Thursday, September 10, 2015

Advocate for U.S. funding for Augusta Victoria Hospital

Ask Congress to meet an urgent humanitarian need of the Palestinian people for Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH).  Encourage the U.S. government to support Augusta Victoria Hospital by helping to cover the cancer treatment costs of Palestinian patients from the West Bank and Gaza treated at AVH. And, ask your U.S. Representative to visit Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem.

Earlier this spring, the message from congressional staffs to the ELCA was clear:  The voices of ELCA members are being heard on this issue and are making a difference!

Nonetheless, the costs for patients referred to Augusta Victoria Hospital continue to mount at the rate of between $2 million and $2.5 million per month and another U.S. Agency for International Development payment is needed in 2015. Toward the end of 2015, it is hoped that USAID will make a large payment to the Palestinian Authority benefiting the hospital, at least $12 million to cover nearly the first six months of 2015. 

Therefore, advocacy in Congress is needed now just as much as before, maybe more, to ensure that the U.S. government through USAID releases that large payment. The funding is crucial to avoid any interruption of treatment for West Bank and Gaza cancer patients and other patients served at AVH and other East Jerusalem hospitals.

Click this link for more details and advocacy how-tos.

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World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel, Sept. 20-26
There is still time to get involved in World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel Sept. 20-26.

We will join together for a 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.

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. World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel is sponsored by the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) of the World Council of Churches.

The theme for World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel is: "God has broken down the dividing walls." Congregations and individuals around the globe who share the hope of justice will unite during the week to take peaceful actions to create a common international public witness.

Lots of information is at this link: World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel.

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Israel’s Civil Administration steps up efforts to expel Area C Palestinian communities

B'Tselem reports that in August Israel demolished the homes of 228 people, 124 of them minors, leaving them with no shelter.

The Civil Administration and the military went on a demolition rampage in 29 villages and communities throughout Area C. Israeli authorities demolished 101 structures in these communities, including 50 residential structures which were home to 228 people, 124 of them minors. Many of these demolitions were carried out in small shepherding and farming communities where residents are constantly subject to threats and ongoing Israeli attempts to drive them out of their homes and also remove them from Area C, as part of the Israeli policy aimed at minimizing Palestinian presence in Area C. 

B'Tselem is the premiere Israeli human rights organization.

Click this link for an important report.

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Hope for Peace?
Rabbi Amy Eilberg, Rabbi, Peacebuilder, Writer

A Review of: Ronald Kronish (ed.), Coexistence and Reconciliation in Israel: Voices for Interreligious Dialogue (NY: Paulist Press, 2015)
In my work as a religious peace activist, I am often asked how I can possibly continue to hope for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Over the years, I have often returned to the answer that my colleague Rabbi Ron Kronish gives to this question. On the level of diplomatic efforts, things seem quite hopeless. However, hope -- and a vision for the future -- is to be found in the work of grassroots peacebuilders who labor every day on the ground in Israel and in Palestine to build more peaceful, just and democratic societies, and especially, to build a web of relationship between religious and political "others."  Read the entire review at the Huffington Post.

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