Pushing for Change: Mideast Focus Ministry Film Series V
This Israeli narrative film gives us an Arab’s eye view of contemporary life in Israel. It tells the story of an emerging Palestinian Rap Artist who has issues with his family and confrontations with rival Israeli rappers. Fraught with complexities and confusions in Lyd (Lod) — we get a sense of how diffcult it is to get a footing to push for change.
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?
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John Bolton, right, speaks to Dan Gillerman, Israeli Ambassador to the UN, prior to a Security Council meeting in 2006. (photo: Mary Altaffer / AP)
Whether he consciously puts Israel’s interests first or whether he believes they are identical to US interests doesn’t really matter — the outcome is the same.
By Mairav Zonszein | The Nation | Apr 13, 2018
“[Bolton is] motivated more by power and opportunity — but he’s got ideology in his back pocket. Part of that ideology is that a good lie, told enough times, will persuade enough people to do what you want them to do. It’s perfectly fine, though it’s a lie, because the end justifies the means.”
— Former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson
In an ominous coincidence of timing, John Bolton assumed his role as national-security adviser on Monday, right as news broke of an air strike on a military airport in Syria operated by Iran, widely assumed to be carried out by Israel, and just two days after 70 Syrians died and hundreds more were wounded in an apparent chemical attack by the Assad regime in Douma. Exchanges of blame and threats between Russia, Iran, Israel, and the White House have overshadowed the consternation and horror with which many in Washington have reacted to Bolton’s appointment.
Representative Brendan Boyle (D-PA) called Bolton a “dangerous radical” who pushes “fringe conspiracy theories”; Senator Bernie Sanders said his appointment “should scare everyone”; and the former chief White House ethics lawyer under George W. Bush, Richard Painter, tweeted that “John Bolton was by far the most dangerous man we had in the entire eight years of the Bush Administration.” In The New Yorker, Robin Wright describes Bolton as “arguably the most abrasive American diplomat of the twenty-first century,” and an opinion piece in The Washington Post calls him the second-most-dangerous man in America.
Please join our brothers and sisters at Join Kids4Peace Seattle for their fifth annual spring celebration!
Help us recognize the many successes of the past year as we also look forward with excitement to upcoming programs. You will hear directly from youth involved in Kids4Peace and get updates on our work in the US and Jerusalem.
Tickets are $50 per person; there will be an opportunity to make an additional pledge of support at the event. The ticket price is fully tax-deductible, and all donations go directly to support the work of Kids4Peace as we develop a new generation of peace leaders.
Wine and coffee will be served, along with a delicious dessert buffet. Continue reading
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, left, greets Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir after a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Feb 26, 2018. (photo: Virginia Mayo / AP)
In Saudi Arabia, foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says Europeans and Arabs share common interest in Jerusalem.
By Raphael Ahren | The Times of Israel | Apr 16, 2018
“As Europeans and Arabs we share in particular an interest in preserving the unique status of our common Holy City, Jerusalem. And you know, you can always count on us Europeans to reiterate our belief that the only viable solution is the two-state solution, with East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine.”
— EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini
The prospects for the creation of a Palestinian state are “being constantly eroded,” the European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini warned on Sunday, vowing that the EU would never cease its support for a two-state solution that would see East Jerusalem became the capital of Palestine.
At the Arab League’s annual summit in Dahran, Saudi Arabia, she also vowed to work toward “preserving the unique status of our common Holy City, Jerusalem.”
“The situation on the ground is getting worse and worse. Tensions are high on the border between Israel and Gaza,” Mogherini said. “The viability of a State of Palestine — including Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem — is being constantly eroded.”
Palestinian journalists take part in a protest after the killing of fellow journalist Yasser Murtaja, near the Israel-Gaza border, on Apr 8, 2018. (photo: Said Khatib / AFP)
Minister provides no evidence; journalist’s colleagues reject the assertion as “ridiculous.”
By Staff | The Times of Israel | Apr 11, 2018
“[Liberman’s claims are] ridiculous comments that are not worth responding to. Yasser has been working for years in the press and making films for the United Nations, China and others. They killed a journalist and should confess it is a crime.”
— Rushdi Al-Serraj, Ain Media director and co-founder with Yasser Murtaja
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Tuesday said a Gaza journalist who was reportedly killed by Israeli gunfire over the weekend was a member of Hamas.
The claim was immediately rejected by one of Yasser Murtaja’s colleagues, who called the statement “ridiculous.”
Palestinians say Yasser Murtaja was shot Friday while covering violent mass demonstrations near the Israeli border. He was reportedly shot in the torso while wearing a vest emblazoned with the word “press” and filming in an area engulfed in thick black smoke caused by protesters setting tires on fire.
Palestinian photographer Yasser Murtaja’s final images eerily prescient as he documented the rising violence in Gaza before he was shot dead.
By Peter Beaumont | The Guardian | Apr 9, 2018
“Yasser Murtaja was a civilian and a journalist who was wearing clear press identification while he was filming the demonstrations at the Gaza fence with Israel. He was there because he wanted to document civilians exercising their right to peacefully protest.”
— Jan Egeland, Norwegian Refugee Council secretary-general
The drone floats above the farmland at the east of Gaza’s narrow coastal strip where beyond the fence — the transition is almost invisible — Israel’s border communities begin.
The video is among the last footage filmed by Palestinian photographer Yasser Murtaja in Gaza before he was shot dead by Israeli troops last Friday — and it eerily foreshadows his own fate.
Palestinian demonstrators walk through the flat fields, hold signs or sit in the shade of tents in the five border protest camps that dot the landscape from east of Jabaliya in the north to Khuza’a, a short drive from the southern city of Khan Yunis.
Murtaja died on the second of a series of mass Friday protests called the “Great March of Return,” which will culminate on “Nakba” Day (catastrophe in Arabic) on 15 May, which will commemorate the events of 1948 when, following the creation of the state of Israel, more than 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes.
Despite wearing body armour clearly marked with a press sign, Murtaja was shot in the stomach while covering the protests and died later of his wounds. He was one of nine Palestinian men killed in a space of a few hours.
Israel’s military says incident in Gaza Strip will be “thoroughly investigated.”
By Oliver Holmes | The Guardian | Apr 10, 2018
“Do you have a bullet in the barrel?” asks a voice off-camera in Hebrew. A crack is heard and the man falls suddenly. “Wow, what a video. Yes! Son of a whore!” another person says as people are seen running towards the victim to help. “Wow. They hit someone in the head,” says an off-camera voice.
Footage has emerged of an Israeli sniper shooting a seemingly unarmed and motionless Palestinian man in the Gaza Strip, followed by exuberant whooping from an onlooker.
Israel’s military said an initial inquiry found the shooting had taken place on 22 December, when one of its soldiers injured the man in his leg during what it called violent riots.
The grainy video comes after almost two weeks of daily protests by Palestinians on the Israel-Gaza border in which the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have fatally shot more than two dozen people and wounded hundreds more, according to Gazan health officials. . . .