"Al-Bushra"

Seeking truth and justice

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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Israeli Comedy Show Host Implores Israelis to Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid

Posted on May 22, 2018

Published on Mar 1, 2017: Asaf Harel’s scathing indictment of Israeli society has gone viral.

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Christian Peacemaker Team: Nakba

Posted on May 22, 2018

 

On this anniversary of the continuing Nakba, CPT monitors heard or otherwise witnessed 25 tear gas canisters and 24 stun grenades. There were an additional 21 popping sounds that we could not determine whether the source was live ammunition or rubber-coated bullets. We were told by community members the news that two people were shot at this demonstration.

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Truth about Gaza: 3 myths keeping U.S., Jerusalem from owning up to their roles in the crisis | Trudy Rubin

Posted on May 22, 2018

Adel Hana / AP In this Monday, May 14, 2018 file photo, 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.

by Trudy Rubin, STAFF COLUMNIST @trudyrubin | trubin@phillynews.com

The knee-jerk reaction in the White House and Israel to the recent violence in Gaza is to blame Hamas and be done with it. The radical Hamas organization that controls Gaza drove thousands of Palestinians toward the fence, the argument goes, so it is wholly to blame for the 62 killed by Israeli snipers, the bulk of them Hamas members.

But this PR blame game obscures the bigger picture.

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American Jews need to talk about Gaza

Posted on May 21, 2018

American Jews need to talk about Gaza.

We need to talk about why 62 Palestinians were slaughtered by the Israeli army a week ago, and over 10,000 maimed in the last seven weeks. We need to talk about root causes of this heart-wrenching violence.

We need to talk about how this violence is done in our names, how our own futures are tied up in finding a different way forward. And perhaps most of all, we need to talk about how to reach our friends, family, and community leaders who aren’t ready yet to take a stand.

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Kairos Statement on Gaza and Jerusalem

Posted on May 20, 2018

If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they. (Ecclesiastes 5:8)..

On Monday, May 14th 2018, in Gaza, 60 people were killed and 2771 wounded among crowds walking unarmed towards their villages, from which they had been compelled to leave. They were killed in cold blood and posed no threat to anybody.

At the same time, the American embassy was relocated to Jerusalem in violation of international law. The transgressor is the great power that should call on others to respect international law.

Thus, the situation in which we are living is not one of rejoicing and the inauguration of a new embassy. We live in an inhumane situation that must be changed.

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CBS host schooled on Israel-Palestine Reality

Posted on May 20, 2018

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Impose Financial and Military Sanctions on Israel for War Crimes

Posted on May 20, 2018

Riaz Ahmed started this petition to United Nations, New York United Nations Security Council

When will the United Nations apply international laws against Israel? When will the same law makers who readily impose financial and military sanctions on African, Arab and Asian Nations without thought, do the same to Israel?

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Palestinian and World Christian Youth appeal to the global community on the 70th Anniversary of the Nakba

Posted on May 19, 2018

 

The Palestine Youth Ecumenical Movement and The World Student Christian Federation have issued a statement addressed to the international community:

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Uri Avnery: The Day of Shame

Posted on May 19, 2018

by Uri Avnery

ON BLOODY MONDAY this week, when the number of Palestinian killed and wounded was rising by the hour, I asked myself: what would I have done if I had been a youngster of 15 in the Gaza Strip?

My answer was, without hesitation: I would have stood near the border fence and demonstrated, risking my life and limbs every minute.

How am I so sure?

Simple: I did the same when I was 15.

I was a member of the National Military Organization (the “Irgun”), an armed underground group labeled “terrorist”.

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The Ongoing Nakba

Posted on May 18, 2018

I visited Gaza in 2017 with two colleagues to see what life is like for the people there. We were allowed in for one day and spent our time meeting with Global Ministries partners and witnessing their daily life under blockade. Access in and out of Gaza is severely restricted, as are the goods that come in. The UN estimates that by 2020, Gaza will be unlivable due to lack of access to clean water, food, medicine and medical supplies, electricity, fuel, and construction equipment. We heard numerous stories from Gazans who said that when they were allowed to leave, it felt like they were being released from prison when they stepped over the border.

by James Moos, Global Ministries
May 15 is known to Palestinians as Nakba (“catastrophe”) Day; it comes the day after Israelis celebrate their Independence Day. This year will mark 70 years since the state of Israel was created and 750,000 Palestinians were displaced and dispossessed, resulting in a Palestinian diaspora and refugee population that now numbers over 5 million.

Since March 30, thousands of Palestinians have participated in planned nonviolent demonstrations in Gaza near the fence separating it from Israel. The demonstrations are called “The Great March of Return,” and they are expected to end on Nakba Day. At the time of this writing over one hundred demonstrators have been killed and thousands more have been injured by Israeli forces. Many of the deaths occurred on the day the U.S. opened its embassy in Jerusalem, a move widely condemned by the international community.

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On display in Jerusalem: political pandering to the theologically weird

Posted on May 18, 2018

…one should reflect and then perhaps regret that political pandering to a subset of American Christianity, keeping a campaign promise, has resulted in the deaths of so many, young children among them.

by Joshua J. Whitfield

Julian the Apostate, the Roman emperor, was killed in Persia in 363; it was a demise in which all Christians rejoiced. For them, clearly it was an act of God, divine justice. Julian had made himself an enemy of the Church, you see, and so God was just following through as always, with signs and wonders just as he had done ever since Pharaoh.

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US Embassy in Jerusalem and clashes in Gaza: The Church calls for prayers

Posted on May 18, 2018

Peace and conversion. These are the prayer intentions recommended by Mgr Pizzaballa for the vigil of prayer on Saturday 19 May at 5pm at the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem.

A week of deep contrasts has shaken the Holy Land as the representatives of the Israeli government celebrated the move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in the presence of supporters and delegations coming from a range of countries. The border with the Gaza strip was home to violent clashes.

H.E. Mgr PIERBATTISTA PIZZABALLA, ofm
Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

“Unfortunately this is yet another episode in a long itinerary of hatred and violence which has brought about the death of almost 60 people and thousands of injured. It is also a paradoxical situation because on the one hand a great feast was being celebrated – the move of the embassy – and on the other a tragedy, a massacre. It is a snapshot which depicts well this paradoxical and tragic situation betraying enormous alienation and the distance existing between the parties in this terrible and unending conflict.”

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Samia Khoury: Blowing in the Wind

Posted on May 18, 2018

After the massacre of Gaza on May 14, I was writing to a friend and asking how many more need to die before our voice is heard and we are granted justice. He wrote back reminding me of Bob Dylan’s song “the answer is Blowin’ in the wind.” I have always loved that song. So I decided I was going to improvise new words to suit our situation.

 

 

 

How many massacres must we go through

Before they see us as  humans?

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Short Walk Home – Long Walk to Freedom

Posted on May 18, 2018

By Ann Hafften, a Texas Lutheran

It is being reported that the demonstrations at the Gaza border are related to the US Embassy moving to Jerusalem. Here’s the real background: Every year on March 30, Palestinians commemorate the events of Land Day, when the Israeli government killed six unarmed Palestinians who were protesting the state’s expropriation of land in Galilee.

On Land Day 2018, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip initiated the Great Return March, a recurring demonstration at the barrier between Gaza and Israel.

More than 40 Palestinians have been killed by Israel during these demonstrations. A majority of those were refugees, displaced from their homes during the 1948 Nakba – the expulsion of 700,000 Palestinians from territory which became Israel. This poster highlights their villages of origin.

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A Child Dies in the Killing Fields of Gaza

Posted on May 18, 2018

by James M. Wall, Wallwritings

History is filled with narratives about killing fields. This troubled writer looks at the killing fields of Gaza, and is driven to begin with a story:

“A man kills his mother and his father. Brought to trial, he begs for mercy because he is an orphan.”

There are times when two sides have legitimate claims to a side. The killer in this story does not have a “side”.

The story comes to mind when this troubled writer sees the deaths of Palestinians in the killing fields of Gaza and is driven to fury by the willingness of others to embrace the killer’s narrative.

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