"Al-Bushra"

Seeking truth and justice

Presbyterians continue to take bold stances to affirm Palestinian rights

Posted on Jun 21, 2018

This week, the Presbyterian Church (USA) convened for its biannual general assembly in St. Louis, Missouri. The church, through the leadership of the Israel/Palestine Mission Network (IPMN), has taken bold stances in years prior to affirm Palestinian rights. This year’s general assembly is no different, and FOSNA is happy to be on the ground, alongside many other dedicated allies, supporting the effort.

Due to overwhelming support in the Middle East Committee, the Presbyterian Church (USA) fully adopted overtures on:

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“How many of you pray for persecuted Christians?” Pope Francis asks

Posted on Jun 19, 2018

Aletia – On July 7 the Holy Father is bringing together the leaders of the Churches of the Middle East in Bari, Italy. “Pray with me, that they may experience the support of all the Churches and communities, through prayer and material assistance.”

In the lead-up to this meeting, Aleteia is answering the pope’s call. As people of faith, we know there is genuine power in prayer, but there is something uniquely powerful and uplifting about praying together. Aleteia is mobilizing our global community of Christians for 30-days of prayer to support our brothers and sisters of the middle east.

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Christian Peacemaker Team: Imagine Humiliation, Intimidating Presence, Segregation, Delays

Posted on Jun 19, 2018

Each week members of the Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron capture photos of the Occupation. This week descriptions replace photos.

 

Humiliation
NOT pictured here: A young adult male on his way for the Ramadan Noon Prayer, is stopped by the Border Police at the Mosque checkpoint, and is first asked to show his ID. Next, in the full view of all those who are around the place, he goes through the embarrassment of being body searched. He has to lift up his shirt and both pant legs to prove that he is not carrying a weapon. After this humiliation, he is allowed to proceed to the mosque. Young adult males are often subjected to this ordeal when crossing the many checkpoints in Al-Khalil.

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Holy Land churches cry foul over Israeli legislation on lands

Posted on Jun 19, 2018

The church leaders in protest closed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site in Jerusalem where Jesus is believed to have been crucified and buried, following which Israeli authorities froze both the tax measures and the legislation

The church leaders in protest closed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site in Jerusalem where Jesus is believed to have been crucified and buried, following which Israeli authorities froze both the tax measures and the legislation (AFP Photo/Thomas COEX)

Jerusalem (AFP) – Three major Holy Land churches implored Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday to prevent the advancement of a draft bill they said was aimed at expropriating their lands.

Heads of the Armenian, Greek Orthodox and Catholic churches in Jerusalem also accused the Israeli authorities of failing to keep a committment made just a few months ago that brought an end to a major crisis between the sides.

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Nurse describes medical mission in Gaza

Posted on Jun 19, 2018

Dina Nasser, health advisor at the Lutheran World Federation’s Augusta Victoria Hospital describes the wounds she helped treat during a medical mission to help those shot during the Right of Return marches in Gaza.

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TOMORROW: Presbyterians are moving forward on Palestinian rights!

Posted on Jun 14, 2018

Big things are happening. Tomorrow in St. Louis, the Presbyterian Church (USA) is holding its biannual General Assembly (GA) where they will be taking bold stands on Palestinian rights, affirming our right to boycott, calling for churches to recognize Israel as a colonial apartheid state, and more.

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Reflections on The Nakba at 70

Posted on Jun 14, 2018

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What the Nakba Means to Us

by Nahida Halaby Gordon and Sami A. Halaby

IPMN – It has been slightly more than 70 years since we had to leave our home, our Palestine, and our Palestinian community of family, friends, and neighbors. It was a traumatic event in our lives, which we relive year after year.

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The Palestinians who never left

Posted on Jun 13, 2018

‘We in Jaffa know everybody is the son of God’

Displacement: with the 1948 expulsions most Palestinians became homeless refugees; some, as in Jaffa, stayed on Bettmann · Getty

While Gaza rages, a visitor to Jaffa discovers how many remained after the great expulsions of 1948, continuing to live and work in something like the diverse society they remembered.

by Stuart Braun

Le Monde Diplomatique, June 2018 – Sixty unarmed protestors were killed last month by Israeli military on the Gaza border, on the day that the US inaugurated its new embassy in Jerusalem, outraging the world; the Palestinians had been, in part, commemorating the Nakba, the catastrophe of the displacement of so many from the new state of Israel 70 years ago. The Great March of Return movement argues for the refugees’ right to come back to their ancestral lands. Yet some communities never left.

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The Role of Palestinian Liberation Theology: A Conversation with Reverend Naim Ateek

Posted on Jun 13, 2018

Video & Transcript
Reverend Naim Ateek, Max Blumenthal, & Tarek Abuata
Transcript No. 499 (May 17, 2018)

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To my fellow evangelicals: What you’re cheering in Jerusalem is shameful

Posted on Jun 12, 2018

Palestinian medics and protesters evacuate a wounded youth during a protest at the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, on May 14, 2018. Thousands of Palestinians protested near Gaza’s border with Israel as Israel prepared for the festive inauguration of a new U.S. Embassy in contested Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

by Richard Mouw, President Emeritus and Professor of Faith and Public Life, Fuller Theological Seminary

RNS, May 16, 2018 — Of the two evangelical pastors who offered prayers Monday (May 14) at the ceremony for the opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem, Robert Jeffress received most of the publicity. And understandably so.

Jeffress is known for making controversial religious pronouncements.

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Christian Peacemaker Team: Next Generation Peacemakers

Posted on Jun 12, 2018

Hebron, June 8, 2018 – A young boy films the Israeli military from a second story window of a family home on Shuhada Street.

The family moved into the house a month ago and has since been experiencing regular harassment from Israeli soldiers and settlers.

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Over 300 public figures from around the world: Forcible transfer of Khan al-Ahmar community is a war crime

Posted on Jun 12, 2018

B’Tselem: Gaza “cover-up” proof army can’t investigate itself | THE FLYING CARPET INSTITUTEOver 300 elected officials, legal scholars, academics, artists, faith leaders, and activists from around the world and Israel published an open letter voicing opposition to Israel’s plans to forcibly transfer thousands of Palestinians living in farming-shepherding communities in the West Bank. The letter focuses on Khan al-Ahmar in particular, a community under imminent threat of demolition and forcible transfer.

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The Oncologists’ Letter: Let Gaza Women Cancer Patients Out

Posted on Jun 7, 2018

June 3, 2018

Dear Friends,

This morning, over thirty oncology specialists from Israeli hospitals called upon the Ministry of Health and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (CGAT) to allow women cancer patients form the Gaza Strip to travel for urgent and lifesaving treatments in hospitals in Israel and the West Bank.

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Heralded by Palestinians as ‘angel’ and ‘merciful martyr,’ Razan Al-Najjar is an afterthought in western press

Posted on Jun 7, 2018

Volunteer paramedic Razan Najjar, 21, center, is seen before being shot in her chest by Israeli troops while running with protesters to take cover from teargas fired by Israeli troop near the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, during a protest east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Friday, June 1, 2018. Najjar was fatally shot in the chest and died later at hospital, the Health Ministry said. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Volunteer paramedic Razan Najjar, 21, center, is seen before being shot in her chest by Israeli troops while running with protesters to take cover from teargas fired by Israeli troop near the Gaza StrAdel Hana/AP

by James North, Mondoweiss, June 2, 2018

Let’s say Hamas fired a rocket that killed a young Israeli nurse while she was tending to the wounded from earlier rockets. Is there any doubt that the mainstream media would cover her death extensively, with photos, and interviews with friends and family?

But when Israeli snipers murdered a 21-year-old Palestinian nurse named Razan Al-Najjar yesterday, the mainstream media was nearly silent.

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Christian Peacemaker Team: Impunity

Posted on Jun 5, 2018

Israeli military forces shot and killed Rami Sabarneh, a 35-year-old father of three from Beit Ummar, while he was working on a small bulldozer along Prayer Road.

The IOF claim he tried to hit them with the bulldozer.

Immediately after, they declared the area a closed military zone and arrested a Palestinian man who had filmed the shooting. He was later released after they searched his phone.

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Join the worldwide prayer chain for Christians in the Middle East!

Posted on Jun 5, 2018

“We can renounce everything, but not our faith. Pray for us, and we will pray for you!”

Aleteia – This is the message we receive every day from the Christians of Iraq, Syria, and other Middle Eastern countries, who have been persecuted in recent years for committing one crime: that of being Christians.

To awaken the world from its indifference, Pope Francis has convoked an ecumenical prayer meeting on July 7 in Bari, Italy, with the participation of the patriarchs and leaders of the Churches and Christian communities of the Middle East.

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Palestinian Narrative Training Program

Posted on Jun 3, 2018

A Christian Voice for Palestine

Remember Our Past to Awaken Our Future

The story of the Palestinian people has historically been silenced. Storytelling has served a central role in maintaining the Palestinian community, even as we are displaced around the globe. Our Palestinian Narrative Trainings offer tools to Palestinians living in the diaspora to collect, record, and share their family stories as a catalyst for social change.

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A Reader Comments on Uri Avnery’s “Strong as Death” Article

Posted on Jun 3, 2018

There are some errors and omissions in Uri Avnery’s account, posted on June 1st, entitled “Strong as Death“.

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Old Palestinian Maps

Posted on Jun 2, 2018

by Ann Hafften, a Texas Lutheran

I am an admitted map nerd. I have spent a lot of time lately poring over the amazing maps offered by Palestine Open Maps, a platform that seeks to combine emerging technologies for mapping with immersive storytelling. On a current satellite map, I located the kibbutz where I worked as a volunteer in the 1970s and 1980s. By moving through the overlying maps from 1951 back to 1880, I easily located the villages that I was always told were “abandoned.”

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Take a walk through Jerusalem

Posted on Jun 2, 2018

Adrainne and Ben Gray missionaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) share a video of their daily walking commute through the streets of Jerusalem. Ben and Adrainne were sent to Palestine by the ELCA to coordinate communications for the Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL). They say, “Our ministry is word, images, and service to a church and a community that has a story to tell; and indeed their story impacts the world.”

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Syrian priest: International community is key to lasting peace

Posted on Jun 2, 2018

Destruction in Azaz, Syria. Credit: Christiaan Triebert/Shutterstock.

Destruction in Azaz, Syria. Credit: Christiaan Triebert/Shutterstock.

By Hannah Brockhaus

Aleppo, Syria, Jun 1, 2018 / 12:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The key to ending Syria’s ongoing conflict lies not with the local people, but with the leaders of the international community, said a Syrian-born Franciscan priest this week.

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Gaza’s protest leaders still believe in nonviolent struggle

Posted on Jun 1, 2018

Despite the bloodletting in Gaza over the past months, the leaders of the Great Return March believe that nonviolent resistance is still the best way to end the siege. Rami Younis spoke to Hasan al-Kurd, one of the leaders of the march about the successes, mistakes, and future of the movement.

Protesters carry away someone who was shot by an Israeli sniper along the Gaza border, May 14, 2018. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Protesters carry away someone who was shot by an Israeli sniper along the Gaza border, May 14, 2018. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

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Uri Avnery: “Strong as Death”

Posted on Jun 1, 2018

So how did we succeed – we, the State of Israel – in turning Gaza into what it is today?
–Uri Avnery

by Uri Avnery

OH, GAZA. Strong as death is love.

I loved Gaza. That is a play on words. The Biblical Song of Songs says that love is strong as death. Strong in Hebrew is Aza. Aza is also the Hebrew name of Gaza.

I have spent many happy hours in Gaza. I had many friends there. From the leftist Dr. Haidar Abd al-Shafi to the Islamist Mahmoud al-Zahar, who is now the foreign minister of Hamas.

I was there when Yasser Arafat, the son of a Gazan family, came home. They put me in the first row of the reception at the Rafah border, and that evening he received me at the hotel on the Gaza sea shore, seating me next to him on the stage during a press conference.

I met with a friendly attitude everywhere in the Gaza Strip, in the refugee camps and in the streets of Gaza City. Everywhere we talked about peace and about the place of Gaza in the future State of Palestine.

GOOD, BUT what about Hamas, the terrible arch-terrorist organization?

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Israel detains Gaza Freedom Flotilla

Posted on May 29, 2018

The Israeli military has intercepted a Palestinian protest bound for Limassol in Cyprus.

The siege on us for 12 years must be broken.
–Ihab Abu Armana Palestinian student

By Kristina Harazim, euronews

The Freedom Flotilla set sail from the local port on Tuesday in defiance of a 12-year Israeli sea blockade on Gaza.

The boat, said to be carrying 17 passengers and crew, was stopped by the Israeli navy which announced it had taken control of the vessel less than 12 miles from its home port.

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“How long, Lord?”: Fairouz chants in solidarity with Jerusalem and Gaza

Posted on May 29, 2018

 

by Saher Kawas, Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

LEBANON – Over fifty years have passed since Lebanese artist Fairouz released in 1967 her song for Jerusalem, “The flower of cities”. Today, and in the aftermath of the recent Gaza massacre, Lebanon’s most renowned artist returns with “Ela Mata Ya Rabbou” (How long, Lord?), a hymn adapted from chapter 13 of the Book of Psalms, which she dedicates to the Jerusalem and Gaza.

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Christian Peacemaking Team: The Festival of Ramadan

Posted on May 29, 2018

 

The Old City of Al Khalil set aside the pain of the Occupation, as far as possible, and donned a joyful and celebratory look for the Festival of Ramadan. Flickering yellow, green and red lights dangle decoratively from ornate strings, lighting up the place and creating a bright and festive atmosphere. Ramadan is a joyous festival and people look forward to it as it is considered the most sacred month in the Islamic year.

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JVP reports: Shakira will not be performing in Israel anytime soon

Posted on May 29, 2018

Jewish Voice for Peace, May 29, 2018 – It’s just been confirmed that Shakira will not be performing in Israel anytime soon!

Media reports last week trumpeted a Tel Aviv concert as her first appearance in Israel. But after a massive global outcry, including by almost 15,000 JVP supporters, her concert promoter tweeted that no concert was on the cards.

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“The Other Voice” reaches out to Gazan Palestinians

Posted on May 28, 2018

by Adam Keller, Gush Shalom

I was asked by the activists of “The Other Voice” to thank all the many people around the world who have expressed their support for this movement’s campaign.

“The Other Voice” is a grassroots movement founded by Israelis living in the town of Sderot and other locations near to the Gaza Strip border. The aim of “The Other Voice” is to reach out to the Gaza Palestinians, to promote peaceful dialogue and call for an end to the siege of the Gaza Strip and the occupation and oppression of the Palestinians in general. Members of “The Other Voice” maintain ongoing personal contacts with Gaza Strip Palestinians, unbroken even in periods of high tensions, violence and bloodshed. It is virtually impossible to have face-to-face meetings since Gaza Palestinians are virtually never allowed to enter Israel and Israeli citizens similarly forbidden to enter Gaza; still, it is possible to maintain contact, across the high physical and mental barriers, by phone and the net.

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Canadian Boat en route to Gaza; reaches Germany

Posted on May 27, 2018

The Freedom Flotilla boat Al Awda (The Return) spent two days in Copenhagen (Denmark) over the weekend, and on Tuesday-Wednesday traveled to Kiel in Germany, where she was greeted by Reiner Braun, co-president of the International Peace Bureau, among other well-wishers.

The first Canadian Boat to Gaza participant, Heather Milton-Lightening from Treaty 4 Territory (Saskatchewan) is currently on board Al Awda (The Return).

Along with three other Freedom Flotilla boats (Freedom, Mairead and Palestine), Al Awda left Kiel (Germany) on Friday and is heading for Wilhemshafen, where they should arrive Saturday evening. Together they will continue their 75 day voyage to Gaza, to challenge and break the illegal Israeli blockade.

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The mortal remains of the “Coptic Martyrs of Libya” return to Egypt

Posted on May 24, 2018

 

(Agenzia Fides) – On the evening of Monday, May 14 church bells and monasteries rang throughout Egypt to celebrate the return to Egypt of the mortal remains of the 21 Coptic Christians, “martyrs of the faith”, beheaded in Libya in 2015 by cutthroats affiliated to the so-called Islamic State (Daesh). After three years and three months since that barbaric massacre, the mortal remains of the victims were transported by plane from the Libyan city of Misrata to Cairo, where, at the moment of disembarkation, Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II was also present to pay homage to them, together with Mrs Nabila Makram, Egyptian Minister for Immigration. Anba Makarios, Coptic Orthodox Bishop of Minya, in some statements reported by the Egyptian media said that the Coptic Church welcomes with joy the return to Egypt of her children martyred in Libya, thanking the Lord for their testimony of faith.

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