Working for peace in Palestine-Israel

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graphic for peace between Israel and PalestineDid you know?

  • In Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory, Palestinians live under military law, while Jewish settlers live under civilian law.
  • Palestinian homes are being demolished.
  • There are severe restrictions on building permits.
  • Palestinian land is confiscated, and Palestinian agriculture is destroyed.
  • There is inequitable distribution of water.
  • Non-violent protestors are incarcerated and/or detained indefinitely.
  • There are segregated Israeli-only roads.

A few facts worth pondering

  • U.S. taxes help build illegal Jewish-only settlements on Palestinian land.
  • U.S. tax money helps the Israeli military destroy Palestinian homes, agriculture, and infrastructure.

Why should we care?

Jesus himself called for God’s love and righteousness to be exemplified in how we treat the lowly, the outcast, and the oppressed—not just in our society but around the world. The New Testament calls upon us to be peacemakers and strivers for justice. To stand silently in the face of Palestinian suffering does not honor our faith.

See Matthew 22:36-40 and Matthew 25:35-40,44-45.

What is the Israeli/Palestinian conflict about?

The conflict is about land and human rights. Starting in the early 1880s, millions of Jews left Eastern Europe to escape persecution and poverty. While almost all came to the U.S. and Western Europe, some went to Palestine to establish a Jewish state. At that time, the Jewish population was 5% of Palestine’s total. Zionist leaders stated that there was room for only a Jewish state in Palestine. A conflict arose between Palestinians and Jewish immigrants.

In 1947, the UN voted in a nonbonding resolution to partition Palestine. The Jewish state was to be given 55% of the land, although the Jews owned only 6% and made up only 31% of the population. In subsequent fighting, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forcibly displaced from the Jewish state, which then expanded to include half the land reserved for the Palestinian state, creating many more refugees.  Neither they, not their descendants have been allowed to return. Palestinian displacement began in 1948 and has been going on ever since.

In 1967, Israel captured and occupied the remaining Palestinian territories. Today, Israel holds thousands of Palestinians in jail, with 1.6 million living as second-class citizens in Israel, 1.7 million living under siege in Gaza, and almost 3 million living under occupation in the West Bank at the mercy of Israeli army and illegal settlers.  Another 3 million Palestinians live as UN-registered refugees outside Palestine, forbidden from returning by Israel.

Human Rights and International Law

Israel continues to build and expand illegal settlements in violation of the Geneva Conventions, despite repeated U.S. requests to stop. The settlements are Israeli Jewish-only communities, strategically placed on Palestinian land to control Palestinian territory and water.

In concordance with international law and past UN Security Council resolutions, Israel needs to end its occupation of the West Bank, Gaza strip, and East Jerusalem, beginning with the immediate freeze on the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land and followed by the evacuation or removal of Israel settlements, checkpoints, and walls/fences within Palestinian territories.

There should be equal rights and one law for all people in the occupied territories.

Action Groups

What can you do?

  • Join groups such as Delaware Neighbors Against the Occupation (DelNATO) to learn the facts and work to end U.S. support for the Israeli occupation. Read about what you can do by visiting the website and sign up to receive the weekly email newsletter and information about DelNATO monthly meetings.
  • Join the boycott of goods produced in Israeli settlements on Palestinian land called for by The United Methodist Church and The Presbyterian Church USA.  Don’t buy Soda Stream home soda makers or Ahava beauty products. Learn more about the boycott, divestment and sanctions.
  • Contact your congressional representatives to tell them you are concerned about human rights and the impact of the deteriorating situation in Palestine-Israel. Ask them to oppose bills and resolutions that continue to enable human rights violations or that provide U.S. military aid to Israel.