Street artist Bansky has created new Christmas artwork on The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem, Palestine. The familiar message now has a caveat: “Terms and Conditions Apply.” Meanwhile, two angels attempt to pry open the wall with bare hands and a crowbar.
From all of us at MennoPIN, Christmas blessings as we together seek unconditional Peace on Earth, tearing down the walls of hostility that divide the Holy Land today, seeking peace and justice for Palestine and Israel.
The MennoPIN Action/Advocacy Subcommittee has created an Advent bulletin insert to encourage a faithful response to the recent passing of the MC USA resolution: Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine. You can find the bulletin insert on the MennoPIN website here.Update on BDS and Hewlett-Packard
Hewlett-Packard has spun off part of their company, effectively splitting the corporate giant in two. HP has been one of the main targets of the BDS movement because of its complicity in the security apparatus and infrastructure of Israel and its illegal occupation of Palestine. It is unclear which of the two companies is involved with the occupation. Until it is clear, the BDS movement continues to recommend the boycott of HP. BDS appears to be increasing its focus on the tourism sector, especially TripAdvisor and AirBnB. More on that in future updates.Update on the Esther Koontz lawsuit (ACLU vs. State of Kansas).
The ACLU is filing a lawsuit on behalf of Esther Koontz, the Kansas Mennonite who was denied employment in Kansas because she would not agree to abide by a Kansas law to not engage in boycotting companies complicit in the oppression of Palestinian people. In early proceedings of the lawsuit, the judge stated: “This law cannot possibly be constitutional.” Kansas state attorneys did not dispute the judges assertion, but promised to have a defense later. A similar case is being brought by the ACLU in Arizona.Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Central Committee Strategize Support to HR 4391
Jonathan Brenneman, MC USA Coordinator, Israel/Palestine Partners in Peacemaking and Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach, Director of the MCC US Washington Office are working on a strategy to form a Mennonite delegation to Capitol Hill that would focus on support of HR 4391, Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israel Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act. The bill would require the Secretary of State to certify that American funds do not support Israel’s military detention, interrogation, abuse or ill-treatment of Palestinian children.
US Embassy and Jerusalem
Jonathan Brenneman and Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach were interviewed in The Mennonite magazine online, TMail, to explain the likely devastating impact of the Trump administration’s decision to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Please read the informative interview here.
The Mennonite Interview on moving the US embassy to Jerusalem
Palestinian Portal on the embassy move
Palestinian Christian voices on moving of US Embassy to Jerusalem: Sabeel; The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem; The Middle East Council of Churches
The U.S. vetoed a UN resolution seeking to reaffirm Jerusalem’s status as unresolved, after 14 UN Security Council members voted in favor of the resolution Monday, in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize it as Israel’s capital.
Lord, the Palestinian people are running out of options leaving only the “stones to cry out”. We give thanks for the brave countries of the world that refused to disrespect international law and challenge the unjust decisions of the United States Administration. We pray that the powerful give up on their useless efforts to maintain the Israeli military occupation. Lord in your mercy… Sabeel Wave of Prayer, December 21, 2017
Tom Harder (Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church, Wichita, KS)
Joy Lapp (Pleasant View Mennonite Church, Mt Pleasant, IA)
Jonathan Kuttab (Palestinian lawyer and human rights activist)
Anita Rediger (Emmaus Road Mennonite Fellowship, Berne, IN)
Joe Roos (Peace Mennonite Fellowship, Claremont, CA)
Rod Stafford (Portland Mennonite Church, OR)