Friday, June 11, 2010

Sabeel urges, Take a stand for justice in Gaza

Friends of Sabeel-North America has issued a news release regarding the Sabeel statement on the Gaza blockade. Find the news release and the entire statement at Religion News Service:

Thursday, June 10, 2010
Friends of Sabeel—North America


Sabeel, the Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem, called upon ordinary people to "take a stand for justice" when political and religious leaders fail to do so. Sabeel's June 3, 2010, statement was issued after Israel's commando attack on the relief flotilla that intended to pass through Israel's blockade of Gaza. "We believe the dawn of justice is near," the statement said.

"Western government leaders are clearly unwilling to implement the requirements of international law and give the Palestinians their just rights. The mantle is now on the shoulders of grassroots people who, increasingly, the world over, are pushing for a nonviolent solution to the conflict over Palestine," said Sabeel's statement, "Gaza—The Conscience of the World."

Sabeel is an ecumenical grassroots liberation theology movement among Palestinian Christians. Inspired by the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, this liberation theology seeks to deepen the faith of Palestinian Christians, to promote unity among them toward social action. Sabeel, founded by the Rev. Naim Ateek, strives to develop a spirituality based on love, justice, peace, nonviolence, liberation and reconciliation for the different national and faith communities.

"Palestine has become the litmus test for truth and justice and Gaza has become the conscience of the world," the Sabeel statement said. "The freedom flotilla has shamed heads of state and church leaders in its determination to break the unjust and oppressive siege of the Gaza Strip. In world public opinion, Israel is becoming a pariah; its lies and deceptions are increasingly exposed and threadbare."

Sabeel quotes both Jesus and Isaiah in its Gaza statement. "Jesus said (Mark 9:28), 'such an evil spirit cannot be cast out except with prayer and with fasting.' We will continue to pray and fast in order to drive out the evil spirit of occupation and oppression," it said

"The great prophet Isaiah cried out that the fast God chooses, is ' loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?' (Isaiah 58:6) This is what we have been witnessing through the challenge of the flotilla. We believe that the spirit of God is working through true peace activists, who practice their prayers in direct nonviolent actions for peace and whose fast is the doing of justice," Sabeel said.

Sabeel urged "men and women—young and old, religious and secular—to use every nonviolent means available to end the siege of Gaza, remove the yoke of occupation and work for the freedom and liberation of Palestine and all its people."

[The complete statement is at the website of Friends of Sabeel-North America: ]

Contact:Sister Elaine Kelley
Friends of Sabeel—North America
PO Box 9186Portland, OR 97207
(503) 653-6625;

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