This month Labor and Greens parliamentarians called on Australia to join the majority of the world and recognise Palestine! Also it looks like the UN Security Council may consider a motion in coming weeks calling for an end date to the occupation. APAN's e-campaign makes it easy to send your parliamentarians a message - time for Australia to vote yes!
Another Christmas is approaching, and injustice in the land of peace remains rampant.
Connecting Christmas with Palestine
So says Rifat Kasis in the introduction to the Kairos Palestine Christmas Alert - 62 pages of information and resources for churches wanting to connect the historical as well as historic stories of Bethlehem in this advent period. Download resource (PDF).
We also recommend a 6 minute video from Christmas through the eyes of Palestinian Christians, put together by St Paul's Anglican church in Auckland - O Little Town of Bethlehem. Please share online and even with your church during a service.
Craig Nieson is currently in Jayuus with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel(EAPPI), a program of the World Council of Churches. Until he finishes in mid-January he is sharing his experiences - both heartbreaking and heartwarming in his blog - please do take time to read.
EAPPI - Stories from current volunteers and opportunities to join!
We are very excited also that there will be other Australians beginning their three months of service with EAPPI early 2015!
EAPPI are currently recruiting for placements in the next 18 months, and we invite you to consider joining! Training will be held
May 21-24 2015. For more information see http://www.ncca.org.au/departments/eappi
News from and about Palestine
Palestinian boy attacked by Israeli army dog & detained
A 16 yr old boy was in his home in Beit Ommar near the Israeli settlement of Karmi Tsur when Israeli soldiers 50 meters away released a military dog in his direction. The dog bit him on his torso, hand, and legs.
UN experts: Demolition of Palestinian homes violates international law
The Israeli Government’s use of house demolition as a punitive measure in response to alleged acts of violence by Palestinians must end immediately, two United Nations experts urged today, adding that the practice – which targets Palestinian homes in both Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory – is a violation of human rights law.
Fr. Gabriel Naddaf Does Not Represent Christians or Christianity in the Holy Land
The National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine has distanced itself from a Greek Orthodox priest who advocates serving in the Israeli army and promotes Israel as a place of refuge for Christians.
Majority of UN Assembly approves new resolutions for Palestine
The overwhelming majority of General Assembly of the United Nations voted on 5 draft resolutions in favour of Palestine. The decision comes after the Assembly discussed the two articles, "the Palestinian Cause" and "the conditions in the Middle East". Unfortunately Australia was not amongst those countries supporting most of the resolutions.
Israel-Palestine: it's not a religious conflict, says Amos Trust
The attack on a Jerusalem synagogue should not be seen as religiously-motivated violence, according to the head of a Christian human rights charity
Over 1.7 million people petition Barclays to divest from oppressive occupation
The British Bank Barclays has come under fire for its holdings in Elbit Systems, Israel's largest military company and the main supplier of drones used to attack and kill Palestinian civilians in Gaza. The bank is the named owner of $2.9 million worth of shares in Elbit. More than 1.7 million people have signed a petition calling on Barclays to divest from "projects that finance illegal settlements and the oppressive occupation of the Palestinian people" and campaigners have occupied and protested at bank branches across the UK.
Religious Leaders Condemn Violence around Jerusalem Holy Sites
The Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land, consisting of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, the Patriarchs and Bishops of Jerusalem and the Sharia Courts in Palestine, lament that the site that Muslims refer to as the Haram al Sharif and Jews refer to as the Temple Mount, has become a major focus of the conflict in the Holy Land.