NCCA passes resolution in support of Palestinian churches and some updates on global church economic action in support of justice for Palestine. 
Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network - Update

Rev Prof Andrew Dutney proposes the motion
NCCA Forum
votes in support
of Palestine

The National Council of Churches in Australia's (NCCA) Forum on 26th June 2016, passed a resolution in support of Palestine and Palestinian Christians. The resolution noted the work of the Uniting Church in highlighting the plight of Palestinians and invited the UCA to share this campaign with other member churches. It also agreed to a visit of Australian Church Leaders to Palestine-Israel in 2017, a reciprocal visit from a Palestinian Church Leader to Australia and the commissioning of Lenten studies on Palestine.

Rev Prof Andrew Dutney (pictured above) moved the motion on behalf of the Uniting Church of Australia, highlighting, "the direct request from our Palestinian Christian sisters and brothers for this expression of solidarity. It was a request that has been conveyed through official inter-church and ecumenical channels (as well as) personally - Christian to Christian."

Dr Dutney noted his involvement in the Uniting Church's Jerusalem conference in 2014 and commented, "In a limited way we felt some of the daily humiliation, intimidation and danger experienced by our brothers and sisters there."

The motion was seconded by the Religious Society of Friends.

You can read more about the resolution and Dr Dutney's remarks here

Church Campaigns 

The last month has seen some interesting developments on campaigns related to boycotts and economic strategies targeted at Israel and its unjust policies towards Palestinians.

Of particular note are the following:
  • The United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) has issued a statement in support of Palestinian people, noting "the Palestinian struggle is not simply a conflict, but an asymmetric struggle between an oppressor and the oppressed. The oppression entails a decades' long institutionalized discrimination against Palestinians ...". More details here.
  • The Mennonite Church Canada Assembly supported a resolution on Palestine, including the request, “We ask the Mennonite Church Canada General Board, along with regional churches, congregations, and members—to avoid investing in or supporting companies that do business with Israeli settlements and the Israel Defense Forces, and companies that are profiting from the occupation of the Palestinian territories."  More details here.
  • The Presbyterian Church (USA) has successfully influenced the real estate company RE/MAX to stop selling properties in Israeli settlements built on occupied Palestinian land in violation of international law and official US policy. More details here.
  • Palestinian Fair Trade! If you would like to positively support Palestinian products click here. These would be wonderful gifts for Christmas .... Orders can be made via email; however, they hope to set up an on-line shop in the near future. The products look fabulous

Australian Jewish Democratic Society (AJDS) writes in support of NCCA resolution

In presenting the NCCA motion Dr Dutney drew on a letter of support from the AJDS which noted, "We believe that the policies of occupation in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza violate the human rights of Palestinians, undermine the fragile state of democracy in Israel, and promote despair and violence. This policy ultimately damages the possibility for long lasting justice, peace and safety for both Israeli Jews and Palestinians." The full letter is here

Last chance to see "Tales of a City by the Sea" - Sydney

After its sensational sell-out seasons in Victoria and South Australia, Tales of a City by the Sea is coming to Sydney for one day, 3rd August. Make sure you obtain your ticket here

Tracking Prayer Vigils

Do you regularly pray for peace in Palestine? Would you like to share this with others? Here are four prayer actions:
  • St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne, every Thursday 11:55am
  • Sabeel's Wave of Prayer (published every Thursday), click here
  • WCC's World Week of Peace in Palestine Israel on 18 - 24 September for all congregations wishing to join in praying for peace. Click here
  • Finally, the Lutheran World Federation has set aside the 24th of every month as a prayer vigil for peace in the Middle East. Click here
Are you interested in a regular prayer vigil in your community? Contact us and we can link you to other PIEN members in your area who would love to be involved too. 

Back on the topic of poetry and Gaza

Last month we included a poem about Gaza. This month, an important article highlights that despite all the tragedies that have befallen it, "Gaza remains a place of poets, artists, dabka dancers and untamable spirits of utterly resilient and refreshingly stubborn people.” Click here

Australian Christians who seek lasting peace for the people of Palestine and Israel. 

We aim to equip and 
inform Australian churches, inspired by Christ’s vision for universal reconciliation.

Executive Officer
Tim Budge
0412 051 574