World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel

  • Ellen Teague

Source: Pax Christi

People of faith all over the world are encouraged to join the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel, 13- 21 September. It includes the International Day of Peace on 21 September. The theme is: 'Creative Solidarity in Common Fragility.'

The World Council of Churches has reflected that:

'In the extremely fragile situation in Palestine and Israel, we still believe in the power of prayer because only the Spirit of God can soften hearts and change attitudes. Prayer does not mean, however, resignation on the part of the people; rather it implies a creative solidarity combining a spiritual reference point and practical action. We need to restructure our response in a compassionate advocacy process undertaken in a spirit of goodwill and impartiality that transcends identity and religious affiliation.'

Pax Christi partner, the Arab Educational Institute (AEI), has reported from Bethlehem this week:

"People here are struggling to survive multiple crises: the coronavirus crisis with presently an upsurge of cases; the economic crisis, with tourism and many other sectors at a standstill; and the political crisis, with a creeping, practical annexation by Israel and its settlers and army which relentlessly goes on, step by step, day by day. But there are sources of hope, always.

The AEI is inviting people internationally to send AEI a brief (max. 30 seconds) video message in the form of a (creative) prayer, wish, poem, or song - or whatever you may think of. It says: "You could simply use your mobile for filming. In case of larger files, please use 'We Transfer' or another service for sending it, otherwise an email to [email protected] with cc to [email protected] Any incoming videos will be shared on AEI's Facebook page during the days of the international week, one by one, and at the end we will make a compilation of the contributions and put them also on Facebook."

In the UK, Pax Christi works with others to challenge the injustice of occupation and its violent effects on both communities, by taking part in lobbies of Parliament, weeks of prayer and action and other projects.

Pax Christi suggestions:

- Set aside time to pray alone or with others in your family/community. This could be in solidarity with the Friday prayer held at sunset near the checkpoint and wall in Bethlehem. Light a candle for peace.

- Hold an online meeting with speakers to raise awareness of the present situation in the West Bank and Gaza.

- Show a film with your family or friends - share in a ZOOM call or simply share the link. They illustrate how Palestinian communities are working to preserve their environment.

- Share a Palestine recipe with a group of friends, cook it and then gather, however you can, to enjoy eating it, play Palestinian music and share stories.

These short films illustrate how Palestinian communities are working to preserve their environment:

'Existence is Resistance' with Dr Mazin Qumsiyeh of The Palestine Museum of Natural History;
'The Water Crisis in Palestine' - a series of films from B'tselem
'The Olive Tree project' - a project of Embrace the Middle East
'Respect for the Environment is Respect for ourselves' - environmental education, produced by Palestine Institute for Biodiversity - part of Bethlehem University

Take action

Pax Christi leaflet on Solidarity with Peacemakers in Palestine and Israel. Can be downloaded and shared in churches.

Sponsor olive trees to be planted in Palestine

Make contact with an organisation in Palestine/Israel and send them a message of solidarity and make a donation if you can;

Buy Palestinian goods from Zaytoun or a local Fair Trader.

Write to MPs/elected representatives to raise their awareness of the situation in Palestine and Israel and ask them to contact Government Ministers to ask for those who violate international law and denials of Human Rights to be held accountable



Tags: Holy Land, Palestine, Pax Christi, Israel, World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel, #HolyLandPeace

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