Month of May Action for Palestinian Churches & People
In keeping with the decision of the SACC 2017 National Conference to offer active solidarity to the churches and people of Palestine; and indeed in accordance with the long standing SACC participation in the World Council of Churches programme of Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), the applications are now open for volunteers to spend three months of Christian solidarity in the Holy Land.
The SACC has requested a meeting with the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation to discuss a number of matters we need to raise on behalf of member churches, with the urgent matter of the deteriorating Israel/Palestine situation high on the agenda.
Below is the latest information and call for active solidarity from the Kairos Palestine South Africa Working Group. Churches are urged to offer special prayers for Palestinian Churches and People on Sunday 15 May 2018.
A critical moment has arrived for all in historic Palestine: an end-game phase of Israeli Apartheid towards the “successful” ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
Nakba Day commemorates the catastrophe of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in all of historic Palestine during the Israeli “War of Independence” after the Holocaust and subsequently after the establishment of the State of Israel. Four hundred plus villages were destroyed and the populations were removed from homes, villages and land, into exile or as internally displaced. The Nakba continues today in myriads of ways through brutal, systemic race-based discrimination by the State of Israel against Palestinians in Israel, the West Bank, Gaza and those in diaspora. More than two thirds of Palestinians live in the diaspora or in refugee camps as internally displaced. International humanitarian law regards systemic racial discrimination as a crime against humanity: the crime of Apartheid.
Voices from Palestine, including those from within Palestinian Christian community, have now declared that Palestine and Palestinians are in reality facing a clearly definable moment in the history of the Nakba: the final stage(s) of successful ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from and within historic Palestine. Neither the international community, nor the Christian community, or South Africa have heard and heeded to this voice.
We do however acknowledge and applaud numerous innovative and courageous initiatives in solidarity with Palestine and Palestinians including from within the Christian community and most notably also from within the Jewish community in Israel, internationally and in South Africa.
Therefore our struggle ultimately is to break, overcome and transcended the cycle of history whereby victims of injustice becoming the next oppressors. Such is the essence of just peace.
Historic Palestine can be a blessing to the world and to world history.
We commit ourselves and challenge fellow South Africans, and the South African government in particular, to:
- Stand with Palestinians in this particular moment of crisis and towards turning it away from the seemingly inevitable.
- Consolidate, as a matter of urgency, a principled, holistic and comprehensive strategy in resistance to Israeli Apartheid, including all possible peaceful measures including that of boycotts, divestments and sanctions.
- Specifically now affirm Palestinians’ universal human right of return and reclaiming illegally dispossessed land in support of the “Great March of Return”.
- Undoing our national scandal in Lubya (a Palestinian town located ten kilometers west of Tiberias, that was captured and destroyed by Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War) by having the South African name and national symbols removed from the “South African forest” in Lubya.
For information on how to apply to spend three months of Christian solidarity in the Holy Land, visit http://eappi.org/en/join/become-an-ea.
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