Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Israelis Protest Settlement Construction

In the US, it's easy to assume that Israelis support their government—the settlemet-building, checkpoints, denial of building permits. This is not the whole story. Read what Americans for Peace Now reports about the work of their sister organization in Israel - Peace Now. 

ObamaBanner186x140.jpgWhen President Obama flew into Israel Wednesday, he could see from Airforce One this huge sign that Peace Now activists lay down to welcome his message of peace. The sign, 180 feet long and 50 feet wide, is located in the fields of Kibbutz Nahshon, half-way between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, on the route that large incoming jets use when they land at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport.

Learn more about Peace Now and it's American counterpart, Americans for Peace Now (APN); 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Remembering Rachel Corrie--Continuing her Work

Today is the tenth anniversary of Rachel Corrie's death in Gaza. Rachel was trying to prevent Israel's destruction of Palestinian homes in Gaza when a bulldozer ran over her and killed her. Despite court cases, her parents, Cindy and Craig, have not seen justice done.

They have, however, continued the work Rachel gave her life for. Watch them in a short (5 min) video, remembering their daughter and continuing her work:

The Corries talk about pressuring President Obama to make sure that the money we give to Israel in foreign aid is not used for demolition of Palestinian homes, and other human rights violations. Their words echo the letter of fifteen US church leaders to members of congress last October - US aid to Israel must be examined to make sure these monies are not used in violation of human rights and international law. They said, in part:

"As Christian leaders in the United States, it is our moral responsibility to question the continuation of unconditional U.S. financial assistance to the government of Israel. Realizing a just and lasting peace will require this accountability, as continued U.S. military assistance to Israel — offered without conditions or accountability — will only serve to sustain the status quo and Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian territories.

We request, therefore, that Congress hold Israel accountable to these standards by making the disbursement of U.S. military assistance to Israel contingent on the Israeli government’s compliance with applicable U.S. laws and policies."

Read the letter.....

Take action today - sign on to a letter organized by JStreet, urging the president, on the eve of his trip to Israel and Palestine, to act to bring about peace—Just ahead of President Obama’s trip to Israel next week, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has authored a ‘dear colleague’ letter circulating on Capitol Hill urging the President to reaffirm that a pathway to peace remains a priority for his administration: Click here to ask Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet to sign onto Senator Feinstein’s letter and affirm their commitment to making US leadership to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a top priority.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Love in the Time of Apartheid - a Wedding at the Wall

Today, as we in Colorado are celebrating the passage of the civil unions bill, allowing for gay couples to express their love by forming families that will be recognized by the state, Palestinians are still fighting for the right to marry.
If a Palestinian who is a citizen of Israel (living in Israel) wants to marry a Palestinian who lives in the West Bank, the marriage is prohibited under current Israeli policy. In May, 2002, Israel’s cabinet suspended the family reunification law, which provided a process for Palestinians to apply for marriage if the couple were not both citizens of the same jurisdiction.

Last Saturday, a new campaign was launched to draw the world’s attention to this discrimination— “Love in the Time of Apartheid.” Protesters gathered at the Hizma checkpoint for a wedding—one which could never take place.

The story was reported in PNN, the Palestine News Network—

“The bride [see photo], a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, the groom, a Palestinian from the West Bank, accompanied by tens of activists approached Hizma checkpoint from its two sides and demanded their right to love and live without racist and separation policies.

Using tear-gas and sound bombs, Israeli soldiers at the checkpoint prevented the bride and the groom from meeting and completing the wedding ceremony, which highlights Israel’s apartheid policies, separating between Palestinians from two sides of 67 borders.

Basil Mansour, 36, a member of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and settlements in Bil'in and the head of Bil'in local council, was arrested while participating in the wedding, along with dozens of Palestinian and international peace activists.” Read more.....

Watch a video of the demonstration at the Hizma checkpoint

The campaign calls upon the international community and people of conscience around the world, to meet their international legal obligations and hold Israel accountable to its policies, in all regional and international forums in order, to:

·         force Israel to revoke the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order),

·         end all policies preventing Palestinian family reunifications

·         adhere to international human rights laws

·         put an end to all forms of racial discrimination towards Palestinians

Read more about the law preventing family reunifications:

Mazin Qumsiyeh, a Palestinian Christian and non-violent peace activist, who lives in Beit Sahour, writes, “My wife and I applied for Family reunification over 5 years ago and the Israeli authorities still did not answer to this day.” Read his blog...