In This Issue
Gaza – Activist Protest in Solidarity
Sabeel Confronts Sexual Harassment in Palestine
“Who Thinks Up These Things?” – Report on a Trip to Palestine
Three CPT Palestine Team Members Denied Entry to Israel
International Solidarity Protesters Support Gaza Demonstrators (Photo: Activestills.org)
Activist Protest in Solidarity with Gaza +972 magazine reported that dozens of international activists protested in support of the Great Return March on the Israeli side of the Gaza border. Waving Palestinian flags and carrying posters, the activists, including Jews for Return and Coalition of Women for Peace, also held photos of Palestinians killed by Israeli snipers during the Great Return March.
Demonstrators in Gaza broke out in cheers at the sight of the activist supporters and their Palestinian flags. In a phone call from an activist on the Israeli side, one Gazan marcher said, “I would like to praise everyone who is protesting in solidarity with us. We are protesting for return, and against the siege that we have been living under for the past 12 years.” One of the activists stated that “We are standing here on two sides of the fence, both rejecting it.”
The Great Return March began on March 30, 2018 and is entering its seventh month. To read the entire report, click here.
Sabeel Confronts Sexual Harassment in Palestine
In the current issue of Cornerstone, Sabeel, the Palestinian Liberation Theology Center, is confronting the issue of sexual harassment in Palestine. Sabeel, in bringing #MeToo into the Palestine, believes justice is at stake: “We at Sabeel have chosen to address this critically important topic because we are a Palestinian Liberation Theology Center. This means that wherever there is injustice, we stand on the side of justice. Wherever people are oppressed, we stand for liberation. Whether we are talking about the occupation of Palestine, or the colonization of indigenous peoples, or the destructive forces of toxic masculinity in our homes, workplaces, and places of worship, we believe Christ our Liberator requires us to stand with him, for freedom.”
In the opening article, Sabeel probes the story of Jesus’ healing of the Gerasene demoniac: “While this passage does not deal with the issue of sexual harassment directly, we feel it has much to say about the way our society deals with demons—especially demons we’d rather not acknowledge.” To read the entire issue, click here.
Boys on the way to school stand under a sign on the wall: “A country is not only what it does. It is also what it tolerates.” Kurt Tucholsky (1933 Photo, Anita Rediger)
“Who Thinks Up These Things?”
Anita Rediger, a member of the MennoPIN Steering Committee, recently returned from a 15-day trip to Israel/Palestine. Her report witnesses the ever-increasing oppression and violence against the Palestinian people:
“I’m just home from a 15-day trip to Israel/Palestine led by FOSNA Board Co-Chairs, Michael Spath and Doug Thorpe. It was my second trip; I see even more clearly now the utterly comprehensive, systematic oppression of the Palestinian people. Now, I walk the lanes of our farm, seeking to reconnect with my rural Indiana community. The words of lament uttered by a traveling companion wash over me – “Who thinks up these things?” “These things” which craft an intentional, finely-tuned, overarching plan to eradicate all traces of a people – past, present and future.
Let me share just a few of “these things”
It is illegal to teach and speak about the history of the Palestinian people, what Ilan Pappe describes as ‘memoricide.’
In Israeli schools, the word ‘Palestinian’ is not mentioned except in the context ‘in war with,’ the main narrative in the curricula is ‘fear.’ Saher Vardi, (9.8.18)
In a visit to the al Khan Al-ahmar Bedouin community, we learned of the Israeli Defense Force’s practice of planting explosives inside of cameras and cell-phones in the grazing areas. When the children tending the flocks find them, horrible injury results. (9.7.2018)
Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh showed us evidence of the poisons used to kill Palestinian livestock, grains laced with poisons scattered about the pastures and documentation of the use of bone shattering ammunition. (9.5.2018)
Gerard Horton & Salwa Duaibis of Military Court Watch provided graphic detail of what happens in the never-ending practice of night raids, the ‘softening up’ of children ages 12-17 by storming their homes at night, tying their hands with plastic straps, blindfolding them, throwing them on the metal floor of a military vehicle between/under the boots of soldiers, placing them in shipping containers for 10 hours, then facing interrogation and judges – some of whom are settlers.
We learned of ‘The Expulsion Law’ (2016) which allows for the expulsion of Arab Knesset Members who make remarks or undertake actions that the majority claims incite to racism or support terror.
On July 19, 2018 – The Knesset passed an addition to the body of Israel’s Basic Law. The ‘Nation-State Law’ granting special status to persons of Jewish faith. Another law, the ‘Citizenship Law’ is for non-Jews, institutionalizing discrimination, legalizing apartheid.
As we left the country, we were confronted with the massive mural in Ben Guiron Airport proclaiming, ‘The Zionist movement established the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state…Israeli society is tasked with creating a true sense of connection among all of its ethnic, religious and cultural segments, based on respect, harmony, peace and equality.’
All of this right before our eyes – for all the world to see – supported by US policymakers and by many of my shared Christian faith. I ask you, ‘Who thinks up these things?’ and why? May we join the living stones of Palestine and Israel in crying out.”
Three CPT Palestine Team Members Denied Entry to Israel Christian PeacemakerTeams (CPT) reports that three of its Palestine team members were blocked from entering Israel/Palestine. CPT places teams, at the invitation of local peacemaking communities, that are confronting situations of lethal conflict. These teams support and amplify the voices of local peacemakers who risk injury and death by waging nonviolent direct action to confront systems of violence and oppression. CPT has had a presence in Palestine for many years.
For the three CPTers it was clear at the beginning of their interrogations that the immigration officials knew of their work with CPT and for this reason they would be denied entry. Why? For being associated with an organization which works alongside of and is led by Palestinian nonviolent organizations and activists striving for a peaceful future.
Support Palestinian Human Rights and Go HP-Free
Reach out to your pastor, church council and congregation to encourage your church to sign the HP Free Church pledge, committing to not buy HP computers, printers, inks, and other products until HP stops profiting from occupation and human rights violations. For more on the HP-Free Church Campaign go here.
The ‘Great March of Return’ continues with more Palestinians coming under life fire from Israeli military forces. It has also been reported that Palestinian fishermen are coming under pressure from frequent arrests and live fire from the Israeli Navy. This constant pressure on the livelihoods of these fisherman means that 95% of the fishing industry in Gaza now live below the poverty line. Lord, we continue to hold the protestors in our prayers; cast our net of protection over Gaza and its fisherman so that they may catch abundant fish without threat of arrest or injury. Lord in your mercy…Hear our prayers.Sabeel Wave of Prayer
Mennonite Palestine-Israel Network firstname.lastname@example.org | mennopin.org | facebook.com/mennopin | twitter.com/mennopinSteering Committee:
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)