17th of November 2022
Next week’s Kumi Now will consider the topic of gender-based violence. Women in the occupied Palestinian territory face persistent gender-based violence through night raids, settler violence, collective violence towards their families, humiliation and assault from occupation forces, and the restrictions of a patriarchal society. This week, the United Nations observes the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on Friday, the 25th of November.
- Lord, we bring before you those Palestinian women who endure abuse and terror. We pray for them that they may continue to find strength to support their families, even as they dread the next night raid and agonise over their imprisoned husbands and children. Lord, in your mercy..
In October the new Australian Foreign Minister, Penny Wong, stated that the Australian Embassy will remain in Tel Aviv and not move to Jerusalem as planned by the former administration. However, she declined to commit to a timetable for recognising Palestinian statehood.
- Lord, we pray that more governments around the world will recognise Palestine as a state, call for Israel’s accountability to international courts and compel Israel to grant Palestinians the basic right of self-determination. Lord, in your mercy..
Violence broke out in the city of Nablus at the site of Joseph’s tomb in the early hours of Wednesday, the 9th of November. Armed Israeli forces entered the Balata neighbourhood, near the refugee camp, to escort a party of visiting right-wing Israeli members of the Knesset. During armed clashes Mahdi Hashash, a fifteen-year-old Palestinian youth was wounded by shrapnel and later died in Nablus hospital. It is not clear if he died from the Israeli gunshot wound or from an explosive devise he was reportedly carrying at the time.
- Lord, we pray for Mahdi’s family as they grieve the loss of his young life. In this year alone, 137 Palestinians have already lost their lives, among them 30 children. During the same period 22 Israelis have lost their lives through Palestinian attacks. We pray for an end to the relentless night raids, arrests and shootings by the Israeli military which enflame the conflict. Lord, in your mercy..
On Thursday, 17th November, Xavier Abu Eid’s new book entitled, ‘Rooted in Palestine’ will be launched in the American Colony Hotel. This book highlights the role of Palestinian Christians. Miguel Moratinos, the former EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process and the Foreign Minister of Spain, says that this book is, ‘a gripping account of the Christian-Palestinian community completed with great documentary rigour, and an excellent historiographical piece on the development of Palestinian history from the Balfour Declaration to the present day.’ Xavier is a Palestinian who grew up in Chile, has pursued his academic career in Europe and now lives in Beit Jala. He serves on the Sabeel General Assembly
Lord, we give thanks for the light Xavier Abu Eid sheds on the faithful service of Palestinian Christians through decades of oppression in his new book. We pray that his encouragement will strengthen the resolve of Palestinians to cling to their hope for justice and peace in their land, while serving those in need with compassion and love. Lord, in your mercy…
This week the ‘Palestine Cinema Days’ film festival opened with the screening of Maha Haj’s acclaimed film, ‘Mediterranean Fever’. This film won a prize for its screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival and will be Palestine’s official Oscar entry in 2023.
- Lord, we give thanks for Maha Haj’s storytelling skills and the way she uses the medium of film to give voice to the Palestinian narrative both at home and on the international stage. Lord, in your mercy..
There has been an outcry over the Mayor of Hebron’s recent offer of a reward to anyone who is prepared to round up and destroy stray dogs in the city. There have been concerns over dogs attacking children in the area.
- We praise you, Lord, for the earth which is full of your creatures. We delight in these creatures and ask for your guidance in how we best care for them and their environment. Lord in your mercy..
- We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. Lord, in your mercy..