Rachel Corrie: 15 Years Later (Sat, Mar 17)

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A fundraising event to raise $15,000 to sustain work in Rachel Corrie’s name.

Date: Saturday, Mar 17, 2018
Time: 12:30 – 3:00 pm
Location: Plymouth Church
1217 Sixth Ave
Seattle, WA  98101
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free admission
RSVP required here →
Event Details

Join the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice (RCF) in Seattle on Saturday, March 17, 2018, to remember Rachel Corrie and celebrate fifteen years of Palestinian solidarity and community organizing! In honor of 15 years of dedicated work around the globe, the Rachel Corrie Foundation wishes to raise $15,000 to support the programs that carry on Rachel’s vision, spirit, and creative energy!

This fundraising event will feature guest speakers Huwaida Arraf, Palestinian-American human rights activist, lawyer, and cofounder of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), and Cindy and Craig Corrie, founders of the Rachel Corrie Foundation and parents of Rachel Corrie. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear first-hand accounts of Rachel Corrie and the work of the International Solidarity Movement, what the last 15 years have yielded in terms of struggle and victory for the Palestinian people, the challenges of holding the Israeli and US governments accountable, and the impact of grassroots organizing. Continue reading

Church of the Holy Sepulchre closed to protest Jerusalem taxes

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Jesus’s tomb inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem. (photo: Lior Mizrahi / Getty Images)

Reversing centuries of precedent, Jerusalem municipal authorities are placing liens on churches to collect $186 million in taxes.

By Griffin Paul Jackson | Christianity Today | Feb 25, 2018


“These actions breach existing agreements and international obligations which guarantee the rights and the privileges of the churches, in what seems as an attempt to weaken the Christian presence in Jerusalem.”
— The Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem

“All of our assets are frozen. We can’t pay for food, salaries, administration, nothing.”
— Anonymous official of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate


In an action not seen in more than a century, the leaders of Jerusalem’s churches closed the doors of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on Sunday in a show of united protest. The dramatic decision comes in response to moves by Jerusalem authorities to begin collecting tens of millions of dollars in taxes from churches, as well as proposed legislation to confiscate church-owned land.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre — considered by many Christians to be the site of Jesus’ crucifixion, tomb and resurrection — is jointly managed by a cadre of Orthodox and Catholic churches. It is one of the most-visited sites in Israel, and its closure came as a sudden shock, especially with Easter celebrations approaching.

In a defiant statement released at the time of the closure, church leaders called the municipality’s new policy a “systematic campaign against the churches and the Christian community in the Holy Land,” according to The Jerusalem Post.  Continue reading

Reading: Even in Victory (Sunday)

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Please join our brothers and sisters at the Mideast Focus Ministry for this important event.

This staged reading by Palestine Up-Close explores the points of view held by “wounded warriors” who were soldiers for the Israeli Defense Forces in Palestine. We discover their struggles as they push for a way to come to terms with their own actions.

Date: Sunday, Mar 4, 2018
Time: 10:10 – 10:50 am
Location: Bloedel Hall
St. Mark’s Cathedral
1245 10th Ave E
Seattle, WA  98102
Information: Event website
Admission: Free

Event Details

Our concern is to help balance the limited and confusing media coverage of the Holy Land. We use compelling films as an entry point for reflection and discussion. As Christians, we respond to Christ’s call to seek justice and love the oppressed. As Americans, we ask: Can we reconcile this calling with our government’s massive financial support of Israeli military operations? We hope the time will come when Jews, Muslims and Christians will again come together in harmony in the Holy Land.

In this series, we see how people pushed to bring about a safe country for the Jewish people, and how today others are still push- ing for safety and change. Do our efforts for change lead to peace and justice . . . or not?

More information here →

When a play about Palestine goes to American college campuses

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Gassan Abbas in Mosaic Theater Company’s “I Shall Not Hate.” (photo: Stan Barouh)

The play “I Shall Not Hate” is travelling across the country, performing at colleges, and creating conversations that otherwise are unlike to occur.

By Peter Marks | The Washington Post | Feb 23, 2018


“You’re going to the middle of a cornfield in Iowa and bringing the concerns of Gaza, and a part of the world that touches people — wholeheartedly.”
— Artistic Director Ari Roth


For Lindsay Acker and Austin J. Sachs, students at Eastern Mennonite University who spent 3½ months last year in the Middle East, the one-man play that came to their campus compelled them to grapple with all sorts of wrenching memories.

“I was in tears when the show ended, and my stomach was in knots the rest of the night,” reported Acker, a sophomore from Buffalo. “A lot that I had chosen to set aside — because dealing with it daily is emotionally, physically and spiritually challenging — just came back to the surface,” explained Sachs, a junior from Harrisburg, Pa.

And for Gassan Abbas, the Palestinian actor from Israel who has been performing “I Shall Not Hate” in one college town after another, the experience has broadened his understanding of the compassion in this country — as well as a sense of its myopia about the world. “It’s important for me to emphasize that the American people are very naïve,” the plain-spoken performer said in Hebrew, in an interview conducted with the help of an Israeli interpreter, Sivan Atzmon. About his region of the world, he added: “They know nothing.”

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Film: 1948, Creation and Catastrophe (Fri, Mar 16)

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Pushing for Change: Mideast Focus Ministry Film Series V

Through riveting and moving personal recollections of Palestinians and Israelis, “1948” reveals the shocking events of the most pivotal year in the most controversial conflict in the world. Seen through the eyes of those who lived it, we see people pushing for change after suffering years of injustice and Holocaust.

Date: Friday, Mar 16, 2018
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Reception for the director: 6:15 – 7:00 pm
Location: Bloedel Hall
St. Mark’s Cathedral
1245 10th Ave E
Seattle, WA  98102
Information: Event website
Admission: Free

Event Details

Our concern is to help balance the limited and confusing media coverage of the Holy Land. We use compelling films as an entry point for reflection and discussion. As Christians, we respond to Christ’s call to seek justice and love the oppressed. As Americans, we ask: Can we reconcile this calling with our government’s massive financial support of Israeli military operations? We hope the time will come when Jews, Muslims and Christians will again come together in harmony in the Holy Land.

In this series, we see how people pushed to bring about a safe country for the Jewish people, and how today others are still push- ing for safety and change. Do our efforts for change lead to peace and justice . . . or not?

More information here →

Defending activism and the power of boycotts

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Photojournalist and columnist Robert Azzi. (photo: Kimball Library)

Whether one is for or against a particular boycott, it is important to recognize that boycotts are internationally affirmed and constitutionally protected forms of political expression.

By Robert Azzi | Concord (NH) Monitor | Feb 17, 2018


“A quarter-century ago I barnstormed around the United States encouraging Americans, particularly students, to press for divestment from South Africa. Today, regrettably, the time has come for similar action to force an end to Israel’s long-standing occupation of Palestinian territory and refusal to extend equal rights to Palestinian citizens. . . . This harsh reality endured by millions of Palestinians requires people and organizations of conscience to divest from those companies . . . profiting from the occupation and subjugation of Palestinians.”
— Bishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (2012)


In 1947, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), together with the British Friends Service Council, accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of all Quakers. Chairman Gunnar Jahn, in awarding the prize, said, “The Quakers have shown us that it is possible to carry into action something which is deeply rooted in the minds of many; Sympathy with others; the desire to help others; that significant expression of sympathy between men, without regard to nationality or race; feelings which, when carried into deeds, must provide the foundation of a lasting peace. For this reason they are today worthy.”

Today, on the United States Holocaust Memorial website one reads that AFSC “became an important part of a rescue network helping refugees. The group worked in French internment camps, hid Jewish children, and assisted thousands of Jewish and non-Jewish refugees with their immigration and resettlement to the United States.”

Today, to many supporters of Israel, AFSC seems less worthy.

Continue reading

Take down that wall in East Jerusalem

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Palestinian teenagers work at a carwash in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi al-Joz, Nov 17, 2017. (photo: Ammar Awad / Reuters)

The municipality of Jerusalem is considering changing the city’s boundaries to exclude Palestinian refugee camps.

By Moshe Arens | Haaretz | Feb 19, 2018


[Jerusalem officials] are concerned that the influx of Palestinians . . . has substantially changed the demographic balance between Jews and Palestinians in Jerusalem. Some demographic projections indicate that in time Palestinians might even constitute a majority in the city.


In one of the impetuous acts he was known for, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon approved the building of a wall — the separation barrier — within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, separating the Shoafat refugee camp and the Kafr Aqab neighborhood from the rest of Jerusalem. Like the infamous Berlin Wall, it divided one part of the city from the other.

The result causes great inconvenience to the local people, who must go through checkpoints to enter Jerusalem’s other areas. This includes not only those who work in Jerusalem’s other areas but also children attending schools away from where their families reside.

But that wall brought about another regrettable result. Whereas East Jerusalem’s residential areas have suffered criminal neglect for 50 years, with the wall Shoafat and Kafr Aqab have been completely abandoned by the municipality and the police. They in effect have become a no-man’s-land where drug trafficking and other crime flourish, and anarchy prevails. Neither the government nor the municipality seemed to care about the fate that befell the residents, most of whom are by law recognized as permanent residents of Jerusalem and thereby of Israel, and continue to have the option of applying for Israeli citizenship.

Continue reading