Archive

July 28th, 2014

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) REFLECTION: Gaza and the end of Ramadan in Hebron

 

 
 Israeli soldiers monitor Friday Ramadan Prayers

The streets of Hebron were unusually quiet on the 26th night of Ramadan.  These are the final days of holiest time of the year in Islam.  As we stood at the entrance to the Ibrahimi Mosque we noticed that the numbers of worshippers were significantly down from a year ago.  A year ago we also saw more venders selling falafels, pastries, corn, tea, coffee, juice, ice cream and kabobs.  A year ago so many people flowed through the streets of Hebron’s Old City to attend the Mosque services or to shop, that walking was difficult.

This year, perhaps out of fear, people were at home watching the news on TV.  (We heard that in Jerusalem there are fewer numbers also on the streets of and worshipping in the mosques this month.)  At Bab iZawya on this night, we found a small crowd of young and middle aged men who had showed up even though no demonstration had been called for that scheduled.  At 2:00 a.m., they were still standing around, looking as though they were waiting for something to happen.  Every now and then, a boy threw a stone and ducked for cover.

July 26th

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Iraqis cross checkpoint near Erbil, fleeing Mosul because of ISIS threats

Children and teenagers sat in the back of pick-up trucks, amidst bundles of clothing and household items.  Parents holding babies looked worried and tired.  Other families sat on blankets in temporary shelters out of the hot sun, waiting for the authorities to process their papers or for the person sponsoring them to meet them at the checkpoint and escort them into the area of Iraq controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).  They had all fled their homes because of ISIS’ takeover of their communities.

We were at the first checkpoint for those seeking to enter the Erbil Governorates.  Though only about twenty km east of ISIS-controlled territory, the people coming through were now in a relatively safe area protected by the Peshmerga (Kurdish soldiers).

July 25th

Prayers for Peacemakers July 25, 2014


Prayers for Peacemakers July 25, 2014

Pray for the civilians of Gaza who have no safe shelter from Israeli bombs and that all attacks on Palestinian and Israeli civilians will cease.  Pray that those who care about human rights will be heard over the hatemongers.  Pray that a ceasefire will include a real effort to address the root causes of the violence in Israel and Palestine.  

 

 

Epixel* for July 27, 2014

As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all day long; 
we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered." Romans 8:36 (Ps. 44:22)

*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches, related to and appearing with a
text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings. 


July 24th

TORONTO, CANADA: Multi-faith vigil begins at Israeli consulate to condemn targeting of civilians, blockade of Gaza

Jews, Muslims, Christians, and people of conscience have begun a continuous three-day vigil outside the Israeli Consulate in downtown Toronto.  Starting at 9:00 a.m. this morning, 24 July, the vigil will continue until the afternoon of Saturday, 26 July, 2014.

 
 Ursula Franklin

The vigil condemns the indiscriminate targeting of civilians, the seven-year blockade of Gaza and Canadian complicity in the Israeli military occupation of Palestine.  It is calling for the immediate cessation of the Israel’s assault on Gaza, now in its sixteenth day. 

Canadian Jewish Holocaust survivor Ursula Franklin, when speaking against Israel’s 2009 attack on Gaza, said “Never Again” means “never again for all people.” 

Israeli historian Ilan Pappe has recently described Israeli policies as an “incremental genocide.”

Concerned that Israel may be in violation of international law, Amnesty International is calling for an international investigation into the conduct of Israeli forces. In the course of its offensive, Israel has targeted hospitals and civilian homes.

Christian Peacemaker Teams members will be maintaining a continuous presence at the vigil.

 

July 21st

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Demonstrators gather in Hebron to protest violence in Gaza




20 July 2014 Twitter @NasserBI

On Sunday, 20 July 2014, Hebron’s Youth Against Settlements, call for a demonstration in Bab i-Zawiya to protest the ongoing military action in Gaza and the escalating ground offensive by Israeli troops.  Cities all over the world held similar demonstrations condemning Israeli actions in Gaza.  Hundreds showed up for the Hebron protest.  It began at about 9:00 p.m. and was still going strong at 2:00 a.m.

Police responded to the demonstrators with live bullets, hitting at least two people, sound bombs, and tear gas in a running battle.  Some of the participants in the demonstration fought back with rocks, fireworks, burning tires, and slingshots.  Ambulances and medical technicians went back and forth to the hospital for hours, transporting the injured.  

Someone who did not want to be identified lamented,  “What are Palestinians to do?” he said, “We have no basic citizenship rights.  We have no basic protection guaranteed by the state. Our status as citizens has been clearly defined. We are not citizens. There is little or no protection from Israel, and the unrestrained among Palestinians may even create problems for the rest of us.”

July 19th

ABORIGINAL JUSTICE: Take Action with Grassy Narrows

 



The recent Canadian Supreme Court ruling does not affect the current five-year plan of Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) for the Whiskey Jack Forest.  This plan initially made provisions for logging to resume as early as 1 April 2014, within Grassy Narrows’ traditional territory. It does not have the consent of the people of Grassy Narrows.  Following criticism, MNR minister David Orazietti postponed the imposition of clear-cut logging for at least a year.

Clear-cut logging has already destroyed large areas of forest and impacted the traditional hunting and trapping practices of the Grassy Narrows community.  Supporters in the Toronto, Ontario area can directly support Grassy Narrows by participating in ‘River Run’ activities scheduled 28-31 July.  The events will focus on pressuring the Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne to correct the continuing perversions of justice that affect the community.

River Run events include a press conference, public speaking events to educate people from southern Ontario about Grassy Narrows’ struggle with mercury poisoning and opposition to the proposed clear-cut logging as well as a march of hundreds to Queen’s Park, to present the demands of the Grassy Narrows community.  The Grassy Narrows Women’s Drum Group will lead the week’s activities.

July 17th

CHICAGO, USA: Christian Peacemaker Teams to mourn Operation Brothers Keeper/Protective Edge deaths at Israeli Consulate

On 18 July 2014, members of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), friends and supporters will gather at the Israeli Consulate in downtown Chicago to mourn collectively and individually the deaths of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in Operation Brother’s Keeper and Operation Protective Edge.  CPT trainees, Peacemaker Corps members, and others wishing to show solidarity with those who are suffering, will form a procession, carrying pictures of the dead and reading the names of all who have died.  Some members of the group will then attempt to engage members of the Israeli Consulate in dialogue.


Mohamed Abu Khdeir, 16Mohamed Malka, 3

ACTION: If you are in the Chicagoland area, join us at 11:30 a.m. Friday outside the Israeli Consulate (500 E Madison St.) for the procession.  If you have Facebook, consider changing your profile picture to an image of one of the Palestinians whom Israel has killed (Available for downloading here)—or you can right-click on the images in this release.  Pay attention to Palestinian coverage of events, including the www.imemc.org/ website and consider supporting Palestinian civil society’s call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (see www.bdsmovement.net/). Continue to pray alongside Palestinians, Israelis, and all those around the world seeking peace and justice in the region.

Look for updates about the action, and CPT’s support for Palestinian nonviolent resistance, on Facebook [www.facebook.com/cpters] and Twitter [twitter.com/cpt_intl].

July 14th

ABORIGINAL JUSTICE REFLECTION: The river still flows




Judy Da Silva, Slant Lake,
Asubpeeschoseewagong (Grassy Narrows)
October 2011

 

And the sun still shines; at least as it appears to when I look outside my window, in Toronto, Ontario.  Rains, however, have engulfed my heart and spirit, ever since I learned the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favor on Friday of Ontario’s “right” to permit industrial logging on Grassy Narrows' (Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishnabek) traditional lands.

As long as the rivers flows and the sun shines” (referencing Treaty #3) has become the cry of resistance since 3 December 2002 when two members of the Grassy Narrows community stepped in front of a logging truck hauling timber out of clear cuts, located on their traditional territory.  Their resistance has become the longest standing indigenous logging blockade in Canadian history.  Make no mistake, it will continue.

“Our supreme law is the Natural Law, and our right to live our way of life on our territory is given to us by the Creator since time immemorial.  Our grassroots women, youth and land users will continue to maintain our blockade, our boycott, and our protest along with our supporters from around the world who recognize that we are standing for all life,” wrote Judy Da Silva, Clan Mother and CPT Partner (emphasis added).

July 13th

CPT INTERNATIONAL: $123,300 RAISED BY CHRISTIAN PEACEMAKER TEAMS IN SPITE OF RECESSION-FUELED GIVING DECLINE

Despite trends showing a decline in non-profit giving across the United States, Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is pleased to announce generous donors have surpassed the original $110,000 goal for its Plowing and Planting Campaign, contributing $123,300. Pursuing CPT’s vision of a world of communities embracing the diversity of the human family, living justly and peaceably with all creation, the campaign was launched to “plow” under the debt for CPT’s Chicago training center and office, and “plant” seeds of investment in supportive care for full time team members.  “We’re thrilled to have such generous supporters who believe so deeply in the work of CPT,” said Executive Director, Sarah Thompson.  “In my travels, I’ve been inspired again and again by our diverse supporters and their deep commitment to CPT’s methods of transforming violence and oppression.”

July 11th

COLOMBIA URGENT ACTION: Sign petition protesting violent eviction of El Guayabo Community members from their land.

[Note: The following has been adapted for CPTnet. The release on CPT Colombia's blog contains a gallery of photos showing in more detail the events of the day.]

On Thursday 26 June, forty-five riot police, led by Leonel Gutierrez Lagares, Inspector of Police of Vijagual, raided the house of Henry Rincón Rinel, a school teacher in El Guayabo.  After four attempts at eviction over the last year, Inspector Gutierrez Lagares, with only eighteen hours notice, ordered the surrender of Rincón’s house.  Riot police entered the property, using fifteen tear gas canisters within the span of seven to ten minutes to disperse community members who had gathered to protect the house and take control.  During that time, riot police caused injury to several community members including severe reactions to the tear gas, lesions, and blows to the body.  The community remained peaceful during the eviction and members were surprised by the police violence.

Take Action: Sign the petition and write to the community.