"Al-Bushra"

Seeking truth and justice

Onging Nakba at 70

Posted on May 14, 2018

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The residents of the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiram, who are Palestinian citizens of Israel, lost their battle with Israel to receive recognition for their village so they could receive water and electricity and have paved road. Not only did they lose this battle but they were coersed into signing an agreement with the State to evacuate to a nearby town. This will be their second Nakba because the Jahahlin were evicted already from the Naquab (Negev) in 1951. Their village, just a few kilometers from Jerusalem, and across route 60 from the ever expanding settlement of Male Addum,im and Kfar Addumim, will be demolished and a new town for religious Jews, called Hiran, will be built in its place. Their fate hangs in the balance now with the Supreme Court who will most likely condone the demolishment of the school made of tires and mud and the evacuation of the village. There is no hope for a judicial outcome that will allow the Bedouins to stay just a prolonged delay. This is one example of what Palestinians mean when they say the Nakba never ended or that it is ongoing.

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Emergency Response: Gaza & Jerusalem

Posted on May 14, 2018

The death toll in Gaza is rising literally as I write – 38 people have been killed already today. By the time you’re reading this, I don’t even want to guess.

Meanwhile the US Embassy officially opened in Jerusalem: a cynical, dangerous celebration of annexation.

This is the Nakba (“catastrophe”) happening before our very eyes. All of it – the Embassy move; the very fact that 2 million people in Gaza, mostly refugees, live in essentially unlivable conditions; the sniper attacks on unarmed demonstrators and journalists.

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DEMAND ISRAELI ACCOUNTABILITY

Posted on May 14, 2018

URGENT CALL TO ACTION:
CONTACT YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS NOW!

News sources report that, at least, 52 Gazans (including children, a paramedic, and a disabled person) were killed today along the fence that separates Gaza and Israel, as Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition into crowds of unarmed protesters. Many more were injured, reportedly including nine journalists.

Sharif Abdel Kouddous, reporting from Gaza on Democracy Now! shared that “tens of thousands” of protesters – men, women, and children – gathered along the entire length of the Gaza Strip with Israeli soldiers literally “picking people off,” and even those not near the fence being shot. Kouddous witnessed no threat to the Israeli military, and no Israeli soldier has been injured during the six weeks of Gaza protests.

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In Holy Land, journey’s end also begins a new one

Posted on May 11, 2018

In Holy Land, journey’s end also begins a new one

World Council of Churches, Oct. 9, 2018 – “Ecumenical accompaniers” (EAs) from more than 20 countries handed off the ‘road map’ of the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) to a new group on 23 April.

The new EA team continues the responsibilities, efforts and hopes of 15 years worth of work in Palestine and Israel. During a ceremony at Al Tantur Ecumenical Centre in Jerusalem, outgoing EAs lit the candles of their replacements, metaphorically representing their engagement in carrying the light of peace, faith and hope through their journey and time in the Holy Land.

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13th-15th May: Inspiring Programme of Events in South Africa

Posted on May 10, 2018

Comrades and friends in Cape Town, you are invited to an inspiring programme of events hosted by the Great March of Return Solidarity Tent next to the Castle of Good Hope on Darling Street.

Sunday 13 May
17:30: A memorial service and night vigil at St. Georges Cathedral, Wale Street, Cape Town

Monday 14 May
10:30 to 16:00: High School Learners’ History Workshop

16:30-18:00: Screening of The Village Under the Forest and a discussion on Lubya, the JNF, the Nakba and the Return.

18:00-20:30: Screening of Roadmap to Apartheid and discussion.

Tuesday 15 May
10:00 March to Parliament from the solidarity tent.

Please join, share, participate and support!

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70 years after exodus, Palestinians dream of return

Posted on May 9, 2018

Palestinian children play in the Amari refugee camp near the city of Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on May 8, 2018 (AFP Photo/ABBAS MOMANI)

Palestinian children play in the Amari refugee camp near the city of Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on May 8, 2018 (AFP Photo/ABBAS MOMANI)

by Joe Dyke with Adel Zaanoun in Gaza

Amari Refugee Camp (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) – Thaer Sharkawi, 31, has never visited the place he calls home.

The Palestinian was born and raised in the Amari refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, but for him his house is 50 kilometres (30 miles) away in the town of Kafr Ana inside what is now Israel.

Kafr Ana hasn’t actually existed for decades — demolished in the weeks after Sharkawi’s grandfather fled in 1948 — yet he knows there was a boys’ and girls’ school and can vividly picture the orange groves his great-grandfather tended.

“I haven’t been there but I have heard about it,” he told AFP. “I studied about it and read about it on the internet.”

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Focus On: Gaza

Posted on May 9, 2018

by Ayah Abubasheer, Tareq Baconi, Haidar Eid, Victor Kattan, Esther Rappaport, Omar Shaban, Khalil Shaheen, Wajjeh Abu Zarifa

alshabaka, May 8, 2018 – World attention has refocused on Gaza since the Palestinians imprisoned there for more than a decade began their peaceful “Great March of Return” on March 30. Risking life and limb to protest the violations of their human rights – Israel has killed more than 40 protestors and wounded thousands more, many seriously – the Gaza Palestinians have also succeeded in going to the root cause of the conflict. They have forced the discourse to move beyond the occupation of the Palestinian territory in 1967 to the Palestinians’ dispossession and expulsion from their homeland to make way for the state of Israel in 1948.

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Notre Dame des Douleurs retirement home, a welcome across the wall

Posted on Apr 27, 2018

The center, founded by French sisters in 1957, welcomes and cares for 50 elderly people, whether Muslims or Christians, from Jerusalem and the West Bank. They are cared for by a medical specialists and various assistants. Apart from the sisters, foreign volunteers help out and gain job experience.

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A Taybeh Day for Saint George

Posted on Apr 27, 2018

by Maria Khoury

Today was a wonderful celebration for our Patron Saint George with Archimandrite Fr. Jack-Nobel, our Taybeh parish priest of St. George Great Martyr Church  of the Greek Melkite Catholic Patriarchate  celebrating the feast of St. George in our village with His Excellency the new General Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem, Archbishop Yasser Ayyash  and many members of the Greek Catholic community who traveled from various locations in the Holy Land to attend today’s beautiful liturgy with over ten priests including our own local priests, Fr. Daoud and Fr. Johnny with the entire Taybeh community.  Jack Rabah with his glorious voice continued the annual tradition to chant in Arabic and Greek. Truly it felt like heaven on earth with the most amazing chanting. 

“Since thou art a liberator and deliverer of captives, a help and succour of the poor and needy, 

a healing physician of the sick, a contender and fighter for kings, O great among Martyrs, the victory-clad George; 

intercede with Christ God for the salvation of our souls.”

(A special chant in honor of St. George, our Patron Saint of Taybeh and Patron Saint of Palestine)  

The courage of St. George to stand up against the Emperor actually reminds me of the very few but brave Israeli soldiers who love their country but refuse to serve in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

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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

Palestinian Christians and Muslims march together to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to protest to a new Israeli tax policy and proposed property law which caused Christian leaders to temporarily shut the doors of the church in February, 2018. (Photo: Seth Herald)

Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice. (Isaiah 59:15b)

As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it. (Luke 19:41)

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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