October 2018 Monthly Update

In This Issue
Kumi Now!
Christ at the Checkpoint USA
Gaza–A Laboratory to Boost Israel’s Military Industry Profits
Go HP-Free
Read More


Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh after massacre by white nationalist anti-Semite Robert Bowers (Brendan Smialowski, AFP/Getty Images)
MennoPIN stands in solidarity with the Jewish community in Pittsburgh and around the country at this time of great sorrow and tragedy. The hatred and violence of Antisemitism has no place in our society. May love and grace surround all affected by this unspeakable act of violence. MennoPIN is an inclusive and anti-racist network that steadfastly opposes Islamophobia, Antisemitism, all forms of racism and any other expressions of bigotry directed at any person or group.

 

Kumi Now
The Sabeel Theological Education Center in East Jerusalem has created a bold new initiative to challenge the Israeli occupation of Palestine. In the face of overwhelming oppression and ineffective support from the international community, Sabeel “feels that giving up as a people on the margins is not an option.” Kumi Now (Rise Up) has just been launched and is inviting individuals, congregations, and local and international organizations to join the Kumi Now project to work as a united force for justice for Palestine.

Kumi Now is based on Mark 5:21-43 about two healing miracles, Jairus’ daughter and the woman with a hemorrhage. To Jairus’ daughter, Jesus says, Talitha Kumi, rise up! Just as the two were liberated from their suffering, so, too, says Sabeel, “We hear Jesus’ command to rise up in our own context…we say now is the time for action. This is why we are launching the Kumi Now initiative—a call to collectively rise up and act for liberation.”

MennoPIN is one of the Kumi Now partners and we encourage you and your congregation to become involved, too! To find out more about Kumi Now and how you can take action against the occupying forces, click here. To read their engaging Mark 5:21-43 Bible study, click here.

Christ at the Checkpoint USA
The first ever Christ at the Checkpoint USA conference saw a variety of speakers and attendants including supporters of MennoPIN.

Christ at the Checkpoint has been a biennial event put on by Bethlehem Bible College, encouraging Evangelical leaders to come to Bethlehem, and meet with Palestinian Christians to see firsthand the effects of their Christian Zionist theology. This year for the first time, the organizers teamed up with Oklahoma City based pastors led by Darrell Cates, to bring the experience to the United States.

Speakers included representatives of Bethlehem Bible College, Jack Sara, Munther Isaac and Grace Zoughbi; well-known Palestinian Christian leaders, Father Elias Chacour, Alex Awad, Sami Awad, Mubarak Awad, and MennoPIN steering committee member Jonathan Kuttab; Jewish leaders in peace and justice work, Rabbi Michael Davis, and Mark Braverman; prominent American and international Christians, Bishop Robert Hayes, Bob Roberts, Gary Burge, Stephen Sizer; Mae Cannon, and the heroic Palestinian Muslim from Gaza, Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish.

A unique aspect of Christ at the Checkpoint is to allow those with conflicting views to be heard at the conference. The organizers invited the most prominent voice in the “New Christian Zionism movement,” Gerald McDermott.

The conference’s many viewpoints still resulted in a clear portrail of the dire situation in the West Bank and the Gaza strip, the negative effects that colonial Christian theologies like Christian Zionism have had on the region, and the need for Christians to embody a theology of peace. To hear the sessions, or get more details about the conference, click here.

Gaza–A Laboratory to Boost Israel’s Military Industry Profits
Israeli Army Brigadier General Roei Elkabetz told a 2012 convention on border control in El Paso, TX, that “we have learned a lot from Gaza. It’s a great laboratory.” He was referring to Israel’s arms industry, the largest homeland security industry in the world.

Guy Keren is the CEO of iHLS, one of Israel’s leading homeland security firms. Speaking at a drone conference he helped organize, Keren explained how Gaza has become the ideal testing ground for new products all year round, giving Israel and iHLS a competitive advantage over other countries and their military industry. Keren said that “we are checking our systems live…because we are in a war situation all the time.”

According to the Electronic Intifada, “Gaza is widely perceived as a human Petri dish—to improve killing capacity and cultivate pacification methods.” The Danish military scholar, Leila Stockmarr, put it this way: “It is central to Israel’s cutting-edge military and policing capacities that new pieces of technology are developed and tested in a concrete situation of controlling populations, such as in the Gaza Strip.”

Since the Great Return March began on March 30, 2018, Israel’s military giants have tested the following weapons on nonviolent demonstrators:

  • Sea of Tears Drones—appropriately named for drones that drop tear gas on crowds
  • Shocko Drones—drones that unleash “skunk water”
  • Butterfly Bullets—among the deadliest bullets every used, they explode on impact

It is horrendous that a live, captive population of human beings are being used to test new and lethal military weapons to control populations and generate profits for the Israeli weapons industry. There is no doubt that the “deadly exchanges” of military practices between the United States and Israel have and will continue to benefit both country’s endless-war economies.

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.

Read More
The Battle for Justice in Palestine, Ali Abunimah, Haymarket Books, 2014
A Palestinian Theology of Liberation, Naim Ateek, Orbis Books, 2017
Why Palestine Matters
No Way to Treat a Child Campaign
The Palestinian Portal Resource
HP-Free Church Campaign

Prayer
The “Great March of Return” passed its 31st Friday amid increasing violence from the Israeli forces and militants amongst the legitimate protestors. More than 230 people were injured and five killed, including 19-year-old Nassar Abu Tim. Lord of the suffering, we pray for a commitment to human rights by all sides and the protection of all lives. We pray for effective international intervention to ensure justice. We pray for humanitarian aid and rebuilding where destruction has occurred. We pray for peace and for justice in our homes and on our city streets. Wrap all and each of these people in your love. Let them hear: ‘Come to me you who suffer and are burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. Sabeel Wave of Prayer

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