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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Kairos Christmas Alert 2014

We uploaded the Christmas Alert for 2014 in 11 languages! Download your copy now and spread the word! Merry Christmas!

 

DOWNLOAD: Arabic | Bahasa Indonesia | Catalan | Danish | Dutch | English | Filipino | Finnish | French | German | Spanish

 

Introduction by Rifat Odeh Kassis*:

 

Another Christmas is approaching, and injustice in the land of peace remains rampant. This time again, we pray that the coming year will be different: that violence will cease, impunity will end, and peace with justice will begin to flourish. On the 26th of November 2013, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 2014 the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (IYSPP) and requested the Committee of the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to organize activities to be held throughout the year, in cooperation with Governments, relevant organizations of the United Nations system, intergovernmental organizations and civil society organizations. But, in fact, it has turned out to be one of the bloodiest and most painful years for Palestine. As I write these words, the government of Israel is waging a brutal war against Gaza. Hundreds of Palestinian civilians have been killed, including scores of children – the death toll today exceeds 1,400 with more than 8, 000 injured. The destruction is staggering. The killing of a child, of a son or daughter, of a mother or father, can never be compensated or reversed. These wounds will ache forever. But at times like these, we must also pay attention to what we can do, not just to what we can’t. Let’s think of the millions of Palestinian refugees around the world and how we can support them, advocate for them, and demand their right of return. Let’s think of the millions of Palestinian families separated by Israel’s land-grabbing, wall-constructing, movement restrictions, residency revocations, and how we can campaign for their reunification. And let’s think, too, of all the Palestinians imprisoned by Israel – many of them children, women, and the elderly; many of whom have never been charged or tried; many of whom have been incarcerated for years upon years. They have suffered immensely, and 56 so have their families. I am focusing on this latter plight because the World Council of Churches “World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel” (WCC/WWPPI) has chosen 2014 to be the year of prisoners, a year dedicated to solidarity with them. Indeed, we can do a lot for prisoners: we can work to reverse the injustices committed against them. We can pray for them and their loved ones, we can demand better treatment for them, and we can advocate and lobby for their legal rights and for their release. Many countries all over the world will be taking part in this Week of 21-28 September, carrying out activities in solidarity with prisoners and their families. In this Christmas alert, we choose one Sunday during the advent to do the same: to shed light on the situation they face and to express compassion and support in the name of peace with justice. Special attention must be paid to the situation of minors in detention. It is unacceptable that, in the twenty-first century, children as young as 12 are being arrested, detained, and tried in military courts. But this is exactly what is happening in Israel – an average of two children are arrested and abused there every night – and this reality must be changed. We know it can be changed if we come together against oppression; if we settle for nothing less than true equality; if we unite in faith, hope and love. Your solidarity is essential, and we are grateful for it. We feel that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) against the Israeli occupation is one of the main elements in solving this conflict peacefully. We are counting on you to be involved in implementing this campaign and advocating for it. With this Christmas Alert, we are asking you to turn the tide by getting involved through the following activities: Please distribute and study background materials and theological reflections in your own churches each Sunday of Advent to inform and educate your sisters and brothers about the situation of your Palestinian brethren living under Israeli occupation. Please share the alert with congregations and dioceses across your country. Please send letters of solidarity and support for justice in Palestine/Israel to the Israeli embassies in your own country. For further information, see www.allembassies.com/israeli_embassies.htm. Please come and see. We will fulfill our role in sharing the truth of our reality with you, receiving you as pilgrims coming to pray, carrying a message of peace, love and reconciliation. You will get to know the facts and the people of this land, Palestinians and Israelis alike. Please inform your Palestinian brethren about the way you have been involved with the Christmas Alert by writing us at this email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. With your help and solidarity, we can finally live in peace with justice: the peace that all people aspire to, the peace that was announced in Bethlehem. *Rifat Odeh Kassis is general coordinator of Kairos Palestine.

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Kairos Palestine: A moment of truth
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