Kairos Palestine has issued the following statement today: A Call for the German Bundestag to Reverse its May 17, 2019 Resolution, 'Resisting the BDS movement decisively - fighting antisemitism' May 23, 2019.
Christians in Palestine are saddened and confused to learn of the German Bundestag's passage of a resolution condemning the International Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) and making it equal to anti-Semitism.
The Palestinian BDS movement embraces the logic of peaceful means of resistance against the ongoing occupation and the Israeli human rights violations and discriminatory measures against our people. It means inviting Israel to the ways of peace, even by instituting some kind of pressure to help the government to open its eyes and see the injustice it is imposing on another people, the Palestinians.
While the Bundestag intends to protect Israel, by the anti-BDS law; putting Israel above the law will not help Israel; on the contrary, by doing this you are justifying and legalizing its unjust measures against Palestinians and help them to sustain the occupation and state of war. Israel needs people and states who can help it reconcile with Palestinians and put an end to its permanent way of war.
Therefore, we ask with heavy-laden hearts, "What other avenue would our German brothers and sisters ask us to take in order to overcome this historic injustice, the uprooting of our trees, the confiscation of our land, the forced transfer of our people, the denial of our human rights, the indiscriminate killing and the denial of self-determination for Palestinians and their right to live in freedom and dignity, free of foreign control and occupation?"
As to the false charge of anti-Semitism, the BDS movement is rooted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It unconditionally opposes all forms of racism, including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.
A just and peaceful resolution to our plight is only possible with international support. But Israel is able to whitewash its many abuses of human rights and violations of international law because the governments of the world have turned a blind eye to the plight of Palestinians and failed to hold Israel accountable. This is why, in the first place, we called and call on citizens of the world to embrace BDS as a way to hold Israel accountable and pressure it to move towards a just peace.
Regarding the resolution, "Resisting the BDS movement decisively-fighting antisemitism", which singles out Palestinians, we ask you why there is no mention of:
- Israel's strangling blockade of the Gaza Strip for 13 years;
- Israel's declared annexation of Israeli settlements in the West Bank built on stolen Palestinian land;
- the daily humiliations to which our children are subjected at military checkpoints as they make their way to school; and to which women have become captive and restricted from accessing jobs and services.
- the unjust system of military law; a network of Israeli settler-only roads that restrict Palestinian movement and trade;
- and a separation wall judged by the International Court of Justice in 2004 as "a breach of international law";
- the nearly 700 Palestinian children who annually are detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system, in contravention of international law;
- and most importantly the denial of the right of return, the right for reparations, and right to self- determination for Palestinians that will guarantee their dignity and freedom from foreign domination and occupation.
The State of Israel, institutions and companies that are complicit in the denial of Palestinians' human rights are the targets of the BDS movement. Everyone has the right to criticize the unjust actions of a state and a corporation. The Palestinian BDS movement does not boycott or campaign against any individual or group simply because they are Israeli.
Finally, as written in the Palestinian churches' cry for justice (www.kairospalestine.ps), we believe that every human being is created in the image of God and that love is seeing the face of God in every person. We wrote in Kairos Palestine document" We do not resist with death but rather through respect of life. And we affirm that every citizen must be ready to defend his or her life, freedom and land".
Therefore, we join our Jewish, Muslim and Christian friends and people of good will around the world in calling on the Bundestag to revise its resolution and to realize that Israel needs friends who can pressure and advice it to take the road of real peace and reconciliation. "In the absence of all hope, we cry out our cry of hope. We believe in God, good and just. We believe that God's goodness will finally triumph over the evil of hate and of death that still persist in our land. We will see here "a new land" and "a new human being", capable of rising up in the spirit to love each one of his or her brothers and sisters". (Kairos Palestine 10.)
Kairos Palestine document is the Christian Palestinians' word to the world about what is happening in Palestine. It is written at the time when we wanted to see the Glory of the grace of God in this land and in the sufferings of its people. In this spirit Kairos Palestine requests the international community to stand by the Palestinian people who have faced oppression, displacement, suffering for more than seven decades. Our word is a cry of hope, with love, prayer and faith in God. We address it first of all to ourselves and then to all the churches and Christians in the world, asking them to stand against injustice, urging them to work for a just peace in our region.
Read more about Kairos Palestine here: www.kairospalestine.ps
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