Climate Change and Palestine- three SK events with Suha Jarrar

No Justice, No Adaptation: Climate Change and Palestine

Local groups in Regina and Saskatoon and SK Conference join with Just Peace Advocates to present:

Suha Jarrar, researcher at respected Palestinian human rights group Al Haq, discussing justice and adaptation in relation to the politics of climate change in Palestine.

Everyone is welcome to three opportunities, September 12 in Regina and September 15 and 16 in Saskatoon.  Continue reading

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UNJPPI – Who are they?

UNJPPI is your action network, engaging United Church members and those in solidarity with the United Church to work for justice and peace in Palestine/Israel.  UNJPPI has now held six national gatherings that have brought together activists and those seeking to learn more about the challenges facing peace and human rights for Palestinians and Israelis. Our network is growing. The United Church of Canada provides some financial support for these gatherings, but does not assist with the ongoing operating funds for the organizational needs of UNJPPI.

UNJPPI relies primarily on volunteers for the vast majority of our work including the members of our national coordinating committee.  In November 2016, the coordinating committee developed a plan for the future work of UNJPPI and how best to structure our work.  As a first step, in January 2017, we hired a part-time administrative assistant on a contract basis. This helped with administration. We also sent a representative to a couple of Conference meetings to help work with and expand our base. This work was supported by you, the members of UNJPPI.  We have plans for a number of contracts to help assist with specific parts of our ongoing work. We would like to hire part time personnel to assist with,

  1. developing and implementing education projects reaching out to churches,
  2. helping prepare public advocacy materials for use by network members,
  3. researching additional sources of funds for the work of the network.

At our meeting in Winnipeg, those of us who gathered pledged over $4,000. We are now turning to you to ask for your support for the work on UNJPPI in the coming year as some of you have in the past.  Our operating budget for 2017 is $50,700.00.  We would like to raise $20,000.00 from individuals who support the work of UNJPPI.

Your support will ensure that UNJPPI continues to be the voice of action for the United Church.

This year will be especially busy as we,

  1. help to develop and implement the Canadian No Way to Treat a Child campaign,
  2. work nationally on a strategy and proposals for General Council in 2018,
  3. keep the membership and broader church informed of action alerts and breaking news,
  4. provide a well-resourced website,
  5. organizing tours of Palestine/Israel,
  6. organizing events and speakers in our regions and nationally,
  7. and planning a national gathering for September 2018.
Please be as generous as you have been in the past and send your donations payable to UNJPPI and mail to:

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

   OR If you would like a tax receipt, please make your cheque out to:
St. Paul’s United Church (UNJPPI)
and mail to:

UNJPPI Appeal
St. Paul’s United Church,
404 Cleveland Ave.
Riverview, NB   E1B-1Y2

If you have any questions about UNJPPI and our work please feel free to contact me.

Thank you for your support for human rights and a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis alike.
Peace, Salaam, Shalom,

Steve Berube
Chair: UNJPPI
http://www.unjppi.org 

or send donation by e-Transfer to susan.unjppi@mail.com

Children in military detention

Over the past several weeks, the high-profile detention of Ahed Tamimi has provided a glimpse into what it means to be a child held in the Israeli military detention system facing prosecution in military courts that lack basic due process protections.

This week, Canadian MP Hélène Laverdière sent a letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland highlighting Ahed was just “one of many troubling cases of military detention of children under the Israeli occupation.” She urged the Canadian government to press Israel to comply with international law around its treatment of Palestinian child detainees.

Read the letter from MP Hélène Laverdière

In the letter, Laverdière noted the widespread and systematic ill-treatment Palestinian children arrested by Israeli forces encounter in the Israeli military detention system. The letter demands that the Israeli government “uphold its obligations under the [United Nations] Convention on the Rights of the Child,” and urged Minister Freeland to press the Israeli government to “fully comply” with international law.

In Canada? Sign and share our petition demanding Canadian leadership hold Israeli authorities accountable!

Disturbingly, Ahed’s detention and prosecution in Israel’s military court system is not exceptional, but provides a clear example of how Israeli military law and military courts are used to control an occupied Palestinian population. Between February and November 2017, an average of 310 Palestinian children were in the Israeli prison system each month for “security offenses,” according to Israel Prison Service (IPS) data. Among them were an average of 60 children between the ages of 12 and 15.

Ill-treatment of Palestinian child detainees by Israeli forces is widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the Israeli military detention system. Three out of four Palestinian children experience some form of physical violence following arrest.

Israeli military law provides no right to an attorney during interrogation, so Palestinian children like Ahed often typically arrive to interrogation rooms bound, blindfolded, frightened, and sleep deprived. Children often give confessions after verbal abuse, threats, physical and psychological violence that in some cases amounts to torture.

In a military detention system where fair trial guarantees are denied and Palestinian children overwhelmingly experience some form of physical violence at the hands of Israeli forces, it is clear that detaining and prosecuting Palestinian children in Israeli military courts has little to do with justice.

As the situation appears to be deteriorating for children living under Israeli military occupation, we must remember an increasing number of lawmakers across the globe now recognize that failing to demand human rights, justice and equality for Palestinian children perpetuates injustice and a military occupation with no end in sight.

As we move forward in 2018, I know we will continue to strengthen our movement and efforts to expose widespread and systematic ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system. We’ll be sharing new actions for Canada and the United States soon, so stay tuned.

Brad Parker
Attorney & International Advocacy Officer
Defense for Children International – Palestine
Co-leader of the No Way to Treat a Child campaign

Lenten resources by Palestinian Christians

The Lenten season is fast approaching. Friends of Sabeel North America is pleased to offer a variety of resources for an illuminating experience of reflection, prayer, and advocacy. Read on for links to these free resources.

A little background: The Sabeel Centre for Liberation Theology in Jerusalem is an initiative of Palestinian Christians living under Israeli military occupation. It’s a long time partner of the United Church of Canada. In Canada, the Canadian Friends of Sabeel also offers resources and support related to Sabeel’s important ministry and witness.

A webinar for Lent: Land of Jesus, People of God, Words of Witness

Thursday, February 8, 2018
10:00am Pacific, 12:00pm Central, 1:00pm Eastern

Register here

Join Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek, Dr. Monica Burnett and FOSNA Executive Director Tarek Abuata for this Lenten webinar! Speakers will address issues on the ground in Palestine, introduce a new educational Biblical resource for congregations, and provide ideas for advocacy stemming from Palestinian Liberation Theology.

A Lenten Study Guide:
What Would They Say Now? Encounters with People of the Bible

Download here

This Lenten study booklet, based on Biblical narratives, is designed to facilitate reflection, sharing, and action. The six chapters offer resources for historical and devotional Bible study. These chapters, appropriate for congregational or individual use, are accessible to all, including those with minimal exposure to Palestine justice issues. Suggestions are provided for justice advocacy.

Email Prayer Series: Lenten Illuminations

Sign up here

Subscribers to the FOSNA Weekly News Digest/Wave of Prayer email will receive weekly meditations based on the Wave of Prayer from Sabeel in Jerusalem. These meditations will focus on developments in Palestine and here in the United States. To subscribe to FOSNA’s Weekly News Digest, sign up here.

Allow the Lenten season to deepen your connection, vision and energy for grounded Christian justice witness.

 

100 Years of Balfour Declaration is Not Something to Celebrate

MP Sponsored Petition to Government calls Canada to live up to obligations to UN Resolutions

On November 2, 2017, it will be a century since the road for colonization of Palestine was set.

Recognizing a century since the Balfour Declaration, 70 years since the Partition Plan and approaching 70 years since the Nakba, 50 years of occupation of the territory taken in the 1967 set-back, and 10 years seize on Gaza, we are pleased that Alexandre Boulerice, MP to Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, NDP, Quebec has sponsored the following petition to the government of Canada.

It will be posted until January 27, 2018.   Please sign and share through your networks.  A majority of Canadians have said they support sanctions against Israeli war crimes (EKOS 2017).  This is our chance to have Canadians express we expect our government to uphold its own international obligations under United Nation Resolutions, and fulfill its responsibility under Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which requires the convention to be respected in all circumstances.

Sign by clicking here.

The PETITION TO THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA reads:
Whereas:

  • The Balfour Declaration, November 1917 proclaimed “that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”;
  • Today over 7 million Palestinians continue to be denied the right to return under United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 (1948) which has been reiterated annually (most recently by UN General Assembly Resolution 71/91, 2016) — a right provided to all other refugees irrespective of country since 1950;
  • The colonization of the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967, continues in contravention of UN Security Council Resolution 446 (1979) and 465 (1980), although these resolutions remain aligned with Canada’s official foreign policy, the Canadian government has not spoken out to condemn the recent aggressive legislation and actions by the Israeli government which further contravene these resolutions as well as the recent UN Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016);
  • This colonization continues 50 years later, in contravention to numerous clauses of the Fourth Geneva Convention; and
  • Canada is a high contracting party to the Fourth Geneva Convention which obliges all parties to ensure respect for the Convention by other parties “in all circumstances.”

We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to live up to its role as a peacemaker and honest broker by upholding its own international obligations related to United Nations GA 194 (1948), and UNSC 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 446 (1979), 465 (1980) and 2334 (2016); and fulfilling its responsibilities as a UN member state and signatory of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Sign by clicking here.  Share  WIDELY.  

YouTube Video of 2017 James Graff Memorial Lecture with Professor Michael Lynk

Professor Michael Lynk,
UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine spoke on

“50 Years and Counting:
Legality of the Israeli Occupation of Palestine.”

Watch the lecture on YouTube at https://youtu.be/dxFxbbc52u8

On November 29th, 2017, Canadian Friends of Sabeel (CFOS) and co-sponsor Emmanuel College of Victoria University at the University of Toronto  hosted the annual James Graff Memorial Lecture to commemorate the UN declared International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

For more information, visit the new CFOS website: www.friendsofsabeel.ca

Speaker opportunity: Global partner stories at home

Out of Many, One: bringing home stories of global partners in Kenya, Cuba, and Palestine

Three SK Conference members have been recent guests with global partners in Cuba, Kenya, and Palestine/ Israel.  These partners, our global family, share in our mission and in our givings to Mission and Service. Throughout the fall of 2017 and winter/ spring 2018, we encourage you to invite them to share their stories in worship, workshops, and at Presbytery. Some support for their travel is available through the Conference Generosity in Mission Fund.

Get in touch with Cindy, Brenda, and Sandra to find out how your ministry can host them for worship, workshops, and more. Or contact Laura Sundberg, Global Personnel Coordinator, or Julie Graham, Education staff. In order to protect email addresses, we ask you to use the Conference Directory or contact Julie if you need help finding contact information. Email her at jgraham(at)skconf(dot)ca

Rev. Cindy Bourgeois serves Wesley United Church in Regina. On behalf of the United Church and Affirm United, in 2017 she attended an historic church gathering in Cuba for the transgender community.

Rev. Brenda Curtis serves Humboldt pastoral charge. In the spring of 2017 she participated in a clergy “Come and See” visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel.

Sandra Fowler is a licensed lay worship leader at Spirit Hills pastoral charge.  She represented SK Conference in March 2017 on the Mission and Service Pilgrimage to Kenya.