Recent CPTnet stories

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Stop the Hebron Fund! New resource available.



Every Saturday, Israeli and foreign tourists gather in Hebron’s Old City for a tour that presents a false and racist history of Hebron and denies the legacy of Muslims and Jews living together for centuries. The tour is accompanied by dozens of Israeli soldiers and Border Police, who ID check and detain Palestinians. In December 2014, soldiers detained thirty-nine Palestinians, including fourteen children, and thereby preventing them from leaving or returning to their homes. Between December 2014 and March 19, 2015, soldiers invaded thirty-five homes, mostly to use these families’ rooftops as lookout posts. Settlers and tourists frequently chant as they walk through Palestinian neighborhoods, and sometimes yell threats at local children.

Nonviolent resistance to this invasion occurs every week. Palestinians who live in the neighborhood refuse to be bullied into staying off the streets. Many document the tour with their phones and video cameras.

We at Christian Peacemaker Teams – Palestine started a petition just over a month ago, demanding that the Hebron Fund, the group that organizes these tours, cease this weekly harassment of Palestinian neighborhoods. To date we have collected over 450 signatures.

Now, we are calling on all people to cease donations to the Hebron Fund. Many synagogues in the United States, and some churches, make donations to the Hebron Fund. Many do not know the full extent of what their money does. We have produced a pamphlet that helps explain who the Hebron Fund is and the damage they cause in Hebron’s Old City.

You can download the half-sheet individually HERE, or in a print-ready format HERE.

Prayers for Peacemakers, March 25, 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers, March 25, 2015

Pray for the children of Al Saraya kindergarten in Hebron, who must walk past Israeli military personnel and settlers to get to school near the Il-Ibrahimi Mosque.   In 2000, ninety-five children attended the kindergarten.  Now, because of settler and soldier harassment, only fifteen children remain at the school.  The International Red Crescent recently asked CPT to start accompanying the children on their walk to school, and several weeks ago, two CPTers were arrested while doing so.

 

 *Epixel for Sunday, March 29, 2015

[H]e who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together.
Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me. It is the Lord GOD who helps me; who
 will declare me guilty? Isaiah 50:8-9a

 *epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's  Revised Common Lectionary  readings.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A Week in Photos 8-14 March 2015

Below are some of the the CPT Palestine team's best photos for the week of 8-14 March.  A link to their page, with aids to signing up for their social media is available here.  Be a part of showing the the world the true face of Israel's military occupation of Palestine.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) REFLECTION: They seek to live freely, not to die bravely

I heard the bullet slam into the metal door up the street, and turned to look at my teammate with confusion—was that really a bullet? —when several rubber bullets came skipping up the street and stopped near my feet. At that moment, I realized that I would hate telling this story to friends in the United States.

The responses would be predictable‑“You’re crazy!” “You’re so brave!”

We were accompanying the annual Open Shuhada Street demonstration Shuhada Street, once the main market street in the old city of Hebron, is a desolate ghost town since the Israeli military closed it to Palestinians in the late 1990s, as punishment for protesting the massacre of 29 Muslim Palestinians in the Ibrahimi Mosque. Every year, Palestinians and international supporters gather to demand that the Israeli military open the street and allow Palestinians to move freely in the city. Every year, they are met by brutal, violent repression.

As I walked over to pick up the rubber bullet, I looked across the street and saw several young Palestinian men my age, trying to decide if it was worth attempting to march down the street or not. And at that moment, I understood why I would hate telling this story. The truth is, I’m actually scared of a lot of things—bullets, heights, snakes, big spiders, etc. I am very sure that I would not be out protesting if I was a young Palestinian man, growing up with constant military harassment, family arrested and tortured, friends killed, economic strangulation. I felt safer on that street because of my CPT hat and my international passport.

We can always find someone braver than us, someone who is sacrificing more. And often people do not sacrifice by choice, and they are brave because their very existence is resistance and there is no third option between resistance and death. Those of us who do not face this choice can find ourselves seeking moments of bravery, opportunities to prove our toughness by facing down the forces of violence‑the white/male/middle-class/USAmerican Savior Complex.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus is asked to come heal Lazarus. This would mean traveling to Judea, where the political leaders want Jesus dead. He holds off for a bit, but when he decides to go, Thomas says, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Thomas wants to be brave. He identifies the movement Jesus is building as about bravely facing death (unlike Peter, who at other points thinks that Jesus is an idiot for saying he will die, cf. Matthew 16). Thomas sees Jesus’ death as the central focus. Thomas would do well in a conservative evangelical church.

But this is not the story in John 11. Jesus does head down to Judea, and Lazarus has been dead for four days. If the point is a brave death, Jesus could have just sat down and waited for the political leadership to show up and kill him. Instead, he weeps with his friends in the death of their friend, he goes with them to the tomb, he asks for the stone to be rolled away, he prays, and Lazarus is raised from death. And then Jesus says this: “Unbind him, and let him go.”  Jesus frees Lazarus from the power of death.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) REFLECTION: Walking the broken path

The border police argued with my teammate about permission to walk the paved “settler path.”  Sound bombs and tear gas were exploding at Salaymeh, a checkpoint nearby. According to the soldiers, we could walk on the same path that the settlers could, but the boys and girls with us could only walk on the adjacent rocky path.

Palestinian children walking with CPTer
on unpaved side of road, while settler
walks on paved side

Border police uttered Hebrew words through his radio. My teammate engaged the soldier. The children looked afraid. I pulled out notebook and pen, got down on my knees, and started drawing.

“Pintemos un payaso,” I told them, knowing the children would not understand. First the head, then the nose, eyes, ears, hair. I drew a clown.

One of the girls smiled timidly and told me something in Arabic.

“No te entiendo, pero pintemos otro payaso,” “I don’t understand, but let’s draw another clown.”

I started again: head, nose, eyes, ears, hair. My drawings amused the girls. They giggled. The boys pretended not to be interested, but peeked discreetly so they could still see my art.