Archive

August 8th, 2014

IRAQI KURDISTAN URGENT ACTION: Alert your networks to the humanitarian catastrophe facing Iraqi minorities

[Note: The Iraq team has spent all of today in a church with sixty-five Christian refugees from Qaraqosh, who fled with nothing but the clothes on their backs.  One man walked thirteen miles in his pajamas and slippers.  All churches in Suleimani are packed with refugees.  The UK government has ordered its citizens to leave Erbil.  The situation on the ground is changing by the hour, and the Iraqi Kurdistan team will attempt to provide a nonviolent perspective on what they see.  Check its Facebook page for updates.]

 
Refugees at the Erbil checkpoint

The humanitarian crisis unfolding in Iraqi Kurdistan and has reached catastrophic proportions.  Tens of thousands of Yazidi people (a religious minority in Iraq) are trapped by ISIS, which refers to itself as the, “the Islamic State” (IS) forces in the Sinjar Mountains without food or water.  According to reports, seventy children have died so far of heat and dehydration.  Hundreds more are likely to die in the coming days.  An estimated 100,000 Iraqis—Christians, Shabak, Yazidi, and other minorities—have fled their homes.  They are attempting to enter the area of northern Iraq controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), a region already stretched beyond capacity with more than one million internally displaced persons from the conflict with IS and refugees from Syria.  Those who cannot leave their homes risk forced conversion, kidnapping, rape, torture, and gruesome death. 

August 6th

Prayers for Peacemakers, August 6, 2014

Prayers for Peacemakers, August 6, 2014

Pray that the heart of  Leonel Gutierrez Lagares, Inspector of Police of Vijagual, who has tried to evict the community of El Guayabo five times from its land, will be moved to repentance when CPT Colombia delivers a petition to him this week protesting a violent 26 June 2014 eviction.  Ask that God continue to encourage the hearts of the people of El Guayabo as they nonviolently resist systemic powers trying to move them out of the way.

Epixel* August 10, 2014

Community tries to protect teacher's house from riot police eviction

Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
and righteousness will look down from the sky.
The LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps.

Psalm 85:11-13

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

August 5th

IRAQI KURDISTAN ANALYSIS: Questions about the Islamic State in Iraq, aka ISIS, IS, DAASH

[Note: This release has been adapted for CPTnet.  The original, more comprehensive piece is available on Gish’s blog.]




CPT has been monitoring the checkpoint into the KRG
where tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians, Yazidi,
Turkmen, Shabak and Shia have been fleeing ISIS advances.

Many analysts of the current situation in Iraq had predicted that the Islamic State of Iraq and SHAM (ISIS), renamed the “Islamic State” (IS) a month ago by the group (and also called “DAASH” by the Kurds in the KRG) would make a major offensive on Baghdad before the end of Ramadan.

Jessica Lewis, a former American military intelligence officer with several years of service in Iraq, describes IS as capable of both guerilla style warfare and conventional warfare, and predicts it will attack soon, first the bases around the city and important government buildings.

The Institute for the Study of War, a U.S.-based think tank, which has been analyzing IS activity in Iraq, reports that the coordinated suicide attacks conducted around Baghdad in predominantly Shia areas on 19 July, demonstrate that ISIS has infiltrated highly coordinated sleeper cells into the city. Their analysts predict that the coming attack will likely be in the form of guerrilla and terrorist offensive, rather than a huge conventional military assault. It would be intent on instilling chaos and fear and keeping the Iraqi government focused on defending the capital rather than mounting an offensive to retake Mosul and other captured territory.

August 4th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Settlers break into Palestinian shops

n 30 July 2014, Israelis entered into Palestinian shops in Hebron’s Old City near Beit Hadassah with industrial tools, using cutting blades and torches to open the doors, despite the presence of Israeli military security who were overlooking the shops.

Christian Peacemaker Teams and the International Solidarity Movement volunteers made several attempts to advise the Israeli military and police to intervene on the breaking and entering into the Palestinian shops. Despite showing the Israeli military video evidence of the account, the police failed to show up and intervene.

The following day, Israeli settler children during the afternoon threw rocks down from the Beit Hadassah settlement onto Palestinians walking on the street below the settlement. Later on that night, settlers again re-entered the property despite the Israeli military having designated the area a closed military zone for Israeli settlers and Palestinians alike.


Settler jumps on awning after throwing stones at Palestinians
and internationals

August 1st

CHICAGO, USA: CPTers lament Palestinian deaths; two arrested at Israeli consulate.


On Friday, 18 July, the day after Israel announced its ground invasion of Gaza, about thirty members and supporters of Christian Peacemakerprocession Teams (CPT) converged at the Israeli Consulate in downtown Chicago to lament the deaths of hundreds of Palestinians and denounce Israel’s indefensible violence. 

Vigil participants, representing at least seven countries, carried large photographs of Palestinian children killed in Gaza.  As they walked slowly in mournful procession around the skyscraper that houses the Israeli Consulate, a single voice rang out over a loud speaker, piercing the silence with the name of each Palestinian who had died as a result of Israel’s military operations since 12 June 2014. 

July 30th

Prayers for Peacemakers, July 30, 2014

Prayers for Peacemakers, July 30, 2014

Pray for the Christians, Turkmen, Shabak, Yezidi, and Shia Muslims of Mosul.  ISIS militants have driven them from their homes in Mosul and confiscated their possessions.  Give thanks for Iraqi Muslims who are speaking out against this violence and injustice.

 Epixel* for Sunday August 2, 2014
 
 

Wondrously show your steadfast love, O savior of those who seek 
refuge from their adversaries at your right hand. Psalm 17.7

 Checkpoint on road to Mosul entering Kurdish Regional Governate
  *epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches, related to and appearing with 
a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings. 

July 28th

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.