MennoPIN Monthly Update: July 2018

MennoPIN Update: July 2018
View this email in your browser
MENNONITE PALESTINE ISRAEL NETWORK

July 2018 Monthly Update

In This Issue
Ahed Tamimi Released from Prison
Israel Officially Becomes an Apartheid State
West Bank Palestinian Universities Under Attack
Gaza in the Limelight
MennoPIN is Helping MC USA Implement the Orlando Resolution
Presbyterian Church USA and Episcopal Church Vote to Support Palestine
Ocasio-Cortez Campaign Highlights Support of Gaza
Go HP-Free
Read More
Prayer

Ahed Tamimi with her father, Bassem, and mother, Nariman, who also left prison on Sunday, in Nabi Saleh in the West Bank. (Photo Credit: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters)

Ahed Tamimi Released from Prison
On Sunday, July 29, 2018, Ahed Tamimi arrived home to a hero’s welcome in Nabi Saleh, West Bank. Along with her mother, Nariman, the 17-year-old Ahed was released after serving a full sentence for what an Israeli military court called “assault and incitement” charges after she slapped an Israeli soldier following the shooting of her cousin in the face by another Israeli military gunman.

Upon her exit from prison, Ahed defiantly shouted to those surrounding her: “I say resistance is continuing until the occupation is removed. All female prisoners in jail are strong and I thank everyone who stood by me while I was in prison and who stood by all women in prison.” She continued later in a more solemn tone, saying that she “knew a long time ago” I would be arrested for “choosing this path…Life in prison was very difficult. Anyone who chooses this path should prepare themselves to spend time in prison.”

Saleh Nigazi, Amnesty International’s Jerusalem chief, said in a statement. “Ahed Tamimi has been released, but only after serving an unjust sentence based on the ridiculous premise that she posed a threat to armed and heavily protected soldiers…a blatant attempt by Israeli authorities to intimidate those who dare to challenge the ongoing brutal repression by occupying forces…Ahed Tamimi’s release must not obscure the familiar and continuing story of Israel military using discriminatory policies to lock up Palestinian children.”

After the Knesset passed the Nation-State bill, Arab lawmakers tear up the bill in protest (Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi)

Israel Officially Becomes an Apartheid State
On July 19, 2018 Israel shed any pretense of being a democracy when the Israeli Knesset voted by a slim margin, 62-55, to make Israel the nation-state of the Jewish people that gives Jewish citizens the sole right to self-determination. The new law, among other things:

  • “authorizes a community composed of people having the same faith and nationality to maintain the exclusive character of that community”
  • “sees developing Jewish communities as a national value and will act to encourage, promote and establish them”
  • “would also permit Jewish religious law to be implemented in certain cases and remove Arabic as an official language”

In addition to the fervent objection of Arab-Israeli lawmakers, many Jewish members of the Knesset vehemently opposed passage of the law. Tamar Zandberg forcefully protested that “the basic law that advanced today is not a basic law on nationality but a basic law of racism. This is a law that was born in sin and advanced through arm-twisting among the extremist and nationalist elements in the coalition.” Another Knesset member, Dov Khenin, charged that the bill is “a model of undisguised racism, suited only to corrupt rulers who have lost all shame.”

Nearly 20% of Israel’s population are Palestinian and hold Israeli citizenship. The enacted law, which some have called “an Israeli Jim Crow” law, completely disenfranchises these Palestinians. The initiator and sponsor of the bill, Avi Dichter, left no doubt that Israel has become an apartheid state when, after the bill passed, he proudly stated: “We are passing this bill to make sure that no one has any doubt, or even any thoughts, about Israel being a state for all its citizens.”

An irony to this bill is that the majority of the global Jewish population do not live in Israel and never will. And they are not happy with Knesset’s new law. Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace, indicated that there is much more unanimity than usual in the American Jewish community in opposition to this bill. Stay tuned to the MennoPIN Monthly Update for further developments.

West Bank Palestinian Universities Under Attack
Samia Khoury, one of the founders of Sabeel, writes: “As if the nationality law passed recently was not enough, now all the universities are facing this problem.” She was referring to an article in Haaretz entitled, “Destroying Palestinian Universities.”

The quality of education at West Bank academic institutions is being undermined by new Israeli rules on professors. Both foreign lecturers and researchers, as well as Palestinians who studied or taught abroad, are being expelled through bureaucratic maneuvers. More than half of foreign lecturers at these universities, many of whom have taught in Palestinian universities for many years, are having their requests for residency visa extensions denied because they have been “living in the area for more than five years.” A significant number of the lecturers being expelled are Palestinians who studied in the United States and Europe, some of whom were born in occupied territories and studied abroad. Other lecturers from the United States and Europe are being told they need to pack up their bags and go home. Because the presence of international researchers for lengthy periods of time is a criterion for ranking institutions of higher learning, West Bank Palestinian universities and their student population will suffer the consequences of more Israeli oppression.

Gaza in the Limelight
To get an excellent current overview of the situation in Gaza, read the July 2018 issue of This Week in Palestine. The issue highlights not only the overwhelmingly difficult challenges facing Gaza, but also vividly portrays the impressive resilience and determination of Gazans.

MennoPIN is Helping MC USA Implement the Orlando Resolution
In July 2017, the Mennonite Church USA passed the Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine Resolution. During this past year, MennoPIN has been actively helping with the implementation of the resolution by:

  • partnering with Palestinian and Israeli Peacemakers by supporting regional groups and conference Task Forces working locally
  • understanding the realities of the occupation by offering the Kairo Palestine Study Guide  and listing learning tours to the Holy Land
  • engaging Christian Zionism through gathering resources on the topic to be shared
  • advocating with the United States government through participation in MC USA delegations to the U.S. Capitol
  • avoiding economic support for the occupation while investing in peace and justice, supporting four MC USA congregations (so far) joining the HP-Free Churches campaign, participating in a consultation with Everence reviewing their human rights screen and developing a product boycott campaign
  • strengthening relationships with Muslim and Palestinian-American communities by offering scholarships for college students to attend the American Muslims for Palestine’s Palestine Advocacy Day in Washington, DC with four students from Goshen College attending
  • examining the legacy of antisemitism with members of the MennoPIN Steering Committee attending the Mennonites and the Holocaust conference
  • building relationships with Jewish communities by partnering with Jewish groups and individuals in the United States pursuing the call to social justice and peacemaking, and applauding MC USA creating the Mennonite Jewish Working Group’s pursuit of this much-needed work.

Presbyterian Church USA and Episcopal Church Vote for Support of Palestine
Both Presbyterian Church USA and the Episcopal Church passed a series of resolutions asserting the right of Palestinians for self-determination, opposing anti-BDS legislation and the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, condemning Israel’s violence against Gaza protestors and more. MennoPIN is grateful for these measures taken.

Ocasio-Cortez Campaign Highlights Support of Gaza
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stunned the political world when she defeated long-time congressman, Joe Crowley, in the Queens New York Democratic primary. Even more startling was her open condemnation of Israeli violence against Gazans during her campaign. Referring to the killing of 130 Gazans by Israeli forces, Ocasio-Cortez said: “No state or entity is absolved of mass shootings of protestors. There is no justification…The idea that we are not supposed to talk about people dying when they are engaging in political expression just really moved me.”

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
This Week in Palestine
Why Palestine Matters
The Palestinian Portal Resource
HP-Free Church Campaign

Prayer
Israel has endorsed the Nation-State Law that serves to define the nature of the state of Israel, disregarding human rights and democratic values. There are now more than sixty-five Israeli statutes which discriminate against the Palestinian citizens. Lord, we continue to pray for justice and freedom for all people in our troubled land. Help us to remember that when those who suffer injustice cry out to you, yours eyes are towards them and you ear hears them. You promise to be near the broken-hearted and you saved the crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:13-16). Lord in your mercy…Sabeel 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)
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)

MennoPIN Monthly Update: June 2018

June 2018 Monthly Update

In This Issue
Intersectionality
Update on Esther Koontz and Ahed Tamimi
Congressional Bill to Apply Israel-Centric Definition to Antisemitism on Campuses
Cities for Palestine Campaign and Toolkit
MCC Signs Gaza Statement and Offers Action to Take
Christ at the Checkpoint Conference USA
Go HP-Free
Read More
Prayer

Razan Al-Najjar (left) and Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez (right)
Intersectionality
Oppression does not occur in a vacuum. The dots connecting injustice cross geographic boundaries and specific issues. Antisemitism, Black racism and Islamophobia have common links in the United States and around the world. Intersectionality is the term increasingly used to describe these threads of connection. Four examples illustrate the intersectionality between the United States and Israel:

1. Razan Al-Najjar was a 21-year-old medical volunteer shot dead on June 1, 2018 by an Israeli sniper as she tended the wounded in Gaza during the Great March of Return. Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez was a 20-year-old woman from San Juan Ostuncalco in Guatemala was also shot dead on May 23, 2018 by a US Border Patrol agent as she marched to a safer and better life in the US. Within eight days of each other, these two young women (photograph above) were murdered at a border, Razan on the Gaza/Israel border and Claudia on the Mexico/US Border.

2. Israel and the US have state-enforced policies to separate children from their families and hold them in detention. Several hundred Palestinian children languish in Israeli prisons and several thousand Central American children suffer detention in cages in the United States, all forcibly separated from their families.

3. The building of racist walls of separation in Israel and the planned expansion of walls on the Mexico/US border involve two Israeli corporations: Elbit and Elta play a significant role in building both walls.

4. The Trump and Netanyahu collaboration with dangerous exchange programs bring together police, ICE, border patrol and the FBI from the United States with soldiers, police and border patrols from Israel for training in control and intimidation tactics and the use of lethal force.

Update on Esther Koontz and Ahed Tamimi

Esther Koontz (left) and Ahed Tamimi (right)

Earlier this year, Esther Koontz, a Mennonite school teacher, filed a lawsuit against the State of Kansas when she lost a job opportunity because she would not promise to not boycott Israeli corporations or institutions that participate in the oppression of Palestinian people. Esther told MennoPIN that after the injunction against the Kansas law took effect, “the state of Kansas passed a new law stating that the anti boycott certificate only applies to companies (not individuals) and only those with contracts over $100,000.  Therefore, the law no longer applies to me, so I can no longer be a plaintiff.  My lawyers will likely be dismissing the case on our terms.” Stay tuned for further developments on Esther’s case.

Also, a parole board in the West Bank Rimonim prison rejected Ahed Tamimi’s request for early release from prison because she has “dangerous ideology” and should remain in prison for deterrence purposes. The teenaged Ahed was sentenced to eight months in prison last March after confronting and slapping Israeli soldiers who shot here cousin in the face. After serving her full term, Ahed is set to be released from prison later this summer. During her parole session, Ahed told the parole board, “I will get out of prison with my head up.”

Congressional Bill to Apply Israel-Centric Definition to Antisemitism to Campuses
US lawmakers from both houses of Congress and both sides of the aisle have introduced legislation to make criticism of Israel on campuses and at other educational institutions equivalent to antisemitism. The current legislation (H.R.6421 and S.2940) is entitled: “Antisemitism Awareness Act of 2018.” While antisemitism is clearly on the rise in the United States and needs to be addressed and condemned, this bill effectively outlaws expression of a political and moral opinion critical of policies and actions by the government of Israel as antisemitic and illegal. Some states are also crafting similar legislation. MennoPIN encourages you to contact your congresspeople to express opposition to these bills.

Cities for Palestine Campaign and Toolkit
The US Campaign for Palestinian Rights has launched a new campaign called Cities for Palestine. Palestinians in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip are beginning their 51st year of brutal Israeli military occupation. As resistance builds across Palestine, the US Campaign is encouraging people in the United States to seize opportunities to organize for Palestinian rights in our cities, towns, counties and states. The municipalities approach has worked before, in the South African anti-apartheid movement and environmental justice campaigns.

Go here citiesforpalestine.org to get eight ideas on how to start a campaign and a toolkit to help implementing a municipal campaign in your community.

MCC Signs Ecumenical Gaza Refugee Rights Statement and Offers Actions to Take
The Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) sign a statement along with fourteen other church and church agency bodies in support of the right of return for the people of Gaza. Referring to the Great Return March, the statement affirms that “the Gaza demonstrations are an assertion of Palestinian rights: the rights of refugees, the right to demonstrate peacefully against injustice, and the right to live in and with dignity, not under closed military confinement or blockade.” Read the entire statement here.

The MCC Washington Memo also offers “Take Action” ideas to “Tell Congress: 70 Years of Suffering is Enough.” Go here and tell your congresspeople what you think!

Christ at the Checkpoint Conference USA
The first Christ at the Checkpoint Conference in the United States will be held in Oklahoma City, OK October 15 – 18, 2018. Since 2010 Palestinian Christians have held an international Christ at the Checkpoint Conference at Bethlehem Bible College in Bethlehem, Palestine every other year. Organizers of the U.S. conference feel “compelled to address the injustices that have taken place in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine, particularly the Palestine lands under occupation…We believe that standing up nonviolently to injustice is an acceptable expression of our faith.” For more on the conference and to register, click here.

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
Why Palestine Matters
No Way to Treat a Child Campaign
The Palestinian Portal Resource
HP-Free Church Campaign

Prayer
The “Great March of Return” continues in Gaza.  Tens of thousands of Palestinians attended morning prayers for Eid-el-Fitr, the celebration which marks the end of the month-long Ramadan fast.  Lord we continue to pray for the Palestinian demonstrators and their commitment to non-violence. We pray that the Israeli government would abide by international law and would allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland. Lord in you mercy…Hear our prayer. Sabeel wave of prayer

MennoPIN May 2018 Monthly Update

MennoPIN Update: May 2018
View this email in your browser
MENNONITE PALESTINE ISRAEL NETWORK
May 2018 Monthly Update

In This Issue
Targeted Death and Serious Injury Invade Peaceful Gaza Protests
A Harrowing Juxtaposition: Gaza Massacre and US Embassy in Jerusalem
How Much Money Are You Giving to Israeli’s Military Machine?
Christ at the Checkpoint Conference USA
Go HP-Free
Read More
Prayer


(Photo: Ashref Amra/APA Images)
“We know that the road to freedom has always been stalked by death.”
– Angela Davis
Targeted Death and Serious Injury Mark Nonviolent Gaza Protest and Nakba Day
Since the beginning of the Great March of Return, beginning on March 30, 2018 and continuing to May 15, 2018, Nakba Day, tens of thousands of nonviolent demonstrators took to the Gaza/Israel border to claim their right, by international law, to return to their lands. Israeli sharp shooters have responded by targeting and killing more than one hundred men, women, children, infants, medical workers and press with live ammunition and injured thousands more, often resulting in life-long crippling injuries. On May 14, the day before Nakba Day, more than sixty nonviolent protesters were shot dead by Israeli military forces. The tragedy is unspeakable, but some Palestinians present put words to their pain, anger and a glimmer of hope.

In this regrettable day, the Israelis are cheering up with red wine after shedding our blood and opening the new U.S. embassy in our Jerusalem. But we have nothing to do but being more immovable to the last drop of blood. No problem, shedding more blood could be a message to Trump that recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would turn into a curse and he will be dropped as history’s rubbish.” – Suzan al-Zaza, 45, chair of an orphan association

Our people in Gaza need to live again, since this miserable life under Egyptian-Israeli blockade. I have four brothers who all are unemployed. I think this would not happen in any country, but in Gaza is normal, since we are like slaves who wait for drops of water to drink or pieces of bread to eat.” – Abrar al-Banna, 20, journalism student

Even if we would be forced to eat the sand, freedom would come closer. Even if we failed to return to Haifa, then our children and grandchildren will do so. So, counting the years is not a problem. One day everything will be changed. Injustice and oppression are not going to stay forever” – Yahya Shallah, 40, painter

A Harrowing Juxtaposition: Gaza Massacre and US Embassy in Jerusalem

(Photo: The Japan Times)
While Israeli forces massacred dozens of nonviolent Palestinian protesters, press and medical personnel in Gaza, political elites from the U.S. and Israel symbolically opened the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. During his speech, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu praised the inauguration of the embassy as a “great day for peace” while Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, imagined that now “peace is within reach.”
They have treated the wound of my people carelessly, saying ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.” – Jeremiah 6:14

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it. How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” – Matthew 23:37

How Much Are You Giving Israel for Weapons?
The Obama administration agreed to give Israel $38 billion dollars of weapons between 2019 and 2028, $3.8 billion dollars per year. Israel will use these weapons, in violation of US laws, to commit human rights abuses against Palestinians, including injuring and killing civilians, detaining and abusing children, demolishing homes, uprooting agriculture, and denying freedom of movement and expression.

U.S. citizens are footing the bill for this carnage through their tax dollars at an average of $25.25 per taxpayer. To find out how much your state or your city is contributing to Israel’s weapons and how you can “offset” your contribution to occupation forces, click here.

Christ at the Checkpoint Conference USA
The first Christ at the Checkpoint Conference in the United States will be held in Oklahoma City, OK, October 15 – 18, 2018. Since 2010 Palestinian Christians have held an international Christ at the Checkpoint Conference at Bethlehem Bible College in Bethlehem, Palestine every other year. Organizers of the U.S. conference feel “compelled to address the injustices that have taken place in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine, particularly the Palestine lands under occupation…We believe that standing up nonviolently to injustice is an acceptable expression of our faith.” For more on the conference and to register, click here.

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
Mondeweiss
No Way to Treat a Child Campaign
The Palestinian Portal Resource
HP-Free Church Campaign

Prayer
Friday May 11th marked the seventh week of the ‘Great March of Return’ protest in Gaza. Thousands of Palestinians are demonstrating at the borders with Israel to call for the right of refugees to return to their homeland. At least eighty-eight Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the protests began on the 30th of March. Lord, we pray for the safety of those taking part in the protest and we long for their cries to be heard. We pray too that the international community would speak out in support of the right of Palestinians to return to the land they were forced to leave. Lord in your mercy…  Hear our Prayers 
Sabeel 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)
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)

Share
Tweet
Forward
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Twitter
Website
Website
Email
Email
Copyright © 2018 MennoPIN, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you asked to join the Mennonite Palestine Israel Network (MennoPIN).

Add us to your address book.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences

MennoPIN April 2018 Monthly Update

April 2018 Monthly Update
In This Issue
45 Palestinians Killed in the Great Return March
Nabi Saleh Remains Under Siege
Students for Justice in Palestine Activism Grows
Dangerous Exchanges in Durham, NC
MennoPIN Signs Letter Calling for End to the Occupation
Take A Palestinian Liberation Theology Short Course
Go HP-Free
Read More
Prayer

Transporting a wounded Palestinian demonstrator at the Great Return March. (Credit Mohammed Saber/European Pressphoto Agency)

45 Palestinians Killed in the Great Return March
As the Great Return March enters its fifth week, 45 Palestinians have been killed while thousands more have been injured. The nonviolent demonstrations, at the border between Israel and Gaza, began on Land Day, March 30, 2018 with protests against Israel’s refusal to allow refugees the right of return to their lands guaranteed by international law. The march will end on May 15, 2018, Nakba Day. Known as the “day of catastrophe” among Palestinians, Nakba Day this year marks the time seventy years ago when Israel became a state and violently drove hundreds of thousands of Palestinians into exile and killed thousands more. The demonstrations are expected to spread throughout Palestine on Nakba Day.Most Western media coverage of the Great Return March concentrates its attention on the few who have thrown rocks or rolled burning tires. Hamas is often portrayed as instigators of the demonstrations. Nothing could be further from the truth. The protests are intentionally nonviolent, and organizers of the march come from all segments of Gaza’s civil and political society, of which Hamas is one part, but only one player. It is the Israeli military forces, sheltered safely hundreds of meters away, who commit the violence, using sniper fire, teargas and grenades.Despite the continuing suffering, the spirit of Palestinian people remains strong and determined and the role of women at the forefront of peaceful protest is growing. Make sure that your congressional representatives know that you stand for peace with justice in Palestine.

Nabi Saleh Experiences Ongoing Siege
While 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi and her mother remain in prison, their village of Nabi Saleh remains under siege. For the last nine years, many of the village’s 600 inhabitants stage a weekly nonviolent protest following the Israeli confiscation of the main spring of the village for use by the Halamish settlement nearby. Israeli military forces respond to the peaceful demonstrators with teargas, arrests and sometimes bullets. Three people have been killed there and nineteen residents of Nabi Saleh are in prison.

   
Israeli soldiers shooting teargas in the center of the village of Nabi Saleh (Photo: Activetills.org)

Recent visitors describe their experience. A quiet Saturday in Nabi Saleh was broken by couple of booms: “Live gunfire followed by a stun grenade. Finally, a couple of minutes later we see teargas coming. In seconds, we were gagging, spitting up, coughing, tearing up—eyes on fire, throats chocking.”

Nabi Saleh is not alone in experiencing the Israeli occupation’s persistent violence against Palestinian villages in the West Bank. Many others also know similar unprovoked violence of Israel’s military forces.

Students for Justice in Palestine Activism Grows
Established in 2010, the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has grown to more than 200 university chapters nationwide. Centering on freedom, justice and equality for the Palestinian people, SJP activists seek to educate and raise awareness among fellow students about the oppression experienced by Palestinians under the Israeli occupation, especially most recently in response to the killing of Palestinians in the Great Return March. But they also seek to pressure their respective universities to “divest its stocks, funds and endowment from companies that profit from the state of Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian human rights through its ongoing system of settler colonialism, military occupation and apartheid,” as the Barnard College SJP chapter recently put it.

Barnard became the latest student body to approve a referendum, pressuring its administration to divest, with 64% of students in favor. More than sixty university student bodies have approved similar referendums and specifically name offending companies like Hewlett Packard, Caterpillar, GS4, Lockheed, Boeing and Elbit Systems. SJP works further to get their university to also approve of the measure.

Dangerous Exchanges and Durham, NC
Collaboration between the Trump and Netanyahu administrations has gone beyond embassy relocation and taken a deadly turn. The dangerous exchange programs bring together police, ICE, border patrol and the FBI from the United States with soldiers, police and border patrols from Israel for training in control, intimidation and the use of lethal force. In these mutual exchanges, the two countries learn from each other to promote discriminatory and repressive policies in both countries, including extrajudicial executions, shoot-to-kill policies, racial profiling, spying and surveillance, deportation and detention, and attacks on human rights defenders.

A coalition of racial justice and Palestinian solidarity activists in Durham, North Carolina set out to oppose these deadly exchanges between the Durham police force and agents of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Opposition included an interfaith petition to end the exchanges, calling on the city council to cut any police partnership with Israel. The petition was signed by 72 clergy from Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions. On April 17, 2018 the Durham City Council unanimously passed a resolution to oppose international military-style police training. Hopefully, the Durham City Council will not be pressured into rescinding this resolution like the New Orleans City Council did in repealing a divestment resolution it passed, also unanimously.

Does your city have a dangerous exchange? Do you want to organize opposition? Contact MennoPIN for more information at mennopin@gmail.com.

MennoPIN Signs Letter Urging End to the Occupation
MennoPIN has endorsed a letter calling for Palestinian Christians and Muslims to help end the occupation. Signed by 14 groups supporting Palestinian human rights, the letter expresses “deep concern at the increasingly hostile direction of Israeli policies and actions, emboldened by the equally aggressive foreign policy stance of the Trump administration toward the Palestinian people.” To see the entire letter and endorsers, click here.

Take A Short Course in Palestinian Liberation Theology
Join Naim Ateek for a short course in Palestinian Liberation Theology, in person or by live streaming. Ateek is the co-founder of Palestinian Liberation Theology and has been inspiring readers with his ideas about faith, justice and the Holy Land for many years. For more information and to sign up, click here.

Join Other MC USA Churches and Become HP-Free
MennoPIN encourages you to join Eugene Mennonite Church, Eugene, OR and Peace Mennonite Fellowship, Claremont, CA and become HP-Free. Reach out to your pastor, church council and congregation to sign the HP-Free Church pledge, committing to not purchase Hewlett Packard 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
Students for Justice and Peace
Dangerous Exchanges
No Way to Treat a Child Campaign
The Palestinian Portal Resource
HP-Free Church CampaignPrayer
On the fourth Friday of popular protests in Gaza, Israeli forces killed four Palestinians. One of those killed was Mohammed Ayoub, a fifteen-year-old boy who was shot in the head by an Israeli sniper. This incident was caught on film The UN Middle East Envoy, Nickolay Mladenov, express his anger over the killing of the teenager and the European Union has demanded a full investigation into his death. Lord, we give thanks for the non-violent protests which continue to challenge the siege conditions suffered by those living in Gaza. We pray for those who take a stand for justice and raise their voices in protest against the oppression they experience. We pray for an end to the occupation and the liberation of the Palestinian people. Lord, in our mercy…
Sabeel Wave of Prayer, April 26, 2018


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)
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)

MennoPIN Monthly Update March 2018

MENNONITE PALESTINE ISRAEL NETWORK
March 2018 Monthly Update
In This Issue
Kairos Easter Alert 2018
5 Killed and 300+ Wounded on Land Day
Ahed Tamimi is Sentenced
Learning Tours to Palestine
Go HP-Free
Read More
Prayer
 
Kairos Easter Alert 2018
Kairos Palestine, a Palestinian Christian movement advocating for the end to the Israeli occupation and a just solution to the conflict, has recently issued its Easter Alert for 2018. A guiding textbook for Easter to Pentecost, Kairos Easter Alert 2018 offers theological and political reflection including Donald Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem and its effects, the injustices toward Palestinian children and Easter hope. To read Kairos Easter Alert 2018, click here.

During these difficult times for Palestinians and their allies who work to end the occupation, MennoPIN wishes you a joyous and hope-filled Easter.

5 Killed and 300+ Wounded in Gaza Land Day Protest
Since 1976 Palestinians have claimed Land Day at the end of March to voice their legal rights to reclaim land stolen from them in the 1948 Nakba (“the catastrophe”). This year Land Day is March 30 and the peaceful gathering will continue until May 14, Nakba Day. On March 30 thousands of Palestinians gathered nonviolently at the border of Gaza and Israel to protest. Heavily-armed Israeli forces responded by killing 5 Palestinians and wounding over 300 others. The fear is that hundreds more will be killed and thousands more wounded during the two weeks leading up to Nakba Day. Pray for peace as Palestinians nonviolently risk their lives in seeking justice.

Ahed Tamimi Sentenced to 8 Months in Plea Bargain

 
Ahed Tamimi, the teenage Palestinian girl who became an international symbol of Palestinian resistance, accepted a plea deal in which she will serve eight months in an Israeli military prison and pay a fine of 5,000 shekels (about 1,400 USD).

Her crime was slapping an Israeli soldier in her West Bank home town of Nabi Saleh after Israeli forces shot her cousin in the face with a rubber bullet. She was initially charged with twelve crimes that, if convicted, would have sent her to prison for many years. The plea bargain agreement reduced the charges to four, including assault and incitement. As she left her sentencing at Ofer military prison near Ramallah, Ahed shouted to reporters: “There is no justice under occupation!”

While Ahed’s trial and imprisonment has gained considerable global attention, hundreds of other Palestinian children have suffered similar fates. Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director of the Middle East division of Human Rights Watch responded to Ahed’s sentencing by saying, “Plea bargains are the norm in Israel’s military justice system, which is characterized by prolonged pretrial detention, abuse of kids and sham trials. Hundreds of Palestinian children remain locked up with little attention to their cases.” If Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett had his way, Ahed would have been in prison the rest of her life. After viewing the video of Ahed slapping the soldier Bennett said that Ahed and her cousin deserved to “finish their lives in prison.”

During Ahed’s trial and sentencing, another Israeli court reduced the already short sentence of an Israeli soldier, who was filmed executing a prone Palestinian man in cold blood, to just nine months, only one month more than Ahed’s sentence. Ahed, who was credited with time-served, should be home in July 2018.

Learning Tours to Palestine
One of the best ways to understand the people of Palestine and their struggle for justice is to go there yourself. With knowledgeable leadership and guidance, you can see both Holy Land sites and meet and talk with Palestinians and Israelis who oppose the occupation and are working for justice for the Palestinian people. MennoPIN recommends the following conference and five tours taking place in the upcoming months. Go to Palestine and expand your knowledge of the Palestine-Israeli conflict and hear from those working on the ground for justice and peace in the Holy Land.

Christian Peacemaker Teams’ Nakba Day Delegation to Palestine. April 30-May 14. Deadline is April 8. Be part of this Christian Peacemaker Teams’ trip to Palestine to observe Nakba Day 2018, seventy years after Zionist forces drove out Palestinian inhabitants from their homes. CPT delegate members will gain perspective on how ongoing issues affect daily life and will experience the power of Palestinian and Israeli citizens overcoming major obstacles. Delegates will meet with Palestinian human rights representatives and peace workers and visit families whose homes and livelihoods are threatened by expanding Israeli settlements. For more information, click here.

Christ at the Checkpoint. May 28-June 1, 2018. Held at Bethlehem Bible College in Bethlehem, Palestine and led by a diversity of speakers. Christ at the Checkpoint conference provides a platform for different opinions to be shared, and this year’s speakers will bring diverse perspectives on how to keep Jesus at the center of our lives as it pertains to every aspect of life. The conference seeks to form people by the love of God, teachings of the Bible and a fearless life of discipleship amidst the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. To find out more about Christ at the Checkpoint conference, click here.

“Come and See” Trip to Israel/Palestine.  June 17-30, 2018. Leaders Kathy Bergen, Joy Lapp and Arnie Voigt.  A deeply engaging alternative tour to the Holy Land. See the holy places – Jewish, Christian, and Muslim; Meet with Palestinian and Jewish activists and human rights groups; Learn about the impact of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian life and consider what is needed for a just peace. Beginning and ending in Jerusalem, the trip also includes time in Bethlehem, visiting a Bedouin village in the Negev, touring the site of a Palestinian village destroyed in 1948, traveling to Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee, meeting with the Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron, visiting a refugee camp, and much more. For more information, click here or contact Joy Lapp: lappj@earthlink.net720-201-3697.

 “Come and See” Solidarity Tour of Palestine and Israel. September 2-15, 2018. Led by L. Michael Spath and Doug Thorpe. This tour will take you to Bethlehem (Nativity Church, Shepherds’ Fields and the Tent of Nations); Jerusalem (Holy Sepulchre, Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, Al Aqsa Mosque, Melkite Catholic Cathedral and more); Judean Desert (Jordan River, site of John’s baptisms, Qumran and the Dead Sea); Galilee (Capernaum, Tabgha, the Sea of Galilee, Magdala, Nazareth and the Mount of the Beatitudes); Ramallah (Muqata and Nelson Mandela Square) and Hebron (Old City and Tomb of the Patriarchs). For more information, contact lmichaelspath@gmail.com.

Sabeel Fall Witness Visit. October 30 – November 7, 2018. Led by Naim Ateek, co-founder of Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, East Jerusalem, Palestine. Worship with Palestinian Christians. Meet and reflect with Palestinian Christians and Muslims as well as Jewish Israelis and internationals who partner with Sabeel in nonviolent resistance against the violation of international and humanitarian law. Experience the realities of the Palestinian community living under Israeli Occupation: the Wall, settlements, check points, confiscated land and demolished homes, refugee camps and environmental degradation. Learn about the loss of civil and property rights of Arab Israeli citizens. For more information and to register, go here.

A Peacemaker’s Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. January 16-27, 2019. Led by Richard Blackburn, Executive Director of Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, the three-center pilgrimage will include Jerusalem (Mount of Olives, Mount Zion, the Old City, Yad Vashem, Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center); Bethlehem (Church of the Nativity, Shepherd’s Fields, Christian Peacemaker Teams in Hebron, Diyar Consortium, Wi’am Palestinian Conflict Resolution Center) and Galilee (Nazareth, Cana, Church of the Beatitudes and a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee). The Pilgrimage will also include visits to various peacemaking ministries led by Palestinian Christians working for peace. Teaching sessions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, biblical peacemaking and conflict transformation are central parts of the tour as well. For more information on the tour and how to register, click here.

Join Other MC USA Churches and Become HP-Free
MennoPIN encourages you to join Eugene Mennonite Church, Eugene, OR and Peace Mennonite Fellowship, Claremont, CA and become HP-Free. Reach out to your pastor, church council and congregation to sign the HP-Free Church pledge, committing to not purchase Hewlett Packard 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
Kairos Easter Alert 2018
No Way to Treat a Child Campaign
The Palestinian Portal Resource
HP-Free Church Campaign

Prayer Poem
Christians who follow the Gregorian calendar will celebrate Easter this Sunday, marking the events of Christ’s crucifixion, death, and resurrection. There will be much rejoicing and excitement in Jerusalem and in the surrounding areas. There will be many processions through the Old City and up on the Mount of Olives, to remind us of the paths Jesus walked on these holy days. Lord God, we are filled with hope at the announcement of your Sons resurrection at Easter. The celebrations of this day remind us that the victory has already been won, and that in the end good will triumph over evil. However, for Palestinians living here, it can be hard to see the light of the resurrection when every day they are surrounded by the darkness of the grave. Grant them fresh hope in their hearts and the strength to persevere in how they live for Your glory. Lord, in your mercy
Sabeel Wave of Prayer, March 29, 2018

Palestine Advocacy Day Scholarships for Mennonite Students

MENNONITE PALESTINE ISRAEL NETWORK
PALESTINE ADVOCACY DAY SCHOLARSHIPS FOR MENNONITE STUDENTS

MennoPIN and Mennonite Church USA encourage Mennonite students to participate in Palestine Advocacy Day & Training 2018 in Washington, DC, March 16-19, 2018. If you go, we will cover your registration fee (including hotel for three nights, breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday and breakfast on Monday), and we will also reimburse you up to $100 for travel.

As young leaders and activists, you will learn the skills needed to lead campaigns in your communities, engage elected officials and advocate for the rights of Palestinians. The intensive training in political engagement and community mobilization will include a day of lobbying on Capitol Hill. For more information about the advocacy days and to register, click here.

When you register, you will not need to send any money if you use this code: jonathanscode. Then, upon your return, send your travel reimbursement request (up to $100) to mennopin@gmail.com.

We hope you will go and experience the power of organizing for justice and peace!

MennoPIN Monthly Update: February 2018

MENNONITE PALESTINE ISRAEL NETWORK
Esther Koontz
Esther Koontz Wins Early Court Case in Kansas
February 2018 Monthly Update

In This Issue
Esther Koontz Wins Early Court Decision
Ahed Tamimi Trial Begins Behind Closed Doors
BDS Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
MC USA Investment Consultation
Three Important New Reads in 2018
Join Other MC USA Churches to Become HP-Free
Read More
Prayer

Esther Koontz’ Case Wins Preliminary Injunction Against Kansas Law
On January 30, 2018, in a case testing First Amendment free-speech rights, Kansas Mennonite Esther Koontz and the American Civil Liberties Union won an early court decision in its law suit against Koontz who lost a contract with the State of Kansas because she would not sign a statement pledging not to participate in any Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) actions. U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Crabtree wrote the following in his decision: “This ruling should serve as a warning to government officials around the country that the First Amendment prohibits the government from suppressing participation in political boycotts.” Koontz’ refusal to sign was informed in part by the MC USA Orlando decision last summer to boycott consumer products that profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Ahed Tamimi’s Trail Begins Behind Closed Doors
Oren_Ahed_Trial-1                          Mohammed Tamimi

Ahed Tamimi arriving at her trial        Mohammed Tamimi after surgery

Seventeen-year-old Palestinian protestor, Ahed Tamimi, one of hundreds of Palestinian children imprisoned by Israel, began her trial at Ofer military prison near Jerusalem on January 15, 2018. She asked that the hearing be open to the public and the press, but the military judge refused and began the trial behind closed doors. The judge insisted that he was acting in the best interest of Ahed, but her attorney, Gaby Lasky, protested vehemently, saying the family wants an open trial: “The court decided what is best for the court, and not what is good for Ahed…We believe that this is an indictment solely created to deter Ahed and other Palestinian youth.” Ahed’s family was able to remain in the courtroom and her father, Bassem, was heard shouting out to Ahed: “Stay strong, stay strong.” Ahed is imprisoned because she slapped an Israeli soldier in the face on December 15, 2017, after another soldier shot her 15-year-old cousin, Mohammed, in the face with a rubber-coated steel pellet. Mohammed required surgery to remove part of his skull. Ahed’s trial will resume on March 11, 2018. She is being held in prison for the duration of the trial.

BDS Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize
The Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement was nominated on January 31, 2018, for the Nobel Peace Prize by a Norwegian Member of Parliament. In his formal announcement, Bjørnar Moxnes stated: “Awarding this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the BDS movement would be a powerful signal, emphasizing the international community’s commitment to support a just peace for the Palestinian people… the Israeli people and all people in the Middle East – and the world at large.” To sign the Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA) BDS Nobel Peace Prize support letter, click here.

MennoPIN Participates in MC USA Investment Consultation on Israel/Palestine
In July 2017 at the Orlando MC USA convention, delegates adopted the “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine” resolution, which included a commitment to “avoiding economic support for occupation.” On November 20, 2017, representatives from MC USA agencies and related organizations met for a consultation on investments in Israel/Palestine. You can read the report of that first consultation here.

Three Important Publications Just Out
MennoPIN wants to draw your attention to three new reads published in 2018:

  • Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations (by Ronen Bergman, Random House, January 30, 2018) – Bergman is a journalist based in Israel who probed the targeted killings of thousands of Palestinians by Israel Defense Forces.
  • Gaza: An Inquest into its Martyrdom (by Norman Finkelstein, University of California Press, January 9, 2018) – Finkelstein chronicles the humanitarian disaster in Gaza, including the eight devastating ‘operations” by Israel against Gaza’s largely defenseless population in which thousands have died and tens of thousands left homeless.
  • 50 Years of Occupation: Dispossession, Deprivation and De-Development(Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA), February 12, 2018) – AIDA, a coalition of 70 international NGO’s, including Mennonite Central Committee, combined to document the decades-long strangulation of Palestinian economic prospects and human rights.

Join Other MC USA Churches and Become HP-Free
MennoPIN encourages you to join Eugene Mennonite Church, Eugene, OR and Peace Mennonite Fellowship, Claremont, CA and become HP-Free. Reach out to your pastor, church council and congregation to sign the HP-Free Church pledge, committing to not purchase Hewlett Packard 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
More on the BDS movement
The Palestinian Portal Resource
HP-Free Church Campaign
Rise and Kill First, Ronen Bergman (at your favorite bookstore)
Gaza: An Inquest into its Martyrdom (at your favorite bookstore)
50 Years of Occupation

Prayer
A new book by Ronen Bergman, the intelligence correspondent for the Israeli Yediot Aharonot newspaper, chronicles Israel’s ‘2,700’ assassination operations. In his book,Mr. Bergman raises moral and legal concerns provoked by state-sponsored killings.
Lord, we remember all the people who have been condemned to death by the Israeli government without a fair trial. We pray that the day will come that Israeli decision makers abandon the sword and are held accountable for their crimes. Lord in you mercy…hear our prayers. Sabeel Wave of Prayer – February 1, 2018

MennoPIN Monthly Update: January 2018

Ahed Tamimi at a non-violent protest march with other Palestinian women.

In This Issue
Ahed Tamimi: The New Face of Palestinian Resistance
Co-founder of Sabeel Challenges Trump
500 Christian Leaders Denounce Anti-BDS Legislation
Nassar Family/Tent of Nations Receive Peace Award
HP-Free Church Campaign
Read More
Prayer Poem

Ahed Tamimi: The New Face of Palestinian Resistance
Some even call her the Palestinian Joan of Arc, the 16-year-old who slapped Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers outside of her home in the village of Nabi Saleh after her 15-year-old cousin was shot in the face with a bullet. At 4 am the following morning, IDF soldiers broke into her home and arrested her along with her mother, father and cousin Nour. Later, an Israeli military judge ruled that Ahed, who had not been charged with a crime, must remain in custody during her trial.

The arrest and detention of Palestinian children like Ahed has become the norm as Israel continues to flout international law. Magdelena Mughrabi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa for Amnesty International, said of Ahed, her “outrageously excessive” ongoing detention and military court trial are “an example of the institutional discrimination typical of the treatment of Palestinian children who participate in activism against the Israeli occupation and shows how Israel is violating its international human rights obligations toward children.”

You can view short videos of Ahed in detention here and a five-minute video of an earlier interview with her here.

MennoPIN encourages you to join Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA) and Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in taking action to support Ahed and all Palestinian children by supporting H.R. 4391, a bill introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn). See the web pages of FOSNA and MCC for further details on action you can take.

Co-Founder of Sabeel Challenges Trump on UNRWA Funding Cuts
In addition to moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, President Donald Trump has further crushed hopes for peace between Palestine and Israel by eliminating the US voluntary contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Created in 1949 to carry out direct relief for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA called for Palestinian refugees to return to their home after the being forced out by Israeli Zionist forces in the 1948 Nakba (catastrophe). Alternatively, refugees unable to return would be fairly compensated for their land. From the beginning of UNRWA, Israel has refused to allow refugees to return or give fair compensation. The US has supported Israel’s refusal to cooperate with UNRWA by vetoing every United Nations resolution for compliance.

Samia Khoury is a co-founder of Sabeel and lives in occupied East Jerusalem. After hearing about the cut in UNRWA funding, she wrote the following to the president: “Yes, Mr. Trump, I assure you it is our rights as Palestinians that we are demanding, and not your money. However, once again you seem to support the oppressors and punish the victims, not only by denying them their right of return, but by denying them their basic rights as well: health, education and relief services that are very much needed in the refugee camps where the situation has further deteriorated due to the ongoing occupation; an occupation that should have come to an end with the implementation of the Security Council Resolution 242 which was unanimously adopted on November 22, 1967, and based on the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war.”

You can voice your opposition to the elimination of UNRWA funding and support of Palestinian human rights by calling the White House comment line at 202-456-1111.

500 Christian Leaders Denounce Anti-BDS Legislation
Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement, in 2005 over 170 Palestinian unions, political parties, women’s organizations, professional associations and other civil society bodies called for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) as a form of nonviolent pressure on Israel to honor the humanity, dignity and human rights of Palestinian people. They invited support from allies around the world. Since then, BDS has become a global movement of opposition to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and oppression of its people.

In recent years the BDS movement has blossomed throughout the United States. As a result, pro-Israeli and Zionist forces have begun to push back with anti-BDS legislation on both the state and national level. In one attempt to stand with oppressed Palestinians and challenge the threat of our constitutionally protected right to freedom of speech, nearly 500 Christian leaders from across the nation have signed a petition opposing anti-BDS legislation. Add your support here.

Nassar Family and Tent of Nations Chosen for Peace Award
The United Methodist Church chose the Nassar family to receive one of its 2017 Peace Awards. The Tent of Nations lies on the Nassar’s 100-acre farm located southwest of Bethlehem in a highly disputed area of Palestine controlled by the Israeli Government. The family remains on their land and share their story of peace with guests from around the world. The family is not permitted to develop their farm for agricultural purposes, not allowed access to power, water, or sewer infrastructure, nor obtain permits for any new buildings. The family has instead come up with creative and sustainable alternatives. Each summer, children from local villages (Christian and Muslim) participate in a summer camp aimed at giving the children freedom and distraction from the surrounding politics, empowering the children with self-confidence so that they can be a part of a better future for Palestine. The family also established the Bent Al-Reef Women’s Centre to empower women with classes in English, computer, art, etc., and encourage them to play a role in shaping society. Find out more about the Tent of Nations.

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 the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine and human rights violations. For more information on how your church can become a HP-Free Church go here.

Read More
No Way to Treat a Child Campaign
More on the BDS movement
The Palestinian Portal Resource
The Tent of Nations
HP-Free Church Campaign

Prayer Poem
“When the song of the angels is stilled
When the Star in the sky is gone
When the angels and shepherds have found their way home
The work of Christmas has begun!”
(Howard Thurman)

MennoPIN Monthly Update: December 2017

The Alternativity by Bansky

Street artist Bansky has created new Christmas artwork on The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem, Palestine. The familiar message now has a caveat: “Terms and Conditions Apply.” Meanwhile, two angels attempt to pry open the wall with bare hands and a crowbar.

From all of us at MennoPIN, Christmas blessings as we together seek unconditional Peace on Earth, tearing down the walls of hostility that divide the Holy Land today, seeking peace and justice for Palestine and Israel.

Advent Bulletin Insert from MennoPIN
The MennoPIN Action/Advocacy Subcommittee has created an Advent bulletin insert to encourage a faithful response to the recent passing of the MC USA resolution: Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine. You can find the bulletin insert on the MennoPIN website here.Update on BDS and Hewlett-Packard
Hewlett-Packard has spun off part of their company, effectively splitting the corporate giant in two. HP has been one of the main targets of the BDS movement because of its complicity in the security apparatus and infrastructure of Israel and its illegal occupation of Palestine. It is unclear which of the two companies is involved with the occupation. Until it is clear, the BDS movement continues to recommend the boycott of HP. BDS appears to be increasing its focus on the tourism sector, especially TripAdvisor and AirBnB. More on that in future updates.Update on the Esther Koontz lawsuit (ACLU vs. State of Kansas).
The ACLU is filing a lawsuit on behalf of Esther Koontz, the Kansas Mennonite who was denied employment in Kansas because she would not agree to abide by a Kansas law to not engage in boycotting companies complicit in the oppression of Palestinian people. In early proceedings of the lawsuit, the judge stated: “This law cannot possibly be constitutional.” Kansas state attorneys did not dispute the judges assertion, but promised to have a defense later. A similar case is being brought by the ACLU in Arizona.Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Central Committee Strategize Support to HR 4391
Jonathan Brenneman, MC USA Coordinator, Israel/Palestine Partners in Peacemaking and Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach, Director of the MCC US Washington Office are working on a strategy to form a Mennonite delegation to Capitol Hill that would focus on support of HR 4391, Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israel Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act. The bill would require the Secretary of State to certify that American funds do not support Israel’s military detention, interrogation, abuse or ill-treatment of Palestinian children.

US Embassy and Jerusalem
Jonathan Brenneman and Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach were interviewed in The Mennonite magazine online, TMail, to explain the likely devastating impact of the Trump administration’s decision to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Please read the informative interview here.

Resources
The Mennonite Interview on moving the US embassy to Jerusalem
Palestinian Portal on the embassy move
Palestinian Christian voices on moving of US Embassy to Jerusalem: SabeelThe Latin Patriarchate of JerusalemThe Middle East Council of Churches

Prayer
The U.S. vetoed a UN resolution seeking to reaffirm Jerusalem’s status as unresolved, after 14 UN Security Council members voted in favor of the resolution Monday, in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize it as Israel’s capital.
Lord, the Palestinian people are running out of options leaving only the “stones to cry out”. We give thanks for the brave countries of the world that refused to disrespect international law and challenge the unjust decisions of the United States Administration. We pray that the powerful give up on their useless efforts to maintain the Israeli military occupation. Lord in your mercy… Sabeel Wave of Prayer, December 21, 2017


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)
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)

MennoPIN Update: November 2017

Please Consider a Financial Gift to MennoPIN
MennoPIN operates on a shoestring budget. We have no paid staff and the Steering Committee are all volunteers. We rarely ask for financial support, but today we ask you, our members, for some help.

There are two ways that MennoPIN incurs financial obligations. MC USA generously allows Jonathan Brenneman, their Coordinator, Israel/Palestine Partners in Peace, to give invaluable assistance to the ministry of MennoPIN and we, in return, provide modest financial support to MC USA. There are also times in which MennoPIN Steering Committee members are invited to an important consultation or to engage in networking, incurring some financial expense.

Thank you for any gift you can make to support the work of MennoPIN. You can make your check out to Pleasant View Mennonite Church with MennoPIN on the memo line. The address is Joy Lapp, c/o MennoPIN, 504 W Henry Street, Mount Pleasant, IA 52641. Your gift is tax-deductible. Thank you very much!

MennoPIN Joins Positive Development/Investment in Palestine Consultation
On November 20, the Everence community offered a valuable meeting opportunity for representatives of Mennonite-related organizations and agencies working and serving in Israel/Palestine. The gathering was the first of ongoing consultations mandated as part of the MC USA “Seeking Peace” resolution, Orlando 2017. Everence representatives discussed Everence’s mission, structure and funds, provided information regarding the evolution of military and human rights screens and the use of occupied assessment service. In addition to MennoPIN, agencies/organizations participating included: MC USA, Mennonite Mission Network, Mennonite Central Committee, Mennonite Education Agency, Christian Peacemaker Teams and the Peace and Justice Support Network. Mark Regier, Vice President of Stewardship Investment at Everence summarized the shared sense of those gathered: “The issue of positive economic development/investment in Palestine is both vitally important and incredibly complex.” Future consultations are planned.

Protect Palestinian Children’s Rights by Acting Now
For the first time ever in the U.S., legislation has been introduced to defend the rights of Palestinian children. The bill, introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), would require the Secretary of State to ensure that no U.S. funds going to Israel are used to violate the human rights of children. Please ask you congressperson to support the bill, Promoting Human Rights by Ending Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act.

MC USA Signs on to Letter Opposing the Israel Anti-Boycott Act
Ervin Stutzman, Executive Director, Mennonite Church USA, joined sixteen other Christian leaders opposing the Israel Anti-Boycott Act in a strongly worded letter. MennoPIN and MCC both support the defeat of this bill. Ask your members of Congress to oppose the Israel Anti-Boycott Act.

Oppose the Nomination of Kenneth Marcus for Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights in the Department of Education.
Marcus has a long record of filing spurious discrimination claims with the Department of Education to suppress Palestine activism on campus. He also supports anti-BDS legislation. See the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights for further information on how you can oppose Marcus’ nomination.

Please Continue to Support Esther Koontz.
School teacher and Mennonite Esther Koontz has been denied employment by the State of Kansas because she refused to sign an oath that she would not engage “in a boycott of Israel [or territories controlled by Israel].” She is filing a law suit (with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union) against the State of Kansas for infringing upon her First Amendment rights. You can offer your words of support and encouragement to Esther by sending an email to SupportEsther@MennoniteUSA.org.

Read More
MCC Washington Memo for more information about opposing the Israel Anti-Boycott Act.
Good resources for congregational study groups on Christian Zionism
Christmas/Advent resource for congregations from Kairos Palestine

Prayer
Members of Congress have introduced a bill to prevent U.S. tax dollars from paying for human rights violations against Palestinian children during the course of military detention. Israel is the only country in the world that systematically prosecutes an estimated 500 to 700 children each year in military courts that lack fundamental fair trial rights and protections.
God of peace and justice, we are thankful for this intervention, and pray that reforms are implemented to end violence against our children. We pray for an end to this unethical Israeli occupation. Lord in your mercy…
Sabeel Wave of Prayer, November 23, 2017