Advent Peace Box

Order your Advent Peace Box today (scroll down to The United Church of Canada options on the order form). Order by November 19 to ensure delivery in time for Advent! Consignment pricing is available—pay half of the total cost up front, then half once all products are sold. The final payment is due by February 1, 2016.

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Support peace in Palestine and Israel, and involve all generations in becoming a justice-seeking church. Our popular Advent Peace Box, a practical tool for worship and study, is back for 2015 along with new intergenerational worship, sermon, and workshop resources. The Peace Box’s accompanying online resources can be used for one or all four Sundays in Advent in worship, at a meeting, at a coffee time, or any other time that works for you.

Use or adapt these Advent resources[PDF: 36 pp/664 KB] specifically created for the Peace Box.

Two versions of the Peace Box are available. The individual items in your Peace Box can be offered for consignment sale, or you can buy them yourself, at the following prices:

  • Standard Peace Box
    750 ml bottle olive oil (5 enclosed, $21 each)
    Za’atar thyme herb mix (2 enclosed, $5 each)
    bar of olive oil soap (2 enclosed, $5 each)
    Total: $125
  • Community Peace Box
    750 ml bottle olive oil (10 enclosed, $20 each)
    Za’atar thyme herb mix (4 enclosed, $5 each)
    bar of olive oil soap (4 enclosed, $5 each)
    Total: $240

These make wonderful gifts and allow you to promote Zatoun in your community while advocating for economic justice for Palestinians.

  • Offer them for sale after worship.
  • Sell them at an alternative giving fair.
  • They make great Christmas or housewarming presents.

To ensure that everyone in your network receives information about the 2015 Advent Peace Box, we would ask you to circulate this to your e-mail distribution lists, as well as make an announcement about the Peace Box at your next UCW meeting. Although this may result in some receiving the message more than once, we hope this will enable us to reach as many of you as possible.

For over 10 years, Canadians working for a just peace in Israel and Palestine have been purchasing and distributing Zatoun olive oil and other products (soap, herbs, embroidered craft items) as a means of advocating for economic justice for Palestinians and supporting Palestinian livelihoods. Plus, they enjoy the high-quality olive oil and other products!

This is a part of the Unsettling Goods: Choose Peace in Palestine and Israel campaign.

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UNJPPI Website Updated with Current Palestinian News

The following news items have been posted to the UNJPPI Website.  Follow the links for more details.

BDS Wave of Solidarity
Starting this weekend October 16-18 Solidarity with the Palestinian popular resistance! Boycott Israel now! #SolidarityWaveBDS

Starting this weekend, join an international wave of action in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle. People of conscience who want to stand with the Palestinian struggle are urged to take action and develop Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions efforts. This would strongly convey to Palestinians that they are not alone.
Read the full callout here. – See more at: http://www.bdsmovement.net/solidarity-wave#sthash.URiREPFT.dpuf

Canadian church confirms need for economic pressure on Israel to end occupation of Palestinian territories
The United Church of Canada intends to pursue its policy of pressing for a peaceful solution to tensions between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories by continuing its economic action against businesses operating in illegal settlements.

UMKR supports Palestinians in defense of their lands
United Methodist Kairos Response (UMKR) has reacted with condemnation to land being confiscated from 58 Christian families in the Cremisan Valley. UMKR also condemns the stop-work order for a soccer field in the Muslim village of Wadi Foquin.

PIEF UPDATES FROM PALESTINE
A number of recent updates from PIEF (Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum) have been issued in response to the recent increase in violent resistance to the occupation and oppressive Israeli response.  The following three posts are recirculated from the PIEF Post, a newsletter issued by PIEF.

Palestinians call on UN to investigate “Israeli crimes”
The cabinet of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) government on Thursday called on the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to probe “the Israeli crimes” in Palestinian territories. 

The government also called on the UN Security Council and all UN agencies as well as the Arab, Islamic and non-aligned countries “to bear the responsibility and act urgently to protect the Palestinian people.”
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-10/08/c_134693935.htm

Don’t say we didn’t know #467
On Thursday, 3rd September, 2015, at 3:00 a.m., IDF soldiers entered the homes of six Palestinian families in Hebron to carry out search operations. They broke doors, damaged furniture and a car. Three men were arrested, then released, and summoned for interrogation. The Palestinians lodged a complaint that soldiers had stolen NIS 1200 and a gold pendant.
On Monday, 7th September, 2015, government representatives, escorted by the police, demolished a home in Umm Batin, near Omer. In El-Ghara, near Road 31, they demolished a home.
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Don’t say we didn’t know #468
On Wednesday, 16th September, 2015, IDF soldiers came to the Bedouin village Khirbet Umm El Jamal, near Maskiot settlement, in the north of the occupied Jordan Valley. They confiscated a tractor belonging to a resident, and threatened all those living there that if they didn’t leave, their water tanks and farming equipment would be impounded.
Last January, 2015, the IDF demolished the entire village.
On Thursday, 17th September, 2015, government representatives, escorted by the police, again uprooted olive trees in the village Za’arura, near Kseife, in the Negev. They also yet again demolished El-Araqib.
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Don’t say we didn’t know #469
On Monday, 21st September, 2015, 170 Palestinian children from Hebron passed through Qitioun checkpoint on the way to their (elementary) school. One or two kids threw stones at the soldiers. The soldiers responded by firing three tear-gas grenades and a stun grenade at the children. Returning from school, stones were again thrown and the soldiers responded with four tear-gas grenades fired at the children.
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Don’t say we did not know #470
On Tuesday, 22nd September, 2015, a Palestinian shepherd from Fasayil, in the occupied Jordan Valley, crossed the road with his herd of sheep near the settlement Masua. While crossing, an Israeli (presumably a settler) came by in his car (a 4×4 Toyota). The shepherd signalled to him to stop and wait until the sheep had finished crossing. The Israeli continued to drive, running over and killing forty sheep and then immediately drove away.

Your support for the activities of UNJPPI is appreciated.
Cheques, payable to UNJPPI, may be sent to:

UNJPPI
111-678 Broadview Ave.
Toronto, ON M4K 2P2

 

Letter to Moderator re Increasing Violence Toward Palestinians

The following letter from UNJPPI Co-Chairs on behalf of UNJPPI has been delivered to the Moderator, the Reverend Jordan Cantwell.  It is shared with you for your information.  It is also posted on the UNJPPI website (www.unjppi.org)

October 12, 2015

Dear Jordan,

Grace and peace to you in the name of our brother, Jesus.

It is with deep concern that we write to raise the issue of increasing violence directed toward Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza. In 12 days of bloodshed, 23 Palestinians and four Israelis have died.

Violence has been on the rise since late July with the immolation of the infant, Ali Saad Dawabsha and the subsequent deaths of his mother and father. In and around Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the West Bank violence is escalating fueled in large part by these murders and other attacks by settlers and the Israeli military against Palestinians. Another key factor that has fueled tensions has been the aggressive moves by the Israeli government with restricted access to the Al-Aqsa compound. This, in turn, has fueled Palestinian fears that Al-Aqsa could become like Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. Additionally, over the summer the Israeli military has increased the pace of home demolitions and taken other actions such as the extension of the illegal path of the Wall in Cremisan.

Meanwhile, in Gaza, Israeli forces killed seven on Friday. On Saturday, two children, aged 11 and 13 were shot dead by the Israeli military. On Sunday, a 30 year old pregnant mother and her three year old daughter were killed by an Israeli rocket attack that demolished her home. This is on top of several hundred cease fire violations by the Israelis since their devastation of Gaza a year ago. Meanwhile, reconstruction of Gaza has barely begun because of ongoing border closures.

With the violence in Syria and resultant refugee crisis it seems Israel is once again using a major world event to escalate repression of Palestinians while the world is focussed elsewhere.

The work of the denomination over the summer such as quietly sending Ecumenical Accompaniers to Susyia was an important action. Also, the information provided by GCO with regard to Cremisan was greatly appreciated.

We write to urge you as the spiritual leader of the denomination to ask that you help keep the denomination’s attention focused on the lead of the General Council this summer to expand and broaden the Unsettling Goods campaign in support of our Palestinian brothers and sisters who continue to cry out from their experience of decades of suffering. We encourage you to add your voice to other religious leaders around the globe expressing concern with the escalating violence and urging the Israeli government to end their illegal occupation of Palestine.

Peace, Salaam, Shalom, Paix,
Steve Berube and Marianna Harris
Co-chairs: UNJPPI

cc:          Mary Royal Duczek
Nora Sanders (For circulation to GCE)
Michael Blair (For circulation to PC-PMM)
Patti Talbot
Christie Neufeldt
Barbara Lloyd
Wendy Gichuru

PDF copy of Letter

Your support for the activities of UNJPPI is appreciated.
Cheques payable to UNJPPI may be sent to:

UNJPPI Treasurer
111-678 Broadview Ave
Toronto M4K 2P2

Two Voices of Urgency

One of the people on the ground in Palestine that I look to for a reality check of the current status is Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh.  He shares his observations in his  “Human Rights Newsletter”.  In light of the current tension in Jerusalem and the West Bank, I have chosen to share the latest newsletter issue.  We met him on our visit in November 2013.

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh of Bethlehem University describes the increasing urgency of the situation in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

At the James Graff Memorial Lecture Wednesday night in Toronto, Dr. Sara Roy described the desperate situation of the Gazans – the destruction of land and infrastructure, psychological impact of the trauma of 3 assaults in the last decade, the economic poverty, environmental disaster affecting Israel not just Gaza, and perhaps most seriously, the disappearance of the culture, what has been described as a “zone of non-existence”.

Mazin states that the USA is increasingly “exposed as collaborators with Netanyahu in the slaughter” in the Middle east.  But he also says that “we continue to build for the future” and “We teach life.”

Sara Roy was asked where she sees hope in Gaza.  She saw artistry flourishing, people trying to rebuild and educate their children in the midst of a desperate situation but she fears for the impact on the psych of the people if they are not given their freedom to live. She believes that the change must come from the people of Israel and the Israeli organizations working for change.

Curtis Marwood

14th Intifada on the way and its global ramifications

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, Bethlehem University Oct. 7, 2015

Below I discuss briefly why I think Israel is intent on ethnic cleansing in the occupied territories, the recent upheaval here and the killing of children, who is Benyamin Mileikowsky (aka Netanyahu) behind the spate of recent war crimes including murdering a 13 year old child (pictures below), ask whether a 14th Intifada on the way and its global ramifications, and progress in building something positive in Bethlehem.

There has been a significant escalation of violence in the apartheid country in the past few days. If this is a new uprising it is expected as we have one on average every 10 years (we had nearly 14 in the past 140 years of Zionist onslaught). When we analyze the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back for this particular wave of unrest, we see the arson attack 31 July 2015 on the Dawabshe family (father, mother and child murdered) and the calls for revenge. Since then some 30 Palestinians and 4 Israelis were killed.

The past week saw further escalation that started with storming Al-Aqsa mosque area with extremist settlers who call for destroying the mosque to build a Jewish temple. A Jewish settler husband and wife were killed by a cell from Hamas (probably acting without direct orders from hierarchy). They were residents of an illegal Israeli colony built on Palestinian land and the husband was a high level Israeli officer (the wife also served in the Israeli military).

Whether one supports such actions or not, the action predictably unleashed a torrent of settler revenge attacks supported by the Israeli military. Netanyahu came back from his US tour after receiving a green light from Washington for ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem and for killing Palestinians. He told his commanders to shoot any Palestinian throwing stones and if they arrest such youth to give them mandatory minimum sentences of 4 years. Settlers and soldiers in turn got the green light to torch cars, shoot civilians, burn crops and more. Tensions escalated and 650 Palestinian civilians were injured and many killed.

Here in Bethlehem a 13 year old child Abdelrahman Obeidallah was gunned down when he was returning from school.  Pictures showed he was not participating in the demonstration. It is hard to justify shooting a child in the chest who is not posing a threat. I cried as I paid a visit and extended condolences to his father and other family members today.

In a videotaped incident in Jerusalem, there was clear execution of a young man who was posing no threat. Israeli settlers chased a 19 year old Fadi Alloon heading for his early morning prayers. He tried to get protection even from Israeli police officers but settlers screamed at the police telling them to shoot him and the police followed settler orders without the victim posing any threat to anyone. Full evidence with translation by Ronni Barkan from Hebrew of the Nazi like behavior is found here: https://youtu.be/nj8gXqGh2V0

The murderers like in thousands of similar incidents will remain free and even be praised for their actions. It is clear now that there is an orchestrated campaign to destroy native presence here to extend the geography and hegemony of the racist “Jewish state” and western media have done little or no reporting on what is going on in here. The few local reporters trying to cover events are targeted physically and shot at regularly. Father of 13 year old Abdel Rahman, victim of Israeli terrorism on the spot where he was murdered ​

Israeli military occupiers decided to close down the old city of Jerusalem selectively to Palestinians while Israeli Jews were allowed in to rampage and taunt and attack the native Jerusalemites (Christians and Muslims). Such a military order shows once again that we are deeper into fascist apartheid. Palestinians rightly wonder why the cell that firebombed the Dawabsheh family is still free while those who killed the settler couple were tracked down within 24 hours? Denying a city to the native people while opening it up for colonizers is against International law. Murdering at will, injuring hundreds, kidnapping citizens (600 in September alone) and holding them for months and years without trial, torturing people, demolishing homes. Many consider it a beginning of a new (14th) uprising against the Zionist colonization of Palestine. The conditions of an uprising are indeed there and I explained in detail in my book about its trajectory (see http://qumsiyeh.org/popularresistanceinpalestine/ )

The “Arab and Islamic world” and the USA are increasing exposed as collaborators with Netanyahu and company in the slaughter stretching from Yemen to Syria passing through Palestine. Palestinians in the streets are increasingly frustrated at their own leaders (whose terms have expired and can’t seem to let go of their seats). Political paralysis. New actors are coming to fill the gap left after the mess created by imperialism here. Russia entered the fray in Syria. Russia entered Syria at the request of the Syrian government while the US did not have such permission nor a decision by the UN Security Council. But more importantly, Russian jets did more damage to ISIS in the first 48 hours that US “coalition” did in one year.  Russia says it will talk to the “moderate rebels” that the US claims to exist if they can be found. Problem is all non-government held territory is in the hands of Nusra, ISIS or others (many of them equipped by USA and its coalition).  US security establishment already admitted that most of the weapons they sent to supposed moderate people (mercenaries?) switched to be held by the extremist rebels. Perhaps the US was interested in what Henry Kissinger described as policy is “to get them to kill each other”. Perhaps Russia will upset this and finally succeed in ending 5 years of stalemate in Syria.

The pivot remains here. Leaders of the Zionist forces ordered soldiers to shoot children, to torture prisoners, and to demolish homes and repeat the ethnic cleansing done in 1948. Since he is in the headline for staring down the UN and meeting with world leaders to bully and threaten them, it is worth looking who is Netanyahu.

Benyamin Mileikowsky (aka Netanyahu) was born to Benzion Mileikowsky (later changed names to Netanyahu), a Polish settler who came to Palestine and to the USA (dual citizenship acquired). His American father became secretary to terrorist leader Vladimir Yevgenyevich Zhabotinsky (aka Zeev Jabotinsky) founder of “revisionist” Zionism and supported groups like Irgun terrorist organization during the mandate in Palestine. His son continues to idolize these early Jewish terrorists. Both Benjamin and his brother served in units of the Israeli forces responsible for assassinations on foreign lands (in violations of international law) and committed war crimes. He is known both among Israelis and globally as a consummate liar who refused to accept the Oslo accords (even though they were partial to Israel) and has gotten rich off of his political activities.

Here is a video of him thinking the camera was off explaining his true contributions during his first stint as Israeli prime minister in the 1990s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrtuBas3Ipw .

See also this report (http://972mag.com/netanyahu-clinton-administration-was-%E2%80%9Cextremely-pro-palestinian%E2%80%9D-i-stopped-oslo/135/)

This is after all the same terrorist who gave a speech to dozens of Likud Party members in Eilat in which he admitted this is his strategy. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz (15 July 2001): “…giving his audience a bit of advice on how to deal with foreign interviewers (Netanyahu said): ‘Always, irrespective of whether you’re right or not, you must always present your side as right.’ In 2011 at the G20 summit, the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, described Netanyahu as a liar in a private exchange with US President Barack Obama  (it was inadvertently broadcast to journalists). “I cannot stand him. He’s a liar,” Sarkozy told Obama. US President Obama responded by saying: “You’re fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day. “http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/08/sarkozy-obama-netanyahu-gaffe-microphone. But Obama was exaggerating: he does not have to deal with Nothingyahu every day. We do and we are sick and tired of it and that is why Abbas’s efforts to stem an uprising will fail.

Sadly civilians suffer for US/Israeli policies of destabilization and mayhem. My view is that Palestine will remain an Achilles heel of western hypocrisy, and the key to conflict generation in Western Asia. Our freedom will be a key to regional and global stability. Perhaps that is why demonstrations were in over 50 cities and towns in occupied Palestine (including Jaffa, Haifa, Nazareth, etc) and dozens of cities around the world. The world is waking up. We pray that politicians do not be the last to wake-up.

Besides engaging in popular resistance, we continue to build for the future. We have several new volunteers at our Palestine Museum of Natural History and Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem University (see http://palestinenature.org). We just had our first rains of the season. Olive picking will commence shortly. We have visitors daily. We plan and execute projects that help people stay on their land and do productive work. We have students learning and growing in their skills. We learn new things every day. Life goes on even in the midst of decades of Zionist genocidal actions. We teach life. Join us, visit us.

Missing the target, forgetting the point, forgetting the profession by Dr Paola Manduca: https:www.middleeastmonitor.com/articles/middle-east/19300-missing-the-target-forgetting-the-point-forgetting-the-profession

Stay human
Mazin Qumsiyeh,
Professor, Bethlehem University

Your support for the activities of UNJPPI is appreciated.
Cheques payable to UNJPPI may be sent to:

UNJPPI Treasurer
111-678 Broadview Ave
Toronto M4K 2P2

Thanksgiving Message from KAIROS

That was the moment when I believed that things will be different.

On Parliament Hill. The Mass Blanket Exercise.

Hundreds of us, with dynamic young Indigenous people taking the lead, telling us the truth about colonization. A powerful moment of public witness, on the eve of the release of Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

Click here to watch the video message from Jennifer Henry, the Executive Director of Kairos.

The Blanket Exercise is KAIROS’ most popular teaching tool. It was created to animate the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.  A wise and profound report that has been largely ignored.

Now, almost 20 years later, we were awaiting another report, with a renewed road map for a transformed country.

But it felt different.

Has anything changed?  In some ways nothing. The inequality in health, in education. The risk of violence. Racism and displacement from land. It all continues.

But maybe we are different…

Building on the strength of those who have fought long and hard for Indigenous rights, there’s a growing movement across this country, young and old – Indigenous and non Indigenous people who will not let this go .

Who will hold on to the truth, to the 94 Calls to Action, to the hope of a transformed future, until we begin to see the Elders’ visions made real.

There can be no going back from the truth shared by the survivors.

To honour their courage, we must show steadfast hope and resolute persistence.  Faithfulness. Until we see the full realization of the rights of Indigenous peoples. Until we have a country that clearly honours the contributions of First Nation, Inuit and Métis peoples.

This Thanksgiving, when we give thanks to the Creator for the beauty, and bounty of the land, let’s show deep respect and gratitude to the original peoples of this land.

Let’s translate that gratitude into a commitment to tell the truth, to work to repair the injustice and live renewed, in right relationship with the Creator, each other, and with all of creation.

Jennifer Henry
Executive Director

Click here to make a donation to KAIROS today!

For more information, please visit our website:  www.kairoscanada.org

KAIROS Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
310 Dupont St. Suite 200, Toronto, ON, Canada M5R 1V9
Tel: 416-463-5312 | Toll-free: 1-877-403-8933| Fax: 416-463-5569

UNJPPI Newsletter – Oct. 5, 2015

PIEF POST – More violence and uncertainty in Palestinian territories

As violence mounts in the Palestinian territories, there are political guesses being made about the future. Will a ‘third intifada’ be launched? What will it result in?

Israel’s occupation policies are nothing short of provocative. For example the decision of Israeli authorities to annex a church compound in the Hebron area, which settlers claim they have previously purchased, threatens to turn into a flash point for clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians protesting settlers’. Palestinians fear- and legitimately- that the annexation of the church compound and subsequent settlement expansion would disconnect Jerusalem-Hebron road and “divide the West Bank into small cantons in order to eliminate the remaining possibility for establishing a viable and territorially contiguous Palestinian state.”

Israel’s revenge rampages under the protection of Israeli army forces, against Palestinian civilians and their properties, are leading to violent clashes across the West Bank districts. Red Crescent has documented 14 Israeli settlers and forces’ assaults against its own. They are being blocked from serving the wounded. These Israel impediments constitute blatant violations of international humanitarian law, particularly the Fourth Geneva conventions relative to the protection of civilians at time of armed conflicts.

Read the full report.

19 Year Old Shot by Israeli Police in Jerusalem

International Solidarity Movement – FaceBook

Today, early morning, 19 year old Fadi Samir Mustafa Alloun passed away after being shot by Israeli police near Damascus Gate, Jerusalem. The teenager was being threatened by a group of illegal Israeli settlers while walking on the street. His family says that the Israeli authorities’ claim that their son attempted to stab a settler is not true.

The video shows how Alloun was being intimidated by the settlers and finally shot by the police, even kicked and dragged once he was dead on the ground.

Following the martyr’s death, his village was attacked, his home raided and his father, uncle and brother arrested. In the meantime, the Israeli intelligence is keeping Alloun’s body detained away from his family.

Read article here: http://silwanic.net/?p=63315
Watch video: https://www.youtube.com/watch…

Red Crescent declares ‘state of emergency’ after attacks on staff
MA’AN News Agency
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestine Red Crescent Society on Sunday declared a state of emergency across the occupied Palestinian territory following an upsurge in violence by Israeli soldiers and settlers, including 14 attacks on the society’s ambulances in just three days.

The society said in a statement that it was declaring a level 3 state of emergency and putting all its staff, teams and volunteers on standby.

The society decried Israeli violations of international humanitarian law, saying that in a 72-hour period, it had faced 14 attacks against its staff and vehicles “in a serious escalation of violations against PRCS, its teams and the humanitarian services they render.”

Read more…

2 other articles of interest:

What Palestinians Really Want  By Yousef Munayyer of  CNN | 2015-09-

Mahmoud Abbas Tells UN He Will No Longer Observe Oslo Accords By
Jessica Schulberg,  Foreign Affairs Reporter, The Huffington Post

PIEF Off-Line Petition to Stop the Illegal Separation Barrier

I have received a few inquiries about submitting a hard copy of signatures to the on-line Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) Petition which I forwarded a few days ago.

I sent a request to PIEF and they replied that they would accept a scanned copy of the on-line petition, downloaded and printed, with signatures attached.
Therefore , I have created a PDF file consisting of the letter and a table for signatures.

I was advised that we should use the following email addresses for the designated people to which it should be sent.

Yusef Daher, Executive Secretary, Jerusalem Inter Church Centre:
Jerusalem_Office_Executive@eappi.org

Anna Hjalm: Anna.Hjalm@wcc-coe.org

Copy to Solomon Ranjan: ranjan.solomon@wcc-coe.org

Click here to download the PDF copy of the petition.

Curtis Marwood,
UNJPPI, Communication Coordinator