Listen…to these voices…

that differ from the political-economic, dominant, ’empire’ voices of our time…

Listen to the Palestinians’ call for a just path to peace: here.

Listen to the Israelis who are calling their government to account: here.

Listen to Ecumenical Accompaniers like Jan in occupied East Jerusalem: here.

What does your voice say?

Please use your voice. As a Canadian, please contact your Member of Parliament (click here) and Foreign Minister John Baird and invite them to… Listen to these voices… to your voice…

If you are a member or friend of the United Church of Canada, please write to your General Council (GC) Representative (click here) and urge her or him to not only work toward the Implementation of the 41st General Council Motion on Palestine/Israel Education and Economic Action but also to call for the GC Executive to take that path NOW…toward “education and economic action” across the United Church of Canada and thereby across Canadian society… To raise awareness of illegal Israeli settlements and, through the clear labelling of products made in those settlements, to grow aware of the option of not purchasing those products… 

Helping hope to sail into the world – Gaza’s Ark

Building on efforts to highlight the lack of freedom of movement of Palestinians as a result of the Israeli government’s occupation of Palestine, here is a new effort: to build Gaza’s Ark…to set sail from Israeli-blockaded Gaza and across the Mediterranean. Click here to watch a video about this opportunity to help.

We, civil society, need to call, together, for an end to the Israeli government’s occupation of Palestine. To read about past efforts, see:

“Welcome to Palestine” (click here) movement, and

the Freedom Flotilla movement (click here and here – describing Jim Manley’s involvement; he is a former Canadian Member of Parliament and retired minister with the United Church of Canada).

How is this irrelevant?

Canadian Foreign Minister, John Baird, has in effect declared that the internationally recognized Green Line is “irrelevant” (click here and here; commentary here and here). So, he had coffee with Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (the Israeli government’s chief negotiator with the Palestinians) in East Jerusalem last week (click here); so what?

So… Baird disregarded international consensus on what is occupied territory and on Israel’s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem. He went along with Israeli government hopes that we might all forget that the status of Jerusalem is one of the “permanent status issues – borders, Jerusalem, settlements, refugees and water” (UN General Assembly media release, 12 Feb. 2010) yet to be resolved in terms of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

So…the line is named, green, based on the colour of the ink used in the 1949 armistice following the 1948 Nakba/Catastrophe (click here) or Israeli War of Independence (click here). I disagree with Baird’s suggestion that whether he meets on one side of the ‘street’ (known as Road No. 1 on Israeli government maps, one way to encourage people to forget that it’s the Green Line) or on the other is ‘just a matter of words’. On the west side of the line (in Israeli West Jerusalem), the municipal infrastructure is maintained. On the east side (in Israeli government occupied East Jerusalem), the municipal infrastructure is left to crumble by Israeli authorities. In addition, the fact that the Israeli Separation Barrier runs inside of the Green Line for 85% of its route (including within East Jerusalem as a high concrete wall) rather than along the Green Line violates international law (click here and here). The International Court of Justice (ICJ) (the principal judicial body of the United Nations) advised in 2004 that the sections of the Barrier that run inside occupied territory are illegal.

So…is Samer Issawi’s hunger speech…irrelevant? (click here)

So…is this call from liberal Jews and Israelis…irrelevant? (click here)

I remember this stark difference when I lived within a block of the Green Line, with occupied Palestinians, in 2010-2011. For reference, see how the Green Line runs between East and West Jerusalem: ocha_opt_the_closure_map_2011_12_21_jerusalem  . The dark red line on the map indicates the illegal path of the Israeli Separation Barrier. (For additional maps here).

So what?

P.S. I extend ‘thanks’ to I.C.L. Marshall for offering this response to this posting: “To the great shame of us, i.e. Canadians, John Baird, supported by Stephen Harper, pursue a policy that supports Israel’s occupation and unlawful behavior unconditionally. Such attitude will never bring peace and it concerns us all. We need to lobby the Canadian government to change their course. Please, write to Prime Minister Harper and Foreign Minister Baird to make it clear that Canadians are greatly disturbed by their policies and demands changes.
I.C.L. Marshall”

JLRT tracks on the Green Line - Jerusalem - 13 Feb. 2011 - Photo: Sherry Ann

The Green Line – between West Jerusalem on the left and occupied East Jerusalem on the right – 13 Feb. 2011 – Photo: Sherry Ann