Peace Not Walls Action Alert
Use this link to tell your elected officials: Don't punish the Palestinians for signing international treaties and conventions, including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Following the defeat of a U.N. Security Council resolution that would have set parameters and a timeline for addressing the Israeli-Palestinian impasse, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed a number of international treaties and conventions, including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), paving the way for Palestine to join the ICC. Palestine’s membership in the ICC is scheduled to take effect on April 1, 2015.
Israel responded by freezing $127.6 million in tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinians in accordance with the (Paris) Protocol on Economic Relations of 1994. The U.S. State Department expressed their opposition to freezing the funds, calling it an action that raised tensions. At the same time, the State Department spokesperson called the Palestinian move to join the ICC “counterproductive,” saying, “We’re deeply troubled by the Palestinian action regarding the ICC.”
Some in Congress are already calling for immediate punitive measures. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., introduced a bill that would stop U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority until the Palestinians withdraw their ICC bid. Rather than punish the Palestinians for moves to sign treaties and conventions, including those leading to Palestinian membership in the ICC, the United States should support such non-violent means of pursuing justice in accordance with international law. It also should be recognized that in joining the ICC, the door will be open to investigations of both Israeli and Palestinian actions.
Call on Congress and the president to:
•Refrain from punishing the Palestinians for joining international treaties and conventions and placing themselves and the conflict under the scrutiny of international law.
•Urge Israel to release tax revenues belonging to the Palestinians.
Palestine for Tourists
Dee Poujade writes: "I recently found myself engaged in an e-mail conversation with the editor of a travel magazine (which, for the present, shall remain nameless!) about whether Palestine is a “travel destination” worthy of listing in his magazine. Without going into the historical and political background that he and I have been discussing, I thought it might be interesting to share some of the reasons that I gave him as to why Palestine should be included in the “list of destinations” that his publication lists on its website and, more importantly, to address reasons that one should consider Palestine as a tourist destination." See her wonderful blog post here, and I urge you to explore Dee's other good posts at her blog: A Walk Through the Valley. Dee served as an ecumenical accompanier in Tulkarm in the occupied West Bank.
On this day, we will pray again with and for our sisters and brothers in Palestine and Israel who have called for an ecumenical prayer vigil across the globe on the 24th of every month. Let's find ways that we can use these prayers in our own congregations and organizations in the month to come.
ACT Palestine Forum
Prayer Vigil for Peace in the Middle East
24th of every month
Prayer Petitions for Justice in Accordance with International Law
Saturday, 24 January 2015
On this day, we will pray again with and for our sisters and brothers in Palestine and Israel who have called for an ecumenical prayer vigil across the globe on the 24th of every month.
Our prayers this month focus on the promotion and protection of human rights and the importance of non-violent means of pursuing justice in accordance with international law. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Presbyterian Church (USA), among others in the U.S. and elsewhere are encouraging their governments not to punish the Palestinian move to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) by withholding financial support.
During the month of February 2015, the ACT Palestine Forum will focus its awareness-building and advocacy efforts on seeking justice in accordance with international law. As we move into a new year, we will continue to pray for Israelis and Palestinians and advocate for non-violent means of pursuing justice. We invite you to prepare and send prayer petitions, which will be shared during the APF prayer vigil for the 24th of February.
APF encourages its friends and partners to visit the APF website and APF Facebook page often to find and also contribute updates, photos, stories, advocacy ideas and special prayers.
For peace in the church, among nations, in our homes, and in our hearts, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
For those whose lives have been torn apart by conflict in Palestine and Israel, we remember those who have died, those who are grieving, and those who have been injured. We remember this day especially those with limited access to food, shelter, electricity, heating fuel, and medical supplies in Gaza. Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
For those who work for peace, justice, healing, and protection under the law, and for those who promote respect for the rule of law and for one another as created equally in God’s image, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
For Palestinians and Israelis, let their eyes and the eyes of the world be opened to see that the security and freedom of one people is dependent on the security and freedom of the other. Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
For leaders, politicians and elected officials, may they realize that the security and peace we all long for will not come through violence and the force of arms. Strengthen those who tirelessly seek truth and reconciliation and empower those who embrace non-violent means of pursuing justice in accordance with international law. Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
For judges, juries, human rights workers and lawyers, guard them from retribution and from corruption. Give them the spirit of wisdom so that they may perceive the truth and administer the law impartially as instruments of your divine will. Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
May your holy and life-giving Spirit move every human heart, may the barriers that divide us crumble, suspicions disappear, and all oppression cease. Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
For freedom from hatred, bitterness, and the denial of fundamental rights, fill us with love, truth, and justice, so that we can recognize and respect the dignity and the rights of all people. Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
God of all, with wonderful diversity of languages and cultures you created all people in your image. Free us from prejudice and fear, that we may see your face in the faces of people next door and around the world. Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, and through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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