Wednesday, April 25, 2012
There Can Be No Doubt
Thank you for your prayers for the Isr/Pal Adult class at Christ Memorial, finishing up this coming Sunday (10:15 in The Chapel). Last week, friend Lowey Dickason gave a report on her recent Christian Peacemaker Team stint in Isr/Pal with personal anecdotes. Habeeb Awad spoke about being a Palestinian in the US and the inane questions posed to him as a college student at one of our Reformed Church schools. We are trying to listen to the claims of both sides. This Sunday we will discuss "Where Do We Go From Here?", a variety of actions that will include reflections from Rev. Ed Mulder, head of the RCA when the Gen. Synod went on record supporting divestment from companies doing business in S. Africa at the height of the Apartheid administration of our Reformed church cousin Mr. de Klerk. We are listening to the call for help from Palestinian Christians, contained in KAIROS PALESTINE, inspiring a Kairos USA movement that is taking off later this year. One of the sticking points to further negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians is the insistence by the Netanyahu government on expanding its colonization of Palestinian land in the "West Bank", which demonstrates beyond any doubt that Israel has NO INTENTION of stopping the establishment and expansion of settlements on land that belongs (by international consensus) to the Palestinians. Friends, this is a serious matter and calls for serious nonviolent responses. Martin Luther King Jr called for the dismantling of the system of "segregation" in the US and asked his friends to boycott buses and businesses that engaged in discriminatory practices. There were some in his movement that were "violent" but it did not dissuade him from taking nonviolent action himself and responsible followers. Even though he was assassinated, the Civil Rights Act came into being and blacks became more enfranchised than ever before. This was a good thing. Let's allow for the fact that Prime Minister Netanyahu has to keep his settler wing coalition from falling. But it is the settler mentality that is driving Israeli politics now and outside pressure must be applied for any substantial changes to come about. We cannot expect the US government to initiate this action. Nor the Congress, completely in the thrall of the Israeli lobby. If it is to happen, it must come from Christians and Muslims who let their pocket books do the talking. Truly yours, JRK Israel legalizes West Bank settler outposts Amy Teibel Associated Press April 24, 2012 - 12:00am http://www.statesman.com/news/nation/israel-legalizes-west-bank-settler-outposts... JERUSALEM — Israel legalized three unsanctioned West Bank settler outposts and was trying to save another on Tuesday, infuriating the Palestinians as the chief American Mideast envoy was in the region laboring to revive peace efforts. The decision fueled suspicions that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hardline coalition would try to legalize as many rogue settlement sites as possible to cement Israel's hold on occupied land the Palestinians claim for a state. Netanyahu faces stiff pressure from pro-settler hardliners within his own coalition to fend off legal challenges to the unauthorized construction. Some hardliners have even warned that the coalition, which until now has been remarkably stable, could unravel over the issue. Palestinians claim all of the West Bank and east Jerusalem as the core of their hoped-for state, and see all Israeli settlement as illegal encroachment on those lands. They have refused to restart peace talks until construction halts. "We call upon the Israeli government to immediately stop all unilateral acts," said senior Palestinian official Nabil Abu Rdeneh. "Netanyahu is pushing things into deadlock once again." A string of Israeli governments have pledged not to build any new settlements. But critics say the settler movement, with quiet support from the government, has used the outposts to grab more West Bank land. Dozens of clusters of houses or mobile homes dot the West Bank, in addition to more than 120 authorized settlements. Netanyahu says the issue of settlements should be resolved through peace talks, which broke down more than three years ago over the settlement issue. Israel began settling the West Bank and east Jerusalem immediately after capturing them in the 1967 Mideast war, and 500,000 Jews now live there. The international community widely condemns the construction. The Israeli announcement came as U.S. envoy David Hale was in the region, on a new mission to restart negotiations.