In This Issue
When a Republican President Supported BDS
Is Kashmir the New West Bank?
Become a Gaza Twinning Congregation!
A New Short Film About Youth in Gaza
Support H.Res. 496
Tours to Palestine
A New MennoPIN Steering Committee
In 1948, Palestinians, forced from their homes by Zionist militia, become refugees.
Writing on August 22, 2019 on the American Conservative website (of all places!), Derek Leebaert detailed three instances in which the Eisenhower Administration censured the Israeli government for illegal aggression, violence and expansion against Israel’s Arab neighbors, including Palestine.
Leebaert described a 1953 massacre in the village of Qibya in the West Bank, a 1954 bombing of two US consulates in Egypt by a self-described Israeli “terror unit,” and a 1955 military assault against Syria. Following each attack, the Eisenhower administration reacted with censure resolutions at the United Nations (UN). Then, in February 1957, Eisenhower addressed the nation, declaring that he was ready to go beyond censure resolutions and threatened to push UN sanctions and to halt US private business dealings with Israel. Foreign Minister Golda Meir quickly back down.
Eisenhower used and threatened to use actions central to BDS today: sanctions and economic boycott. But today, supporters of BDS and congressional representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are roundly condemned by both parties as “anti-Semites” and “Israel-haters” who seek to destroy Israel. But a Republican president once used BDS tactics to help contain Israeli violence and injustice. And, it could happen today if Israeli lobbying dollars did not line so many congressional campaign pockets. “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.”
Kashmir has long been disputed territory between India and Pakistan. For many years both India and Pakistan have abided by an agreement (called Articles 370 and 35A in India) in which each country would control portions of Kashmir near their borders, but the bulk of the territory would be self-ruling.
Recently, Modi declared those Articles void, making Kashmir a “union territory” of India. In addition to increasing tensions between Pakistan and India, Modi’s move allows Indians from outside Kashmir to buy land in Kashmir and create settlements protected by tens of thousands of additional Indian troops, leaving Kashmir’s dominantly Muslim population (about 96%) disenfranchised and with far less power. Is Kashmir the new West Bank? Will Modi follow the Israeli model? Only time will tell.
A father bathing his daughters in Gaza City (Credit: Wissam Nassar)
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 mennopin.org and click on End the Gaza Siege tab at the top of the front page. Interested congregations can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the Subject line “Twinning Initiative.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar introduces her pro-BDS resolution, H.Res. 496
In response, Rep. Ilhan Omar has introduced a resolution, H.Res. 496, to “speak about the American values that support and believe in our ability to exercise our first amendment rights in regard to boycotting.” You can read the text of H.Res 496 here. The resolution currently has only 15 co-sponsors. Please encourage your congressperson to co-sponsor and vote for the resolution.
A New MennoPIN Steering Committee
At the July 2019 MennoCon19 MC USA convention in Kansas City, a new steering committee was formed. Two of the founding MennoPIN members left the steering committee, leaving large shoes to fill. We expressed profound gratitude to Tom Harder and Joy Lapp. They both served MennoPIN with passion, dedication and skill for many years. They will be missed! Thank you, Tom and Joy!!
The new Steering Committee members are Anita Rediger, Bob Atchison (New), Joe Roos (Chair), Jonathan Kuttab, Jonathan Nahar, Lydia Brenneman (New) and Rod Stafford.
Please feel free to bring your ideas, hopes and concerns for MennoPIN by writing us at email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you!
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
Anita Rediger (Emmaus Road Mennonite Fellowship, Berne, IN)
Bob Atchison (Manhattan [KS] Mennonite Church)
Joe Roos (Peace Mennonite Fellowship, Claremont, CA)
Jonathan Kuttab (Palestinian lawyer and human rights activist)
Rod Stafford (Portland Mennonite Church, OR)