Praying for Palestinian Justice

The Wave of Prayer ministry enables local and international friends of Sabeel to pray over regional concerns on a weekly basis. Sent to Sabeel’s network of supporters, the prayer is used in services around the world and during Sabeel’s Thursday Communion service; as each community in its respective time zone lifts these concerns in prayer at noon every Thursday, this ‘wave of prayer’ washes over the world.
 
Sabeel Wave of Prayer – Thursday 31st May 2018
During the ninth consecutive week of the ‘Great March of Return’ more than 100 Palestinians, including seven children were wounded by Israeli snipers along the border in Gaza. There is a desperate shortage of drugs and medication for the treatment of the wounded in Gaza as a result of the ten year Israeli blockade.
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Lord, we continue to pray for the safety of the Palestinian protesters and their commitment to non-violence. Dear God, we pray that those who have been injured in the protest may soon recover and that the families who are grieving for their loved ones may find solace.
Lord in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer.
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The Israeli Knesset has proposed a new bill which would make it a criminal act to film or photograph an Israeli soldier on active duty. The bill is supported by the right-wing Israeli Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, and if passed, those found in violation of the law could face a prison sentence of up to five years. Palestinian journalists view the law as an attempt by the Israeli government to ‘escape punishment and international justice’.
Lord, we pray for the safety of all people who risk their lives to document the human rights violations of the powerful. We pray that journalists may still be able to report the truth of all they witness in the occupied territories.
Lord in your mercy . . .
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Last Friday, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected a petition from six human rights groups to declare that ‘the Israeli military’s regulations that allow soldiers to open fire at unarmed civilians is unlawful’.
Lord, we continue to depend on your mercy and justice as Israel validates the use of violence against Palestinians through legislative means. We pray for the protection of those who exercise their right to protest against the occupation.
Lord in your mercy . . .
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On Thursday, Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli Defence Minister, said in a statement that he plans to seek approval for the construction of 2,500 Israeli settler homes in the occupied West Bank.
Lord, the Israeli government continues to demolish the homes of Palestinians and ruin their crops as well as appropriating their land to build illegal settlements for Israelis. We pray that the international community would undertake to hold the Israeli government to account for flouting international law. We ask that due process would be brought to bear on any attempts to colonize the West Bank.
Lord in your mercy . . .
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Last Sunday, May 20th, the Palestinian residents of the village of al-Aqaba received demolition orders from the Israeli forces. They were informed that twenty homes would be demolished within a period of sixty days as they were alleged to have been built without the requisite Israeli construction permits.
Over the weekend, Israeli settlers raided Palestinian vineyards in the Hebron area and used electric saws to cut down over 1700 vines. The settlers also spray-painted threats on the walls around the vineyards.
Lord, Palestinians continue to fall victim to the policies of the Israeli army and politicians. We pray for the safety of Palestinian villages and for renewed strength for the farmers who have lost their vines just months before the grape-harvest. Have mercy on the Palestinian people Lord, as they grow weary.
Lord in you mercy . . .
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Three toddlers were found dead in the Palestinian town of Bethany east of Jerusalem. Initial investigation by the police shows that the three children, two sisters and a friend, trapped themselves in an abandoned car while playing and died as a result of suffocation during a heat wave.
Lord, we pray for the families of Youssef, Raneem and Rahaf as they mourn the deaths of their beloved children and ask that they would find comfort in their grief.
Lord in your mercy . . .
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A Palestinian teenager died on Wednesday after succumbing to wounds sustained during protests in Ramallah.  Adi Abu Khalil was only fifteen years old when shot in the stomach by an Israeli soldier last week.
Lord, the Israeli occupation continues to target Palestinian children and teenagers. We pray for your spirit to comfort the family of Adi as they grieve for their loss. We pray that soldiers firing live ammunition at children would, one day, be held accountable for their action.
Lord in your mercy . . .

England and Wales: Al-Nakba re-imagined

walesenglandHow would you feel if:

  • You were Welsh,
  • and you lived in Wales,
  • and the English built a wall between England and Wales?

And if:

  • the English built a wall actually into Wales, dividing up villages and farms,
  • and stopped you from going to England, even to a nearby hospital?

And then:

  • built English towns inside Wales,
  • and joined their towns with roads that only they could use?

And then:

  • made it almost impossible for you to build houses in your country, and destroyed houses already there that they said were illegal?

 

Suppose the English did all this and forced it on you by military force, what would you feel then?

You would feel

Angry

Depressed

Full of despair

The whole idea is ridiculous.

It would be so unjust.

So how do you think the Palestinians feel?

This scenario is suggested by Friends of Sabeel UK, and describes the situation using England/Wales instead of Israel/Palestine.  The feelings expressed here are a natural consequence of colonization and occupation.  This describes a present Palestinian reality, and it can be traced back to the 19th century political ideology and aspiration of European, secular Jews, that found expression in the events of May 15th 1948.

In a ‘meeting of ministers’ just before the British general election, the Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, answered my question about this intractible problem.  Although he answered very well and showed knoweldge and integrity, he did admit to me that this one issue is the single biggest problem he faces.

This is the Day Israel celebrates as Independence, and the Palestinian Muslims and Christians as ‘Al-Nakba’ or catastrophe.  The whole world needs to turn this event from a catastrophe to a eucatastrophe, and in this regard, the Church, with her Resurrected Lord, must be at the forefront of this, instead of the eschatological horror show that is Christian Zionism.

free-palestine-end-occupation

Rev. Naim Ateek, the father of Palestinian Liberation Theology

This trip is very special as it is led by Rev. Naim Ateek, the father of Palestinian Liberation Theology and one of the cofounders of Sabeel.

Nine days in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, and the Sea of Galilee to meet Palestinians, visit holy sites, and experience the reality of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation: settlements, checkpoints, demolished homes and many more.

As a participant, you will also learn about the Bible and the Palestine Israel conflict and reflect on Bible readings through the eyes of Palestinian Christians.

Ateek Trip

DSC00428-1This is a picture of me taking a picture of the Separation Wall in Bethlehem in 2011 on a trip with Amos Trust.  It was on this trip that our group met Palestinian scholar Naim Ateek for a few hours as we discussed his mission and ministry. 

Al-Nakba Horror – Remembering 1948 and the ‘Trail of Tears’

nakbaMay 15th, 1948 – The Palestinian Catastrophe, known as ‘Al-Nakba’, also known as Israeli Independence Day.  One date, one land, two peoples, opposite ends of the spectrum – one people in deep trauma, the other in deep joy, a joy which is certainly tinged with a darkness of soul that must be continually pushed down and ignored.  It won’t stay there forever.  This anniversary is coming round again, and it is right to remind ourselves what is going on, to stand up for justice, for people, for God’s sake.

Alex Awad:

“Eighty percent of the Palestinians living in Palestine (what is now Israel – excluding the West Bank) fled out of fear or were forcibly evicted by the Zionists.  Most of those who were not pushed out lived on the periphery of the Zionist military action, particularly in the Galilee, and thus managed to stay put, primarily because a cease-fire was signed before they could be evicted.  It was essential, however, for the Zionists to prohibit those who left from returning to their homes, despite international pressure and UN resolutions, and despite Israel’s own promises, made in return for recognition and membership in the United Nations.”

UN Resolution 194

“Refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and those wishing not to return should be compensated for their property.”

“The 750,000 Palestinians who fled lost all their land and possessions in 1948 and became refugees.  Just as Jews in Europe were driven from their homes due to pogroms, Palestinians were forced to leave their homes and land because of Zionist ethnic cleansing.  In what may be termed a Middle Eastern “trail of tears”, refugees . . . trecked to Lebanon, Jordon, Syria, and other surrounding states.”

Palestinian_refugees_1948

Source:  commons.wikimedia.org

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