Updates

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

We would like to highlight the Sabeel Wave of Prayer, updated weekly by the Sabeel Palestinian Christian organization. Reminding us that prayer is an essential part of peacemaking, these prayers address regional, timely concerns for Palestine-Israel from a Christ-centered perspective. The posts address regional, timely concerns for Palestine-Israel in a Christian perspective. Subscribe and join this community of prayer.

Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS)

Basics about Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions against Israel and Complicit Organizations

Why is there an international movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel?

In 2005 Palestinian civil society organizations issued a historic, rights-based call to

the international community for Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) targeting Israel and institutions complicit in its oppressive policies towards Palestinians until it complies with international law and ensures:

  1. Freedom: End to the occupation and colonization of all Arab lands;
  2. Equality: Full rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel; and
  3. Justice: Right of return for Palestinian refugees to their homes and lands

With the publication of the Kairos Palestine Document in December 2009, Palestinian church leaders called on Christians around the world to explore boycott and sanctions against Israel and divestment from companies around the world that profit from the occupation.

Mennonite USA church leaders in, An Open Letter to Mennonite Church USA Congregations (2007), encouraged “exploring ways our investments and our role as investors can be used to provide hope and promote peace in this region.”

Palestinian civic leader Sam Bahour calls BDS a principal nonviolent response to the injustice perpetrated on Palestinians and invites all who seek justice to join this movement.

With the failure of the U.S. government and international community to hold Israel accountable for its actions, BDS promotes time-honored and respected tactics used to achieve justice throughout history, including in the U.S. Civil Rights and South Africa Anti-Apartheid Movements.

BDS is:

  • A nonviolent response to Israel’s violence against Palestinians.
  • Grounded in universal human rights and international law.
  • Aimed at institutions, never individuals.

Boycott targets include consumer goods and complicit academic and cultural institutions. Divestment can be implemented by universities, churches, unions, pension funds and other institutions. Sanctions require ending U.S. military aid to Israel or penalties brought by governmental bodies and courts against Israel.

How are decisions made to boycott certain products or to divest from certain companies?

With literally hundreds of individuals, church denominations, universities and colleges, countries and NGOs participating in the BDS movement there have been efforts to identify possible targets based on moral principles of breaking international law, violating human rights and defying United Nations mandates. Here is an example of BDS principles that were formulated by the American Friends Service Committee and is their current policy:

 

Divestment

These beliefs lead AFSC to support divestment from companies that:

  1. Provide products or services that contribute to violent acts that target either Israeli or Palestinian civilians;
  2. Provide products or services that contribute to the maintenance of the Israeli military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem;
  3. Provide products or services that contribute to the maintenance and expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories;
  4. Provide products or services that contribute to the maintenance and construction of the Separation Wall.

Boycott

AFSC may also support boycotts in three primary areas:

  1. Boycott of goods and services from companies covered by the AFSC investment screen.
    1. Companies that provide products or services that contribute to violent acts that target either Israeli or Palestinian civilians;
    2. Companies that provide products or services that contribute to the maintenance of the Israeli military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem;
    3. Companies that provide products or services that contribute to the maintenance and expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories;
    4. Companies that provide products or services that contribute to the maintenance and construction of the Separation Wall.
  2. Boycotts of settlement products, and related activities.
    1. Companies that produce products or services in facilities/through operations in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories or using exploited Palestinian resources/labor
  3. Boycotts of institutions, groups, or events that directly sustain or purposefully obscure the occupation and inequalities between Palestinians and Israelis.[1]

 

Sanctions

In making decisions regarding support for sanctions, AFSC is led by the guidelines laid out in the 1993 AFSC report titled “Dollars or Bombs: The Search for Justice through International Economic Sanctions”. This report included a series of guidelines developed by an AFSC Working Group on International Economic Sanctions that are designed to assist those considering supporting or opposing the use of sanctions. AFSC supports the cutting of military aid to Israel and cutting security assistance to Palestinian Authority forces responsible for human rights abuses.

 

In addition to consumer boycotts of products made in the illegal Israeli settlements, there are many other products produced in Israel and Palestine that profit off of the occupation. Besides calling for institutions or individuals to divest from companies that promote and sustain the violence in Palestine, there are ongoing programs for academic boycotts and cultural boycotts against Israeli. So, in order to have an impact it is important that these divestment and boycott campaigns be coordinated among as many groups, institutions, and people as possible.

One of the best sources used to research who the companies and institutions are who profit off the occupation is “Who Profits?” Their website can be found at: http://www.whoprofits.org/

 

To find information about current BDS campaigns contact the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation and look at their website on BDS news:
http://www.bdsmovement.net/make-an-impact

 

What can I do?

  • Educate people in your group and beyond about the issues of Israeli occupation and encourage them to pledge to boycott certain products that are produced in illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
  • Participate in activities to exert economic pressure on Israel and U.S. corporations that benefit from the occupation. In addition, urge corporations to move production out of settlements, to be environmentally responsible, and to pay their employees living wages.
  • Write and deliver letters to retailers and corporations that sell products made in the settlements asking them to remove such products from their shelves.
  • Engage in direct actions and demonstrations at stores that carry products to be boycotted.
  • Talk to friends and relatives about BDS efforts and ask them to pledge to participate in the boycotts and demonstrations.
  • Ask government entities to stop using products made in the illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
  • Contribute reviews on Amazon and other companies dissuading purchasers from buying products made in the settlements.

 

Other resources:

The Israel/Palestine Mission Network:
www.theipmn.org/

Global Exchange:
http://www.globalexchange.org/economicactivism/sodastream/campaigns

Code Pink: Stolen Beauty Campaign (Ahava):
http://www.codepink4peace.org/section.php?id=415

Soda Stream Campaign:
http://www.codepink4peace.org/section.php?id=470

Soda Stream Interfaith Boycott Coalition:
http://www.sodastreamboycott.org

United Methodist Kairos Response:
https://www.kairosresponse.org/Boycott.html

Kairos Palestine & Mennonite response

kairospal

New: Study guide

With permission, MennoPIN has adapted materials from the Israel Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church for use in studying Kairos Palestine. The study guide is available in English and in Spanish.

About the Kairos Document

In December 2009, Palestinian Christian leaders launched the Kairos Palestine Document, a statement that shares their daily realities of life under occupation and calls on Christian sisters and brothers and churches worldwide to be witnesses to these realities, to be in solidarity, and to take action. One way to do this is to “come and see”:

In order to understand our reality, we say to the Churches: Come and see. We will fulfill our role to make known to you the truth of our reality, receiving you as pilgrims coming to us to pray, carrying a message of peace, love and reconciliation. You will know the facts and the people of this land, Palestinians and Israelis alike. At the same time we call on you to say a word of truth and to take a position of truth with regard to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.

Pilgrimage has brought many people over the years to the “Holy Land”. And although pilgrimage can make us feel closer to our faith story, to truly find an opportunity for engagement and transformation, to truly encounter God today in the suffering of this land, one must see the “living stones.” One must see the living Palestinian Christian communities who hope for a peace born of justice and who seek to tell their stories, to be heard, and to have their stories told to the rest of the world.

As a follow up to the Kairos Palestine Document, a Come and See booklet was drafted by Palestinian Christians to provide suggestions for Christians contemplating pilgrimage to the “Holy Land”. It includes many resources for travelers such as a code of conduct for tourism that aims to promote just and responsible tourism and help visitors take a justice approach that affirms the love of God for all, provides biblical insights for a pilgrimage of transformation and suggestions for meaningful face-to-face encounters with “the living stones.”

For more on how you can see the situation for yourself, learn about opportunities to visit Palestine-Israel through Mennonite Central Committee, Christian Peacemaker Teams, or Mennonite Church USA.

Resources

Have you read the Kairos Document? Still want more information?

Here are some reading, film, and media resources for further learning:

  • For a short introductory video see Jewish Voices for Peace’s animated introduction on our Background Video page.
  • Learn about organizations working for justice in Israel-Palestine within the Anabaptist community, in North America, in other US based denominations, and in the Middle East on our Organizations page. The MCC Palestine blog is a great resource.
  • If you are interested in continuing to study, reflect, and act see our list of Study Guides. Many of these can be used as Sunday School Curriculum.
  • Film is a powerful medium. We invite you to screen Documentaries at your churches. See our list of recommended Documentaries.
  • Keep up with the latest news in the region with these Media Resources.
  • There are many powerful and informative Books written about this issue. Read them on your own, or study them with a small group. Here is a list of our favorites: Books
  • Requests for prayer can be found here.

MennoPIN Press Release: Mennonite Church USA Votes Overwhelmingly For Israeli Occupation Investment Screen

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rev. Tom Harder; 316-617-9755tlharder1@gmail.com

Mennonite Church USA Votes Overwhelmingly for Israeli Occupation Investment Screen
6 July 2017

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Mennonite Palestine Israel Network (MennoPIN) welcomes the successful passage of the “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine” resolution by Mennonite Church USA (MCUSA) at its biennial convention in Orlando, FL, today. MCUSA delegates voted nearly unanimously to create an investment screen for the purpose of “withdrawing investments from companies that are profiting from the occupation.” The resolution was approved overwhelmingly, with approximately 98% of the 548 voters supporting it.

The comprehensive resolution lifts up the rights of Palestinian refugees, citizens of Israel, and those living under occupation, declaring the denomination’s opposition to Israel’s 50-year-old military rule over Palestinians in the occupied territories. The resolution also urges church agencies and members to review their own investments, to boycott products associated with the occupation or produced in Israeli settlements built on occupied Palestinian land in violation of international law and longstanding official US policy, and to advocate for an end to U.S. military aid and arms sales in the Middle East.

“This resolution is a long overdue response to the Palestinian Christian call to the global church,” said Joy Lapp, Professor of Religion at Iowa Wesleyan University and one of the founders of MennoPIN. “Today we stand in solidarity with their courageous and nonviolent efforts for justice and equality.”

The resolution focuses on ways Mennonites have been involved in harms against both Palestinians and Jews, and names concrete steps to address those harms. It addresses the ongoing reality of anti-Semitism around the world, and the extent to which Mennonites in the U.S. are complicit in Jewish suffering historically, currently, and theologically. Church members are encouraged to build relationships with Palestinian-American, Muslim and Jewish communities in the United States.

Mennonite Church USA joins with the Presbyterian Church (USA), United Methodist Church, United Church of Christ, Quakers, Unitarian Universalists, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and others who have taken economic action in recent years to support justice for Palestinians.

MennoPIN looks forward to working with denominational staff and members to robustly implement the resolution in the years ahead.

The Mennonite Palestine Israel Network (MennoPIN) is a grassroots network of Mennonites working for peace with justice in Palestine-Israel.


Mennonite Palestine-Israel Network
mennopin@gmail.com | mennopin.org | facebook.com/mennopin | twitter.com/mennopin

Steering Committee:
Tom Harder (Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church, Wichita, KS)
Joy Lapp (Pleasant View Mennonite Church, Mt Pleasant, IA)
Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach (Peace Fellowship Church, Washington, DC)
Timothy Seidel (Community Mennonite Church, Lancaster, PA)

MennoPIN Update: June 2017

In This Issue
June 20 Webinar
Countdown to Orlando
Vote for the New Steering Committee
Palestine Portal
HP-Free Churches
Read More
Prayer

June 20 Webinar on the “Seeking Peace in Israel-Palestine” Resolution
Andre Gingrich Stoner will be leading a webinar on June 20, 8:00 PM Eastern, in which he will expound upon the peace resolution to be presented at Orlando 2017. If you would like to join the webinar, click here to indicate your interest and receive viewing information.

Countdown to Orlando
It’s almost time for the Orlando convention! As we count down, please be sure to remind your congregational delegate(s) to vote for the Palestine-Israel resolution. We are also still compiling the list of endorsing congregations, so please let us know if we can list your congregation.

If you will be in Orlando and would be willing to help staff the MennoPIN booth, please email mennopin@gmail.com. In addition, there will be lots of seminars focused on Palestine-Israel, a reception on Wednesday evening (July 5) and MennoPIN’s biennial meeting on Friday evening.

Remember to Vote for the New Steering Committee
Yesterday you should have received an email with instructions on how to vote for the newly-nominated Steering Committee of MennoPIN. Please take time to register your vote online by June 20.

Palestine Portal
Check out a great new ecumenical resource, Palestine Portal. This new hub provides a centralized network of resources on church advocacy, allied organizations, current programs, and much more. Additionally, the site provides ways for you to connect with local and international communities that are likewise concerned about human rights abuses in Palestine. Palestine Portal also supports MennoPIN and other church newsletters in their weekly news feed.

HP-Free Churches
Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA) has called for U.S. churches to join them in a boycott of Hewlett Packard (HP) products. As one of the largest contractors for the U.S. defense industry, HP provides the registration and surveillance technology necessary for certain measures of state repression in Israel and the United States. FOSNA offers information about the activities of HP and how to mobilize your church at their website. Your congregation can also sign a pledge to indicate solidarity with the boycott movement.

Read More
Goshen Student Speaks on Capitol Hill
Action Alert: Stand With Issa Amro
Hope & Sumud – 50 Years of Israeli Military Occupation (MCC Palestine blog)
UN Human Rights Chief Calls for End to Israel’s Occupation of Palestine
The Past 50 Years of Israeli Occupation. And the Next.

Prayer
“2017 marks many anniversaries in the history of Palestine, including the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

Lord, this week we lament 50 years of occupation, which gave birth to so much injustice, suffering, and dispossession for the Palestinian people. We pray that 2017, this fiftieth year, will be a biblical year of Jubilee, a year in which we proclaim liberty to our land and all its inhabitants. Lord, we cry out to you that this year will be a time to speak truth to power, a time to break the silence surrounding injustice, a year for peace, a year for Palestine.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer…”

From Sabeel’s June 8 Wave of Prayer


Mennonite Palestine-Israel Network
mennopin@gmail.com | mennopin.org | facebook.com/mennopin | twitter.com/mennopin

Steering Committee:
Tom Harder (Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church, Wichita, KS)
Joy Lapp (Pleasant View Mennonite Church, Mt Pleasant, IA)
Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach (Peace Fellowship Church, Washington, DC)
Timothy Seidel (Community Mennonite Church, Lancaster, PA)

MennoPIN Update: May 2017

In This Issue
Gearing Up for Orlando
Nominations and Election Process
Resources Now Available in Spanish
Speaking Tour Continues
#Nakba69
Read More
Prayer

Gearing Up for Orlando
We’re continuing to prepare for the Mennonite Church USA convention this summer in Orlando. There’s lots going on! In addition, of course, to delegates voting on the Israel-Palestine resolution, there will be a full slate of Israel-Palestine workshops. MennoPIN is joining with several like-minded groups to sponsor a booth in the exhibit hall.

Wednesday evening there will be a “Come and See” reception, open to anyone wanting to learn more about Israel-Palestine, and Friday evening MennoPIN will hold our biennial working meeting. We hope to see you at all of these events!

Nominations and Election Process
In recent updates, we’ve mentioned that the Steering Committee has gone through some transitions. We’re making one last call for nominations to our Steering Committee. If you are interested, or would like to nominate someone else, please send an email to mennopin@gmail.com noting the name and contact info, congregation, and a brief description of the individual’s interest and qualifications by no later than this Friday May 19. Then, look for an electronic ballot of names in your inbox in early June, and at our meeting in Orlando we’ll introduce the new members of our Steering Committee.

Resources Now Available in Spanish
We’re excited to announce that the Kairos Palestine study guide produced by MennoPIN is now available in Spanish, as well as in English. In addition, the text of the resolution on Israel-Palestine to be considered this summer is available in both Spanish and English.

Speaking Tour Continues
The Jewish and Palestinian Voices for Peace tour wraps up with a few more events later this month, featuring Jonathan Kuttab and local representatives of Jewish Voice for Peace.

#Nakba69
Today, May 15, is remembered by Palestinians all over the world as “Nakba Day.” Nakba is the Arabic word for “catastrophe” and refers to the experience of Palestinians during the 1948 war, during which between 750,000 and 900,000 Palestinians were dispossessed and displaced, and over 500 Palestinian villages were destroyed. Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war, as well as the 1967 war, still wait–many in refugee camps throughout the Middle East–holding out for their right to return. As we remember and advocate for Palestinian refugees’ right to return, check out this new infographic illustrating that return is possible. To learn more, check out the work of organizations like Zochrot, Badil, and De-Colonizer as well as this educational resource from Jewish Voice for Peace.

Read More
Why I Support the Palestinian Right of Return by Rabbi Brant Rosen, who will be joining us at Orlando 2017 this summer.
New U.S. Bill Would Punish Settlement Boycotters.
Palestinians mark 69th ‘Nakba’ anniversary with rallies.
Two new resources on Gaza: Gaza Unlocked and Obliterated Families.

Prayer
“Last week, thousands of people gathered in Nelson Mandela Square in Ramallah to show support for the Palestinian prisoner hunger strikers. Nelson Mandela is viewed internationally as an icon against racism and an advocate for human rights. This week, many Palestinians and Internationals, including Church leaders and activists, plan to join a three day hunger strike as a show of solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners’ demands.

Lord, we continue to pray for the steadfastness of the Palestinian prisoners as they hunger for their rightful demands. We also pray for our people not to be led into the temptation of arms and continue the commitment to nonviolent resistance.
Lord in your mercy…”

–From Sabeel’s May 11 Wave of Prayer

Mennonite Palestine-Israel Network
mennopin@gmail.com | mennopin.org | facebook.com/mennopin | twitter.com/mennopin

Steering Committee:
Tom Harder (Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church, Wichita, KS)
Joy Lapp (Pleasant View Mennonite Church, Mt Pleasant, IA)
Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach (Peace Fellowship Church, Washington, DC)
Timothy Seidel (Community Mennonite Church, Lancaster, PA)

 

MennoPIN Update: April 2017

In This Issue
Jewish and Palestinian Voices for Peace Tour
Resolution Now Online
Reminder: Help Us Prepare for Orlando!
PeaceLab Podcast
Learn More
Prayer

Jewish and Palestinian Voices for Peace Tour
Mennonite Church USA staff is organizing a speaking tour, bringing representatives of local Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) chapters and Jonathan Kuttab, a Mennonite and Palestinian human rights attorney. These events will be a great way to educate church members about Israel-Palestine, leading up to the Orlando convention this summer. Invite your friends and congregation members to attend!

Stops on the tour include: North Carolina (April 7-9), Kansas (April 17-19), Eastern Pennsylvania (April 21-23), Ohio (May 7-10), Northern Indiana (May 11-13), Illinois (May 13-15) and Virginia (May 24-28). For more information about the speaking tour, contact Jonathan Brenneman.

Resolution Now Online; Will Your Congregation Endorse It?
The final version of the Israel-Palestine resolution is now online. Encourage your congregation to discuss the resolution and to consider endorsing it. If your congregation is able to endorse it, please send an email to mennopin@gmail.com.

Reminder: Help Us Prepare for Orlando!
As we mentioned last month, MennoPIN is gearing up for a strong presence at the Mennonite Church USA convention this summer. If you haven’t already, send us a quick email to let us know whether you will be in Orlando, who your congregation’s delegates will be and whether you think they will support the resolution on Israel-Palestine.

PeaceLab Podcast Focuses on Israel-Palestine
The March 27 PeaceLab Podcast, a production of The Mennonite, Inc. and the Peace and Justice Support Network, featured Jonathan Brenneman talking about Israel-Palestine.

Learn More

Prayer
“Lord, the humiliation and violence of the evil occupation is overwhelming. We pray for the steadfastness of Jerusalem and its people. May your spirit enlighten the Palestinians to transform our anger into hard work to achieve the long awaited peace that you have promised the city of your miraculous resurrection. Lord in your mercy…” –Excerpted from Sabeel’s March 30 Wave of Prayer

Mennonite Palestine-Israel Network
mennopin@gmail.com | mennopin.org | facebook.com/mennopin | twitter.com/mennopin

Steering Committee:
Tom Harder (Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church, Wichita, KS)
Joy Lapp (Pleasant View Mennonite Church, Mt Pleasant, IA)
Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach (Peace Fellowship Church, Washington, DC)
Timothy Seidel (Community Mennonite Church, Lancaster, PA)

 

MennoPIN Update: March 2017

In This Issue
Preparing for Orlando
BDS Webinar Now Available Online
Churches Call for Equality
Changes to Steering Committee
Prayer
Lent Resource

Preparing for Orlando: Help Us Out!
There’s a MennoPIN subcommittee meeting regularly to prepare for our presence at the Mennonite Church USA convention this summer in Orlando. Please help us out by sending a quick email to mennopin@gmail.com to let us know whether you are going to Orlando, who your congregation’s delegates will be and whether you think they will support the resolution on Israel-Palestine. Lots of tasks remain to help get ready for convention and also to provide a strong presence at the convention itself, so if you’re able to help out, please let us know that too!

BDS Webinar Now Available Online
If you missed the Feb. 20 webinar, “The BDS Movement: What it is, what it isn’t, and how it relates to Mennonites,” or want to share it with friends, it’s now available online. Speakers included Garik Ruiz of the BDS National Committee, Mark Regier of Everence Financial, and Andre Gingrich Stoner of the “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine Resolution” writing committee.

Churches Call for Peace, Justice and Equality
On Feb. 15, the day that Prime Minister Netanyahu met with President Trump, 15 national Christian organizations, including Mennonite Central Committee U.S., sent a briefing paper to all members of Congress and to the Trump administration. The paper said that “equal rights and opportunities must be assured for all people in the region – not someday based on an idea of future negotiations, but as a fundamental human right today.”

Changes to MennoPIN Steering Committee
A big thank you to George Muedeking and Erica Littlewolf, who are both stepping down from the MennoPIN Steering Committee. Both brought much wisdom and energy to our group and we will miss their contributions.

We also want to welcome back Tom Harder as chair of MennoPIN, after a period of time away. Additional changes to the Steering Committee are in the works, so stay tuned for further updates.

Prayer

Holy God, in the beginning you created the heavens and the earth
And you called it good.
The earth is yours, and all that is in it,
The world, and those who live in it.
And yet, through human greed, carelessness, and violence,
Your good creation is destroyed.
Today we pray for the land called holy, caught in an unholy conflict.
We pray for Palestinian communities threatened by settlements and settler
violence…
–Excerpted from a prayer from the ACT Palestine Forum. See the whole prayer service online.

Lent Resource
You may want to also check out “What Would They Say Now? Encounters with People of the Bible,” a six-week Lenten resource from Friends of Sabeel North America.

Mennonite Palestine-Israel Network
mennopin@gmail.com | mennopin.org | facebook.com/mennopin | twitter.com/mennopin

Steering Committee:
Tom Harder (Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church, Wichita, KS)
Joy Lapp (Pleasant View Mennonite Church, Mt Pleasant, IA)
Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach (Peace Fellowship Church, Washington, DC)
Timothy Seidel (Community Mennonite Church, Lancaster, PA)

 

MennoPIN Update: February 2017

In This Issue
Webinar on BDS: Sign Up Now!
Spread Word about Kairos Study Guide
Also Check Out…

The BDS Movement: What it is, what it isn’t, and how it relates to Mennonites
Monday, Feb. 20, 1 pm EST / 12 pm CST / 11 am MST / 10 am PST
There has been a lot of talk about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) called for by Palestinians. Join our panel including Garik Ruiz of the BDS National Committee, Mark Regier of Everence Financial, and Andre Gingrich Stoner of the “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine Resolution” writing committee as they discuss the movement, its political goals, its practicality, and how it relates to the Mennonite Church USA resolution. The conversation will be facilitated by Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach of MCC and will include time for your questions. Please RSVP HERE.

Spread the Word about the Kairos Palestine Study Guide
Consider including the text below, or excerpts from it, in your congregation’s bulletin or conference’s newsletter. Help us spread the word about this great resource!

New Israel/Palestine Study Guide Available
Kairos Palestine: A Four-Week Congregational Study Plan is now available for congregations to use in preparation for the convention in Orlando in July.  The Mennonite Palestine Israel Network prepared the study guide in response to the resolution entitled “A Statement of Support for our Palestinian and Israeli Partners in Peacemaking”  passed by the Delegate Assembly in Kansas City in 2015. The resolution pledged to devote the next two years to learning about the situation in Israel/Palestine and to discernment regarding the Mennonite Church response. The basis of the study guide is the Kairos Palestine document that was written by Palestinian Christian leaders in 2009 as an appeal to the world, including their Christian brothers and sisters, to understand their situation and to respond with action. Kairos Palestine is deeply committed to Jesus’ way of love and nonviolence, even in the face of entrenched injustice. The study guide includes the full text of the Kairos Palestine document, as well as helpful background information about the reality on the ground, and a four-week congregational plan of study with links to video resources. The study guide is available from MennoMedia and also as a free download on the MCUSA website and the MennoPIN website.

MennoMedia http://store.mennomedia.org/Kairos-Palestine-P4755.aspx
Free download http://mennoniteusa.org/what-we-do/peacebuilding/israelpalestine-initiatives/
Free download https://mennopin.org/2014/08/01/kairos-palestine-mennonite-response/.

Note: A Spanish language translation of the study guide will be available soon.

Also Check Out…
Several recent Mennonite World Review articles have focused on Israel-Palestine:
Palestinian Mennonite Seeks Peace through Respect (also see this powerful Mondoweiss piece about Jonathan Kuttab)
Israel’s Status Quo
Cruel Checkpoints in Palestine

Tell Congress: Support peace, don’t undermine it: Action alert from the MCC Washington Office

Disturbing the Peace: A new film about Combatants for Peace

Learn more about the Nakba Museum, an effort to ensure the Palestinian story is told in Washington, D.C., led by Bshara Nassar, a graduate of Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding.

 


Mennonite Palestine-Israel Network
mennopin@gmail.com | mennopin.org | facebook.com/mennopin | twitter.com/mennopin

Steering Committee:
Joy Lapp (Pleasant View Mennonite Church, Mt Pleasant, IA)
Erica Littlewolf (White River Cheyenne Mennonite Church, Busby, MT)
George Muedeking (Albuquerque Mennonite Church, Albuquerque, NM)
Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach (Peace Fellowship Church, Washington, DC)
Timothy Seidel (Community Mennonite Church, Lancaster, PA)

 

URGENT: FEEDBACK REQUESTED MennoPIN Update December 2016

In This Issue
URGENT: Give Feedback on Israel-Palestine Resolution by Dec. 20!
Going to the Orlando Convention?
Webinar Now Online
For Further Reflection

URGENT: Be Sure to Give Feedback on the Resolution! December 20 Deadline
Mennonite Church USA has posted the draft Israel-Palestine resolution, to be considered at the convention in Orlando in July and is inviting feedback on it. Please go online to read through the draft text and submit feedback before the deadline, which is December 20. Encourage others from your congregation to do so as well.

While the process from here until Orlando is still uncertain—and we on the steering committee still have questions, especially following reports from a recent Executive Board meeting—we will continue to engage this process, so keep checking in at mennopin.org and facebook.com/mennopin and twitter.com/mennopin.

Going to the Orlando Convention?
Thanks to those who have volunteered to help plan MennoPIN’s presence at the Orlando convention next summer. We could still use a few more volunteers. If you’d like to join the Orlando subgroup, please email mennopin@gmail.com with Orlando in the subject line.

Webinar Now Online
If you weren’t able to join the Nov. 17 webinar, A Rabbi and a Pastor walk through a checkpoint:  Relating to Jewish neighbors while working for justice in Palestine, you can still listen to it online and share it with friends.

For Further Reflection
The Kairos Palestine Christmas Alert 2016 “reminds us of the plight of Palestinian children. It provides theological reflections, prayers, reports, articles and stories to guide deeper and more meaningful celebrations. Inspired by the real Christmas story, the themes cover current conditions of dispossession, homelessness, fear, poverty and exile suffered by our children.”

“Occupation is the essence of evil. It must be fought in any way possible,” said Elhanan. “Occupation is the reason we lost our children. I think it goes without saying that you should boycott the products of the settlements without thinking twice.” –TMail: Israeli and Palestinian Parents Share Stories of Grief, Resilience in Ohio and Indiana

“For us in Aida, on the frontline of Israel’s settlement regime, the situation is urgent. Ending trade with settlements would deny Israel the means of maintaining their occupation and give us some relief from its immediate, choking effects. This would provide our children and us with the first glimmer of hope for a future of justice, dignity and peace.” —The Frontline of Israel’s Settlement Regime, Salah Ajarma, Lajee Center, Aida Refugee Camp

“According to the U.N., 95 percent of the water to which Gaza residents have access is not safe to drink. A 2015 U.N. report warned that the Gaza Strip, with nearly 2 million inhabitants, could become “uninhabitable” by 2020, due to the Israeli government’s destructive bombing campaigns and stifling blockade…Like Gazans, indigenous groups in North Dakota are worried about their access to clean water. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which has led the NoDAPL protests, warns that its water and land will be polluted by the Dakota Access pipeline.” — Palestinians support indigenous Dakota pipeline protests: “We stand with Standing Rock”

Bethlehem Prayer Service, Saturday, December 17 at 10:00 am
Join those gathered in the Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem and Washington National Cathedral for the 10th annual joint Christmas Service, joined via satellite telecast.

Alert from MCC Washington Office: Call on President Obama to Act for Peace in Palestine and Israel.


Mennonite Palestine-Israel Network
mennopin@gmail.com | mennopin.org | facebook.com/mennopin | twitter.com/mennopin

Steering Committee:
Joy Lapp (Pleasant View Mennonite Church, Mt Pleasant, IA)
Erica Littlewolf (White River Cheyenne Mennonite Church, Busby, MT)
George Muedeking (Albuquerque Mennonite Church, Albuquerque, NM)
Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach (Peace Fellowship Church, Washington, DC)
Timothy Seidel (Community Mennonite Church, Lancaster, PA)

 

MennoPIN Update: November 2016

In This Issue
Interested in Planning MennoPIN’s Presence at Convention?
Want to Join the Steering Committee?
Next Webinar: Thursday, November 17 at 7 pm EST
Boycott HP Week of Action
U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights
New MCC Resource
For Further Reading

Going to Convention Next Year?
If you are going to the Mennonite Church USA convention next year in Orlando and have interest in helping to shape MennoPIN’s presence there, join our new subgroup: Orlando 2017! We want to have a booth in the exhibit hall, help lead workshops, hand out flyers, and garner as much support as possible for a strong resolution on Israel-Palestine. Also, please consider volunteering to be a delegate from your congregation, so that you can vote directly for the resolution. If you’d like to join the Orlando subgroup, please email mennopin@gmail.com with Orlando in the subject line.

Want to Join the Steering Committee?
As we get better established as a network, MennoPIN’s Steering Committee is formalizing our structure. We welcome feedback on our proposed guidelines. We also welcome nominations for people to serve on the Steering Committee. If you are interested or want to nominate someone else, send an email to mennopin@gmail.com,with Steering Committee in the subject line. For the person you are nominating, note name, Mennonite congregation affiliation, and brief description, including interest and experience with Israel-Palestine. The Steering Committee will then bring a slate of nominees to you for approval.

Next Webinar: Thursday, November 17 at 7 pm Eastern / 4 pm Pacific
A Rabbi and a Pastor walk through a checkpoint:  Relating to Jewish neighbors while working for justice in Palestine
Are you passionate about peace with justice in Israel-Palestine, but unsure how to engage with Jewish friends, colleagues, or neighbors? Pastor Amy Yoder McGloughlin and Rabbi Linda Holtzman will share stories of their work together co-leading tours to Israel-Palestine, listening and speaking to various audiences about their experience, and engaging their respective communities. The webinar will include conversation about what has and hasn’t been helpful, and some ideas for building relationships together. Please join and invite your friends. Sign up here.

Also, the October 13 webinar on Kairos Palestine with Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac is now available online. It provides a great overview of Palestinian Christians and the Kairos Palestine call.

Boycott HP Week of Action: November 25-December 3
The week of Nov. 25-Dec. 3 will be Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Days of Action around the world targeting Hewlett Packard. November 29 is the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. For more information and to sign up, click here.

U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights
The U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation, of which MennoPIN is a member, announced it is changing its name to the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights. Just prior to the U.S. Campaign’s national conference on October 14-17 in Arlington, Va., several MennoPIN representatives joined a meeting of more than 70 faith-based advocates working for justice in Palestine.

New Resource from Mennonite Central Committee
A new resource, “MCC and Palestine and Israel: Commonly asked questions,” is now available online from MCC.

For Further Reading
Back the Boycott: The Canadian Mennonite endorses BDS


Mennonite Palestine-Israel Network
mennopin@gmail.com | mennopin.org | facebook.com/mennopin | twitter.com/mennopin

Steering Committee:
Joy Lapp (Pleasant View Mennonite Church, Mt Pleasant, IA)
Erica Littlewolf (White River Cheyenne Mennonite Church, Busby, MT)
George Muedeking (Albuquerque Mennonite Church, Albuquerque, NM)
Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach (Peace Fellowship Church, Washington, DC)
Timothy Seidel (Community Mennonite Church, Lancaster, PA)

 

Looking toward MC USA Orlando 2017: What can you do?

As you know, the Israel/Palestine Resolution was tabled in Kansas City last summer. As we look forward to a revision being presented at the Mennonite Church USA convention in Orlando next summer, the steering committee is already starting to organize for a MennoPIN presence at the convention. There are two ways that you can help prepare for the convention:

1. Educate the delegates in your congregation and conference. The Kairos Study guide is a great resource for a Sunday School class or other adult forum.

a. Printed guides are available from MennoMedia.
b. A PDF can be downloaded from MennoPIN.
c. Please consider making a contribution to MennoPIN so we can provide copies of the Kairos Study Guide to all conference leaders.

2. Contribute to the cost of a booth and printed materials in Orlando. We estimate that we will need $1500.

a. Please make checks out to “Pleasant View Mennonite Church” and clearly write “MennoPIN” in the comment line.
b. Send checks to:

Pleasant View Mennonite Church
Attn: MennoPIN
1101 N Lucas Street
Mount Pleasant, IA  52641

As convention planning gets underway, we will be in touch with updates on our end, but please do let us know what you all are doing as well.

Thank you for your support and all the work you do for a just peace!


Mennonite Palestine-Israel Network
mennopin@gmail.com | mennopin.org | facebook.com/mennopin | twitter.com/mennopin

Steering Committee:
Tom Harder (Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church, Wichita, KS)
Joy Lapp (Pleasant View Mennonite Church, Mt Pleasant, IA)
Erica Littlewolf (White River Cheyenne Mennonite Church, Busby, MT)
George Muedeking (Albuquerque Mennonite Church, Albuquerque, NM)
Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach (Peace Fellowship Church, Washington, DC)
Timothy Seidel (Community Mennonite Church, Lancaster, PA)