Saturday, September 6, 2014


As is now the custom, September 21 is the International Day of Peace. The theme this year is "The Right of Peoples to Peace."

The following week will be observed across many faiths as the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel. This theme is directly from the Bible:  "Let my people go."

The blog this week is a handout that can be used immediately and for the weeks until the observances. Copy the text, format it for two columns on a vertical 8-1/2x11 page, and print back-to-back.

All around us, our world is crying out for justice, freedom—peace. Here, in North America, in Central America, in South America, as in Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Mozambique, the Philippines and in Palestine Israel.

In the current issue of New World Outlook, UMC journalists give us graphic illustrations of the pain and suffering we cause when we treat the stranger among us as “the other.”

Nowhere is the contradiction of human rights versus human behavior more evident than in Palestine Israel. The Old Testament of our Bible is full from beginning to end of the human tragedy caused by injustice, slavery, and fear. And yet, even today, in that same country described from Genesis to Malachi, for more than 40 years, Palestinians have been virtually imprisoned and grossly mistreated; their property has been confiscated; their homes destroyed and families separated by the very people who received God’s mercy over and over…as do we.

September 21 is International Day of Peace, for which the theme is “The Right of Peoples to Peace.” Following that observance, United Methodists and people of all faiths are asked to “join together for a week of advocacy and action in support of an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine and a just peace for all in Palestine and Israel.” This theme is Biblical: “Let my people go.”

Did you know---
--Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid. Between 2009 and 2018, Israel is scheduled to receive $30 billion in military aid?
--129 Israeli children were killed by Palestinians between October 2000 and May 2012?
--1,334 Palestinian children were killed by Israeli security forces during that same time?
--According to international law, it is illegal for a country to acquire territory through force? Occupation is a temporary status: Annexation, confiscation of resources population transfer, and

destruction of personal property are all illegal under the Geneva Conventions.
--the path of the Wall does not follow the established Green Line border between Israel and the West Bank. It juts up to 13 miles into Palestinian territory, demolishing ancient olive groves, destroying the livelihood of Palestinian farmers, and completely isolating some villages from the rest of the West Bank.

The worldwide web is full of references and documents about the situation, from the creation of the State of Israel 66 years ago. Forty-seven of those years, the Israeli government—after having received a place to call their own—have occupied the area to be held by Palestinians.

Search the web for yourself. Places to start include…
·         Children of the Nakba
·         Defining the Barrier—A Washington Post Multimedia section on the Wall
·         One Family Fund: Video Gallery
(Click on “Galleries”  “Video Gallery”)
·         Testimonies from B’Tselem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories
·         UNICEF: Voices of Children in the Occupied Territories  (photoessays and Frontline diaries)

Will you join in this observance and pray with people of all faiths all over the world “for a just peace settlement and reconciliation, a peace in which there will be no more political prisoners behind bars and where harmony will prevail in the hearts of all the peoples of this region.”

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