On Saturday, the 4th of August at least 100,000 Israelis attended a Druze-led demonstration against the Nation-State law in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. Further efforts have been made by Israeli-Arab leaders to express their opposition to the controversial law as they filed the fourth petition to the High Court of Justice against the law on Tuesday the 7th of August.
- Lord, we pray that the pleas for justice and righteousness may be heard throughout Israel and around the world. Lord, in your mercy….
Benjamin Ladraa is a 25-year-old Swedish activist who is on a 3000 mile walk from Gothenburg, Sweden to Jerusalem to raise awareness about human rights violations in the occupied territories. Over the past eleven months he has walked through fifteen different countries. The Israeli authorities prevented Ladraa from entering Palestine when he arrived at the Allenby Bridge, on the Jordanian-Palestinian border.
- Lord, we give thanks for Benjamin Ladraa and for all the people of conscience who are committed to justice and peace and are determined to speak out about the plight of the Palestinians living under occupation. Lord, in your mercy
Once again, the United States has vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s use of force in seeking to stifle protests at the border with Gaza. The US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, rejected the Kuwaiti resolution – which sought ‘measures to guarantee the safety and protection’ of Palestinian civilians.
- Lord, we give thanks for all the people who continue to pursue protection and justice for Palestinians. Dear God, grant the Palestinian people the strength to continue the struggle to achieve independence and freedom. Lord in your mercy…
Sabeel Wave of Prayer
There continue to be new settlements approved in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. There are now plans to evict several Palestinian families from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in order to build new homes for settlers.
- God of justice, we watch in anger and frustration as more Palestinian land is taken for illegal settlement construction and expansion, and as Palestinian communities in East Jerusalem are isolated from each other. We pray for the end of illegal settlement building, which threatens peace with justice in this land, and we pray for the families who are at risk of losing their homes.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer…
The water shortage in the West Bank continues. This is a result of years of Israel’s discriminatory water policies. The amount of water allowed to the West Bank has not been increased since 1995, although its population has almost doubled since then. As a result, the average Israeli has access to 2-3 times the World Health Organization’s recommended minimum water allowance per day, while the average Palestinian living in the West Bank has access to only 75% of that minimum amount.
- Lord, water is a source of life, and we pray for the people living in Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem who continue to live with restricted water supplies, especially during this unusually hot summer, while others in Israel and in the settlements have uninterrupted access to water.
Lord, in your mercy…
Palestinians from the West Bank who work inside Israel are subject to many forms of discrimination. This includes denial of permits, checkpoint closures preventing workers from getting to their jobs, and lack of enforcement of laws intended to protect the rights of workers.
- God, we pray for the many people who pass through checkpoints for work, prayer, medical appointments, and to visit friends and family. We pray that the systems that separate people and restrict their movements will be dismantled, and that all people will be able to have equal opportunity to support their families.
Lord, in your mercy…
We mourn for several tragic deaths that occurred recently. One tragedy was the death of a mother and her five children in a car accident on the way to Nablus. We also mourn the accidental drowning of a young man in Tiberias and the injury of his friend, who is still in the hospital.
- Lord, be with those closest to the people who have died. Comfort their families in this time of grief. We also pray for a quick and complete recovery for the young man who is still in the hospital.
Lord, in your mercy…
Today, Mennonite Church USA is voting on a resolution called “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine,” which proposes that the church commit itself to advocacy and economic actions such as divestment from companies which profit from the occupation.
- Lord, we think of the Mennonite Church this week as they consider ways to support work for a just peace. Much careful and prayerful work has been done to bring the resolution to this point, and we pray that the delegates will have the courage to commit themselves and their communities to standing with people who are suffering from occupation, violence, and discrimination.
Lord, in your mercy…
We join the World Council of Churches in praying for the countries of Sudan, South Sudan, and Uganda. Lord, in your mercy…
REPORT OF SABEEL / AL LIQA CHRISTIAN- MUSLIM IFTAR (breaking the fast) JUNE 25 IN BETHLEHEM
The theme for this year’s dinner was “For better education for Muslims and Christians’ and we were pleased to have as guest speakers Patriarch Michel Sabbah and Dr Hamzeh Diab Mustafa. Sabeel was responsible for the organizing and promotion of the event at the Bethlehem Hotel and Dr Geries Khoury of Al LIqa welcomed everyone and moderated the panel discussion.
PatriarchMichel highlighted the very important topic regarding the educationsystem and the importance of evaluating the things we are teaching our children at school. He stressed the need for expanding spaces for the ‘living together’ issue in out teachings and knowing the ‘other’.
Close to 100 people from the local community attended and a lively discussion was prompted by the speakers. Afterward everyone enjoyed a traditional Iftar , an evening meal when Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset.
A Joint statement came out as a result of this event that was publicized in the local newspaper. We thank the Mennonite Central Committee, Palestine/Israel for their support in this important Interfaith work of bringing Christians and Muslims together for discussion and fellowship. Without this and more events like this we fear that isolation, misunderstandings and extremism will only grow.
SABEEL’S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE 2011
Envisioning a world where peace with justice reigns
The message of the angel to the shepherds was one of liberation, “Fear not, for I bring you tidings of great joy which will be for all people…” As the company of angels joined the first messenger and gave glory to God, they emphasized the gift of peace and goodwill. The only possibility for peace and goodwill is through work for justice; work that moves the world in a direction away from empire, away from war, and toward God’s vision of peace and reconciliation. The birth of Jesus in Bethlehem embodies this movement.
Sabeel started the year 2011 in a way that reflected this embodied movement with its 8th international conference. Titled “Challenging Empire: God, Faithfulness, and Resistance” we gathered over 300 participants from around the world to give glory to God, and analyze the situation of empire which makes the realization of peace with justice difficult in Palestine-Israel.
We continued throughout the year to examine the concept and reality of empire through Sabeel’s grassroots programs (for the community, women, clergy, and youth). As 2011 approaches its end, we offer the following Christmas message: Read More Arabic