"Al-Bushra"

Seeking truth and justice

World Week of Peace in Palestine and Israel

Posted on Apr 26, 2018

Children in the Jordan valley. Photo: Sean Hawkey/WCC

Children in the Jordan valley. Photo: Sean Hawkey/WCC

 

During this week which includes the International Day of Prayer for Peace on 21 September, church organizations, congregations, and people of faith are encouraged to bear a common witness by participating in worship services, educational events, and acts of support in favour of peace and justice for Israelis and Palestinians.

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The Palestinian people are committed to seeking freedom

Posted on Apr 26, 2018

Kairos Palestine, April 26, 2018 – We are a collection of Palestinian groups and civil society organizations. We address our call to the Palestinian Authority, all Palestinian leaders, Israel, the American administration, the Arab states, the international community, and to all those of good will who support us in seeking our freedom and independence.

We issue a call of peace and love, a strong call that stems from the strength of our belief in God, his righteousness and his love for all mankind, at a time when we see that the potential to achieve our cause, i.e. our demand for freedom and independence, is diminishing. The American administration has disregarded our history and our rights in Jerusalem, our city of our prayer and faith, and the capital of our state. Israel is determined to maintain its military occupation over us, particularly in the siege imposed on Gaza, and is supported by the American administration which says that it will present “the deal of the century” to us.

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Pope invites Mideast religious leaders to attend peace summit

Posted on Apr 25, 2018

Vatican News, April 25, 2018 – The director of the Holy See press office told journalists that the ecumenical encounter will take place on July 7th

Pope Francis will visit the southern Italian city of Bari on July 7th for a day of reflection and prayer for peace in the Middle East.

The head of the Vatican press office, Greg Burke, told journalists on Wednesday that the Pope intends to invite the heads of other Churches and Christian communities in the region to the ecumenical encounter.

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Donate to Support Sabeel Jerusalem!

Posted on Apr 25, 2018

After his home was demolished in Silwan, Jerusalem, 10-year-old Issa took me on a tour of his mangled swing set, pointing out that the Israeli army had left behind bulldozers for future demolitions. He explained the moral stand he takes in the face of this violence: “Corporations build cages. They place a price on the sacred… But peace is not for sale.”

Neither is his Jerusalem home. As Issa says of Israel’s actions to displace Palestinians like him from the city, “Jerusalem is like a dove. It belongs to no one.” In his chest, a dove flaps its wings. Presented with the tools for resistance, Issa wraps himself around the dove, that spiritual center that compels a just peace.

Together, we stand in solidarity with Palestinian people. We honor the sabeel, the source. And we stake our claim in the truth that, amid corporate and military claims otherwise, the doves are simply not for sale.

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Syria Bombing Designed to Distract

Posted on Apr 25, 2018

by James M. Wall

After the Syria Bombing, did you have that pit-of-the-stomach feeling that you had been deceived about a military strike?

I offer here a suggestion to clarify that feeling. It will not cure it, but clarity does have a way of easing the pain.

Accept the Syria bombing as a Wag the Dog deceit, a pretense to deliver a largely harmless distraction for an ulterior motive, as in the manner of a Roman emperor staging a stadium show for the masses.

Media reports used the 1998 movie, Wag the Dog as shorthand for The Syria Bombing. In the film, Dustin Hoffman plays a movie director hired to create television news casts to distract and deceive the American public. Robert De Niro is the spin doctor who hires him.

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Taken from Home | Appropriation of the Tomb of the Patriarchs

Posted on Apr 24, 2018

 

Christian Peacemaker Team, Hebron, April 24, 2018 – A 13 year old child came home after a day at school, and was met by Israeli soldiers at his home. The soldiers claimed he had thrown rocks and that he would be arrested. The boys parents were not home, though his 9 year old brother was with him. The soldiers took the 13 year old to the military base and the police station without his parents, and his 9 year old brother refused to leave his side. The boy was kept for 7 hours, and interrogated three times for an accusation without evidence. Under Israeli court system, run by an occupying nation state that holds a 99% conviction rate against the Palestinian people, the child, if charged, faces a penalty of up to 20 years in Israeli military prison. 

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Congratulations Israel on your 70th Independence Day.

Posted on Apr 24, 2018

by Samia Khoury

Congratulations Israel on your 70th Independence Day. Surely you should be proud of your achievements.

1. You established your state on land that belongs to the Palestinians. You were not satisfied to share with them their land, so you had to evict them to have your own Jewish state. You did that by resorting to brutal force, and in some cases massacres that remain a black spot in your history.

2. For the first eighteen years, you imposed strict military rule in the country which controlled every aspect of the lives of the original owners of the land who managed to stay in the newly established state.

3. You gave the indigenous Palestinian population citizenship, but they did not have the same rights that the Jewish community had, neither did their towns or schools have the same privileges and budgets

4. Moreover, by some absurd law, this Palestinian population ended up being “present absent” meaning that they were absent as far as their right to claim their homes and property, but were present for paying taxes to the newly established State.

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Stand with Natalie Portman & @SenSanders: Speak Up for Human Rights in Gaza

Posted on Apr 24, 2018

Just Foreign Policy

April 24, 2018 – Palestinians in Gaza have the right to nonviolently protest without being shot with live ammunition. They have the right to travel to work, to seek medical care, to study, and to visit family. They have the right to drink clean water. They have the right to import and export.

For too long, too many have been too shy to speak up against the unjust and unnecessary suffering of Palestinian civilians in Gaza caused by unflinching U.S. support of the Israeli-Egyptian blockade. In particular, too many Members of Congress have been too shy to speak up for too long – partly out of fear that they would be attacked by organizations and individuals whose definition of “supporting Israel” equals “the U.S. must support the war and occupation policies of the Israeli government no matter what, and any opposition to these policies by mainstream political actors in the United States must be crushed.”

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Tell Congress: Support human rights, hold Israel accountable

Posted on Apr 20, 2018

APRIL 2018

Protests in Gaza are being met with lethal force by the Israeli military.  At least 28 Palestinians have been killed and over 1600 wounded by Israeli forces since March 30, according to an April 17 press release from UN human rights experts who said, “’security forces continue to use live ammunition and rubber bullets against the protesters, killing and wounding dozens of mostly unarmed protesters, women, men and children alike.’”

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American Palestinian to Sail “The Liberty” in honor of the USS Liberty and his Mother

Posted on Apr 18, 2018

Nabil Amra will captain “The Liberty” as one of 19 sailors in the 2018 Golden Globe Race who will travel 30,000 miles alone and without outside assistance for about nine months replicating a 1968 race that ended with one finisher.

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Uri Avnery: Eyeless in Gaza

Posted on Apr 14, 2018

Uri Avnery
April 14, 2018

WRITE DOWN: I, Uri Avnery, soldier number 44410 of the Israel army, hereby dissociate myself from the army sharpshooters who murder unarmed demonstrators along the Gaza Strip, and from their commanders, who give them the orders, up to the commander in chief.We don’t belong to the same army, or to the same state. We hardly belong to the same human race.

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Patriarchs of Syria condemn recent attack in Damascus

Posted on Apr 14, 2018

 

A Statement issued by the Patriarchates of Antioch and all the East for the Greek Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, and Greek-Melkite Catholic

Damascus, 14 April 2018

God is with us; Understand all ye nations and submit yourselves!

We, the Patriarchs: John X, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, Ignatius Aphrem II, Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, and Joseph Absi, Melkite-Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem, condemn and denounce the brutal aggression that took place this morning against our precious country Syria by the USA, France and the UK, under the allegations that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons. We raise our voices

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My great-grandfather saved Jews during the Holocaust. Now I’m in jail for refusing to enlist in the IDF

Posted on Apr 13, 2018

Matan Helman and Ayelet Brachfeld. (Courtesy of Mesarvot)

Matan Helman and Ayelet Brachfeld. (Courtesy of Mesarvot)

Helman says his family’s history of resistance to oppression inspired his decision to refuse to enlist in the Israeli army.

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As Palestinian Christians flee Gaza, priest expresses grave concern

Posted on Apr 10, 2018

Children amid devastated buildings in Gaza. Credit: Shareef Sarhan/CRS.

Children amid devastated buildings in Gaza. Credit: Shareef Sarhan/CRS

By María Ximena Rondón

Gaza City, Apr 10, 2018 / 12:02 am (ACI Prensa).- In the past six years the number of Christians in the Gaza Strip has plummeted from 4,500 to just 1,000, due to the harsh conditions under which they are living, according to the pastor of the territory’s sole Catholic church.

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Support B’tselem: Tell Israeli soldiers not to shoot into crowds of unarmed civilians

Posted on Apr 8, 2018

 

TikkunB’tselem, the Israeli Human Rights Organization, has called for Israeli soldiers to refuse orders to shoot into a crowd of unarmed civilians. The Israeli government justifies its killing of demonstrators last Friday and its intent to do so again this Friday by claiming that there are violence seekers among the crowd, and that some threw molotov cocktails toward the separation wall. Yet this is no excuse to kill innocent civilians. Intentionally shooting and killing nonviolent protestors is inhumane and inexcusable. We face this problem in U.S. peace and justice demonstrations when a few people smash windows or throw rocks at police. It is often very difficult to restrain them, and some have been identified as undercover police agents trying to discredit our otherwise non-violent movement.

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B’Tselem urges soldiers to refuse to shoot protestors in Gaza: Shooting unarmed protestors is illegal, and a command to do so is a grossly illegal command

Posted on Apr 4, 2018


April 4, 2018 – Tomorrow (Thursday) B’Tselem will launch a campaign entitled “Sorry, Sir, I can’t shoot”. The campaign will include newspaper advertisements clarifying to soldiers that they must refuse to open fire on unarmed demonstrators. The organization is taking this unusual step following last Friday’s events, when soldiers used live fire against unarmed demonstrators. Of at least 17 Palestinians killed that day, 12 were killed at the protests. Hundreds more were injured by live gunfire.

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Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP): Participating in Non-violent Border Demonstrations Is Not an Act of Terrorism

Posted on Apr 4, 2018

Washington, D.C. – April 4, 2018 – The Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) use of live fire to suppress unarmed civilian demonstrators along the Gaza border on Friday, March 30 and over the weekend, constitutes unwarranted and excessive use of military force condemnable under international law. Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) denounces the violence, which resulted in 18 fatalities and more than 1,400 casualties, at least 750 of which were from live fire. We fully affirm the right of the Palestinian people to engage in nonviolent resistance.

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Stand with Bernie for Palestinians’ Right to Protest Without Being Shot

Posted on Apr 4, 2018

change.orgCNN reported that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders criticized the Israeli military’s violent response to recent protests in Gaza, which resulted in at least 17 Palestinians being killed and more than 1,400 injured. Senator Sanders said: “It is the right of all people to protest for a better future without a violent response.” He added: “Meanwhile, the situation in Gaza remains a humanitarian disaster. The US must play a more positive role in ending the Gaza blockade and helping Palestinians and Israelis build a future that works for all.”

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Uri Avnery: What the Hell?

Posted on Feb 10, 2018

by Uri Avnery

WHAT THE HELL am I?

An Israeli? A Jew? A peace activist? A Journalist? An author? An ex-combat soldier in the Israeli army? An ex-terrorist? A…?

All of these and more.

OK. OK. But in what order? Which is the most important component?

First of all, of course, I am a human being, with all the rights and duties of a human being. That part is easy. At least in theory.

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In a Major Free Speech Victory, a Federal Court Strikes Down a Law that Punishes Supporters of Israel Boycott

Posted on Feb 3, 2018

Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters confront each other in Jerusalem’s Old City on Dec. 15, 2017.


Glenn Greenwald
January 31 2018, 9:06 a.m. in The Intercept

A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that a Kansas law designed to punish people who boycott Israel is an unconstitutional denial of free speech. The ruling is a significant victory for free speech rights because the global campaign to criminalize, or otherwise legally outlaw, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement has been spreading rapidly in numerous political and academic centers in the U.S. This judicial decision definitively declares those efforts — when they manifest in the U.S. — to be a direct infringement of basic First Amendment rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

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From pilgrimage to exodus: Is the end nigh for Palestinian Christians?

Posted on Jan 22, 2018

‘Our fear is from America’

By Ian Lee, CNN
Updated 11:44 AM ET, Mon January 22, 2018

 

Holy Land Christians snub Mike Pence

Bethlehem (CNN)A church service begins in Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity.

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Edward Said on “claims to Israel”

Posted on Dec 15, 2017

Following the recent announcement by US President Trump, Samia Khoury of Jerusalem forwarded the following video of the late Edward Said speaking about claims to the lands of Israel. In two minutes Said gives a rational message.

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What Christian Artifacts of the Middle East Can Show Us About Tolerance

Posted on Nov 22, 2017

  Nov 20, 2017

PARIS — Behind the famous dilating windows Jean Nouvel designed for its Seine-side home, the Institut du Monde Arabe has presented a string of recent shows that have deepened and diversified France’s understanding of Islam. From “The Thousand and One Nights” (2012) to “Hajj: The Pilgrimage to Mecca” (2014) and the epic “Ocean Explorers” (2016), exhibitions here have disclosed the breadth of Islamic culture and history, and their intimate, centuries-long links with the West.

But Islam is not the only religion in the Arab world, and this autumn the institute, which celebrates its 30th birthday this month, has turned its attention to another faith. “Eastern Christians: 2,000 Years of History,” a vital, thorough, and sometimes astonishingly gorgeous exhibition, explores the birth and transmission of Christianity from Jesus’ death to the present day.

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Is Israel Jewish?

Posted on Nov 22, 2017

UN-CUT FOR PALESTINE is one of the many Videos to follow the others in the making.

First Episode features Ronnie Barkan, a longtime Jewish Israeli activist and math teacher who was raised in Raanana, near Tel Aviv, is a co-founder of Boycott from Within. He has been involved since 2004 in protests against the Israeli barrier in the West Bank and has been arrested and detained a number of times. In UN-CUT FOR PALESTINE Ronnie Barkan opens up and gives you an insight of the Israeli occupation and there agenda.

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Holy tattoo! A 700-year old Christian tradition thrives in Jerusalem

Posted on Jul 12, 2017

Razzouk Tattoo in Old City Jerusalem, Israel. Credit: Addie Mena/CNA.

0 13 13 Razzouk Tattoo in Old City Jerusalem, Israel. Credit: Addie Mena/CNA. Razzouk Tattoo in Old City Jerusalem, Israel. Credit: Addie Mena/CNA.

Adelaide Mena | Catholic News Service

Jerusalem, Jul 9, 2017 / 04:02 pm – In the Old City of Jerusalem it’s hard to escape the ancient history that’s still alive within its walls. A simple smartphone search can send you on a walk to a centuries-old shop, bring you to the steps of a millennium-old Church, or lead you past the 3,000 year-old Temple Mount – all bursting with people and energy.

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United Church of Christ: Rights of Palestinian Children

Posted on Jul 3, 2017

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Today delegates at the national gathering for the United Church of Christ (UCC) in Baltimore voted to pass a resolution asserting the rights of Palestinian children!

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The aim of the resolution is to call attention to “the traumatic situation of children living with constant fear of arrest, detention, and violence at the hands of Israeli forces.” It calls upon the UCC to advocate for their human rights. It asks church leaders to petition the prime minister of Israel and the Israeli ambassador to guarantee due process for Palestinian children and abide by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It also calls on the U.S. government to cease military aid to Israel.

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Israeli and Palestinian Teens Have Advice for Divided Americans

Posted on Jun 30, 2017

Sarah Ruiz-Grossman, Huff Post

Israeli and Palestinian teens, who join together despite the region’s decades-old conflict, have some advice for Americans facing a deep political divide: talk with people you disagree with.

The YMCA Jerusalem Youth Chorus brings together Israeli and Palestinian teens to sing together and to discuss issues facing the region, as well as their own lives. Started five years ago by Micah Hendler, a Jewish-American, the chorus has around 30 students, about evenly split between Israelis and Palestinians. They come from schools in East and West Jerusalem, are Christian, Jewish and Muslim, and represent a range of political beliefs.

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YWCA of Jerusalem: “First, we give them hope … and then a job”

Posted on Jun 16, 2017

Every story is unique. This is the certainty with which the YWCA, the Christian Women’s Association (Palestine section) has been working for years to promote equality and employment.

Christian Media Center

“Knowledge is the tool for social engagement in a democratic environment.” This is the certainty with which YWCA, the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), has been working for years by taking ownership for themselves of the motto of the world movement “to empower women, to promote equality” (Empowering women, Promoting equality).

SANDRINE AMER
Executive Director – YWCA – Jerusalem
“YWCA is a membership-based female association. Established in Palestine in 1893 and formally registered in 1918, its main objective is the development and appreciation of Palestinian women to achieve a free and democratic civil society.”

With its headquarters in Jerusalem and other locations in Ramallah and Jericho, as well as in two different refugee camps, the association uses the collaboration of local, national and international organizations and works in different areas.

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Amnesty International’s campaign to ban all settlement goods…

Posted on Jun 13, 2017

Greetings All,

Amnesty International has just launched a ground-breaking, bold and exciting campaign ‘Occupation @ 50’.  AI is calling on all third party states to abide by their legal obligations under international law to not recognize or assist illegal situations.  Therefore, AI calls on countries to:

  •  stop helping to sustain the settlements (illegal activity) by banning all settlement goods from their markets and
  • prevent, through legislation and/or regulations, companies domiciled in their countries from operating in settlements or trading in settlement goods.
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Uri Avnery: Whoso Confesseth and Forsaketh

Posted on Jun 10, 2017

by Uri Avnery

IN THE tumult of the last few days, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the “unification” of Jerusalem, one of the articles stated that “even peace-activist Uri Avnery” voted in the Knesset for the unification of the city.

That is true. I have tried to set out the circumstances in my autobiography, “Optimistic”. But not everyone has read the book and it has so far appeared only in Hebrew.

Therefore I shall try to explain again that curious vote. Explain, not justify.

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