Pictured here: The NGO Rebuilding Alliance led an activity for the children of Susiyaâ€”a village in the South Hebron Hills under imminent threat of demolition by Israeli authorities. The activity consisted of drawing the meaning of peace in a square piece of paper that was turned into a pinwheel, and pinned on a pencil. (23/06/2015)
Give thanks for the steadfast determination of
the people of Susiya, who have are facing the obliteration of their village at
the hands of Israel. Give thanks for
their Israeli and international supporters who recognize their right to remain
where their families have lived for generations, and who will help them
God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living. For he created all things so that they might exist; the generative forces of the world are wholesome, and there is no destructive poison in them, and the dominion of Hades is not on earth. Wisdom of Solomon 1:13-14
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.
Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) began with these questions:
What if pacifist Christians trained as hard for peace as militaries (including militant Christians) trained for war? What if pacifist Christians (such as the Mennonites, Brethren, and Quakers) were willing to sacrifice as much for peace as a soldier is willing to sacrifice for war? What could happen?
Christian Peacemaker Teams is part of the answer to that question. Having begun in 1986, in the crucible of Latin American solidarity movements, CPT has continued to thrive within various social movements as a creative, faith-inspired organization committed to undoing oppressions and to strategic peacemaking interventions in situations of violent conflict. Joining with you allâ€”people who belong to social movements, have risked a lot, sacrificed much, and experimented with healthier ways of sharing this planetâ€”enlivens our work. It is one reason we hold a Peacemaker Congress every other yearâ€”this year it will take place in Detroitâ€”so that our workers in the field can engage with you, our supporters. and new people interested in movement building.
Pictured here: Last week was the end of the school year in Palestine. On the last morning of school, our Kindergarten friends sang for us. These children who are filled with joy, also brought us a lot of joy. (27/05/2015)
In the rocky, dry hills south of Hebron, the village of Susiyaâ€”where human presence dates back thousands of yearsâ€”may soon be wiped off the map, if Israel has its way. On 5 May 2015, High Court judge Noam Sohlberg, who lives in the Alon Shvut settlement, denied the request by Susiyaâ€™s residents for an interim injunction on all demolition orders until the final decision by the Supreme Court. His ruling means that the Israeli authorities might demolish more than 100 houses, the kindergarten, the school and the clinic from this village at any moment, displacing more than 300 Palestinians from their residences.
Susiyaâ€™s rich history condemned its inhabitants. Israeli authorities decided to evict them based on its heritage value for Jews. In 1986, it forcibly displaced sixty families without compensation after declaring their village an archeological site. The villagers who struggled to stay tried to make do with the remaining plots of the 6,000 dunums of Susiyaâ€™s land, even though a nearby Israeli settlement with the same name had partially taken those over as well. Settlers established a synagogue outpost where Susiya once stood, along with an archeological park. Despite having some of its land legally under their possession, the Palestinian residents of Susiya found it practically impossible to rebuild their homes on their own land, due to severe restrictions of Israeli military laws in the West Bank regarding any Palestinian development, especially in areas close to settlements.
The month of May saw an increase in settler violence in Hebronâ€™s Tel Rumeida neighbourhood, where Palestinians live in close proximity to aggressive, ideological Israeli Jewish settlers.
On 9 May, a Palestinian woman and her two children from the Abu Shamsiyeh family in Tel Rumeida were on their way to go shopping. Settlers attacked one of her children. A Palestinian man pushed the settlers away from the crying Palestinian child, which made the settlers furious. They wanted the Palestinian man arrested for â€śpushing a settler.â€ť When soldiers did not arrest the Palestinian man, the settlers started harassing people and attacked a Palestinian woman trying to film the incident. The harassment went on for over an hour, during which they spit at and pushed people. The soldiers prevented many people from going to their homes. When the woman returned from the shop a while later, soldiers did not allow her to go home for quite some time. The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) documented the incident on video and wrote a full report. Read the report and watch the video here.