In This Issue
MennoPIN Launches “End the Gaza Siege” Campaign
Challenging Christian Zionism in Washington, DC
The Farce Known as Trump Heights
Support Palestinian Children’s Rights Now
Go to Palestine: Tours
A father bathing his daughters in Gaza City (Credit: Wissam Nassar)
The campaign will be launched at MennoCon19, the Mennonite USA convention in Kansas City, Missouri, July 2-6, 2019. The first step in the campaign is called the “Mennonite Twinning Initiative with Gaza.” This initiative will match Mennonite congregations with churches, mosques, hospitals, clinics and schools.
Please give prayerful consideration to your congregation becoming a “twinning” congregation with Gaza! To find out more about the initiative, the Gaza scandal, and guidelines for ethical relationships, visit the MennoPIN website and click on End the Gaza Siege tab at the top of the front page. Interested congregations can also send an email to email@example.com with the Subject line “Twinning Initiative.”
Further steps in the “End the Gaza Siege” campaign will be forthcoming.
On July 7-8, 2019, CUFI is holding a conference at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. Speakers will include Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. On the final day, attendees will flood the halls of Congress, arguing for undying support of Israel and its oppression of the people of Palestine.
But they won’t be the only Christian voice in Washington, DC those days, and their message will be radically different. Led by the Christian organization, Friends of Sabeel North America, three other groups joined in solidarity to help sponsor the action: Jewish Voices for Peace; American Muslims for Palestine; and the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights. MennoPIN is among several organizations supporting the event.
On July 6-8, 2019, more than 150 Christians from across the country, including two people from the MennoPIN Steering Committee, will converge for the action entitled, “Rise Against Racism: Countering CUFI.” Through worship, panel discussions and engaging CUFI participants, another Christian voice relating to Israel/Palestine will be heard, one crying for justice, peace and freedom for the people of Palestine. To find out more about the action or how you can participate, click here.
Benjamin Netanyahu establishing Trump Heights in the Golan Heights (Credit: Jalaa Marey/AFP)
On a visit to Washington, DC earlier this spring, Benjamin Netanyahu gleefully rejoiced when President Donald Trump proclaimed U.S. recognition of the Golan Heights as part of Israeli territory. Trump’s support for the annexation of the territory in southwestern Syria, captured during Israel’s 1967 Six-Day-War, arguably helped Netanyahu during his election campaign.
Netanyahu returned the favor by naming a settlement-to-be after the president with great fanfare: Trump Heights. Critics have denounced the political stunt as an “obscene celebration.” Claiming the announcement as a “historic day,” Netanyahu later hinted that he might also annex the West Bank.
Historian and Middle East expert, Juan Cole, summed up the farce in his blog: “There isn’t any settlement there yet, just a sign, just as there isn’t any reality to Trump more generally, just an empty suit. Given that Trump is a narcissistic fraud, it is appropriate that his name be attached to the illegal Israeli theft of Syrian territory…Trump Heights is such a great name for a colony built on theft, since Trump’s whole life has been about being wealthy and powerful enough to escape the consequences of his crimes.”
Rainwater harvesting pool in Jericho being filled with dirt by the Israeli military, 2015 (Credit: Al-Haq)
Kumi Now, an initiative of Sabeel Jerusalem, is an inclusive call for nonviolent action to achieve a just peace in Palestine. One chapter in their book involves Israel’s exploitation of natural resources in occupied Palestinian territory. The West Bank is rich in natural resources. A prominent part of Israel’s occupation is the control of water supplies, with abundant water given for the illegal Israeli settlements, but water deprivation for Palestinian communities. In fact, around 600,000 Israeli settlers consume six times as much water as the entire population of about 2.8 million in the West Bank.
Na’imah Mohammed Dabak lives in the West Bank village of Al-’Aqaba. His story is like many Palestinian stories.
“There is a water shortage in the village…The Israeli occupying authorities and the Israeli Water Company [Mekorot] have refused to install water pipelines…to supply the village with water…The trucks transport water to the village. The water is very expensive…This situation causes me great suffering and financial burden…I do my best not to waste a single drop of water. For example, I collect and use bathwater for irrigation…In light of the harsh economic conditions we experience in the village of Al-’Aqaba, I cannot afford the high price on a regular basis. Our income is too low. I store purchased water in a well near my home. We pump it to tanks on the roof using an electric pump, incurring further costs.”
This discriminatory and inequitable allocation of water resources between Palestinians and Israelis has been described as “Water Apartheid.”
A Palestinian Theology of Liberation, Naim Ateek, Orbis Books, 2017
Why Palestine Matters http://new.israelpalestinemissionnetwork.org/70-study-resources-/publications/363-why-palestine-matters
No Way to Treat a Child Campaign http://nwttac.dci-palestine.org/palestinian_child_detention_bill
The Electronic Intifada https://electronicintifada.net/
HP-Free Church Campaign https://www.fosna.org/free-your-church-hp
Mennonite Palestine-Israel Network
firstname.lastname@example.org | mennopin.org | facebook.com/mennopin | twitter.com/mennopin
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)