Archive

June 9th, 2017

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY. Spirited Reflection: Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights.

CPTnet

9 June 2017

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY. Spirited Reflection: Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights.

by Esther Townshend

But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. – Jer. 31: 33

Earlier this month, I joined a group walking from Kitchener-Waterloo to Ottawa, called the Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights. Organized by Mennonite Church Canada – Indigenous-Settler Relations and Christian Peacemaker Teams – Indigenous Peoples Solidarity, the pilgrimage had two primary goals: to visit churches to foster conversations about the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and its role as a framework for reconciliation; and to call on the Canadian government to fulfill its promise to implement UNDRIP. In particular, we walked in support of Bill C-262, a private member’s bill by MP Romeo Saganash that provides a legislative framework for UNDRIP’s implementation. Canada’s Liberal government has been conspicuously silent on whether it will support Bill C-262, despite having voted for a similar bill when the previous Conservative government was in power. 

Pilgrimage

June 8th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos May 30 - June 5

 

Secret Search

 
Pictured here: An Israeli soldier stands guard as other members of his patrol take a young Palestinian man around the corner to be searched out of sight of foreign monitors. The man was stopped, ID checked, and body searched as he was walking through the tunnels of the Old City. The Israeli military conducts these patrols several times a day in an attempt to exercise their control of the freedom and movement of Palestinians. They often detain and arrest members of the community in addition to ID checks and searches. 

(May 31, 2017)

June 7th

Prayers for Peacemakers. 7 June 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers. 7 June 2017

More and more people are becoming aware of the consequences of the industrialization of our world. The pollution of the air, soil and water resources has increased notably because of the so called development. Extremely dry seasons, prolonged cold winters, numerous floods and landslides are just some examples of the impact of the massive industrial production, global scale transportation and abuse of natural resources. For this reason, the country representatives signed an agreement to continue working for and supporting the development while decreasing the pollution and the global warming. But we need to understand that it's the consumption and production of things that we perceive we need that takes away or destroys what we all truly need: healthy and sufficient food and water, clean air and respect for life.   

Let us pray for our world, for clean air and water. Let us pray for those who struggle to protect what is left and to regenerate what is lost. Let us pray for those who make decisions that will impact not only our present but also our future and the future of the life on Earth. Let us pray for each one of us to learn more, to care more, and to do more. We all deserve a better planet and many of us bear responsibility for the disasters that take place not only where we live but also in other parts of the world. So help us God.

 Mocoa, Colombia Landslide

Psalm 96:10-13

Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns." The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity. Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy; they will sing before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his truth. 

June 6th

IRAQI KURDISTAN NEWSLETTER: Spring 2017- Border Bombing, Oil Issues and more!!

 

Iraqi Kurdistan

 
We wish all of our Muslim teammates, CPTers, Supporters and friends a happy Ramadan. 
 
Border Bombing
After the peace agreement broke between the Turkish state and Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in 2015, Turkey has regularly bombed villages in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan. The Turkish state claims they are only targeting the PKK. However, Christian Peacemaker Teams-Iraqi Kurdistan (CPT-IK) has visited many of these villages and documented that Turkish warplanes have not just bombed PKK but have also bombed villages and surrounding areas, including burning many vineyards,orchards, and grazing lands. Furthermore, there have been civilian casualties and many villagers have lost their animals and sources of income. The bombings continue to this day and the CPT IK team continues to investigate and document Turkey's bombing violations. The team has written many stories about Kurdish civilians who have been heavily impacted by the bombardments, including a story in May of this year about Turkey's bombing near the village of Murkijea. 
Kak Bapir from Basta vilage hosted Christian Peacemaker Teams-Iraqi Kurdistan (CPT) at his home. 
Kak Bapir (right) talking with Michele Naar-Obed (left) and CPT member Latif Hars (center) about Turkish bombardments in the Basta region. Photo by: Gabe Soares
Christian Peacemaker Teams-Iraqi Kurdistan (CPT IK) team members with Michelle Naar Obed visited one of our partners, Kak Bapir from Basta village. Basta has long been impacted by the bombardment from both the Turkish and Iranian governments. Kak Bapir told CPTers that they are still being bombed by the Turkish government and expressed his wish that the bloody bombardments would stop. Kak Bapir told the story of the villagers from Basta and how their way of life is being disrupted by the ongoing bombardments. He asked that CPT help amplify their voices to make the international community aware of their plight and to accompany them to find new ways to ask the Turkish state to stop these bombardments so that villagers from Basta can live in peace. 

June 2nd

Prayers for peacemakers. 3 June 2017

Prayers for peacemakers. 3 June 2017 

"Ramadan Kareem" to our Muslim CPT members, partners and friends who together with the multitude of Muslim communities around the world join in celebration of the holy month of Ramadan. 

Those who observe Ramadan abstain from food, drink and other physical needs from dawn until sunset. However, the essence of Ramadan is much deeper than just fasting. It is a time to purify one's soul, refocus attention on God and practice self-discipline and sacrifice. 

Last weekend, two bombs exploded in Baghdad, Iraq, just at the time when families were breaking fast and beginning to eat. One of the bombs exploded at the bazaar, the central market of the city, nearby a retirement office, and the other one in an ice cream shop where mostly children and teenagers were celebrating life. Another explosion happened in Kabul, Afghanistan, in a diplomatic zone. These horrible attacks against our fellow and dear human beings target also the meaning of Ramadan.

Ramadan In Palestine

Today let us pray for all who observe Ramadan so that they can do so in peace, free of fear and risk of bombs, airstrikes, all kinds of violence and restrictive checkpoints. Let us pray for the family members and friends of the innocent victims. Let us pray for their souls so that they may find comfort and peace.

June 1st

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos May 23 - 29

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos May 23 - 29

 

Counter-Settler Tour

 
Pictured here: CPT monitored its first counter-settler tour created in partnership with a local tour guide.  The tour takes place at the same time as the weekly settler incursion in the Old City, offering a narrative of Palestinian history and culture in al-Khalil and explaining the impact of occupation on daily life, economy, and freedom.  Members of our CPT delegation were the main participants last week.  A future goal of the project is to draw more Palestinians into the space of the Old City to raise awareness about resistance to the occupation.  

(May 20, 2017)

May 29th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): CPT Palestine May 2017 Newsletter--Old City Shop: Jewelry, Why do you keep going back? and more...

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): CPT Palestine May 2017 Newsletter--Old City Shop: Jewelry, Why do you keep going back? and more..


Old City Shop: Jewelry

Mospah follows in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. He has been making and selling jewelry in the same shop in the Old City souq for fifty years. 

Why does he do what he does, where he does? Because it’s a family tradition, part of his heritage. He has a strong sense of rootedness, from both his father, whom he reveres, and his grandfather. Mospah has ten children, seven daughters and three sons, and thirty-seven grandchildren. The entire family continues to live in Hebron.

A supplier brings him materials from Saudi Arabia: stones from Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Afghanistan plus materials sourced locally. Mospah then crafts these into a wide variety of jewelry: bracelets, necklaces, earrings, prayer beads. He also has a small line of low-cost costume jewelry responding to the demands of a range of customers.

Thirty years ago, business was thriving in the Old City souq. Not so today. Mospah often passes days at a time with no one buying. Business is difficult but a little better than after the second intifada. Read more...


May 28th

IRAQI KURDISTAN: As adults, we are just afraid for our children; residents of Merkejia speak with CPT about the impacts of the Turkish bombings.

CPTnet

29 May 2017

IRAQI KURDISTAN: As adults, we are just afraid for our children; residents of Merkejia speak with CPT about the impacts of the Turkish bombings.

by: Julie Brown

The explosion was massive, even through the small video on Kak Najib’s phone we could see the devastation and huge plume of smoke that engulfed the whole side of a nearby mountain. This was just one of many bombs that fell on the area surrounding the village of Merkejia last fall.

Merkajia is an Assyrian village that lies within the northern mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan. These mountains are a dividing point between Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan as well as a battleground between the Turkish government and The Kurdistan Workers' Party or PKK.  While media sometimes gives nod to this decades long conflict, the realities of life for those like the villagers of Merkejia, people whose communities are on the frontlines, are rarely told.

"Last November, the Turkish airplanes dropped a barrage of bombs on the area surrounding this small village", Kak Najib, the Mukhtar (village leader) of Merkejia, told CPT on 11 May 2017. The first bombs fell in the evening when Kak Najib and his family were in their house. He explained that at first they stayed inside their home and took shelter but as the bombs continued to fall they went outside afraid that one could hit the house and it could collapse on them. The women and children left the village and only the men stayed behind to protect their homes and property. “As Assyrians we believe that we will die one day and that we should not be afraid of death. I have seen many wars, Saddam forced me to go to Kuwait.  As adults, we are just afraid for our children,” he explained.

The bombs shattered all the windows in every home in Merkejia and cracked several walls. Kak Najib pointed to a large crack in his home just over a large portrait of Jesus hanging in his family room.  When CPT asked how people could show solidarity with the villagers of Merkejia he simply said, “Let people know that we are being bombed.” 

                                                          Wall inside Kak Najib´s house   

                                             Walls inside Kak Najib's house in Merkajia. Photo by: Julie Brow 

May 26th

Prayers for Peacemakers. 26 May 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers. 26 May 2017

Oftentimes, we are not thankful for all the blessings in our life and we do not recognize the privileges we have. When we are able to have a job, to have a legal status, to feel safe and free, to be healthy or able-bodied, for example. When often strongly realize and feel their lack but not so much their presence.

Today we want to remember all these privileges and blessings. We would like to encourage you to embrace the positive situations in our lives and share our love and solidarity with people who do not experience the same. Let us pray for those of us who are not physically or emotionally well. Let us pray for all who are seeking meaningful jobs to be able to thrive and support our families and communities. Let us pray for the undocumented people and those fleeing wars and oppression to be given asylum and receive respect for their humanity and rights. Let us pray for all who live in the midst of war to be able to find strength to continue resist violence and death. Let us pray for and support each other in our needs and difficulties so that we may find a path forward and overcome what stands in our way.

Yezidi family

Luke 17:20-21

One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?” Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs. You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you.”

May 24th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos May 16 - 22

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos May 16 - 22

 

Constant Threat


Pictured here:  These three photos capture three arrests of Palestinians this past week, two of whom are under 16. 

In the past three weeks CPT has witnessed an increase in systematic detainments and arrests of Palestinians in the H2 area of Al Khalil by the Golani infantry brigade. The Golani brigade has been in the Old City almost constantly, where soldiers require Palestinians to show their IDs and arbitrarily detain members of the local community for anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours. Local shopkeepers, as well as men, women, and children who live in H2 have been detained several times per day as they try to move around their neighbourhood. 

Protests in solidarity with the Palestinian political prisoner's hunger strike have resulted in clashes occurring more than once a week. Israeli military have used excessive force against the Palestinian protesters, who have suffered from tear gas inhalation, skunk water spray, rubber bullet wounds, and injuries from live ammunition. Israeli forces purposefully escalate the clashes by quickly advancing into Palestinian controlled H1, apprehending those who are at the front of the clash and then retreating with boys they have detained. Their provocation of Palestinians also allows for them to take photos to use as evidence against "stone throwers" and as justification for later arrests. A total of 8 people were arrested in a clash on Friday, 19th May and at least 6 people were arrested in the clash today, 22nd May. 

Golani forces have become aggressive in their search for young men who have participated in the clashes. Young Palestinian men specifically are being targeted, to a point where the local community members are living under constant threat of house raids, arbitrary detainment, and arrest. On the 21st of May, a 12 year old boy was detained and held overnight, the video footage of his detainment can be found here


(May 16-22, 2017)