Call on Congress to strongly urge Israel to ensure access to places of worship in Jerusalem.
This most recent episode highlights people’s deep sentiments toward and affinity with holy sites in Jerusalem, the tendentious nature of attempts to control access, and the impact of denying believers the opportunity to visit, pray, and worship at places dear to them. Click this link to find the ELCA action alert
Tell your congressional representatives that this season of Lent, leading to Easter in April, is the right time to urge Israel to ensure free access to places of worship in Jerusalem.
Jonathan Kuttab on Apartheid West BankThe word apartheid has become a lightning rod for criticism of the Israeli regime in the West Bank. The word itself is closely connected with the defunct policies of the white-dominated regime in South Africa that collapsed under international pressure and was replaced with that country’s current non-racial political system. Read the entire article at this link to Americans for Middle East Understanding.
The seminal feature of the crime of apartheid seems to be systematic or legislative actions providing for (a) a regime of domination over one group and (b) the creation of a separate and unequal system of governance to the detriment of the victim group or its members. Mere violations of human rights and oppression of individuals or groups are not enough to make this charge.
In the context of the West Bank, therefore, our inquiry must go to the practices and legislative scheme perpetrated by the Israeli authorities, and to the oppressive and discriminatory treatment of the Palestinian Arab population as compared to the Jewish civilian population living in the Occupied Territories. These include: the use of ID cards that must be carried at all times and that are far more invasive than the “pass law” system of South African apartheid; the pervasive system of permits required for all aspects of life; the Separation Wall; the myriad checkpoints and travel restrictions throughout the Occupied Territories; the extensive use of administrative detention (no charges/no trial); and various other instruments of control. All these elements are actually enacted into laws and military orders in an elaborate legislative system.
African American pastor witnesses shared struggle - and hope- in PalestineBright Stars of Bethlehem shared this report from the Rev. Everett Mitchell, senior pastor of Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church in Madison, Wis.
"I recently returned from a Bright Stars trip to Palestine. Allow me to share my take-aways with you - Although I previously visited Israel, this trip was different. Read Pastor Mitchell's full story at this link, which includes a video with Pastor Mitri Raheb about the shared struggles of Palestinians and African Americans.
"During the past trip, we mainly focused on historic and Biblical sites in Israel.
"During this trip, however, we spent much of our time in and around Bethlehem, Palestine. In this walled-off city, we had the opportunity to interact with many families in the region and to listen to the everyday struggles of Palestinian people. We also witnessed, first hand, the hope that resides in the dreams and talent of the youth. We visited local schools and colleges, attended cultural performances, and enjoyed laughter-filled moments with these young people.
"We saw worlds that were supposed to be separate, come together." Read more at the Bright Stars website.
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