might happen.
Judy Maltz, writing in Haaretz, has done an analysis of what Trump has said about Israel and Palestine. (Nov 11, 2016)
Since announcing his candidacy for president of the United States, Donald Trump has changed his tune on Israel dramatically: From the “neutral dealmaker” who kept his cards close to his chest at the beginning of the race, he was sounding more and more like some of the hardline members of the Israeli government by its conclusion.
President Trump Has Shattered Jews’ American Idyll
This is the second of our posts about the reaction to Donald Trump’s election as President of the USA – they serve to demonstrate the diverse views and uncertainty around what might happen.
American Jews have transformed virtually overnight from insiders to outsiders; the appointment of ex-Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon, an accused anti-Semite, as chief strategist, is bound to exacerbate the tensions.
Israeli Ministers Unanimously Approve Bill to Legalize West Bank Outposts
Israel’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation unanimously approved a bill on 13th November that would retroactively legalize outposts in the West Bank, despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s objection and Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit’s position on the issue.
Reclaiming the lost Jewish voices of the Balfour Declaration
Robert Cohen has written a very interesting article on his blog about the Balfour Declaration and Zionism. Well worth reading in the run-up to the 100th anniversary of Balfour in 2017.
Palestinian children from Lajee dance troupe face military prosecution
The Lajee centre in Aida refugee camp has seen an alarming number of attacks on it recently. Sheffield Sabeel-Kairos community, who hosted the group earlier this year have issued a press release and call to action on behalf of several children from the centre who have been arrested. (more…)
Women from the Gaza Freedom Flotilla deported and speak out
On October 5th the Israeli Naval forces intercepted the Zaytouna-Oliva, which was carrying women activists seeking to reach Gaza and break the blockade. (more…)
Birth of a Sabeel-Kairos Jew
Am I a radical Jew? A disloyal Jew? A post Zionist Jew? An angry Jew? Robert Cohen shares his latest thoughts on Judaism, Israel, justice, and his hope for the possibility of a ‘Jewish Sabeel-Kairos moment’ (more…)
Stop the illegal demolition of Palestinian homes
Over 800 homes destroyed and 1000 displaced in 2016 so far
“They don’t understand,” said a young man outside an Orthodox New Jersey synagogue where I often pray, spreading his hands helplessly to emphasize the great gulf between the consciousness of religious and non-religious Jews. “We put God first.”
Join us on the 15th of November from 12pm-6pm for our national lobby of parliament. (more…)
Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, London
Address by Primate of All Ireland to Mayor of Bethlehem
Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland gave an address at a meeting with Ms Vera Baboun, Mayor of Bethlehem, in the Palestinian Occupied Territories on 13th September. Archbishop Martin is leading an eight-day pilgrimage of solidarity to the Holy Land accompanied by 177 pilgrims from all around Ireland.
Members of the European Parliament show support to Women’s Boat to Gaza
On September 14th at the plenary session in Strasbourg Members of the European Parliament from GUEN/NGL organised solidarity action with Women’s Boat to Gaza that left from Barcelona yesterday evening, aiming to arrive in Gaza by October 1.
Israel lobby efforts fail to dent campaigns for Palestinian rights in the US
Across the country, students are gearing up for another academic year and another season of campaigning for Palestinian rights. They are organising amidst expanded attacks on free speech waged by well-funded Israel lobby groups on and off campus.
A UN agency has stated that Israel disclaims criminal responsibility for a devastating assault on a UNRWA premises in Gaza during the 2014 offensive.
These remarks came in response to the Israeli military closing its criminal investigation into an attack in Rafah. An Israeli missile struck the road outside a UN school being used as a shelter, killing 15 and injuring 30. UNRWA had alerted the Israeli Army “on 33 separate occasions that this school in Rafah was being used to accommodate the displaced, the last time only an hour before the attack.”
The UNRWA spokesperson asserted: “This raises serious questions about the conduct of military operations in relation to obligations under international humanitarian law and respect for the inviolability and sanctity of United Nations premises under international law.” UNRWA has “called for accountability in this case and in others”. It further states that “any indication that responsibility was being evaded would be a matter of grave concern.” For full report read more in The Middle East Monitor
Gaza children return after a 10-day football trip in Ireland
The Al Helal football club (All aged between 10 and 14 years) from Gaza toured seven cities in Ireland. The project “Gaza kids to Ireland”, initiated by Gaza Action Ireland (GAI), required two long years of work to gather the funds and prepare logistics. GAI was formed by Irish activists who were involved in the Irish Ship to Gaza campaign that was launched to maximise Irish participation in the Freedom Flotilla
The team had “huge difficulties to get the travel permits from the Israeli authorities,” explained Zoe Lawlor, GAI Cordinator.” Five accompanying adults, one of them a female child psychologist were denied access to travel.
It was the very first time the teens could go out of the besieged strip and experience a different culture. They were appreciative of the “kind, generous and warm reception of the Irish people; even people that we randomly met in the streets insisted to offer us meals or ice creams”.
Children in Gaza above 9 years old have experienced three wars in their short lifetime. Thousands suffer from post traumatic stress disorders. Sports and arts function as an escape and provide relief in a reality surrounded by destruction. They now have a “new story to tell, one of freedom, friendship, play and solidarity in Ireland”. Read full report from Palestine Monitor
Israel erases Palestine-related contents from school books in Jerusalem
The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) in Occupied Jerusalem has omitted all texts and pictures that are related to Palestine and the struggle against the occupation from Palestinian school books before distributing them.
According to the Hebrew newspaper Iroshalim, the Israeli municipality and the ministry of education deleted Quranic verses, poems and other contents from Palestinian curriculums advocating the Palestinian struggle against the occupation. The IOA recently distributed these books that contained some blank pages and blackened lines to Palestinian schools in the holy city. Read full story on The Palestinian Information Centre website
Palestinian human rights organizations under threat
Two Palestinian human rights groups have been subjected to death threats and a campaign of disinformation after stepping up efforts to hold Israel to account.
Since 2015, anonymous death threats have been sent to individuals working for the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights and the Ramallah-based Al Haq organisation. The groups say that their donors have received forged communications claiming to be from staff members and auditors.
The threats and false correspondences are said to have increased after the groups intensified their calls for International Criminal Court to investigate alleged war crimes committed by Israel, Human Rights Watch have revealed”. Read full article on the website of The Arab
Celtic fans raise over £130,000 for Palestinian charities
From the Guardian: Celtic fans have raised more than £130,000 for Palestinian charities in an attempt to match an impending Uefa fine for displaying Palestinian flags at a match against an Israeli team. (more…)
Missiles fired into northern Gaza
On Sunday there were several missile attacks from Israel into the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, injuring 5 Palestinians after a rocket fired from Gaza fell inside the southern Israeli city of Sderot. (more…)
Erasing Palestine from its maps: Google blames ‘removal’ on malfunction
Widespread backlash has forced Google to respond to claims accusing it of erasing Palestine from its maps saying the mistake was “a computer malfunction”. (more…)
World Vision in Gaza- the continuing saga
World Vision has rebutted Israeli claims that its Gaza director could have diverted tens of millions of dollars to the Palestinian resistance organization Hamas.
Two years on, Scotland’s Jews concerned over Gaza – but for all the wrong reasons
Robert Cohen reflects on research conducted this summer by the Scottish Council of Jewish communities. (more…)
Israel will now barricade Gaza with a Wall
Israel plans to build a massive concrete wall along its border with the blockaded Gaza Strip, and with the stated aim of destroying cross-border tunnels dug by Gaza-based resistance groups, Israeli press reported.
Israeli newspaper says BDS achieved global successes
Israeli newspaper Maariv said that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement had achieved global successes. In a report about BDS, Maariv reported remarks of an Israeli researcher that contradicted previous reports by Netanyahu that BDS is busy in side battles related to defending its legal status.
The former Israeli Ambassador to Amman Oded Eran said that Netanyahu’s reports were “exaggerations” because BDS is supported in many countries that have good relations with Israel. Read more from Middle East Monitor
500 rabbis urge Israel to stop demolition of Palestinian homes
Over 500 rabbis from Israel, Britain, the US and Canada have called on the Israeli prime minister to stop demolishing Palestinian homes. Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) say Benjamin Netanyahu’s stance is against “international law and Jewish tradition.”
Israel passes law allowing imprisonment of Palestinians aged 14 and under
Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, approved a bill permitting the imprisonment of children under the age of 14. The legislation, labeled the “Youth Bill,” would allow Israeli authorities to imprison a child if convicted of “terrorism” against Israeli civilians or military personnel.
The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) denounced on Monday a recent move by the Israeli government seeking to identify and deport foreigners involved in pro-Palestinian activism in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.
Petition for Rabbis to sign: Stop Netanyahu from demolishing Palestinian homes
Over 500 Rabbis from Israel, the UK, the US and Canada have signed a petition on Avaaz to stop the Israeli Prime minister from destroying hundreds of Palestinian homes and structures across the West Bank.
The campaign, led by Rabbis for Human Rights, calls on Jewish leaders worldwide to send a united message to Netanyahu that his stance is against international law and Jewish tradition.
This month marks 11 years since the Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) as tools to end worldwide complicity with Israel’s regime of colonization and apartheid, and to support freedom, justice, and equality for the Palestinian people. (more…)
Israel won’t tolerate dissent from any quarter
A new bill proposing fines for social media sites that do not remove anti-occupation content received the Israeli government’s approval last Sunday. The bill (Zionist Union) gave social media providers, including Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, 48 hours to remove anti-Israel content. Ignoring the orders would invite a fine of $78,000 per post.
“(At dawn) … I will resist … (Since) upon the wall there is still a white sheet … And my fingers are yet to (completely) dissolve.”
This is a translated verse from Mu’in Bseiso’s “Three Walls of the Torture Chamber.” He was — and remains — one of Gaza’s most influential intellectuals and renowned poets.
After Israel occupied the Gaza Strip in 1967, he lived in exile for the rest of his life, hopping from one country to another. Many of Gaza’s great intellectuals were exiled as well; others languished in jail or were assassinated.
UPDATED: Study Resource for Christian Groups based on the Kairos Palestine Movement
Sabeel-Kairos member and academic Karen Fairfax-Chomeley has written an excellent study pack for Christian Groups based on the Kairos Palestine movement and call from Palestinian Christians to respond to the situation of injustice they face. (more…)
Please email us to tell us about your events during the World Week for Peace. We can advertise these for you here, and on partners’ websites.
Newcastle, Saturday 17 September, 10:30am to 4:30pm
Quaker Meeting House, West Avenue, Gosforth, Newcastle, NE3 4ES
Keynote speaker: Zoughbi Zouhbi, Director, Wi’am, the Palestinian Conflict Resolution Centre, Bethlehem
The Farmhouse, School Lane, Roby Mill, Skelmersdale, WN8 0QT
Using prayer stations, film, art and worship resources from the land called ‘Holy’ we will reflect prayerfully on this year’s World Week for Peace theme and join people of faith around the world seeking peace and justice for both Israelis and Palestinians.
Israel/Palestine – Where’s the Hope? – 22nd September – Salisbury
A meeting organised by Sarum Concern for Israel/Palestine on Thursday 22 September 7.00 for 7.30pm at Sarum College, 19 The Close, Salisbury SP1 2EE
Speaker: Jeremy Moodey, Chief Executive – Embrace the Middle East. Palestinian goods for sale. Free entry, retiring collection. An event for the World Council of Churches sponsored World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel.
Jeremy is a former diplomat in Pakistan and Rome and investment banker. Since 2009 he has been Chief Executive of BibleLands, now called Embrace the Middle East. He is passionate about justice in the Middle East and supporting the witness of historic Christian communities in the region.
The resources are free, but we ask you to cover the postage costs if possible.
What the economic boycott of Israel can achieve
BDS will never bankrupt Israel, and that is not necessary for it to achieve its goals: showing that the emperor has no clothes, and empowering justice-minded people everywhere to disengage from a hyper-militarized, violent rogue state, until it stops violating international law and the human rights of an oppressed people. (more…)
Catholic community, Diocese of Wrexham
FIFA: Give Israeli settlements the Red Card!
We’re so close to winning, but it’s not in the bag. After tens of thousands of us raised our voices, FIFA’s official Monitoring Committee, led by Tokyo Sexwale, just recommended that Israeli football teams must stop playing on stolen Palestinian land.
To mark the huge success of the BDS campaign in South Africa, the BDS movement in South Africa has produced an excellent video covering the highlights of the last 11 years. (more…)
Hebron under collective punishment
Palestinians officials calls on the international community and human rights groups to intervene and pressure Israel to lift its siege on the Hebron district, end home invasions and halt abductions. (more…)
The WCC affirms commitment to finding a solution to the conflict
The World Council of Churches, meeting in Trondheim on 22nd-28th June 2016, has issued a powerful statement about the situation in Israel/Palestine.
Presbyterian Church (USA) reaffirms strong support to Palestinian rights
During its 222nd biennial General Assembly, which took place in Portland, Oregon this week, the Presbyterian Church (USA) continued its strong support for Palestinian rights with the passage of a series of overtures.
Two years on from the war in Gaza and still 75,000 Palestinians remain homeless or displaced. International organisations working in Gaza are raising the alarm once more and calling on world leaders to #OpenGaza (more…)
Hanan Ashrawi: ‘Nominating Israel to chair UNGA committee like asking wolf to guard sheep’
Commenting on the Western European and Others Group’s (WEOG) decision to nominate Israel for the chairmanship of the UN General Assembly Sixth Committee, PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi condemned the move.
Israel announces 82 new settlement units in Jerusalem amid escalating anger
Israeli Occupation Authorities announced plans to construct 82 units in the illegal settlement of Ramat Shlomo and to build an illegal settlement outpost of 15,000 units in the Qalandia Airport area north of Jerusalem.
Paris peace gambit — everyone gains except the Palestinians
The Israelis seem to have figured out the whole thing and opted out. But the hapless Palestinian leadership, along with its Arab League partners, joined by the French, EU and UN representatives, and even US Secretary of State John Kerry, decided to play along. (more…)
A statement by Palestinian associations and institutions in Europe
Palestinians in Europe against “French initiative” – In defense of Palestinian right of return.(more…)
New BDS iPhone App will allow you to search for a company’s link to Israel
How Israel ‘transfers’ land from Palestinians to settlers
Kamel Hawwash a British/Palestinian engineering professor based at the University of Birmingham and a long-standing campaigner for justice describes how “Israel certainly knows the concept of fair play, but that is far from evident in the numerous nefarious ways it obtains land from Palestinians”.
Sign the appeal to the UN about Israel’s war of repression on BDS
The BDS movement has launched an appeal to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to take the necessary measures to uphold and protect the rights of Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights defenders who campaign nonviolently for Palestinian rights, including through the BDS movement. (more…)
Jeremy Moodey – letter in the Church of England Newspaper
Jeremy Moodey, CEO of Embrace the Middle East and board member of Sabeel-Kairos writes a compelling letter in the Church of England on the difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. (more…)
World Council of Churches: Israeli treatment of representatives at airport ‘unacceptable’
The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches spoke out on Sunday after several staff and partners were detained or deported from Israel after travelling there for a climate justice meeting. (more…)
Mark Braverman: BDS is not anti-Semitic, it’s the best hope for Israel
Sabeel-Kairos USA Executive Director Mark Braverman writes in the Santa Cruz sentinel challenging the accusations of BDS as anti-Semitic and offering a different viewpoint. (more…)
Lift the Blockade on Gaza: Petition by MAP
The blockade of Gaza, now in its tenth year, significantly restricts the movement of basic building materials. Severe shortages in medicines and equipment for hospitals mean that more patients need referrals outside of Gaza for life-saving treatment. And travel permits are increasingly difficult to obtain. It’s time to end the blockade on Gaza.
An Israeli Border Police prepares to launch a tear gas canister at a group of children. Children often throw rocks at the checkpoints and soldiers respond with tear gas and sound bombs. The tear gas interrupts the morning walk to school for many kids. In addition the tear gas floats into open shops and open windows of the homes that line the street. (15/04/2016)
Israeli Border Police have recently been expanding their checkpoints, adding new metal detectors, and also adding containment facilitates to hold Palestinians that they arrest. (17/04/2016)
Palestinian men are detained on their way to pray at the Ibrahimi Mosque in the old city of Hebron. (19/04/2016)
A young Palestinian youth pushes his bike under the barbwire at the checkpoint. After passing his bike through, he crawled under himself. The checkpoint turnstiles are too tight for a bike and the Israeli Border Police rarely open the gate for youth. (18/04/2016)
Four small Jewish boys play in the foreground while two Palestinian children watch in the background. The settler children play under the watchful eye of Israeli army. (20/04/2016)
Israel’s silent war against journalists in Palestine
Omar Nazzal was on his way to attend the General Meeting of the European Federation of Journalists in Bosnia when he was detained by Israeli soldiers on Saturday as he tried to cross from the occupied West Bank into Jordan.
He is the latest victim of a growing list of Palestinian journalists who have been arrested and detained arbitrarily by the occupation forces. It confirms more than anything else the lengths to which Israel is prepared to go in order to silence Palestinian voices and destroy media freedoms.
There are at least 20 journalists, including one woman, and media students who are being held in Israeli jails in the legal limbo known as administrative detention.
Israeli Settlers torch Christian school in Jerusalem.
Israeli Jewish settlers have torched a Christian religious school in Jerusalem and written phrases offensive to Jesus Christ on its walls. The fire was started in one of the school rooms and a toilet used by priests and Palestinian students of Christianity inside the school.
Sabeel-Kairos Palestine have issued a statement of concern about the annexation of land in the Cremisan Valley and the effects on the people and environment in Bethlehem and Beit Jala, with suggested action you can take. (more…)
Father Mario, Parish Priest
Father Mario is from Brazil, but has been based in Gaza for the last 3 years. The Latin Parish serves the community through the Church and Pontifical Mission projects. These are projects that focus on not only the material needs of people in Gaza but the spiritual ones too. (more…)
The Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) of the World Council of Churches invites member churches, faith-based communities, and civil society organizations around the world to join together in 2016 for a week of advocacy and action in support of an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine and a just peace for all in Palestine and Israel. Congregations and individuals around the globe who share the hope of justice shall unite during the week to take peaceful actions, together, to create a common international public witness.
The theme of the week in 2016, to be observed during 18-24 September, is:“God has broken down the dividing walls”
In social media, please use the hashtag #DismantlingBarriers to talk about this year’s World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel.
How to get involved
As participants in the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel, from 18 to 24 September 2016, churches around the world shall send a clear signal to policy-makers, community groups, and their own parishes about the urgent need for a peace settlement that ends the illegal occupation and secures the legitimate rights and future of both peoples.
Already, planning has begun for the World Week for Peace 2016, during which participants will organize and join in events and activities around the following three principles:
1. Praying with churches living under occupation, using a special prayer from Jerusalem and other worship resources prepared for the week.
2. Educating about actions that make for peace, and about facts on the ground that do not create peace, especially issues related to the wall.
3. Advocating with political leaders using ecumenical policies that promote peace with justice.
This annual observance of a week of prayer, education, and advocacy calls participants to work for an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine, so that Palestinians and Israelis can finally live in peace. It has been 68 years since the creation of the State of Israel. This has not led to the creation of an independent Palestinian state but has only deepened the tragedy of the Palestinian people. It is now 49 years since the occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza overwhelmed the peaceful vision of one land, two peoples.
Yet the dream of one nation cannot be fulfilled at the expense of another.
The action week’s message is that now:
It’s time for Palestinians and Israelis to share a just peace.
It’s time for freedom from occupation.
It’s time for equal rights.
It’s time for the healing of wounded souls.
Churches of the Holy Land attend United States summit
Leaders from churches in the Holy Land met with the heads of faith-based organizations and churches in Atlanta, Georgia (USA) on 19-20 April for a summit that explored the role of US churches in peacemaking in the Middle East. (more…)
Meet the youngest Palestinian female prisoner
Halhul, occupied West Bank – After spending 2.5 months in a prison cell, 12-year-old D* al-Wawi, the youngest Palestinian female detainee, was released on Sunday on early parole. She speaks to Al Jazeera about her time in Israeli prison. (more…)
This is probably a culmination of nearly a decade’s reviewed study of our history. At some point, beyond the singular stories, cases and arguments, I feel something unequivocal and very generally encompassing needs to be said about our Israeli “miracle”, the manifestation of the Zionist “dream”. (more…)
MP’s plea to release Marwan Barghouthi after 14 years
Marwan Barghouthi could bring peace and independence to Palestine. But he’s in jail. Leading MPs from all parties have signed a parliamentary motion calling on the Israeli parliament to release the Palestinian MP Marwan Barghouthi who has been in jail continuously for the last 14 years.
Latin Patriarchate protests Israeli resumption of work on separation wall in Cremisan
Construction work on the separation wall in the Cremisan valley near Bethlehem intensified at the beginning of April 2016 and has entered its operational phase. After excavators and bulldozers, cranes are now embedding sections that were once home of centuries-old olive trees.
On 17 April each year, Palestinian prisoners, the Palestinian people, and the world mark the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian Prisoners. (more…)
Lucy Talgieh honored for outstanding women’s rights work in Palestine
The Independent Commission for Human Rights in Palestine honoured Lucy Talgieh as a Human Rights activist on March 8th, International Women’s Day, 2016. This honor came in recognition for the work that she does with the Wiam Palestinian Conflict Resolution and Transformation Centre. where she is currently the Women’s Project Coordinator.
On the ground – an Open Letter to President Barack Obama
Dear Mr. President,
As president of the most powerful country on the planet; the loving and protective father of two children; and a man fully aware of the human struggles of so many in the down-trodden communities of many lands, including your own, your eyes must have been opened during the last three—of many—Israeli assaults on besieged Gaza, where I live with my wife and young son.
For many more years than any intelligent person would want to count, Israel was the sacred cow of the United States. From its violent, bloody, genocidal inception that involved the ethnic cleansing of at least 750,000 Palestinians, and the murder of another 10,000, right through to the illegal, immoral occupation of the West Bank and blockade (aka occupation) of the Gaza Strip, Israel, in the view of U.S. governance and politics, could do no wrong.
Israeli Companies Leaving West Bank in Apparent Response to Boycott Pressure
“Responding to international boycott pressures and other constraints, a growing number of Israeli companies operating in the West Bank are moving their facilities to locations within the country’s internationally recognised borders.”
Videographer who filmed execution of Palestinian receives death threats
A Palestinian videographer and human rights worker whose video of the murder of a 21-year old Palestinian by an Israeli soldier has received widespread attention has received a number of death threats, as well as gatherings outside his home of Israeli settlers threatening to harm him, and has been told by the Israeli police and military that they will not protect him or his family from the settlers.
Two Palestinian women freed from Israeli prison, narrate horrific experiences
Manal Tamimi, and Mona Qa’adan two prominent Palestinian women activists were freed late last week. Tamimi and her family in Nabi Saleh village are internationally known for their popular, grassroots struggle and protests against the confiscation of their agricultural land by an illegal Israeli settlement.
Read the latest newsletter from Sabeel-Kairos (more…)
Stop demolitions in the West Bank
The West Bank has endured an unprecedented number of demolitions during the first part of 2016, leaving an average of 45 Palestinian every week homeless. (more…)
Demolitions in the West Bank soar
The West Bank has endured an unprecedented number of demolitions during the first part of 2016, leaving an average of 45 Palestinian every week homeless. (more…)
Easter message from the Churches of Jerusalem
The Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem offer us these wise words at Easter (more…)
“I can bring home food now, and shop for my family”
Mohammad is a graduate of the NECC Vocational training centre in Shejaiya, from the metal and aluminium course. Following that, he was selected for the job creation programme and given a 6-month contract at a workshop which makes kitchen units. After the 6 months his employee was so impressed with his work and commitment that he gave him a permanent contract. (more…)
A Sabeel-Kairos Perspective of Tourism and Pilgrimage: Come and See
When we created the Sabeel-Kairos Document (launched in December 2009), we at Sabeel-Kairos Palestine tried to reflect on what tourism and pilgrimage really mean to us. In our advocacy, we try to see and respond to both our reality and our rights. (more…)
US, UK, Germany, and France publicly denounce settlement expansion
The US, UK, French and German governments condemned Israel’s decision to further expand illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank last week.
Despite claims in the news that Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström in Stockholm had agreed to publicly denounce the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, we now have a clarification from authentic sources as reported in the Electronic Intifada.
Israel takes over 2300 acres of land near Jericho, declares it “state property”
Palestine News Network reports that “The Israeli government on Tuesday announced the seizure of 2340 acres of land in the Jericho area, central West Bank, claiming it ‘state land’. Israel Radio said the Israeli government has embarked on this confiscation despite pressures from the United States and the United Nations attempting to prevent it. In most cases, Israel announces thousands of acres as ‘state lands’, which are then granted to the illegal settlers.
Israeli human rights/civil society groups condemn attacks against Al-Haq
Israeli human rights and civil society organisations have condemned in the strongest possible terms the ongoing anonymous attacks against Palestinian human rights organisations, and most recently against Al-Haq.
Israel’s large Palestinian minority held its first-ever conference on BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – this past weekend in spite of anti-boycott legislation introduced five years ago that exposes activists in Israel to harsh financial penalties.
WCC refutes Gatestone Institute’s criticism of Lenten campaign on water
The World Council of Churches (WCC) has sent an open letter to the Gatestone Institute in response to the institute’s web articles criticizing the WCC’s “Seven Weeks for Water” campaign. The campaign focuses on critical water issues affecting the people of Palestine, particularly in the occupied territories”.
Did you know that Cabinet Office minister Matthew Hancock went all the way to Jerusalem so he could tell the Israeli Prime Minister in person that the UK Government is curtailing the democratic rights and freedoms of British people to help its Israeli ally? (more…)
Palestinian teachers organised sit-in protests across the occupied West Bank on 1st March as a teachers’ strike calling on the Palestinian Authority to guarantee their rights entered its 16th consecutive day.
Knesset speaker and settler to talk to the UK Parliament
Israeli Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein has said he is “proud to represent the Knesset and the State of Israel, including as a settler of Judea and Samaria [the West Bank],” ahead of a controversial visit to Westminster on Wednesday.(more…)
Our last day in the Holy Land. Yet still the day was packed with activity.
Checking out of the Restal Hotel in Tiberius went very smoothly. We were on the coach and away by 8am. Our first stop was the ancient Roman port of Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast. After all the wonderful weather, today was rather overcast and windy. We saw a film about Caesarea Philippi, which included some animation on how it all might have looked. Then outside to see the hippodrome where chariots would have raced and gladiators fought. We were able to wander through the ancient buildings and walk over the mosaics. Fascinating.
Then back in the coach to Jaffa, or Joppa as it was called in the Bible. Here Solomon imported huge timbers for the temple, Jonah sailed for Nineveh, and Peter stayed with Simon the tanner when he met Cornelius and converted him. Saladin, Napoleon, and the British attacked and conquered Jaffa, and still it stands. Many Israeli arabs live in Jaffa, but it is increasingly surrounded by apartment blocks which are a feature of Tel Aviv.
We had a splendid lunch then, before heading for the airport.
Security at Ben Gurion is always extremely tight. We arrived four hours before our flight. The group waited a while and was then directed into a “lane”. One of the senior security staff came over to quiz our leader about where we had been and what we had done. As we were on a Christian pilgrimage and most of the people were from a single church, we were quickly through security. Checking and and passport checks were routine, so we had quite a while to wait in the departure lounge. The Easyjet flight was fine and we landed at 11:15pm. Our coach was waiting and brought us back to Crowthorne, exhausted but filled with all the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the Holy Land.
The closing prayer from our Eucharist yesterday seems appropriate as the closing prayer for this blog:
Blessed God, help us, whom you have fed and satisfied in this eucharist, to hunger and thirst for what is right;
help us, who have rejoiced and been glad, to stand with those who are persecuted and reviled;
help us, who here have glimpsed the life of heaven, to strive for the cause of right and for the coming of the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
Job vacancy: Friends of Sabeel UK
Do you have a heart for Palestine and the Christians who live there?
Friends of Sabeel UK works and prays for the establishment of a just peace for the people of Palestine and Israel. (more…)
Following Jesus in Galilee
We set off at 7:45am this morning(!) and headed for the lakeside. We boarded a boat to take us out onto the Sea of Galilee. (more…)
Where it all started
Close to Nazareth we find Tzipori National Park. This is said to be some of the best Roman ruins in the world. (more…)
After five days packed with activity, it is time to leave Bethlehem and to head north. (more…)
Meeting Sabeel-Kairos Palestine
We were so fortunate to have Mrs Hind Khoury, General Secretary of Sabeel-Kairos Palestine to speak to us this evening in Bethlehem. (more…)
From PSC: Israel boycott ban will not deter Palestinian supporters
State of Palestine ‘not only matter of justice but of leading normal life’
Vera Baboun, Mayor of Bethlehem writes in the Irish Times.
Vera Baboun is the first woman mayor of Bethlehem. She is also Catholic. It is the case in the Palestinian Territories that those cities deemed Christian have Christian mayors. They include Ramallah, Birzeit, Zababdeh, Jifna, Ein ’Arik, Aboud, Taybeh, Beit Jala, Beit Sahour, and Bethlehem. (more…)
Skip the Trip – new campaign action
In the face of growing BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) campaigns in support of freedom, justice, and equality, Israel is offering actors, actresses, and directors nominated for an Academy Award this year a $55,000 all-expenses paid trip to Israel as part of its ongoing efforts to hide its violations of Palestinian rights.
Letters in the Independent: Israel’s boycott ban is antidemocratic
The Government’s attempts to block public bodies from boycotting and divesting from companies involved in Israel’s oppression of Palestinians undermines local democracy in order to shield Israel from criticism. (more…)
Israeli Apartheid Week
Want to support Palestinian freedom, justice and equality?
Each year, Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) takes place in more than 150 universities and cities across the world. With creative education and action, IAW aims to raise awareness about Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid over the Palestinian people and build support for the nonviolent Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Check out apartheidweek.org and #IsraeliApartheidWeek to find out what’s happening in your area. More events in different cities are being added all the time, so do check back if there’s nothing in your city listed yet.
You can also watch this video to find out more about BDS:
Making bricks without straw
An early start this morning (8am), but fabulous weather and scenery as we drive down from the heights of Jerusalem to the lowest inhabited place on earth – Jericho. (more…)
Sabeel-Kairos Palestine: Letter of support regarding Government plans to stop companies divesting from occupation
In support and solidarity of UK civil society members and groups who are opposing the government plans to stop local councils making their own ethical decisions about their investments, here is a letter from Sabeel-Kairos Palestine (more…)
Hearing different narratives
We were grateful for a later and more leisurely start to the day, as we gathered to walk the short distance from our guest house to the Christmas Church in central Bethlehem. (more…)
Jesus wept when he saw Jerusalem
We had a very early start, leaving our hotel at 8am. Today was the opportunity to visit some of the key Christian sites in Jerusalem. Thankfully, it was a warm sunny day, with little wind and blue skies – perfect. (more…)
Arrival in Bethlehem
We gathered at the Church at 5:15am in darkness. Everyone was there, all 26 excited to be starting on our adventure. (more…)
*Areej lives in Shejaiya, and would like to study nursing when she leaves school. She speaks eloquently about how life in Gaza has changed since the last war, and how the sense of community and family is slowly being eroded by the siege. She was injured in the war and has received treatment from Al Ahli hospital. (more…)
Sabeel-Kairos member Angus Geddes has put together a motion for his URC Church and Synod to consider for submission to the URC General Assembly on the 8-11th July this year. The motion is focussed on seeking justice and peace in Palestine and Israel through endorsing and using recommendations in A Moment of Truth (Sabeel-Kairos Palestine, 2009) and the Inheritance of Abraham Report by the Church of Scotland (2013). (more…)
Jewish blogger Robert Cohen writes to Anne Frank on holocaust memorial day
What would you make of it all?
Would you be surprised at what has happened to the Jewish people since your death and how the Jewish story is unfolding in the 21st century? Would you be shocked at how we have misused the memory of the Holocaust? Would you be dismayed at the mess we have made of your legacy? (more…)
PSC are hiring!
PSC are looking for a talented and enthusiastic Campaigns Officer to join our team.
We are after someone to work closely with our Campaigns Manager, across a number of PSC’s key campaigns. These will be activist, parliamentary and political campaigns working with PSC partners, branches, and affiliates. (more…)
Palestine in Flux: From Search for State to Search for Tactics
Official Palestinian institutions and leaders have lost their moral legitimacy in the eyes of the Palestinian people who view them as ineffective or even co-opted by Israel. A new generation of grassroots activists is shifting the focus from the goal of Palestinian statehood to the pursuit of new tactics to resist the Israeli occupation. To improve the lives of Palestinians, this new moral vanguard will need to transform and revive existing Palestinian institutions or build new ones.
One day the occupation will end. It will probably happen in one fell swoop. And when it happens, it will suddenly emerge that everyone was against it. That the politicians had actually worked to end it, that the journalists strove indefatigably to expose its injustices, that the cultural institutions condemned it courageously and that Israeli academia was a center of persistent resistance, from which the struggle drew ideological and moral backing. In short, everyone was part of the Resistance.
Take Action: The government plans to stop local councils making ethical decisions on their investments
Several organisations have opposed the government plans and have set up campaign actions that you can take. (more…)
Back to the Holy Land
A group of people from St Johns Church in Crowthorne are going to The Holy Land on 12th-21st February 2016. The trip is being organised by Worldwide Christian Travel and led by Embrace the Middle East. (more…)
Ireland should recognise Palestine if peace talks fail
Congratulations to Sabeel-Kairos Member Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac, Academic Dean at Bethlehem Bible College, who was ordained in the Church of Redeemer in Jerusalem on 3rd January. May God guide him in his mission!
Kairos Palestine publication: Life with Dignity
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed, perplexed, but not despairing” (2 Cor. 4:8)
Kairos Palestine has published the conference proceedings of the “Life with Dignity” conference which was held in Bethlehem in December 2014 and was jointly organized by Kairos Palestine, Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum and the Alternative Tourism Group. (more…)
“I want to be a doctor – to help others as I have been helped”
*Yasmin greets me with a shy but engaging smile. As a young girl living in Gaza she has endured more suffering than any 12 year old I’ve ever met, but an air of optimism and child-like joy still surround her. She starts by telling me that she loves school, and she’s currently missing her favourite subject, Arabic language. (more…)
Prominent New York-linked artists endorse cultural boycott of Israel
Leading artists with ties to New York have expressed their support for the cultural boycott of Israel in a new video from campaign group Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel. The video features actor Kathleen Chalfant; musician Roger Waters, a founding member of Pink Floyd; musicians Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe.
What is BDS? Haidar Eid Explains from Gaza
The BDS campaign, a call from over 170 organizations in Palestine to the international community to boycott, divest and impose sanctions on Israeli and international companies that benefit from the oppression of Palestinians, now celebrates its 10 anniversary.
Listen to Dr. Haidar Eid in an interview where he explains the demands that the BDS movement asks from the international community, its history and successes.
BDS 2015: A Year of Phenomenal Growth
2015 was a year of phenomenal growth for the BDS movement. MEMO’s Jehan Alfarra takes a look at the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, with exclusive interviews with academics and activists.
Arab League to discuss Palestinian bid to join UNSC next week
An Arab League meeting will discuss in Cairo next week a Palestinian bid to the UN Security Council (UNSC) amid flaring violence between the Palestinians and Israel. The Arabs and Egypt supports the Palestinian bid to the UN Security Council. The meeting will also tackle the latest developments in the Palestinian territories and the current violent tensions between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Clerics launch ‘Jerusalem Capital of the World’ campaign
Palestinian Muslim and Christian religious clerics and officials launched a campaign aimed at bolstering Muslim and Christian claims over occupied East Jerusalem. They hope the campaign, “Jerusalem Capital of the World 2016,” will raise international awareness of Palestinian Muslim and Christian heritage in the occupied city, and also annul Israeli claims that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of the state of Israel.
“Let the year 2016 be an international year of solidarity with Jerusalem. We are one nation on this land, which we all love and give sacrifices for,” said Sheikh Sabri, at the conference held to launch the campaign. He added, “The connection between Muslims and Christians on this land is based on justice, love and tolerance and rejection to any aspect of injustice and aggression.”
Archbishop Hanna said:
“We express solidarity with every oppressed person in the world, as injustice practiced by humans to their brothers in humanity can never be justified no matter what the pretexts are.”
Olof Palme Prize 2015 to go to Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb
Dr. Mitri Raheb and Israeli Journalist Gideon Levy have been awarded the Olof Palme Prize “for their courageous and indefatigable fight against occupation and violence, and for a future Middle East characterized by peaceful coexistence and equality for all. By their work they both give a ray of hope to a conflict that has plagued and continues to plague millions of people and to endanger world peace.
BDS in 2015: Seven ways our movement broke new ground against Israeli settler-colonialism and apartheid
The year 2015 will be remembered as the year that Palestinian popular resistance spread across historic Palestine and that saw tens of thousands of Palestinians take to the streets to resist and confront Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid.
2015 was far from being the year when Palestinians saw their aspirations for freedom, independence, securing the right of return of refugees, and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem coming closer to realization. Instead, those who fought on the front lines against the occupation found themselves in uneven battles against Israeli soldiers and/or armed settlers backed by the IOF.
Israel destroyed 478 Palestinian facilities in 2015
A research centre affiliated to the PLO has revealed that the Israeli occupation authorities destroyed 478 Palestinian buildings and other facilities during 2015. The demolitions occurred across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, Quds Press reported.
The City of Reykjavík will no longer purchase goods made in Israel. The City Council voted yesterday that the city would not purchase any goods manufactured in Israel as long as the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories continues.
Lehava Leader Again Calls for Torching Jerusalem Churches
Lehava’s leader, Bentzi Gopstein, told the Israeli TV Channel II that Israeli Jews practically prevent Christians from entering Jerusalem, saying that Christian presence in Jerusalem was not welcome. He also called for ‘making obstacles towards the expansion of Christianity and Islam in the Palestinian occupied city of Jerusalem.’ Gopstein has previously ‘called for a ban on Christmas celebrations in the country and the banishment of Christians, who he referred to as ‘blood-sucking vampires’, from the land.’
The start of 2016 sees the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip entering the 10th year of the Israeli-led and internationally-backed blockade of the territory, which is exacerbated by Egyptian support. The blockade started in the wake of the 2006 Palestinian elections, which the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, won with an overwhelming majority. Local and international monitoring organizations described the Palestinian poll as one of the most transparent ever recorded. In Palestine, though, it is remembered with sadness as the election marked the internal political split and the start of the siege of Gaza.
Israel imposes new rules for taking goods into Gaza
Israel has imposed new rules on trucks taking goods into the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom Crossing, the only commercial border post with the territory, Palsawa has reported. The new rules were applied.
Palestinians to outnumber Jews in Israel and Palestine in 2 Years
New estimates show that high Palestinian birth rates are set to equal the number of Jews in Israel and Palestine by late 2017, Haaretz daily reported. According to a recent report by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, currently, the number of Palestinian residents of Israel, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank is about 6.22 million.
US Church Groups present evidence of probable gross violations of human rights by Israeli Forces-Call for Accountability
Concerned about specific, well-documented instances of probable gross violations of human rights by Israeli military and security forces, eleven churches and faith-based organizations discussed several case summaries at a meeting yesterday with the U.S. Department of State. Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. foreign military assistance.
The Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI) of the East Jerusalem YMCA and YWCA of Palestine invites interested volunteers to participate at the Olive Planting Program, 6th – 15th of February 2016 in Palestine, as part of its ongoing Olive Tree Campaign.
The program, organized jointly with the Alternative Tourism Group, aims at helping farmers and their families plant / replant olive trees at their pre-attacked or threatened fields, in order to ‘Keep Hope Alive’.
Besides olive planting, the program features introductory presentations about the current situation in Palestine and the effects of the Apartheid Wall and colonies (settlements), tours in the old city of Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem, as well as Ramallah, in addition to cultural events and social gatherings. For more see
More than 400 Israeli roadblocks divide the West Bank and Jerusalem
A Palestinian centre specializing in Israeli affairs has stated that more than 400 military roadblocks have been installed by Israel in Jerusalem and the West Bank in the last few years. In its report, the Al-Quds Centre for Palestinian and Israeli Studies said that Israel continues with its attempts to stop the ongoing Palestinian uprising that erupted in Jerusalem on 1 October, resulting in the death of 118 Palestinians and 22 Israelis.
Youtube Becomes Israel’s new battleground against Palestinians
Once it fell to politicians and diplomats to solve international conflicts. Now, according to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, responsibility lies with social media.
Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, headed off to Silicon Valley to meet senior executives at Google and its subsidiary YouTube late last month. Her task was to persuade them that, for the sake of peace, they must censor the growing number of Palestinian videos posted on YouTube.
‘A Methodist Minister’s quest for Justice and Freedom on two Continents’ (more…)
Sabeel Christmas message 2015
President of Sabeel’s board Naim Ateek reflects on the year and what our calling is as Christians working for peace in the Middle East (more…)
Sabeel-Kairos Statement on the UN Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
We call upon the world and Sabeel-Kairos groups overseas to join the Palestinian struggle for justice and peace in solidarity with their prayers and vigils on Sunday, 29th November 2015(more…)
Visit Palestine offers a wide range of proposed itineraries. Depending on your interest, available time and budget, there are lots of tours to choose from. From day trips that can be organized specifically for your party, to regularly scheduled day tours to longer tours ranging from 3-7 nights.
Visitors to Palestine will encounter on their journey myriad religious, historical, and archaeological sites. Beyond the historical, Palestine offers walks and hikes in its extensive valleys, along coasts, as well as desert hills, towns, and ancient marketplaces at the hearts of cities and villages nestled in the heart of breath-taking landscapes.
Olive Co-operative: Tours, travel advice, Arabic courses, and listing a wide range of agencies offering tours. www.olivecoop.com
Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI)
A joint program of East Jerusalem YMCA and YWCA of Palestine, JAI works for Peace with Justice in Palestine, based on Humanitarian and Christian Values, by mobilizing the world movements of YMCA and YWCA, churches, church-based organizations, UN agencies, and other relevant organizations to influence decision-makers and prompt actions that contribute to end Israeli occupation and all its violations of International Law.
Green Olive Tours
Green Olive Tours is a social enterprise tour agency providing tours that are informative and analytical, covering the history, culture, and political geography of Palestine (West Bank) and Israel. The tours provide benefit to the indigenous population through the hiring and training of tour guides, overnight stays with families & small guest houses, and encouraging visitors to purchase local crafts directly from producers and Fair Trade outlets.
St George Tours: This new tour company, based in Beit Sahour, offers a wide range of both traditional and alternative trips in Palestine, including pilgrimages, bike tours, hiking tours and Learn Arabic visits. They encourage staying with local families, supporting local communities, and tailor trips to suit your needs. Visit their Facebook page for more information.
Experience Travel Tours
Experience Travel Tours (ETT) Join us and visit Palestine/Israel for a truly unforgettable and life-changing experience! Since 1999 ETT has continued to offer distinctive issue-based tours that enable participants from across the world to meet with outstanding organisations, sit with inspirational Palestinians and Israelis, and witness life in different geographical areas on both sides of the divide.(more…)
Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)
If you are organising a trip which follows the code of conduct for tourism in the Holy Land and would like to advertise it on this page please email@example.com
Sabeel Jerusalem Witness Visits
Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center runs yearly witness visits to help you experience the reality of life in today’s Holy Land. Here are some of the activities that are part of the programme each year:
Worship with Palestinian Christians
Meet and reflect with Palestinian Christians and Muslims as well as with Jewish Israelis and internationals who partner with Sabeel in non-violent resistance against the violation of international and humanitarian law
Experience the realities of the Palestinian community living under Israeli Occupation: the Wall, settlements, checkpoints, confiscated land and demolished homes, refugee camps, and environmental degradation
Learn about the loss of civil and property rights of Arab Israeli citizens.
Embrace the Middle East: Embrace run Encounter Tours and also Olive Tree trips with the ATG. Visit www.embraceme.org/Trips for more information.
Amos Trust tours
Amos Trusttours aim to give an understanding of what life is like in the Holy Land today; meet local people; visit the historic and biblical sites; see the “facts on the ground” and experience Palestinian hospitality.
All the agencies listed below follow the Alternative Tourism Group Code of Conduct for tourism in the Holy Land and offer different kinds of opportunities to experience aspects of everyday life in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories and to meet people on both sides of the conflict.
EU sets guidelines on labelling Israeli settlement goods
The European Commission has issued new guidelines for the labelling of some products made in Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian and Syrian land.
Agricultural produce and cosmetics sold in EU member states must now have clear labels showing their place of origin.
Since the outbreak of the Palestinian-Israeli clashes at the beginning of the month, one distinction was highlighted: the absence of a political and field leader. Meanwhile, the Palestinian youth continue to face the Israeli army individually, even in carrying out their armed operations, as well as the stabbings and hit-and-runs. This raises many questions regarding the absence of a leader and the ability of the Palestinian youth to continue their intifada without a leader.
Major groups of artists and academics have been voicing the arguments for and against cultural and academic boycotts of Israel. (more…)
A Commitment by UK Scholars to Human Rights in Palestine
On Tuesday, October the 27th 2015, the Guardian published a full page advertisement by 343 academics affiliated with UK academic institutions pledging not to cooperate with Israeli academic institutions.
If you are an academic affiliated with UK academic institutions, and you wish to sign the Commitment, you can do so by filling this form, or by sending an email with your name, title, institution and discipline to firstname.lastname@example.org
Israel needs cultural bridges, not boycotts – letter from JK Rowling, Simon Schama and others
J K Rowling and others have come out against the cultural boycott of Israel.
UK academics boycott universities in Israel to fight for Palestinians’ rights
More than 300 academics from dozens of British universities have pledged to boycott Israeli academic institutions in protest at what they call intolerable human rights violations against the Palestinian people.
Why Christians are finding it hard to boycott Israel
The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement may have been going for ten years but the support it is now attracting and the opposition that is gearing up against it, tells me something very significant is taking place.
So writes Robert Cohen in his blog on 1st November 2015.
Sabeel-Kairos Authors contribute to a Palestinian Theology of resistance at Council for World Mission Conference
Sabeel-Kairos Authors at the conference “Mission in the Context of Empire: A Call for Global Theological Resistance for Palestine” gave a powerful and compelling argument for all Christians and all Churches to act concretely in support of the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation of Palestine. (more…)
Tensions rise in Hebron between Israelis and Palestinians
Violence between Israelis and Palestinians has continued in recent days with attacks concentrated in the Hebron area of the occupied West Bank.
This month, there have been reports of about 20 Palestinian stabbing attacks and attempted attacks there, mostly targeting Israeli soldiers and police.
On average, an Israeli earns $30,000 a year whereas the average Palestinian earns a tenth of this, less than $3,000. 23.6% of Israelis live below the poverty line compared with 46% in the West Bank and 80% in the Gaza Strip. (more…)
The Christian Community
There has been a Christian community in the Holy Land since the very beginning of Christianity. Although the conflict is often portrayed as a struggle against militant Islam, there is a minority Christian community who always have and continue to play an important role in Palestinian society.
Israel has a population of about 7.5 million, 20% of whom are Palestinian Arabs. There are about 4 million Palestinians living in what is known as the ‘Palestinian Territories’. This term includes the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. There are also an estimated 4-5 million Palestinian refugees living outside of Palestine/Israel. (more…)
The Sainsbury’s Campaign
The Sainsbury’s Campaign is calling on groups across the UK to endorse the campaign statement below, which serves as the political basis for the campaign.
Sainsbury’s: end trade with companies complicit in occupation
Whose Promised Land? The continuing conflict over Israel and Palestine
By Rev Colin Chapman
A fully revised and updated edition of a classic book on Israel and Palestine.
The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has profoundly affected the Middle East for almost seventy years, and shows no sign of ending. With two peoples claiming the same piece of land for different reasons, it remains a huge political and humanitarian problem.Can it ever be resolved? If so, how?
These are the basic questions addressed in a new and substantially revised fifth edition of this highly acclaimed book.
Letter to WCC member churches in Israel and Palestine
WCC News reports that “The World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has expressed deep concern over the renewed wave of violence in Jerusalem.
In a letter to WCC member churches in Palestine and Israel issued on 19 October, he expressed solidarity with the churches and peoples of the land, and affirmed WCC’s commitment to justice and peace in Palestine and Israel.
The recent increase in violence in Israel and the West Bank has created an international wave of action in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.
People of conscience who want to stand with the Palestinian struggle have been urged to take action and develop Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions efforts over the past weekend. This was aimed at showing Palestinians that they are not alone.
One of the most common questions asked these days is when will the situation [in the Holy Land] calm down? Despite the rhetoric we hear both sides propagate, slogans like, steadfastness in the face of the other; resistance to the violence of the other, and having a united front in combating the other, most Palestinians and Israelis wonder when will the violence stop. When will things return to the normality that everyone seems to have gotten used to?
Sami Awad, CEO of the Holy Land Trust provides some thoughts in the Huffington Post
Lawyers comment on the new government policy against BDS
Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR) has published a short blog providing their initial view on the government’s plans to introduce rules to stop local councils from taking boycott or divestment initiatives in relation to Israel.
South Africa’s ruling party, the ANC, has concluded its National General Council (NGC) and adopted strong recommendations on Palestine solidarity, including a strengthening of previous resolutions on the isolation of Israel and Israeli-linked companies.
British Conservative ministers have announced a new policy to block local councils from choosing to boycott or divest from companies complicit in the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine. Aides said that the new policy, to be detailed in an amendment to procurement policy guidance, is a response to “militant actions of leftwing councils”.
G4S are a British Danish private security firm that provide security systems and other services for major Israeli prisons. In several of these prisons hundreds of Palestinians are kept, detained without trial or charge. These prisoners are often interrogated and treated in appalling ways, against international human rights law.
Ahava beauty products come from stolen land and natural resources in the occupied Palestinian territory. It’s factory and visitor centre are in the illegal settlement of Mitzpe Shalem near the Dead Sea. Ahava products are stocked in many London outlets, and national companies including John Lewis.
The latest in a long line of businesses that make money from the occupation, HP are best known for their printer cartridges, laptops and ink photocopiers. But what you probably didn’t know is that they also supply specialised technologies to the Israeli army and navy – both of which have committed grave violations of human rights to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
Palestine Solidarity Campaign: Suspend the EU-Israel Trade Association
You can also campaign to Suspend the EU-Israel Trade Association Agreement – Israel enjoys privileged access to the EU, including preferential relationships in trade and commerce, unlike no other non-EU country. Agreements allow Israel access to the EU scientific, academic, research and technical programmes, and extensive EU-Israeli cooperation and integration in many important sectors.
Stop arming Israel is a call for the UK Government to put in place a two-way arms embargo on Israel until it abides by international law. The recent war in Gaza would not be possible without the financial, military and diplomatic support from countries around the world, including the UK. The UK Government has continued to license arms exports to Israel, despite these almost certainly being used against Palestinian civilians.
EU: Current violence should ‘push both parties to work together’
The European Union called on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to return to final status negotiations Sunday, arguing that spiking violence and tensions should not dim but instead strengthen the prospects of a peace agreement.
Of course, it is an intifada: This is what you must know
What is happening today is an Intifada, but it is unnecessary to assign a number to it, since popular mobilization does not always follow a neat rationale required by some of us. Most of those leading the current Intifada were either children, or not even born when the Intifada al-Aqsa started in 2000; they were certainly not living when the Stone Intifada exploded in 1987. In fact, many might be oblivious of the details of the original Intifada of 1936.
Analysis: Palestinians want 1967 lands to be put under UN protection
Samer B. Jaber is the chosen spokesperson for a group of who have come together to deliver a message during the current wave of upheaval across Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territory. They are professional and trade union figures, intellectuals, and political activists are appealing to the Palestinian leadership within the Palestine Liberation Organization and outside of it, to call on the United Nation and the permanent members of the Security Council to put the Palestine territory occupied by Israel in 1967 under the international protection of the United Nations.
There will be no peace until Israel’s occupation of Palestine ends
Imprisoned Palestinian leader, Marwan Barghouti, delivered an impassioned plea to the international community to tackle the root causes of violence between Palestinians and Israelis, as he praised the “new Palestinian generation” for resisting the Israeli occupation. He was pleading with the world as then to “to deal with [the violence’s] root causes: denial of Palestinian freedom”.
The issue of the moment is the question of an impending third intifada. Are the events taking place in Jerusalem and the West Bank heading towards another Palestinian uprising? What are the opportunities and the possibilities? What are the obstacles and the challenges? Who is working to prevent this from happening and who is working towards encouraging such an eventuality?
What if Jesus lived today – in our violent world? In a region where there is military occupation, injustice and oppression? Where greed condemns people to live in virtual slavery and innocent lives are destroyed for the sake of power and ambition? “Sparrow Story” is a fast-moving and challenging presentation of the greatest story of all time – for people in our own age.
You can order this book online at Amazon – link here
Israel has announced it is sealing off the West Bank for 36 hours from noon on Tuesday 23rd Sep, following outbreaks of violence across the West Bank, sparked by 3 days of clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian worshippers at the Al-Aqsa compound in East Jerusalem. (more…)
In 2005, Palestinian civil society issued a call for a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights. A truly global movement against Israeli Apartheid is rapidly emerging in response to this call.
The Britain Palestine Friendship and Twinning Network has lots of information to help groups to get involved with twinning in Palestine. Their website explains the value of twinning and provides information on how to go about setting up a twinning/friendsh
Liverpool Friends of Bil’in, have put together a travelling photographic exhibition and are looking for venues where this impressive and moving body of work can be displayed.
One way to support Palestinian people is to sell Palestinian products in your local community. Here are two companies that can supply you with products ranging from food to crafts. There are usually local stockists who you can link with, and local volunteers that attend events so please contact the organisation directly for assistance.
JEWS FOR JUSTICE FOR PALESTINIANS (JfJfP) is a network of Jews who are British or live in Britain, practising and secular, Zionist and not. We bring together Jews from across the religious and political spectrum and value contributions to the struggle for justice for Palestinians by Jews from every background, in Britain, Israel, and across the world
Jewish Voice for Peace
Jewish Voice for Peace is a diverse and democratic community of activists inspired by Jewish tradition to work together for peace, social justice, and human rights. We support the aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians for security and self-determination.
We are a group of Palestinians and Israelis who have taken an active part in the cycle of violence in our region: Israeli soldiers serving in the IDF and Palestinians as combatants fighting to free their country, Palestine, from the Israeli occupation.
Veolia has just announced that it is completely pulling out of its contracts with Israeli apartheid! This is a huge victory for solidarity with Palestine and the BDS movement and sends a clear message to other companies – doing business with Israel risks your reputation and profit. (more…)
“Olympics without Apartheid!” campaign
The Palestinian-based BDS movement and Brazilian civil society have launched the ‘Olympics without Apartheid’ campaign, with just one year to the start of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Zionism Unsettled was published to help bring about an end to the silence surrounding the impact of Zionism, and to encourage open discussions on the topic in church and society.
The Amos Trust believes a just peace for Palestine means security and peace for Israel too.
They partner with Palestinian and Israeli groups who are calling for an end to the occupation and who seek to promote community activism.
The work of Pax Christi – the Peace of Christ – is based on the gospel and inspired by faith. Our vision is of a world where people can live in peace, without fear of violence in any form. Pax Christi is rooted in Catholic Christianity but is open to all who share its values and work.
Click to see our new short film on the work we support in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory with resources to help you show and discuss this film in a church or group setting
Embrace the Middle East
Embrace the Middle East aims to improve the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the Middle East.
They do this by partnering with local Christians who provide health, education and community development programmes to those in need – regardless of their faith or nationality.
Sabeel-Kairos partner Embrace the Middle East, has joined 30 other international organisations to condemn a surge in demolition of Palestinian homes and structures across areas of the occupied West Bank.
Israel would be embarrassed if it were known it’s selling arms to these countries
Ayelett Shani, writing in Haaretz on August 7th 2015, interviews Itay Mack, a Jerusalem-based human rights lawyer and activist, who seeks greater transparency and public oversight of Israel’s military exports.
Israel’s hawks can’t dodge blame for this day of violence
Jonathan Freedland, Executive Editor of The Guardian, considers the response of the Israeli politicians to the arson attack on a Palestinian house. He says:
“The condemnations are striking but still they ring hollow. Binyamin Netanyahu denounced the arson attack by Jewish settlers on the West Bank home of the Dawabsha family, in which Ali Saad, a baby just 18 months old, was burned to death, as an “act of terrorism in every respect”.
Which is welcome, of course. It’s good that there were no ifs or buts, no attempts to excuse the inexcusable. But still it rings hollow.
The words sound empty partly because, while this act is extreme in its cruelty, it is not a freak event. Talk to the Israeli human right groups that monitor their country’s 48-year occupation of the West Bank and they are clear that the masked men who broke into the Dawabsha family home in the early hours and set it alight committed a crime exceptional only in its consequences.
“Violence by settlers against Palestinians is part of the daily routine of the occupation,” Hagai El-Ad, director of the B’tselem organisation, told me.
Indeed, El-Ad says this attack was the eighth time since 2012 that settlers have torched inhabited buildings. There have been dozens of assaults on property, too: mosques, agricultural land, businesses. “In most of these cases, they didn’t find the perpetrators, despite having the best intelligence agencies on the planet.” He is referring to the culture of impunity that has always protected the settlers.
That charge can be directed at past Israeli governments of the centre-left as well as the hawkish right: while the latter actively sponsored the settlement that followed the 1967 war, the former indulged it. But the right’s guilt runs deeper, which is why its tearful words of regret now sound so false.”
Death of 18-month-old in arson attack heightens tensions in West Bank
The slumbering Dawabsheh family never stood a chance when a pair of arsonists crept into their home in a village in the West Bank in the early hours of Friday. A smashed window, a flaming molotov cocktail, a whoosh of fire and piercing screams followed.
Within minutes, the parents had crawled from the house with life-threatening third degree burns covering most of their bodies. Inside, four-year-old Ahmad was shrieking in fear and pain; his infant brother, Ali, just 18 months old, was dead or dying, his body burned beyond recognition.
Palestinian officials have claimed that a long term ceasefire agreement has been reached in Cairo through indirect talks. Hamas spokesperson said, “An agreement has been reached between the two sides and we are awaiting the announcement from Cairo to determine the zero hour for implementation,” and Moussa Abu Marzouk, an exiled Hamas leader, said “talks have ended. We have reached understandings crowning our people’s steadfastness and our resistance’s triumph. We are awaiting a statement setting the zero point and end to the aggression.” Read more on Axis of Logic site
BDS 10 years on
With the 10th anniversary of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the international drive to isolate Israel has been capturing world headlines and causing concern in political circles in Israel.
Hundreds of Israelis join protest to save Bedouin village
For Palestinian-Bedouins living in the south Hebron hills under the threat of demolition and expulsion, victories are rare. Yet residents from the tin and tarp village of Susiya are uncharacteristically optimistic that they will receive a reprieve from the impending demolition of their village that is scheduled to take place before August 3rd.
SUSIYA, West Bank — Yousef Nawajaa strode between the tents bedecked with Palestinian flags, scattered through parched orchards and rocky hills, shouting delightedly to a man nearby: “Hey, did you hear? John Kerry spoke about Susiya!”
“Kerry!” the man exclaimed, with a look that said, “No way!”
Mr. Nawajaa, 38, was mistaken, but not by much, in his observation about how outsize the cause of his tiny village has grown. It was not Secretary of State John Kerry but John Kirby, the State Department spokesman, who had recently urged Israel not to raze Susiya.
How did a hamlet of 340 Palestinians in a dusty corner of the southern West Bank find its way onto the global stage?
Restoring Friendship – rebuilding the burnt Friendship Centre in Tabgha Church
Readers of PIEF POST will recall that on June 18, the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fish at Tabgha, on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, was set on fire. Anti-Christian graffiti in Hebrew was scrawled on the church wall in an attack that drew condemnation from across Israel’s political spectrum. A group of 16 youth were provisionally held in connection with the attack and questioned but hastily released.
Dr. Alon Goshen-Gottstein, Executive Director of the Elijah Interfaith Institute, agonized over what he describes as “a rise in religious extremism in the Holy Land”. He saw how the church in Tabgha was burned on “explicitly religious, rather than political grounds, as witnessed from the “prooftext” provided through graffiti, a text from the Jewish prayer book”.
Unwilling to be subdued by the atrocity, Dr. Alon Goshen-Gottsteinhis called for a response that goes beyond mere condemnation. He launched a campaign for restoring the Tabgha Church, or more specifically the friendship center where inter-religious meetings take place. This, he believed, is “a means of delivering a message to the world at large, and to our Christian friends, that we more than condemn these acts. We work to bring about positive, constructive response where others destroy in the name of religion”. He expressed fear and concern that Israeli Orthodoxy has lost its Jewish sensitivity to other faiths. Hence his intervention.
Dr. Goshen-Gottsteinhis is quoted as saying:
“Had they [the arsonists] not written ‘false idols will be eliminated’ [an excerpt from the Jewish prayer of Aleinu] I might have not acted.” He adds: “This is the first time that they did something based on a quote from the sources. That’s a qualitative change; something completely different, and therefore people have to speak in the voice of religion and say ‘no’.”
The campaign is not simply about restoring the church. It is about delivering an educational message. It is also a message to the world that the Judaism that leads to the burning of churches (and mosques) is not our own. It is a way of expressing concrete support for friendship between religions and of demonstrating what kind of Judaism we believe in.
The 7th July marked the anniversary of the 2014 war on Gaza, where over 2000 Palestinians lost their lives, and thousands more were made homeless. Read the latest news on reconstruction and the situation in Gaza here. (more…)
Arson attack on Tabgha Church
Press Statement 22 June 2015
How long will our places of worship continue to be burnt without accountability and punishment?
Last Thursday, the 18th of June 2015, on the shores of the Lake of Tiberias, Jewish extremists set fire to the Church of the Multiplication run by the Benedictine monks in Tabgha. Voices of protest—emerging from the Christian, Muslim, and Druze religious leaders and communities—were raised throughout Palestine condemning the attack. Sabeel-Kairos Palestine joined in expressing these genuine religious and national feelings.
This is not the first incident of its kind. In the past three years, over 43 attacks on churches and mosques have been documented. In all cases, the perpetrators are the same: young Jewish extremists, blinded by religious extremism and encouraged by a religious leadership to hate and exclude. “We are perplexed that neither the government, nor the police have taken any measures to arrest and punish those who did it,” noted His Beatitude, Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah, “this is a stark contrast to the oppression Palestinians face on daily basis from Israel’s security establishment”. This principle of double standards is based on ethnic and religious foundations, whereupon a Jew has all rights even if he commits a crime, while a Palestinian is guilty until proven innocent. This discriminatory regime is unacceptable by any standard, especially when used against the indigenous people of the land, a product of its plural and ancient history throughout consecutive generations and centuries.
We warn of the continuation of such incidents that may fan dissent and fire religious conflicts in the Holy Land. This growing extremism and the violence it generates destroys hope for a political and rational solution to the conflict.
We see these crimes as a continuation of the unjust policies and laws used against the Christians, Muslims, and those who have faithfully preserved the religious heritage in the Holy Land for centuries. These incidents remind us with concern that Israel continues to deny regular access to our holy sites and has deprived generations of this right. This is one of the reasons that have led to a systematic dwindling of Christian presence, an important and long presence and witness in the history of this land.
We affirm that the only way to peace in the Holy Land is through respecting the existence, traditions, and places of worship of the three monotheistic religions. Peace depends on respecting basic and elementary human rights of all based on international law, adopting the path of justice and love, and uniting the wills of peoples and governments.
In this context, it is necessary to underline the responsibility of the global community in implementing international law and UN resolutions related to the right of worship. We especially remind the churches of the world of their responsibility to work for justice, peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land. In order to stop this ailment of blind extremism, we call upon the churches to support and stand in solidarity with the calls and demands of Palestinian Christians as expressed in the document “A Moment of Truth” and all ensuing statements. We ask the churches to adopt policies and action plans that help achieve justice and peace, and we express gratitude to the churches that have already adopted such policies.
We call upon and warn the Israeli authorities that ignoring the escalation of extremism without holding the Jewish terrorists accountable for their deeds is encouraging them to pursue such acts in the future, and by doing so, negating the spirit of the Jewish religion itself. The Israeli authorities are responsible for this kind of terrorism and the absence of security for the religious Christian and Muslim sites.
by Mohammed Omer an award winning Palestinian-Dutch journalist, based in Gaza writing in The Middle East Eye (Wed 17th June 2015).
Signs of a peace deal and possible truce give Palestinians cause for optimism during the month of Ramadan
Ramadan 2014 still lingers in the memory of most Palestinians in Gaza. This holy month – usually a time of spiritual reflection and celebration – was filled last year with physical and emotional agony, as Palestinians broke their fast amid missiles and bombs from relentless Israeli airstrikes.
Today, on the eve of Ramadan 2015, Gazans seem more hopeful, as leaked reports whisper of a possible truce with Hamas.
France takes the initiative with a new UN Resolution
The stalemate in the peace process has prompted France to initiate a new UN resolution with a stringent deadline. Some of these may be seen as contentious because the ideas floated by France does not set a date for an end to the occupation. No does it refer categorically accept the right to return as demanded by Palestinians. The resolution might only offer compensation to those who were dispossessed by Israel of their lands. It remains to be seen how much support the proposal will gain and whether the time frame can be achieved. France has cautioned Israel and the Palestinians against the stalemate in the peace process saying it can set the conflict “ablaze”. In similar vein, President Obama has stated that the United States is taking a hard look at its approach to the conflict. Referring to simmering tensions in Occupied Palestine he was pessimistic and saw “a very difficult path forward”. Obama’s statement two years ago on the peace process is important to recall: “Palestinians deserve an end to the occupation and the daily indignities that come with it; they deserve to live in an independent, sovereign state where they can give their children a life of dignity and opportunity”.
Meanwhile the situation in Gaza plunges downwards. The Gaza Chamber of Commerce opines that the blockade, now in its ninth year, has heaped the worst economic conditions on the people of the enclave in history. Over one million Gazans have no daily income today and ‘extreme poverty’ affects 21 percent of the population.
The situation in Gaza has not escaped serious notice. Alert citizens groups have now organized a new flotilla to break the siege in Gaza with relief supplies. Those on board the three ships that have set sail from Mediterranean ports to Gaza include a former Tunisian president, athletes, academicians, parliamentarians, diplomats and journalists, and a Catholic nun. The outcome of their attempt will be watched with keen anticipation especially because of previous botched attempts.
Attack on Church of the Multiplication at Tabgha
The attack against a church in Tabgha in the Galilee has attracted strong condemnation from Palestinian authorities. President Mahmoud Abbas has termed it a “terrorist attack” and condemned “the culture of impunity” that has “allowed Israeli extremists to escalate their racist attacks against Palestinians and degrade our holy sites without any legal accountability.” Abbas has further called on the international community to take measures to instantaneously stop the systematic attacks against holy sites.
This month they will be praying for peace and justice, and to shine a light of hope amidst the shadow of occupation.
Sabeel: Each Thursday at noon in Jerusalem, Sabeel holds a Communion service that is open to the community. It is a time to join together to discuss how the scriptures apply to our lives today, to pray for the needs of this region and our world and to share the Eucharist. Starting in the Pacific Islands, passing through Asia, Africa, Middle East, Europe, the Americas and on around the globe, we pray for peace with justice, and ask you to join us.
The Rev Anna Karin Hammar, from our sister organisation the Church of Sweden has written a compelling essay on challenging the occupation and European antisemitism, and how we have a responsibility to not abandon but to stand in solidarity with Israelis and Palestinians.
With time for the release of the UN report on the 2014 Gaza War drawing near, Israel is irritable. As a pre-emptive move, it hopes to issue its own narrative of events in a report. Israel has termed the UN report a “waste of time”. The Palestine government has rejected Israel’s threats and pledged to stick by its demand for an international inquiry. Israel’s nervousness is also apparent in its decision to refuse entry to Makarim Wibisono, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories. This is the second time he has been refused permission in two years. Staying with Gaza, people in Gaza have launched a ‘Boycott Israeli Products campaign’ under the aegis of the Palestinian National Initiative. In their protests they warn that Israeli goods sold in Gaza “go to the Israeli army”.
The Kairotic times call for a global circle of prophets
A message delivered by Prof. Kim Yong-Bock at the prayer meeting of the Korean Christian Network for Peace in Palestine (KCNPP), at the Christian Building, Seoul, Korea, in May 2015.
In the history of politics of the people of God, King Ahab’s regime is identified as a paradigm of evil, as the extreme example of a king who was “more evil than all the kings before him” (1 Kings 16:30; 1 Kings 16:29 through 20:40). This is the background against which the prophetic movement of Elijah arose; and the prophetic movement of resistance against King Ahab was a prophetic paradigm for justice, peace and life together.
The campaign to suspend Israel from FIFA suffered a setback this week, when the Palestinian Football Association backed down under pressure, and did not submit the motion to suspend FIFA to a vote. The decision to drop the suspension was disappointing, but it doesn’t mean it’s game over for this campaign, with unprecedented levels of support for suspension of Israel from FIFA.
More US Churches consider divesting from Israeli occupation
Israel’s high court recently upheld a law making boycotts of Israeli businesses a civil crime. Within weeks, US Congress introduced a trade measure to “discourage politically motivated actions to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel”. Now the Illinois state legislature has voted to withdraw state funds from companies boycotting Israel.