The Holy Land – What’s Next?

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Please join The Mideast Focus Ministry of Saint Mark’s Cathedral, the Bishop’s Committee for Justice & Peace in the Holy Land, and Kairos Puget Sound Coalition for this symposium, which brings together prominent voices from different religious backgrounds to ask where the struggle to achieve justice and peace in the Israel-Palestine goes from here.
Date: Saturday, September 24, 2022
Time: 1:00 – 4:00pm PDT
Location: St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Bloedel Hall, 1245 10th Ave E, Seattle WA. Both in-person and on-line (see registration)
Information: Event information here
Tickets: Free, Registration Here
Event Details

Participants will include:

  • Rev. Naim Ateek – Founder, Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center
  • Rev. Richard K. Toll – Founding Exec. Director, Friends of Sabeel North America
  • Rev. Don Wagner, former National Program Director, Friends of Sabeel N.A.
  • Jonathan Kuttab, Executive Director, Friends of Sabeel North America
  • Mark Braverman, Ph.D. – Executive Director, Kairos U.S.A.
  • Alice Rothchild, M.D. – Jewish writer and social activist for peace
  • Ranna Harb – Co-Founder, Falastiniyat (Palestinian diaspora collective)

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Illegal kings on Palestinian land

U.S. Army personnel meeting with Hebron Jewish settlers including Noam Arnon, second from left, and Rabbi Yishai Fleisher (R) outside Ibrahimi Mosque.  “A U.S. Military attache and security coordinator” were accompanied by Israeli forces, according to Hebron Fund, which posted the phone January 18, 2022.
Settler violence in Hebron exposes the true colonial face of the Zionist project, and the world cannot sit idly by while it continues.

By Mella Jongebloed | Mondoweiss | Aug 27, 2022

As Israel tries to prevent tourists from traveling to the West Bank by scaring them off, it is my duty to bear witness to what I have seen

A group of eleven young settlers pass by, aged somewhere between fifteen and eighteen. Two soldiers walk with them on foot and a military vehicle drives beside them. Along the side of the road are outposts where soldiers have their guns ready at any time. The settlers say something to us in Hebrew that we don’t understand, their faces show an arrogance that does not match their age. A few meters down the road, we see one of them spitting on a Palestinian man who sits on the staircase in front of his house. When we pass the man, we reckon he is mute. He mumbles unintelligible words, points with his arms at the settlers, seemingly upset but not able to tell what happened.

Continue reading “Illegal kings on Palestinian land”

Jerusalem: Diocese condemns Israeli attack on Anglican church

St Andrew’s Church, Ramallah (credit: ICN)
The Israeli raid on Al-Haq left a church community in terror.

By Independent Catholic News | Aug 19, 2022

The community living inside the church compound felt unsafe during the assault: The sound of gunshots, stun grenades, and the smashing of doors caused terror among the families living inside the compound.

The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East has condemned a “shocking” raid by Israeli soldiers on the premises of their church in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, in the early hours of Thursday morning.

In the following statement released later in the day the actions of the Israeli forces involved in the incident are described as “a violation of international law and a terroristic act against the entire community”

Continue reading “Jerusalem: Diocese condemns Israeli attack on Anglican church”

CIA unable to corroborate Israel’s ‘terror’ label for Palestinian rights groups

Israeli raid of Defense for Children – Palestine on Aug 18, 2022.  (Image Credit: Twitter: @DCIPalestine)
Sources say report shows CIA unable to find evidence to support Israeli claim, but finding does not prompt US rebuttal.

By Isaac Scher | The Guardian | Aug 22, 2022

…“the United States should very clearly call on the Israeli government to reverse these designations, and to allow these organizations to continue their vital work,”
— Omar Shakir, Israel/Palestine director of Human Rights Watch

A classified CIA report shows the agency was unable to find any evidence to support Israel’s decision to label six prominent Palestinian NGOs as “terrorist organizations”.

In October, Israel labeled as terror groups Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al-Haq, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, Defense for Children International–Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees.

Continue reading “CIA unable to corroborate Israel’s ‘terror’ label for Palestinian rights groups”

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: No Solutions, No Illusions

A new section of the Israeli Apartheid wall around Qalqiliya, in the occupied West Bank. (Photo: via

By Richard Silverstein | Tikun Olam תיקון עולם | Aug 10, 2022

But when Palestinian reality gives you a dead baby, you better admit something’s terribly wrong; and that you will never be able to fix it with good intentions.

Is there a solution to the conflict? I would argue, no.  Forever? No.  But for now, there is no reasonable chance to reach such a solution.  Has there been a chance over the past 70 years? No.  For the next 70 years? Maybe.

This is a tough thing to admit for someone who’s been devoted to the idea that there is a solution, and has been working for decades toward it.  But you have to look reality dead in the face without flinching, and say what you really see.  Not what you want to see.  The truth is very plain.  It’s staring us in the face.  We just hate what we see so much we don’t want to admit it.

Continue reading “Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: No Solutions, No Illusions”

#StandWithThe6: Statement in response to Israel’s overnight raid

(Video) FOSNA Executive Director Jonathan Kuttab, one of the founders of Al Haq, spoke with our National Organizer Rev. Chad Collins about last night’s raids. Watch now to get a clear understanding of what happened and what it means for human rights work in Palestine and around the world.

By Jonathan Kuttab | FOSNA | Aug 18, 2022

To label these organizations “terrorist” is to say that any documentation of or peaceful resistance to the Israeli occupation is illegal and will not be allowed.

Last night, Israeli forces raided the offices of all six civil society organizations that it previously labelled as “terrorist organizations,” including Al Haq. Israel ransacked the offices and then sealed the doors by welding them shut. While Al Haq said nothing of theirs was taken, other NGOs had many of their belongings confiscated. On the doors were left notices declaring that each organization is a terrorist organization and, as such, are no longer allowed to operate. Hundreds of soldiers were involved in this operation and tear gassed everyone who approached the buildings.

Continue reading “#StandWithThe6: Statement in response to Israel’s overnight raid”

A Reading with Don Wagner: Glory to God in the Lowest


Join our brother Don Wagner for a personal, political, and religious journey from Evangelical Christian faith and conservative politics to solidarity with the poor and advocacy for anti-war, anti- racism, and Palestinian rights.
Date: Friday, September 23, 2022
Time: 7:30pm
Location: Phinney Books, 7405 Greenwood Ave. N, Seattle WA
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free
Event Details

After serving for five years as a pastor in a remarkable Black church, Donald Wagner comes to fully understand the original sin of racism. As his journey continues, he encounters another marginalized people—the Palestinians—and witnesses their struggle for justice and equality. Touched by their resilience and fight against injustice, he leaves the pastorate to assume full time work as an advocate for Palestinian political and human rights.

The memoir begins in mid-September 1982, with a gut-wrenching day interviewing survivors of the Sabra-Shatila massacre in Lebanon, as they wept and waited for the bodies of family members to be pulled from the rubble. Donald Wagner’s conversation with the local Imam ended with a challenge: “You must return home and tell what you have seen. This is all we ask. Go back and tell the truth.”

Glory to God in the Lowest is a metaphor for his counter intuitive journey with the victims of the “chosen people” in the “unholy land,” also called historic Palestine or Israel. The irony of the journey reminds us that God is everywhere especially with the disinherited, the victims of the powerful, including the victims of Israeli oppression.

The memoir touches on history and includes political analysis and theological reflection. In it, Donald Wagner describes Israel’s continued colonization and destruction of Palestinian lives and chronicles his involvement in a grassroots movement of resistance that demands justice based on full equality, an end to the Israeli military occupation and settler colonization project, the right of return for Palestinian refugees, and full political rights for the Palestinian people.

Filled with stories—some humorous and some shocking—as well as encounters with people of every race, gender, and religious affiliation working below the radar, this book will inspire, challenge, and offer a narrative that envisions a transformed “unholy land,” where justice, liberation, and equality for all is the reality for every citizen.

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The line separating Israel from Palestine has been erased—What comes next?

Separate but not equal: the settlement of Modiin Illit rises behind the Apartheid Wall while a protestor waves a Palestinian flag in 2012. (credit: Majdi Mohammed / AP)
For 55 years, the Green Line has shut down our political imagination. Its disappearance gives us a chance to do things differently.

By Meron Rapoport | The Nation | Aug 10, 2022

The collapse of the Green Line, and no less important the collapse of the ability to imagine it, has set a new stage in the decades-long conflict.

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL-PALESTINE—More than a year after a wave of violence, rage, and resistance swept through the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, the events of May 2021 are still very much present in the minds of Israeli Jews and Palestinians. Two hundred and eighty-six Palestinians, most of them in Gaza, and 13 Israelis were killed during the 11 most intense days, but it was not only the number of casualties that left a mark. It was also the fact that the drama unfolded all over historical Palestine: in Jerusalem, in Gaza, in the West Bank, and most important, in Israel’s “mixed cities” such as Lydd, Ramle, Acre, and elsewhere, which was almost unprecedented since 1948.

Continue reading “The line separating Israel from Palestine has been erased—What comes next?”

Gaza: Cruelty without consequences

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(credit: Photo by Yousef Bassam)
Below is a letter about the recent (August 2022) Israeli attacks on Gaza.  NVI has long advocated for a nonviolent resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Please get involved. The status quo is horrible, particularly for the Palestinians. 

By Jonathan Kuttab | Nonviolence International | August 11, 2022

The biggest victory for Israel was in the muted response by the American media.

Israel is currently gloating over its recent operation in Gaza. It succeeded by all measures: Israel initiated the conflict, first by arresting an Islamic Jihad leader in the West Bank city of Jenin and dragging him out in humiliation, as he was bitten by a dog; then, anticipating a reaction by his organization, Israel proceeded to bombard Gaza “preemptively.” In three short days, the Israeli military managed to rain death and destruction on Gaza, assassinating another Islamic Jihad leader, killing 46 Palestinians (including 16 children), and wounding 460 others. Meanwhile, it suffered no casualties itself aside from a few lightly wounded by shrapnel. The world press largely followed the Israeli narrative, giving credit to Israeli lies that it was Palestinian fire that killed its child-victims. Israel succeeded in calculating and limiting the actions it initiated, as Hamas was both bribed and bullied into staying on the sidelines and Egypt quickly moved in to suggest a ceasefire once Israel felt satisfied.

Continue reading “Gaza: Cruelty without consequences”

What was the point of this Gaza war?

Palestinian children inspect the damaged to a house following Israel’s assault on Gaza, Rafah, Gaza Strip, August 8, 2022. (credit: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash90)

By Edo Konrad | +972 Magazine | Aug 8, 2022

Counterintuitive as it may sound, Israel does not actually want to topple Hamas; it needs it to uphold the status quo…

Three days after Israel launched its latest military operation in Gaza, it still remains unclear what the hell the point of all this was.With the announcement of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire on Sunday night, Israeli analysts have been quick to deem caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s “harmonious” campaign a success. After violently arresting Bassam al-Saadi, a senior leader of the Islamic Jihad movement’s branch in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli army put border communities around Gaza on lockdown for nearly half a week in preparation of an alleged retaliatory attack. It eventually began launching airstrikes in the strip, which were met with volleys of rocket fire from militants. The escalations have ended with 44 Palestinians killed, including 15 children, and over 350 more wounded.

Continue reading “What was the point of this Gaza war?”