Posts made in August, 2018

Students at interreligious summer school say it ‘breaks down prejudices about the other’

Posted on Aug 16, 2018

10 August 2018

Christian, Jewish and Muslim students who attended the World Council of Churches (WCC) 2018 Interreligious Summer School at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey said that learning to break down prejudices about the other was a lasting impression from the six-week course.

The planting of three trees formed part of the graduation ceremony on 9 August to “care for creation” and reflected the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 to which the course was related this year.

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Why a Cultural Centre?

Posted on Aug 13, 2018

In new crime of crimes against Palestinian civilians and cultural objects, Israeli warplanes targeted al-Mishal Cultural Center building, which includes the Egyptian community’s office. The building is located in a densely populated area, west of Gaza City. As a result, the building was completely destroyed and 20 civilians, from the area residents, were wounded. (Photo Palestinian Centre for Human Rights)

by Samia Khoury

A few days ago Israel bombarded the Mishal Cultural Centre in Gaza destroying it completely. Why? This centre has been the gift of Said Meshal to the youth of Gaza to help them cope with all the pressure of living under siege for the last twelve years. It is neither a Hamas nor a Fateh Centre. In fact, there is an Egyptian cultural centre in the building. Ironic, indeed, when Egypt has been trying to mediate some sort of a long term truce hudna between Israel and Hamas.

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Maria Khoury: Tragedy, fasts, and festivals

Posted on Aug 10, 2018

Maria Khoury writes from Taybeh.

Dear Friends of Taybeh,

I hope you are all having a wonderful summer!

I hope friends following the 14-day fast for the Holy Mother of God [August 15: Dormition of the Theotokos (Orthodox Christian); Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Roman Catholic Christian)] are having a blessed fast.

As I was taking my break on the roof top of the Taybeh Golden Hotel last night and staring at the most amazing beautiful lights of Amman, Jordan, and the spectacular lights on the other side of the Dead Sea, just enjoying the peace that exists in our ancient village that received Jesus on His last stop, I was so sad to hear the news that three Palestinians, including a pregnant 23-year-old mother and her toddler daughter, had been killed by the Israeli attacks on Gaza.

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JVP High Holidays: Services across the US to join or watch

Posted on Aug 10, 2018

In one month I am co-leading Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services in our vital JVP community here in Philadelphia.  As Rabbi Linda Holtzman and I sat down to plan, we faced a hard truth – nothing is normal this year, nothing can be the same, and our High Holiday services must be structured to nurture activists and resistance.  Our communities ask no less of us.

Thanks to decades of organizing, we are now experiencing a new phenomenon in U.S. Judaism: there are now numerous communities nationwide that are welcoming and comfortable spaces for prayer and reflection for JVP members. More than there ever have been for Jews like us, whose commitment to justice for all people is at the center of our Jewishness and lives, we have places to be our whole selves these High Holy Days and JVP is proud to welcome you join in-person or virtually.

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WCC and local churches express deep concern about Jewish Nation-State Law

Posted on Aug 10, 2018

03 August 2018

Heads of churches in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories have reacted with dismay and concern to the Israeli Knesset’s adoption on 19 July 2018 of a new Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, which specifies that “The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”

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Palestinian Christians: “Tens years since returning to Palestine”

Posted on Aug 9, 2018

by Professor Mazin Qumisyeh of Beit Sahour

It has been ten years since I returned to Palestine after living in the US for nearly three decades.

Those ten years in Palestine have been truly phenomenal and inspirational despite the pains and agony associated with them. For example, they are bracketed by an attack on Gaza in 2008 when we saw hundreds of Palestinian civilians murdered and by the attacks on Gaza and on the freedom flotilla trying to break the blockade of Gaza in 2018.

In between much pain that I told in my weekly email messages including losing 19 of my personal friends killed by the Israeli colonization army.

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Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns: Middle East Notes on August 2, 2018

Posted on Aug 8, 2018

Commentary: When referring to Israel/Palestine, most western media sources now use the Israeli preferred and publicized term “conflict” to cover all aspects of this political, social, economic and human tragedy. “Conflict” is not an appropriate term for this struggle between parties since it implies two equal parties in dispute with one another. Use of this word both obfuscates the “facts on the ground” that the overwhelming majority of human lives being destroyed are Palestinian, and also the reality of a total disproportionality of destructive, illegal and immoral actions by one of the two parties: the Israeli Government with all its military, legislative, economic and social structures used to control, oppress and repress Palestinian people. For example, Gaza young people using incendiary kites to burn Israeli farm land is not the equivalent to Israeli planes and tanks bombarding Gaza’s populated areas. Palestinian opposition to settler colonial control of all the land and population between the Mediterranean and the Jordan by Israel is not a conflict but a struggle for survival of one people being dispossessed by another.

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Christian Peacemaking Team Hebron Reduced Due to Denials

Posted on Aug 8, 2018


Pictured here: Israeli Occupation Force (IOF) military installation located in Bab al-Baladeya, al-Kalil, Palestine.

Christian Peacemaker Teams Palestine is a faith-based organization that supports Palestinian-led, non-violent, grassroots resistance to the Israeli occupation and the unjust structures that uphold it. By collaborating with local Palestinian and Israeli peacemakers and educating people in our home communities we strive to help create a space for justice and peace. Usually members of the CPT Palestine send photos documenting happenings in Hebron.

This week’s lack of photos is a direct result of Israeli forces’ increasing restrictions on foreigners entering the country. Within two weeks, several team members were denied entry to the country and have been banned for years. With all borders to the West Bank and Israel under Israeli military control, they [the military] are able to exert full control over entry and exit of Palestinians and foreigners alike.

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Israel Nation-State Law

Posted on Aug 8, 2018

by Naim Ateek, Chair of the Board

Henry Siegman, a former National Director of the American Jewish Congress said, “Israel has crossed the threshold from ‘the only democracy in the Middle East to the only apartheid regime in the Western world.’”

We have always viewed Israel’s democracy with great skepticism, but now, its Nation-State law validates its apartheid status.

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The young people of the Holy Land take part in the Franciscan March

Posted on Aug 4, 2018

Almost one hundred young people are taking part in the 28th Franciscan March in the Holy Land. The goal is to arrive at Mount Tabor, where the transfiguration of Jesus took place and, naturally, to have a strong experience with God.

Backpack on your back, sneakers on your feet and lots of enthusiasm! The twenty-eighth Franciscan March began, this year with the theme: “We walk enlightened by the Word”.

Almost 100 young people are taking part. The Franciscans and the sisters are leading the group. They all start from Ibilin, birthplace of Saint Miriam Baouardy. Then they pass through the cities of Galilee on their way to Mount Tabor!

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