December 2020 Monthly Update

In This IssueChristmas Greetings from MennoPIN
Inside the COVID Relief Bill – Half a Billion Dollars for Israel
A Hopeful Note on the Biden Administration
Turning Olives into Energy
A Poem from Noor Hindi
Stay Informed on Palestine
Christmas Greetings from MennoPIN

(Credit: FOSNA/Maher Naji) 
We wish you a blessed Christmas, even as this devastating year draws to a close. Through the exhaustion and pain of 2020, we hope for the renewal of our spirits as we wait expectantly for the child Jesus to come once again into our needy world. We hope for replenishment and renewal in our labor of love in support of the people of Palestine amidst their ongoing suffering and pain. And we hope that a new administration will offer some positive steps forward for Palestinians as we hold their feet to the fire. Have a blessed New Year!
Inside the COVID Relief Bill – Half a Billion Dollars for Israel

If you thought the 5,593-page COVID relief bill was singularly designed to address the needs of people and small businesses suffering from the pandemic, you would be wrong. Three examples (there are more) that have nothing to do with COVID relief:

  • On pages 341 and 342, $500,000,000 to Israel for its Iron Dome defense system, short range ballistic missiles and more.
  • On pages 2630-2633, opposition to China’s interference in the education of Tibetan monks and the selection of future Dalai Lamas.
  • On pages 244, important classification of certain racehorses as three-year old property.

A Hopeful Note on the Biden’s Administration

Joe Biden introducing Antony Blinkin as his nominee for Secretary of State
(Credit: Mark Makela/Getty Images)

We all know that the Biden Administration will not do what Palestine deserves and needs – full freedom and justice. It is true that, during the campaign, Vice-President Elect, Kamala Harris, told The Arab American that “Joe [Biden] and I also believe in the worth and value of every Palestinian and every Israeli and we will work to ensure that Palestinians and Israelis enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity and democracy.” We hope that this is one campaign promise they live up to.

Biden’s cabinet picks bring a ray of hope to that direction. Secretary of State Elect, Antony Blinken, and National Security Adviser Elect, Jake Sullivan, have outlined a shift from the Trump Administration that will emphasize diplomacy and human rights which may revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and bring Israeli and Palestinian officials to the negotiating table with fewer concessions for the Israeli government. That’s not nearly enough, but at least a step in the right direction.
Turning Olives into Energy in Gaza

(Photo by Mohammed Talatene/picture alliance via Getty Images) 
Tamer Abu Mutlaq, seen above, is a trained engineer living in Khan Yunis is southern Gaza. Of course, there are very few paid jobs for engineers in Gaza, so Tamer was unemployed. Using his education, Tamer had an idea. Why not take olive waste and turn it into energy he wondered, and he figured out a way to do exactly that. Making environmentally friendly fuel pellets from olive skin, pits, and pulp, Gazans can now use the resulting pomace wood to warm their homes and cook their food.

The resilience and creativity of the people of Gaza and the West Bank under such oppressions conditions is remarkable and deeply inspiring!
A Poem from Noor Hindi

(Credit: Stephen Bivens Photography)
Noor Hindi is a Palestinian-American poet and reporter. Her poems and essays appear or are forthcoming in The RumpusjubilatGay magazine, American Poetry ReviewAndroit Journal, and elsewhere. Hindi is the equity and inclusion reporter for Devil Strip magazine. The following poem appeared in Poetry magazine, December 2020.
Fuck Your Lecture on Craft, My People are Dying

Colonizers write about flowers.
I tell you about children throwing rocks at Israeli tanks
seconds before becoming daisies.
I want to be like those poets who care about the moon.
Palestinians don’t see the moon from jail cells and prisons.
It’s so beautiful, the moon.
They’re so beautiful, the flowers.
I pick flowers for my dead father when I’m sad.
He watches Al Jazeera all day.
I wish Jessica would stop texting me Happy Ramadan.
I know I’m American because when I walk into a room something dies.
Metaphors about death are for poets who think ghosts care about sound.
When I die, I promise to haunt you forever.
One day, I’ll write about the flowers like we own them. Stay Informed on Palestine
MennoPIN keeps you informed about Palestine through our monthly update, special alerts, calls to action, important resources and tour possibilities, all from an Anabaptist perspective. But there are additional excellent organizations and web publications that can keep you informed, some on a daily basis. We invite you to explore these groups and visit the web publications as another way to keep current and active for the people of Palestine. Here are some MennoPIN recommends:


Web Publications


This Christmas we turn our eyes to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, and we see a suffering town. The pandemic has hit the economy of the town hard with over 7,000 people working in the tourism sector, now unemployed for over nine months. Some families are having to withdraw their children from schools, forced to make hard choices between education, food or medicine. Others can no longer afford to pay rent and are having to move back in with their parents and grandparents…Lord Jesus, you are the light of the world, (John 8:12). When we light our Advent candles remind us that we will not walk in darkness if we follow your light. When the darkness of poverty, oppression, illness and bereavement press in hard, lift our eyes to your light of hope. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers. Sabeel Wave of Prayer

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