Articles related to Israel
The Conference of Major Superiors of Men and Pax Christi International are among 15 major Christian organisations of different denominations that sent a briefing paper to all members of Congress and to the Trump Administration this morning, calling for US policies that promote peace, justice, and equality between Israelis and Palestinians. The paper states: "2017 marks 50 years since Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza and 24 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords. Over the last 50 years, but particularly since the signing of the Oslo accords in 1993, there have been
In the wake of Israel's approval of the settlement expansion bill which legalises 4000 homes in illegal settlements, the EU Foreign Affairs Council stated that these settlements are contrary to international law and an obstacle to a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and Palestine. Furthermore the proposed meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council has been postponed. Pax Christi International calls upon the EU to take a much stronger stance towards the Israeli government in condemning policies incompatible with the human rights clause of the EU-Israel Association Agreement
The Birmingham Faith Leaders Group met with Israel's Ambassador to the United Kingdom last Wednesday 8 February 2017. The meeting with Ambassador Mark Regev took place at Singers Hill Synagogue, Birmingham. The Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Reverend Longley said: "It was a good opportunity for us to consider some very difficult issues together and Ambassador Regev listened carefully to the concerns that were raised before offering a considered response. We touched upon the two-state solution to the current impasse between Israel and Palestine;
A group of eleven year-old boys, born in Israel to Filipino migrant worker parents, are in danger of being deported, because they don't have residence documents. Fr David Neuhaus SJ, Patriarchal Vicar for Hebrew-speaking Catholics of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and coordinator of the Pastoral Care of Migrants, has sent an open letter to Aryeh Deri, Minister of the Interior of the State of Israel, about the case of the 14 boys. In the letter, Fr David, who is of Jewish origin, mentions that in 1930, Philippine President Manuel Quezon, took in more than 1,300 Jews fleeing from Europe,
Bishop William Shomali, Patriachal Vicar of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem for the Holy City and Palestine has strongly condemned the law passed yesterday in the Israeli parliament, which 'legalised' houses and Israeli settlements built illegally on Palestinian territory illegally occupied by the army of Israel. This law "makes the solution two peoples-two states almost impossible, and "it offends justice, the virtue which comes from God and consists in giving God and neighbour what they are due," the Bishop said.
Thousands of Palestinian and Jewish Israelis rallied in Tel Aviv on Saturday to protest against home demolitions targeting the Palestinian citizens of Israel. Demonstrators called the Israeli state's demolition campaigns against its Palestinian citizens "racist" and an act of "incitement". Preparations continue for the Sabeel 10th International Conference to be held in March 2017. Participants continue to register for this important conference from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, England, Fiji, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, USA,
Christian Aid has welcomed Theresa May's willingness to discuss spiraling settlement activity with Benjamin Netanyahu, and highlight its role in undermining the faltering Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Mr Netanyahu is meeting the Prime Minister in Downing Street today (Monday) for talks that will include trade and the peace process. The UK government has condemned the "growing trend" for further settlement units in the West Bank and supports UN resolutions declaring Israeli settlements "illegal".
The Iona Community has published a Position Statement on Israel/Palestine. This is a response to the call of Palestinian Christians in the 2009 Kairos Palestine document, and timed to mark the upcoming centenary of the Balfour Declaration. The Statement makes clear the Iona Community's challenge to Christian Zionism as 'a distortion of the Christian faith, in its abuse of scripture to oppress Palestinian people'. It commits the Iona Community to the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel as 'an act of nonviolent solidarity, pursuing equality, freedom, and justice'
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) an American coalition of 22 national church denominations and organisations, including Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant traditions, has welcomed the US government's decision not to veto a UN resolution on Israel's illegal settlements. On Friday, December 23, just days before the Christmas holiday, the UN Security Council passed a resolution demanding that Israel end all settlement expansion in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and calling on the Palestinian authority to take immediate steps to end terror and incitement.
Church communities and other faith groups are coming together in an act of solidarity with those around the world suffering persecution because of their faith next week. The Red Wednesday event co-ordinated by Aid to the Church in Need will involve lighting up Westminster Cathedral and Westminster Abbey in red. Also being floodlit in red on the day - Wednesday, 23rd November - are religious buildings around the country - including Brentwood Cathedral and St John's Wood Synagogue.
A London exhibition opening next Monday, will offer a taste of daily life in the Holy Land, as artists are constructing a life-sized copy of a border control point at the separation barrier between Israel and occupied Palestine. Visitors to You cannot pass today: Life through a dividing wall will walk through the checkpoint, installed at Hinde Street Methodist Church in Marylebone, accompanied by documentary photography, sound, testimony and eyewitness accounts.
The Israeli Ambassador Ze'Ev Boker says ( Irish Times 18th August) that " Israel still hopes ...for a final agreement, based on bilateral negotiations resulting in two states for two peoples, the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, and a Palestinian state for the Palestinian people" . That is indeed great but I ask Ambassador Boker if he seriously believes that such negotiations will have any chance of success, or even starting, where his Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that he too is in favour of a two state solution, but " only
This weekend, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) overwhelmingly approved two resolutions calling on the US government to end all financial and military aid to Israel until Israel "compl[ies] with internationally recognized human rights standards", freezes settlement construction on occupied Palestinian land, and for the church to adopt an investment screen to avoid profiting from Israel's Occupation, at ELCA's triennial 2016 Churchwide Assembly in New Orleans. ELCA is one of three Lutheran church bodies in the US
On July 11th, the Israeli Knesset passed a controversial bill requiring non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that receive more than fifty per cent of their funding from foreign governments to declare so publicly. In light of the ruling William Bell, Christian Aid's Senior Advocacy Advisor for Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territory, said: "This bill is a clear attempt to restrict or close down voices that speak out against injustice. The majority of the organisations that this law will apply to are human rights organisations,
The Permanent Observer to the United Nations Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič has offered an intervention at the UN International Conference in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace. "The Holy See believes that the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians can move forward only if it is directly negotiated between the Parties," Archbishop Jurkovič said, with the strong support of the international community, as this international conference is meant to catalyze." He re-affirmed the Holy See's support for a two-state solution citing affirmations of Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.
Israel stands accused of using 'water as a weapon' as water supplies to the West Bank have been drastically cut, and some West Bank homes have gone without water for a week, news services and aid agencies report. The crisis began on the first day of Ramadan, when water supplies were cut completely for 24 hours. While summer temperatures are well over 30 degrees centigrade and rising, families across the West Bank now have barely enough to drink, let alone wash. Agriculture is particularly under stress and dairy farmers face the prospect of
The World Council of Churches (WCC) is continuing to reiterate complaints about the interrogation and treatment of its staff and professional colleagues at Ben Gurion International Airport on 29 April - 2 May. In a statement, Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General secretary of the World Council of Churches said the WCC "hopes both the incidents and ensuing conversations can offer more clarity for future visits by WCC staff and ecumenical colleagues to Israel and Palestine. At the airport, some travelers were interrogated repeatedly for up to eight hours and accused of
On Saturday evening, May 28, 2016, a congregation attending Mass in Rehovot, Israel, were attacked by a hail of stones as they prayed. The courtyard of the Chapel of St Therese of Lisieux was filled with people who had come for the celebration of Mass for Corpus Christi - there was not enough room inside the chapel to accommodate everyone. During the Mass, a group of boys, aged about 14, twice, threw stones at people praying in the courtyard. The Vicariate's website for the Hebrew-speaking Catholics in Israel, reports that "providentially the stones did not do
An evening of 'Tales from the West Bank: Life Under Occupation' with Hannah Griffiths and Madeleine McGivern, will take place at Travelling Through Bookshop and Cafe, 131 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, SE1 7AE on Wednesday, 18 May from 6.30-8.30. Entrance is free. Hannah Griffiths has recently returned from her role as human rights monitor in Hebron with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel. An essential task was providing protection through her presence at a school twice a day.
The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches spoke out on Sunday after several staff and partners were detained or deported from Israel after travelling there for a meeting about climate justice. Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit said the treatment of representatives by Israel was both "unprecedented and intolerable." "The WCC protests the excessive, unreasonable and wholly unwarranted treatment by the Israeli authorities of these representatives of WCC member churches and staff traveling to engage in discussions on climate change
An exhibition of images: Sage Tea and Sunshine - an alternative view of Palestine, by photographer Madeleine McGivern opened at the Travelling Through Bookshop in Waterloo last Friday. Madeleine lived and worked in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza as a human right monitor for three months, and then was a member of Christian Aid's Middle East programme team in Palestine and Israel for over four years....The exhibition runs to 3 June.
Among the group of teachers sitting in the sun before lessons start, Khalid Zboun is clearly the head teacher. All the teachers are drinking tea, the fuel of teaching, but Khalid is drinking his from a pint mug that wouldn't look out of place in a British pub. He needs to drink tea in such quantities because being head teacher of Al Khadr Boys' Secondary School, near Bethlehem, is a tough job. He knows neither the time nor the place that the Israel military will come.
A jabbing pain in his shoulder and thigh roused Obada from his sleep at 3am. In the half-light, the 15-year-old could make out eight masked men surrounding his bed, their rifles pointed at him. "I felt terrified," he said of the experience of being arrested in February from his home in the village of al-Araqa, near Jenin in the northern West Bank. Jonathan Cook writes in his website: The View From Nazareth. Obada is one of more than 100 Palestinian children who, in recent months, have found themselves dragged from bed at gunpoint in the
The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Fouad Twal, spoke on the situation of Christians in the Holy Land and the many challenges they face in Palestine and Israel, at a conference at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome last Thursday. Holy Land Christians are now a small minority, less than 2% of the population, noted the Patriarch, lamenting the decline of the Christian presence in Jerusalem, which accounted for a quarter of the population in 1948, at the creation of the State of Israel, compared to only 1.97% of the total population today.
Israeli forces on Tuesday demolished a children's park near Nablus and three Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank village of al-Walaja amid a mass escalation in demolitions across the occupied area this year. A PA official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, Ghassan Daghlas, told Ma'an news service that Israeli bulldozers razed a children's park in Zaatara south of Nablus. The Israeli authorities gave no prior notice before demolishing the park, which was built last year with around $60,000 donated
Members of Rabbis for Human Rights intervened to protect a Palestinian who was being threatened by a settler. In their latest blog today, RHR report: 'An Israeli resident of the South Hebron Hills was filmed by a Ta'ayush activist as he attempted to attack an elderly Palestinian shepherd, threatened to butcher his children at night, and called to hang human rights activists. 'During the conversation, the young settler acknowledged the Palestinian's deed to the land dating back to the Ottoman Empire.
A US survey published by the Pew Research Centre has revealed the discrepancies and fissures made by religions within the Israeli society. The survey was presented by Alan Cooperman, Research Director, at the Consulate General of France in Jerusalem on 10 March, 2016. The survey conducted by the Pew Research Centre in Washington, made public on 8 March, is the first of its kind to tackle with accuracy religious gaps and their effects within the Israeli society. The study interviewed 5601 Israeli adults in their respective
On Sunday, two Palestinian men were killed at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem after they took automatic weapons from their bags. One started to shoot in the direction of Israeli police. They were from the security police of the Palestinian Authority. Also on Sunday, 14-year old Yasmin al-Zarou and her sister were at an Israeli checkpoint in Israeli-controlled downtown Hebron. The army told afterwards that she tried to stab a soldier. Bystanders had a different version of events and saw her walking away from the soldiers. She too was killed.
The Holy Land Coordination is a group of mainly European, North America (USA and Canada) and South African bishops who annually visit different places in the Holy Land meeting with church and political representatives, as well as with local Christian communities and NGOs active in the field of peace, human rights, caritas and development. Church related organisations such as Pax Christi International are always invited to participate and Fr. Paul Lansu, Senior Policy Advisor represented the movement again in 2016.
Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, has urged Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Ambassador Susan Rice to take renewed action to build on steps toward peace in the Middle East and work toward long term stability in the region in separate letters, sent on Wednesday. Bishop Cantú, who chairs the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote to Secretary Kerry that the United States should build on the success of the Iran nuclear deal by pursuing peace in Syria and
"It was very sad to see the present situation where individuals have their lands confiscated and trees uprooted," said Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico. "This is a sign of something much larger. It seems to be a diminishing of the rights of Palestinians to be there and a lack of acknowledgment of their legitimate right to be present whether in the state of Israel or in Palestinian lands." Bishop Cantu and 12 bishops from Europe, South Africa and North America visited the Cremisan Valley on January 10 as part of the Holy Land Coordination, in which they come to
President Mahmoud Abbas termed Israel's ongoing violations of international law regarding preserving Palestine's environment a "major challenge". Speaking at the Paris Climate Change conference he called upon the entire international community to expand international participation in the achievement of peace...and the establishment of an international system of protection for the Palestinian people...through a resolution from the United Nations Security Council and within a specific timeframe.
Christian Aid has welcomed new guidelines that require the true provenance of goods and produce exported from Israeli settlements on the West Bank for sale in the EU to be clearly labelled. Until now, such exports have generally been labelled 'Made in Israel.' It says the guidelines, issued by the European Commission at a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday, was a positive move in countering Israel's illegal settlement policy. William Bell, Christian Aid's Middle East Senior advocacy advisor, said: "This is an important step towards addressing the illegal status of Israeli
The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Israel, Palestine and Jordan protested yesterday against Israel's demolition of a church-owned property in annexed East Jerusalem, saying it eroded chances for peace. "It is an act of vandalism that infringes international law, Patriarch Fouad Twal said. "It is an act is against the law, against justice and against humanity, against any ideology upon which peace can be built and increases segregation and hate."The house, built before the 1967 occupation, was located 150 metres from the check-point, at the foot of Tantur hill,
As we are coming out of the Ibrahimi mosque where the tombs of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob and Leah are located, two young Palestinian women were coming to pray. An Israeli soldier pointed a gun at one of the girl's heads and she said: "Don't shoot me! Don't shoot me!" Muslim guards intervened and the Border Police arrested them for interference. They also arrested the young women, tying their hands behind their back and blindfolding them..."It is bad when we are thankful for two girls being arrested, because at least they have not been killed."
A Palestinian doctor who often welcomed Christian Peacemaker Teams and other peace groups into his family home, was killed yesterday, when he became overcome by teargas thrown by Israeli army. Hashem al-Azzeh was 54 years old. He was a lovely man and a good friend. He has worked tirelessly at bringing international people and officials to Tel Rumeida and taking them on tours to explain the situation here. He also did a lot for the local community association. He and his family live next to the settlement underneath the caravans next to Baruch Marzel's house.
I returned home on 3 October 2015 after a one week visit to New York to attend our annual meetings at Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA), only to find a Jerusalem that was completely different than the one I left a week earlier. Upon returning, it took me close to two hours to arrive to my home in the Old City of Jerusalem, though it was a Saturday and traffic is usually very light. I found out later that the deadly stabbing of two Jewish people inside Damascus Gate coincided with my landing at the airport. We all thought this was an isolated incident
The news reports filling our screens and social media feeds are as shocking as they are terrifying, as the rule of law appears to have broken down in the Holy Land - Kairos Britain reports. On Monday, 12 October Defence for Children International reported that five Palestinian children died at the hands of Israeli forces in separate incidents across the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip over the past three days. On Friday six Palestinians were shot dead and over 140 were injured by Israel forces during protests in Gaza. In total 27 Palestinians and four Israelis have been
Bishop Declan Lang has issued the following statement this afternoon: As Chair of International Affairs at the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England & Wales, and also of the Holy Land Coordination, I have been following with mounting concern the violence that has taken hold again in many parts of Israel and Palestine. As I pray for the dead and injured from both the Palestinian and Israeli sides, I also call upon both communities and their leaderships to exercise restraint and refrain from going down the slippery road of tit-for-tat killings and mutual recrimination.
The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem has appealed for calm after months of escalating violence driven by the Israeli far-right and Jewish zealots on one side, and frustrated young Palestinians on the other, boiled over into clashes and lethal attacks. The Patriarch writes: Once again, embers of despair, stirred by hatred, leave a heavy impact on this injured Holy Land. Heavily concerned with the more recent wave of violence which blows over Israel and Palestine, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem condemns the bloody incidents of these last days and the frightening
An 18 year-old female student was shot dead by Israeli forces at Shuhada checkpoint in occupied Hebron last Tuesday morning (22nd September) Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) report. Hadil was a member of a Palestinian family from the H1 region of Hebron, and was in her first year as a student at Hebron University. Fawaz abu Aisheh, 34, a resident of the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood was present, attempting to usher children from the scene, while translating the orders shouted in Hebrew by the Israeli soldiers at Hadil.
The Westminster Justice and Peace Commission would like to support the statement made recently by the Canadian Bishops Conference in connection with the sad situation in that region near Bethlehem, the Cremisan Valley. Many thought that when the Israeli High Court agreed that the Separation Wall should not be built through the valley, that this would be binding. But no, the plans went ahead to divide families from their land; uproot olive trees set for generations and the only means of livelihood for the families concerned.
The Israeli Attorney General has announced that compensation 'should' be offered to the Benedictine Monastery of Tabgha. The Church located on the northern bank of the Sea of Galilee was torched on June 18 by terrorists affiliated to the radical right wing in Israel. On the July 29 and 30, three suspects were arrested. According to Shin Bet, they allegedly belong to "a group of radical ideologists, active since 2013 and suspected of anti-Christian acts and aggression against Palestinian civilians". A wave of large-scale mobilization and repeated testimonials of solidarity
The Secretary of Christian Schools in Israel and the Ministry of Education reached a agreement on Sunday. After three weeks of strike, 33,000 students are back to school. The strike was called when the Israeli government announced last month that it was cutting funding to all Christian schools and at the same time cutting the amount schools were allowed to charge students. This meant that Christian schools could not afford to stay open. The official statement of the Secretary of Christian Schools follows: By the grace of God and after long negotiations,
The President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), the Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau, has written again to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, asking that the Government of Canada "call on the Israeli authorities to find a just resolution" to the decision this past July by Israel's Supreme Court. The Court's ruling allows the military to locate a security wall in the Cremisan Valley so it cuts off 58 Palestinian Christian families from their agricultural lands.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Eamon Martin, Presidents of the Bishops' Conferences of England & Wales, and Ireland, have called for solidarity with, and prayer for the Christian communities who live in the Holy Land. The Cardinal and Archbishop were returning from the Plenary Assembly of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE) which had been meeting in Galilee and Jerusalem at the invitation of His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. The European bishops visited the Christian communities in Nazareth, Mil'ya and Bethlehem,
United Methodist Kairos Response (UMKR) condemns Israel's theft of land from 58 Christian families in the Cremisan Valley and the stop-work order for a soccer field in the Muslim village of Wadi Foquin. Both are in the Bethlehem district, and Bethlehem residents believe these actions are part of an effort to drive Christians and Muslims from the region. The United Methodist Church has close connections in the area, and sponsors several projects in Wadi Foquin, where the soccer field was being built in part with United Methodist donations.
'Bridges not Walls' is the theme of the 2015 week of advocacy and action in support of an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine and a just peace for all in Palestine and Israel. The week will be observed 20-26 September. Congregations and individuals around the globe who share the hope of justice shall unite during the week to take peaceful actions, together, to create a common international public witness. Pax Christi is a member of the planning group for the week,
Pope Francis received in audience Reuven Rivlin, president of the State of Israel on Tuesday. The President later met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by the secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Gallagher. In a statement the Vatican said: "During the cordial discussions the Parties focused on the political and social situation in the Middle East, affected by several conflicts, with special attention to the condition of Christians and other minority groups.
Israeli forces attacked a protest rally by Palestinian Christians following Sunday Mass yesterday. Priests, patriarchs and other church leaders processed with crosses to an area where more land has been confiscated to extend the Separation Wall in the Christian majority town of Beit Jala, in the occupied West Bank, near Bethlehem. Last week bulldozers moved into an ancient olive grove, uprooting trees dating back to the time of Jesus. Two parishioners were arrested. Many more suffered from the effects of tear gas inhalation. Protesters also condemned the illegal Israeli settlements of Gilo and Har Gilo,
Two weeks before the new term begins, Christian schools in Israel have expressed grave concerns that budgetary restrictions imposed by the Israeli state could force a number of schools to close down - and harm the education of more than 30,000 children. Last Monday, the heads of some 48 Christian schools of Israel met in Galilee to reflect together on the way forward. A delegation of several school leaders planned to meet with the President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, and the Israeli Minister of Education, Naftali Bennett yesterday.
Thirty-one aid, faith, human rights, and development organizations are calling on world leaders to take urgent action to halt ongoing demolitions and hold the government of Israel accountable for the wanton destruction of Palestinian property and of projects funded by international aid in the occupied West Bank. During a surge in demolitions this week, the Israeli army demolished at least 63 homes and basic structures across 10 Palestinian communities in Area C, the 60 percent of the West Bank where Israel has maintained full military and civil control.
The father of baby Ali Dawabshe, who was killed in arson attack by Jewish extremists on 31 July, died of severe burns today (Saturday). Sa'ad Dawabshe, 32, had been treated in intensive care at Beer Sheva hospital in Israel since the attack. His wife Riham, and four-year-old son Ahmad are in the same hospital fighting for their lives. There have been reports of another petrol bomb attack overnight on another house in the same village, Duma, near Nablus in the West Bank.
In the past two weeks, Christian Peacemaker Teams have witnessed a significant increase in the targeting of Palestinian children by Israeli occupying forces. From soldiers confiscating their bicycles to chasing them down in the street, the Israeli occupying forces are stripping children of their fundamental right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities. These are the stories that CPT has documented in Hebron's Old City, but many more stories of boys and girls remain invisible.
AN arson attack on a church in Israel revered as the site of a miracle by Jesus Christ is part of a deepening cycle of violence against Christians, according to a Holy Land bishop who fears worse is to come. Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem said the attack on Thursday, 18th June) on the Catholic Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves close to the Sea of Galilee increases his concerns that extremist Jews are out to target other faith communities, notably Christians. A Benedictine monk and a visitor to the site in Tabgha were treated for
Christian and Jewish campaigners, together with representatives from EU countries have travelled to the ancient Palestinian village of Susiya, which is under threat of demolition...EU representative in Jerusalem, John Gatt-Rutter, said: "our presence here today indicates how seriously we in the EU view the intention to demolish this village and its structure and evict its residents. But Susiya isn't an isolated case. It's hard not to draw parallels with what's happening elsewhere in the West Bank and with Bedouin communities."
Christian schools in Israel may be forced to close soon - due to new government regulations and severe cuts in funding. An unprecedented demonstration was held in Jerusalem on 27 May, opposite the Ministry of Education, to protest against what they described as the 'discriminatory policy of the Ministry of Education towards Christian schools' . Church leaders as well as parents of students from local Christian schools took part. Teachers' salaries, set centrally by the government, have risen sharply, while Israeli government funding, which only partially meets the schools'
In 1922 Christians made up 51% of the population of Jerusalem. Now, only 2% of Palestinians are Christian. In "The Spirit of Peace" the theologian Mary Grey explores the decimation of this ancient community, linking it with the recent sectarian cleansing of Christians from Syria, Iraq and Egypt. "They discovered they were invisible," she concludes, "unacknowledged, dismissed, denounced or forgotten by fellow Christians throughout the world, especially in the United States." Yet, Grey also puts their suffering in the wider context of the Palestinian people, whom, she believes, have endured a terrible
Our pilgrimage saw, and experienced, a variety of things today that unfortunately are all too common to many Palestinians-but certainly not for middle class Americans. Our day started at the Aida Refugee Camp, one of the three refugee camps for Palestinians in Bethlehem and one of nineteen in the West Bank with 741,409 registered refugees (not counting the eight refugee camps and 1,221,110 registered refugees in Gaza and the numerous Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria with millions more Palestinian refugees).
Jewish liberals and progressives have reacted with enthusiasm to the announcement today that the Vatican will recognize the Palestinian State. Rabbi Michael Lernner, editor of Tikkun Magazine: the US-based quarterly Jewish and Interfaith Critique of Politics, Culture and Society, said in a statement on May 13: "Many liberal and progressive Jews congratulate the Vatican on the important step toward peace it took yesterday in announcing that it will recognize the State of Palestine.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin hosted an event to commemorate the centenary of the planned extermination of the Armenians which took place a century ago in Anatolia, at the presidential residence in Jerusalem. The ceremony, on Sunday, saw the participation of representatives of the local Armenian community. President Rivlin recalled that the Armenian people were "the first victims of the modern mass murders", but avoided using the word "Genocide" to indicate the massacres that killed more than 1.5 million people. This was reported by Armenian sources, such as the Armenpress website.
William Bell, Christian Aid Policy and Advocacy Officer, has written an incisive think-piece about the plight of Palestinian refugees in his latest Huffington Post blog. Bell details how the current situation in Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus a "joins a wretched list of outrages against displaced Palestinians etched on the world's conscience, which should jog all legal and political counsels into action." He goes on to narrate how "half the Palestinian population, approximately five million men, women and children, exist in varying degrees of insecurity and vulnerability across the Middle East and beyond."
The Holy See on Tuesday expressed its deep concern at the "total lack of progress" of the negotiations between Palestine and Israel. "As was recognized on that occasion, Israel has genuine and legitimate concerns for its security; however, such security will come not in isolation from its neighbors, but in being a part of them through a negotiated peace with the Palestinians through the implementation of the 'Two-State Solution', which has the support of the Holy See and of the international community in general," said Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN.
I have just received a copy of a report from Military Court Watch titled "Children in military detention" from Hind Khoury, General Secretary, Kairos Palestine. It makes compulsive reading. In it's executive summary, the report highlights four main points as reproduced below: In March 2013, UNICEF published a report which found that: "The ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process, from the moment of arrest until the child's prosecution and eventual conviction and sentencing."
Congress should urge the government of Israel to halt unnecessary confiscation of Palestinian lands in the Occupied West Bank, a move that would help address the plight of Christian Palestinians in the Cremisan Valley and “renew hope for a just resolution to the conflict,” said the chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). In a February 11 letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs,
Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly and Bishop Ray Browne both participated in a delegation of European bishops which travelled to the Holy Land from 10 - 15 January. The purpose of the pilgrimage was to promote prayer and support for the Christian community in the Holy Land, and to encourage peace and the building of human dignity. The delegation also had an opportunity to visit Trócaire-partners in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. On their return home from their recent visit, the two Irish bishops said:
Anglican and Catholic bishops have given their full support to an historic vote in Parliament that will call on the government to recognise Palestine as a state. Labour backbencher Grahame Morris will present the motion as MPs today, as return to the Commons.The motion has the full backing of the Labour shadow cabinet. The Bishops say in a statement: "At a time of great uncertainty in the Middle East and North Africa, we hold that it is the reasonable aspiration of all peoples to belong to a state and enjoy the merits of full and active citizenship on their own lands.
US bishops affirmed that prayer is powerful, peace is possible and that support for a two-state solution is an essential imension of pursuing Israeli-Palestinian peace in a September 22 communique, following a Prayer Pilgrimage for Peace in the Holy Land. Eighteen US bishops visited Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories from September 11-18. “There is no military solution to the conflict, but tragically violence on both sides undermines the trust needed to achieve peace.
Israel’s Supreme Court issued its decision about the route of the Separation Wall in the Cremisan Valley on 11 August. After a hearing on 4 August, the Court reviewed the proposed routes of the Wall, which threaten to confiscate lands and vineyards of the Christian monastery and separate the religious community of the fathers and the sisters. The Court decided that it is now up to Israel, as a defendant, to take into account different options for the route of the wall,
Leaders of Christian, Jewish and Muslim organizations in the United States welcomed the latest ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington and coordinator of the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East (NILI), and Bishop Richard E Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), were the Catholic signers.
Bishop William Shomali, who has pastoral responsibility for Latin-Rite Catholics in Gaza, has made an urgent appeal to Aid to the Church in Need for support for victims of the Gaza bombardment. He said: “The humanitarian situation in Gaza is very bad... We ask for your help for the poor and those injured by the war. Now, more than ever before, is the time to aid the people in Gaza.” In response to the bishop’s plea, Aid to the Church in Need sent out €50,000 in emergency aid and stands poised to provide further help.
The Holy Family Latin Church in Gaza has just received an evacuation order warning them that Israei is planning to bomb their neighbourhood tonight. In a message, a priest writes: " The church of Gaza has received an order to evacuate.. they will bomb the Zeitun area and the people are already fleeing. The problem is that the priest Fr George and the three nuns of Mother Teresa have 29 handicapped children and nine old ladies who can't move. "How will they manage to leave?? If anyone can intercede with someone in power, and pray,
Even before the latest outbreak of violence in Gaza, twice as many British Christians sympathised with the Palestinians as sympathised with Israel. Only one-in-eight Christians in the UK equates the modern State of Israel with the Biblical nation of Israel, while over two-thirds of British Christians believe the Holy Land belongs to both Jewish people and Palestinians. Those are some of the key findings in a detailed opinion poll of UK Christian views on the Middle East carried out for development charity Embrace the Middle East in May 2014, prior to the latest outbreak
We the citizens of Hiroshima, the city that was completely destroyed by indiscriminate atomic bombing 69 years ago, demand that the Israeli Government immediately stops indiscriminately killing and injuring Palestinian civilians. So far more than 500 people have been killed and about 3,600 injured as a result of continuous aerial bombing and bombardment on the ground,
Kairos Britain - a network of individuals, organisations and faith communities seeking a just and lasting peace in Israel and Palestine has issued the following statement today: End the suffering in Gaza NOW. Now is the time for Christians to take action to end the suffering in Gaza and promote a just, lasting, and sustainable peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The situation in Gaza is desperate. Over 600 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began military operation over two weeks ago. The UN says the majority of these are civilians, a third of them children.
The family is glued to the TV showing horrifying images of the shellings in Gaza. A guest clicks with her tongue, expressing anger. We all look with an overwhelming sense of powerlessness. In the Shujaya quarter in Gaza city dozens are hit or crushed. We watch the head of a boy torn apart from the rest of the body. I am distressed by the BBC, which clinically speaks about Israel’s “intensified operation” in Gaza, and which wants to “cover both sides of the conflict,” as if there is symmetry.
I don't understand how Israel can justify its indiscriminate attacks on Gaza - even if they are having missiles thrown at them. I lived in London during the 70s and 80s and heard several of the lethal IRA bombings which caused a number of deaths and many terrible injuries. It was a frightening time. Yet our government never sent the RAF over to Belfast to bomb the civilian population there. I've no doubt many of the IRA bombers lived in Belfast - hiding out among the civilian population.
Rabbi Michael Lerner writes: According to Ha’aretz correspondent Amira Hass, the IDF has been conducting mass arrests in the West Bank, between 10 and 30 every day. 24 of the arrested are members of the Palestinian parliament from Hamas’ Change and Reform party. The number of those arrested since the kidnapping and murder of the Israeli teens has already exceeded 1,000. The Palestinians are convinced that most of those detained have nothing to do with the kidnapping and that these are mainly political arrests for purposes of intimidation and revenge.
Pax Christi International cries out for an end to this new cycle of violence, believing that its roots are firmly planted in the persistent structural violence of occupation. In a statement Pax Christi International says: Tragically, a new escalation of violence has engulfed the daily lives of Israelis and Palestinian civilians. Last month’s abduction and murder of three young Israelis in Hebron and the kidnapping and murder of a 16 year old Palestinian have fuelled this new cycle of violence.
As the death toll in Gaza grows as Israel continues to bomb the densely-populated area, Christian Aid has issued the following appeal. Christian Aid is appalled at the spiralling levels of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory and calls for an immediate ceasefire to protect innocent civilians from paying the ultimate price for political failure. Christian Aid urges the UK government to give its full support to ensure a ceasefire is brokered now. Recent weeks have seen the horrific deaths of abducted teenagers in Jerusalem and Hebron,
A silent vigil for Peace in Palestine and Israel was held on the steps of Coventry Cathedral Ruins on Friday evening. The International prayer for peace was said at intervals as the names of the 100 Palestine men, women and children killed in Gaza were read aloud. The vigil was organised by Pax Christi and Coventry RC Justice and Peace Group, Friends of Sabeel, Jews for Justice for Palestine, the Presentation Sisters, Kairos Britain and supported by members of Coventry Friends of Palestine and members of groups from Leamington and Birmingham.
Attacks by the Israeli military on the civilian population in Gaza, as well as firing of rockets by militants from Gaza to Israel, were strongly condemned by the World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit. In a statement issued on 10 July from the WCC headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Tveit said, “We strongly condemn the indiscriminate attacks by Israeli military on the civilian population in Gaza, as we absolutely condemn the absurd and immoral firing of rockets by militants from Gaza to populated areas in Israel”.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has called for an end to the current violence in Gaza and Israel, urging all sides to show restraint and pursue dialogue to end all conflict in the region. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said today: “I am deeply saddened and distressed by the eruption and escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip and across Israel. As we continue urgently to hold the people of the region in our prayers, we must pray also for all people of goodwill to come together to protect the innocent and promote peace in the land.
In the wake of renewed tensions in the Holy Land, the Justice and Peace Commission of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land has issued an urgent appeal for peace:“A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more” (Jeremiah 31:15).I srael and Palestine are echoing with the cry of mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, loved ones of the young people who have fallen victim to the latest round
CAFOD is calling for an immediate halt to the increasing violence against civilians in Israel and Gaza. Mary Lucas, CAFOD’s Country Representative for the Middle East, said: “We urge the UK government, alongside its European partners, to apply pressure on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to end this violence immediately. Continued escalation will only harm the most vulnerable citizens on both sides of the border. It cannot continue that so many Israelis are living in such fear—the attacks on schools and homes are unjust, horrendous
Amos Trust writes: In response to developments overnight on the Gaza border, many supporters have been in touch to ask if there has been any news from our partners in Gaza since the rocket attacks began and asking what they can can do. We have had through a report from our partners the Near East Council of Churches in Gaza City, where we support their youth training programmes. Written before the attacks intensified, the report describes increasingly desperate conditions for ordinary families - running water and sanitation are at crisis point
The Israel Philatelic Service, Israel Postal Company has issued two special stamp sheets to mark the historic visit of Pope Francis to Israel. The first stamp sheet was issued on the day the Pope visits Jerusalem, May 26 2014 in a limited numbered edition and is almost sold out. Now, after the visit, The Israel Philatelic Service, Israel Postal Company has produced another stamp sheet in a limited and numbered edition containing 12 postage stamps and evocative images of Pope Francis during his historic visit to Israel.
The United Methodist Church - the largest Protestant denomination in the US - has given up its investments in a company which works in the Israeli Occupation
. Amid concerns raised by church justice advocates, United Methodist Church Pensions has sold all stocks in G4S, a supplier of security services and equipment for Israeli prisons, settlements, checkpoints and the Separation Wall. The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits (GBPHB) of The United Methodist Church, which manages an investment portfolio of over $20 billion,
I beseech You, O Lord, on behalf of my people, the people of Palestine - Moslems, Christians and Samaritans - who are craving for a just peace, dignified living, and liberty, I beseech you, Oh Lord, to make prosperous and promising the future of our people, and freedom in our sovereign and independent state; Grant, O Lord, our region and its people security, safety and stability. Save our blessed city Jerusalem; the first Kiblah, the second Holy Mosque, the third of the two Holy Mosques, and the city of blessings and peace with all that surround it.
Two peoples – Israelis and Palestinians – still are aching for peace. The tears of mothers over their children are still etched in our hearts. We must put an end to the cries, to the violence, to the conflict. We all need peace. Peace between equals. Your invitation to us to join you in this momentous ceremony to call for peace, here in the Vatican garden, in the presence of Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Druze leaders, graciously reflects your vision of the aspiration we all share: Peace.
The Israel Philatelic Service, Israel Postal Company is issuing a special stamp sheet to mark the visit of Pope Francis to Israel. The stamp sheet will be issued on the day the Pope visits Jerusalem, 26 May 2014. An additional stamp sheet will be issued after the visit. The stamp sheet is showcased in an attractive folder with exclusive articles written by Henrique Cymerman, journalist, and personal friend of Pope Francis. One of the articles describes "Pope Francis I – the Revolutionary of the 21 Century.
Israeli bulldozers leveled large tracts of Palestinian land in the Bethlehem area village of Nahalin on Monday, locals said. Head of the village council, Majid Ghayatha, said that Israeli bulldozers uprooted dozens of olive and almond trees in the Wad Salem area. Several grapevines were also destroyed. Israeli military forces deployed on hilltops above the village to prevent land owners from accessing their fields. Locals said they believe Israeli forces are clearing land for a new road connecting the Neve Daniel and Beitar Ilit illegal settlements.
While great preparations are underway in Israel and Palestine, ahead of Pope Francis' visit next week, in the Gaza Strip little is happening. Although this area is part of the Holy Land – the Holy Family passed through it on their way to Egypt – it is a separated area. Isolated from the world because of a siege that has lasted several years, many people living in the Gaza Strip feel that the world has forgotten them. For the small Christian community of Gaza every day is a new challenge. During the month of May, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary,
Less than two weeks before Pope Francis visits the Holy Land, Patriarch Fouad Twal has spoken out against the growing number of 'Price Tag' attacks on Christians, Muslims and Druze in Israel and urged the government to act. At a press conference in Haifa on Sunday, he said: "All of you are well aware of the recent acts of vandalism against Christians, Muslims and Druze. There has been a marked increase of “price tag” provocations within Israel. "This wave of extremist actions of terror, are surely of grave concern to all reasonable persons.
The first Catholic pastoral centre caring for migrant workers in Israel has been opened by the leader of the Holy Land's Catholics. The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, celebrated a pontifical Mass to launch of the pastoral centre, located in the south of the capital Tel Aviv. Our Lady of Valour Pastoral Centre serves Catholic migrants, including workers from the Philippines, India and Sri Lanka, as well as asylum seekers from Sub-Saharan Africa. More than 40,000 Filipinos work in Israel on fixed-term contracts.
There are a number of vacancies on the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel, (EAPPI) for 2015. Programme Accompaniers provide protection for vulnerable people by their presence, by monitoring human rights abuses, supporting Israeli and Palestinian peace activists and advocating for an end to the occupation. Based in the West Bank and Israel in 2015, there are 18 vacancies for three months’ service and two vacancies for 4.5 months’ service. The posts offer living allowance + benefits.
While pilgrims from around the world are flocking to Jerusalem to attend Holy Week services, many local Christians are not being allowed to join them. Under the 'permit regime' - some members of a family to travel while other are barred. Entire scout and school groups who have been preparing for weeks have not received permits. In this article, Rifat Kassis, general coordinator of Kairos Palestine, and a member of the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum Core group shares a reflection where he describes the emotional anguish
Archbishop Joseph E Kurtz of Louisville, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Bishop Richard E Pates of Des Moines, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, hailed efforts of President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “We are acutely aware of the difficulties of the quest for a lasting and just peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” the bishops said in a March 12 letter to President Obama.
Christian groups in the Holy Land are rejecting a controversial new law that distinguishes between Muslim and Christian Arab citizens for the first time. On 23 February, 2014, the Israeli Knesset enacted the law that recognizes Muslim and Christian Arab communities as separate identities, giving them their own representation in an employment commission. The law passed by a margin of 31 to 6. Palestinian Anglican priest, Rev Naim Ateek .. writes: "The new law passed by the Knesset favouring Christians is .. a deceitful political stunt
The most routine part of Christian Peacemaker Team Palestine’s work in Hebron is the monitoring of checkpoints through which students and teachers must walk to get to schools. For years, they have been stationed at the Qitoun checkpoint/Checkpoint 209, which stands between boys walking from the H-1 area to il-Ibrahimi school and girls walking to al-Faiha school as well as their teachers. This semester, after daily clashes began erupting at four other H-2 schools near the Salameh checkpoint/Checkpoint 29, CPTers (when they had enough people to do
The United States should urge the government of Israel to cease and desist in efforts to unnecessarily confiscate Palestinian lands in the Occupied West Bank, said the chairman of the Committee of International Justice and Peace of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to Secretary of State John Kerry. In a 28 January letter, Bishop Richard E Pates, specifically addressed the situation in the Cremisan Valley, which he visited earlier this month. "As I stood amidst the beauty of this agricultural valley and heard the testimony of the Christian families
A special Mass was celebrated for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, on Saturday, in the parish of St Anthony in Jaffa, Israel, with the many migrant communities... Gathering the faithful from at least thirteen or fourteen countries to celebrate a Mass is not common in Israel. “Look around you,” stated Father David Neuhaus during his homily. “Look at the brothers and sisters the Lord has given us, in their diversity of origin and culture, language and colour
Bishop Richard E Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the US bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, will visit the Middle East January 6-17 in support of the local Church and peace talks in the region. Expressing solidarity with those countries seeking peace in many areas of the world, Bishop Pates echoed the words of Pope Francis in his Urbi et Orbi message, particularly addressing the violence faced in Syria, the Central African Republic, South Sudan and the Holy Land.
“Too many lives have been shattered
The Eritrean community in Israel is in deep mourning, following the terrible news of the two ships that capsized on the way from Africa to Italy. More than 300 bodies have been recovered. Many of us here have relatives or friends who were on the boats and met their deaths by drowning. Eritreans seeking their way to Italy, like those of us here in Israel, are fleeing an Eritrean dictatorship that subjugates, persecutes and tortures its citizens.
The European Union has expressed concern about the ongoing construction of Israel's separation wall in the Bethlehem area on Friday. "The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah are concerned by the construction of the Separation Barrier, east of the Green Line, in the Cremisan Valley (Beit Jala)," a statement reads. "When completed along the planned route, the barrier will separate 58 families from their agricultural land and children from their school at the Salesian convent,
While welcoming the resumption of peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinian Authority, brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry, the path forward is fraught with many major obstacles, in particular the settlements which the Israelis are continuing to build in the Palestinian Territories, and the Separation Wall, Fr Raed Abusahliah, director of Caritas Jerusalem said yesterday. "The only way to solve problems is to negotiate" he said, but Fr Raed added that he did not have "too many" expectations."
On two occasions in the past week, Israeli officials at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport refused entry to members of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) who had traveled to Israel to join the Christian Peacemaker Team in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. On Tuesday 2 July, Israeli authorities interrogated a CPT reservist from the Netherlands and held him in the airport for fourteen hours before placing him on a flight home. Three days later they interrogated a CPT reservist from the United States for ten hours
Like many Americans and Christians, I support a long-lasting peace in the Holy Land. I urge you to pay more attention to the convent of Salesian Nuns in the Cremisan Valley that needs our help in stopping the separation barrier that will prevent them from accessing their lands and their livelihood. Recently, a decision by the Israeli Special Appeals Committee approved the routing of a separation wall that will divide the convent from its farmland and its neighboring monastery. In addition, farmers from the neighboring village will have to go through a locked gate that can only be opened by members of the Israeli army
...“We know both issues remain challenging, appreciate your leadership in tackling them and offer our prayerful support,” wrote Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Pates. They pledged their support to US efforts to achieve mutual reductions in stockpiles of nuclear weapons, to adopt the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and to strengthen nuclear non-proliferation. They also thanked the President for traveling to the Holy Land in March and for charging Secretary of State John Kerry with the task of bringing both parties to the negotiating table.
Entering Israel is always stressful. One must figure out how to answer delicately the intrusive questions of the security agents. Additionally, I had spent two three-month terms on the CPT Al-Khalil (Hebron) team, and was returning for my third term in a year. Some friends from a partner organization warned me that recently Israel had denied all their volunteers were a third attempted reentry. The prospect of a two-hour interrogation with a real chance of being denied entry was daunting enough, but then I received word about a new Israeli policy.
Pope Francis received Israeli President Shimon Peres in a private audience today. The Vatican issued the following statement following the meeting: 'Today in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience His Excellency Mr Shimon Peres, President of the State of Israel. President Peres then went on to meet with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, SDB, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
Dr Nurit Peled-Elhanan is the mother of Smadar Elhanan, 13 years old when killed by a suicide bomber in Jerusalem in September 1997. Below is Nurit's speech made on International Women's Day in Strasbourg earlier this month. Professor Avraham Oz, who sent this piece writes: "Please listen to the words of a bereaved mother, whose daughter fell victim to a vicious, indiscriminating terrorist attack. I wish her words will enter the hearts of all peace seekers in our troubled and divided world."
The Anglican Bishop of Bath & Wells, the Right Revd Peter Price, says civil society is the key to 'unlocking peace' in Israel/Palestine. He made the comments in a debate in the House of Lords after his recent trip to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Bishop Peter was part of a delegation led by Christian Aid, which travelled to the region with the object of encouraging Israeli and Palestinian partners in the vital task of peace promotion. During the eight day trip, Bishop Peter met a number of Christian Aid partners, including B'Tselem,
Thirty Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders from the United States called for "a bold new US initiative for a two-state peace agreement before it is too late." They made the call in a statement sponsored by the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East. "The current dangerous stalemate, including the legacy of past failed peacemaking efforts, undermines our security and that of others, destabilizes the region, fuels terrorism and extremism, allows continuing Israeli settlement expansion, and prolongs Palestinian disunity,"
The difficulties facing Christians in Israel and Palestine have helped bind them together and break down divisions between the Churches – according to the new ambassador representing the Pope. Speaking at the start of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (18 – 25 January), Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, the Apostolic Nuncio in Israel and Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine, described marked improvements in ecumenical relations over the past 30 years.
The United States is poised to make a real difference in the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict and should provide tireless leadership to ensure a two-state solution in the Middle East, said two leaders of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in a letter to President Barack Obama. "We affirm your support of the two-state solution, promise our support for strong US leadership for peace, and urge you even to consider appointing a high profile envoy in hopes that as in the past this might advance peace and justice in the region,"
On the eve of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visit to Israel this week, Bishop Richard E Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, called on Secretary Clinton to "reinforce strongly" the opposition of the United States to an Israeli commission that recommends legalizing all settlement outposts in the West Bank. In his 13 July letter, Bishop Pates said such a move would "undermine a two-state solution to the conflict, a secure and recognized Israel living in peace alongside a viable and independent Palestinian state."
When President Harry Truman stroke out the words “Jewish State” and wrote instead “State of Israel” he was thinking that this isn’t right, or at least I think, he believed in Jesus Christ… Today Western leaders race to recognize the so-called “State of Israel” as the “homeland for the Jewish people”!! Jewish people from Europe or the United States of America are true nationals of these states,
Today at 5pm, on the eve of the UN debate on membership of Palestine in the UN, campaigners will hold a special event, opposite the building where the independence of Israel was proclaimed in 1948. Those gathered will express support for Israeli and international recognition of the Palestinian state. They will also state that 'he alternative to such recognition is going towards a new Masada.'
On the eve of the General Assembly of the United Nations, at which Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, will ask the UN Security Council to recognise Palestine as the 194th member state of the world body, Archbishop Patrick Kelly has endorsed the call from Jerusalem’s Heads of Churches for intensified prayers and diplomatic efforts for peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
Christian and Jewish peace activists have reported several incidents over the last few days in which illegal settlers attacked Palestian people and land. In the old city in Hebron, two boys, ages 14 and 15, residents of Beit Hadassah Settlement, threw multiple stones, some as large as five inches across, at Palestinians walking past in the market place
Monks living at an important biblical site will be leaving their earthquake-prone monastery for a new home – thanks to help from Aid to the Church in Need. The charity, which is helping with the building of a new monastery in Tabgha, Israel, received a progress update on the construction work from Fr Jeremias Marseille OSB, a member of the German Benedictine community living there.
Palestinians marked their annual Nakba day commemoration on Sunday, amid a series of intense protests and demonstrations in various areas of the Israeli border leading to at least 12 dead, the Missionary News Service reports. The protests extended from the Palestinian Territories to Lebanon, even reaching the Golan Heights, which Israel occupied in 1967, where thousands gathered near the barbed wire fences and walls marking the border between Syria and Israel,
Quakers in Britain have agreed to boycott products from the Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The settlements are illegal under international law. Quakers consider that this boycott is a nonviolent move for peace for Israelis and Palestinians. The decision makes clear that Quakers are not boycotting Israel.
Yesterday was the most violent day in the Holy Land for many months. In Jerusalem many people were injured when an explosion destroyed two buses at 3pm local time. . There were no immediate reports of deaths; however, many injured people have been taken to the Hadassah hospital.In the Gaza Strip eight people were killed, five of which civilians, and 12 injured, including three children, in a series of attacks by Israeli forces.
The EU Foreign Affairs Council discussed the latest developments in the Middle East on Monday. Expressing their regret that Israel had not extended the moratorium on settlement construction, European Governments reiterated their view on the key parameters, principles and issues for the resolution of the Arab-Israel conflict, stating “the EU will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem,
I read with disappointment about Rev Canon Garth Hewitt, Director of Amos Trust encouraging BT to distance itself from Bezek International, the Israel Telecommunications company. Sadly his actions and those of so many others is not a call for peace to the region, but rather is a call to further frustrate and limit the growth of the Palestinian peoples.
Military checkpoints are a way of life for Palestinians in Palestine and Israel. Each day tens of thousands of Palestinians move patiently through turnstiles and narrow caged walkways to go to work, school or home. It is a humiliating experience.
A Bedouin village in the Negev desert was destroyed last night, the Missionary News Service reports. About 300 inhabitants of the old village of al-Arakib were woken up by 1,500 police officers in battle equipment and helicopters, telling them to leave immediately, making way for bulldozers, which demolished 40 homes.
The Israeli government has introduced a two year fishing ban in the Sea of Galilee, in order to protect fish stocks there. Scientists who study the freshwater lake say fishermen have been using nets with smaller and smaller mesh over the years, catching more small fish to match the tonnage of big fish they caught in past decades.
In December 2008, the Israeli Defence Force unleashed a campaign to destroy the ability of Hamas to launch rockets and mortars into Israel. Around 300 children were amongst the 1,300 Palestinians that were killed. After the ceasefire, BAFTA-winning filmmaker Jezza Neumann arrived in Gaza to follow the lives of three children over a year.
A United Nations fact-finding mission into the Israeli ‘Cast Lead’ offensive in Gaza, which led to the death of 1400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis, says it has found evidence that both Israel and Hamas committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.
At 11am local time today, Benedict XVI arrived at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, where he was greeted by Shimon Peres, president of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister, the country's civil and political authorities, and the ordinaries of the Holy Land.
Israel and Jordan are both opening multimedia websites to mark the Pope's visit later this month.