I read and hear in the news that a ceasefire may be in development between Hamas and the Israeli government. However, I also hear that the two combatants will not consider a ceasefire before they each reach their respective “objectives”. How is that a ceasefire? Is not a ceasefire a halt to hostilities, before military objectives are achieved? And what underlies military objectives? I believe that political-economic factors are driving the violence.
Why only reach for a ceasefire? More resolution is needed regarding the Israeli government’s illegal occupation of Palestine, particularly the blockade of Gaza. Human beings in the Gaza strip have nowhere to go, as the Israeli army pushes into Gaza from the air and on the ground. Where is compassion in this moment?
I appreciate the prayer that Gary Paterson, the Moderator of the United Church of Canada (UCC), offered on 15 July 2014 (here). What action might be taken, now? I have just written to the Moderator asking that the UCC release a public statement to Canadian society and to the federal government to speak on the world stage against the killing of civilians in and near Gaza. And to offer humanitarian and medical assistance to those who are suffering. Please consider contacting the Moderator via this page (here).
The people of Palestine have been crying out for generations… They have gifted so many Ecumenical Accompaniers like me with their stories of non-violent efforts to seek a just peace. For example, click here , here, and here. Note: I served in Group 38 with EAPPI. Currently, members of Group 53 are preparing to travel to Palestine and Israel in August.
Peoples in Israel who have also suffered from the occupation and seek a just peace have been speaking out for years…They, too, have shared their stories with Ecumenical Accompaniers. For example, click here and here.
Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek of Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, Jerusalem, speaks out… Click here.
Jewish Voice for Peace in the United States is advocating against American support the arms trade with Israel. Sign this petition here.
Independent Jewish Voices in Canada speaks out. Friends there encourage us to write to Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird and to your Member of Parliament here.
My Muslim friend speaks out… Click here.
KAIROS speaks out… Click here.
The World Council of Churches speaks out… Click here.
The Dalai Lama speaks out… Click here.
What say you?