A Moment of Truth Study Series #1

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PPT slides from week 1 of Study group

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PowerPoint Presentation:

Symons Valley United Church Wednesday Night Programs 3 Session Study November 14, 21, 28 Vicki McPhee

PowerPoint Presentation:

Symons Valley United Church Wednesday Night Programs 3 Session Study November 14, 21, 28 Vicki McPhee

A Moment of Truth: A word of faith, hope and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering:

A Moment of Truth: A word of faith, hope and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering Our Community

Purpose:

Purpose To learn about the social and political situation in Israel Palestine by studying the Kairos Palestine document written in 2009 by Christian leaders working in Palestine To listen in faith and attend to the voices of Christian sisters and brothers in Palestine crying out for justice and solidarity To respond t o the mandate of Canadian churches to journey with Christians in Palestine

Purpose:

Purpose To learn about the social and political situation in Israel Palestine by studying the Kairos Palestine document written in 2009 by Christian leaders working in Palestine To listen in faith and attend to the voices of Christian sisters and brothers in Palestine crying out for justice and solidarity To respond t o the mandate of Canadian churches to journey with Christians in Palestine

The Reality on the Ground: Maps and Background Information:

The Reality on the Ground: Maps and Background Information

International Law: Treatment of People Under Military Occupation:

International Law: Treatment of People Under Military Occupation The Fourth Geneva Convention: Article 49 Individual/mass forcible transfers/deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited Evacuated persons shall be transferred back to their homes as soon as hostilities in the area in question have ceased. The Occupying Power shall ensure that proper accommodation is provided to receive the protected persons, that the removals are effected in satisfactory conditions of hygiene, health, safety and nutrition, and that members of the same family are not separated. The Occupying Power shall not detain protected persons in an area particularly exposed to the dangers of war unless the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand. The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.

Settlements:

Settlements Between 1967 and 2010, West Bank land/water resources have been taken over for121 settlements & 100 outposts Nearly 500, 000 settlers live in the West Bank All settlements and the bypass roads & tunnels that support them are illegal Named as a major obstacle to peace by the international community

Separation Areas A, B & C:

Separation Areas A, B & C Area A: under Palestinian administrative and security authority (enclaves of Palestinian cities in West Bank) Area B: includes many Palestinian villages is administered by Palestinian Authority but under Israeli m ilitary authority Area C: under full Israeli military and administrative authority Areas B & C are broken into enclaves separated from each other by roads (built for the exclusive use of Israeli military and Jewish settlers), checkpoints & separation barrier

Separation Barrier aka The Wall:

Separation Barrier aka The Wall

Separation Barrier aka The Wall:

Separation Barrier aka The Wall

Separation Barrier aka The Wall:

Separation Barrier aka The Wall

PowerPoint Presentation:

Symons Valley United Church The Reality on the Ground Section 1 1.1 “They say: Peace, peace’ when there is no peace” (Jer. 6:14). These days, everyone is speaking about peace in the Middle East and the peace process. So far, however, these are simply words; the reality is one of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, deprivation of our freedom and all that results from this situation:

PowerPoint Presentation:

Symons Valley United Church The Reality on the Ground 1.1.1 The separation wall erected on Palestinian territory, a large part of which has been confiscated for this purpose, has turned our towns and villages into prisons, separating them from one another, making them dispersed and divided cantons. Gaza, especially after the cruel war Israel launched against it during December 2008 and January 2009, continues to live in inhuman conditions, under permanent blockade and cut off from the other Palestinian territories.

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Symons Valley United Church The Reality on the Ground 1.1.2 Israeli settlements ravage our land in the name of God and in the name of force, controlling our natural resources, including water and agricultural land, thus depriving hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, and constituting an obstacle to any political solution.

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Symons Valley United Church The Reality on the Ground 1.1.3 Reality is the daily humiliation to which we are subjected at the military checkpoints, as we make our way to jobs, schools or hospitals.

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Symons Valley United Church The Reality on the Ground 1.1.4 Reality is the separation between members of the same family, making family life impossible for thousands of Palestinians, especially where one of the spouses does not have an Israeli identity card.

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Symons Valley United Church The Reality on the Ground 1.1.5 Religious liberty is severely restricted; the freedom of access to the holy places is denied under the pretext of security. Jerusalem and its holy places are out of bounds for many Christians and Muslims from the West Bank and the Gaza strip. Even Jerusalemites face restrictions during the religious feasts. Some of our Arab clergy are regularly barred from entering Jerusalem.

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Symons Valley United Church The Reality on the Ground 1.1.6 Refugees are also part of our reality. Most of them are still living in camps under difficult circumstances. They have been waiting for the right of return, generation after generation. What will be their fate?

PowerPoint Presentation:

Symons Valley United Church The Reality on the Ground 1.1.7 And the prisoners? The thousands of prisoners languishing in Israeli prisons are part of our reality. The Israelis move heaven and earth to gain the release of one prisoner, and those thousands of Palestinian prisoners, when will they have their freedom?

PowerPoint Presentation:

Symons Valley United Church The Reality on the Ground 1.1.8 Jerusalem is the heart of our reality. It is, at the same time, symbol of peace and sign of conflict. While the separation wall divides Palestinian neighbourhoods, Jerusalem continues to be emptied of its Palestinian citizens, Christians and Muslims. Their identity cards are confiscated, which means the loss of their right to reside in Jerusalem. Their homes are demolished or expropriated. Jerusalem, city of reconciliation, has become a city of discrimination and exclusion, a source of struggle rather than peace.

PowerPoint Presentation:

Symons Valley United Church The Reality on the Ground 1.2 Also part of this reality is the Israeli disregard of international law and international resolutions, as well as the paralysis of the Arab world and the international community in the face of this contempt. Human rights are violated and despite the various reports of the local and international human rights’ organizations, the injustice continues.

PowerPoint Presentation:

Symons Valley United Church The Reality on the Ground 1.2.1 Palestinians within the State of Israel, who have also suffered a historical injustice, although they are citizens and have the rights and obligations of citizenship, still suffer from discriminatory policies. They too are waiting to enjoy full rights and equality like all other citizens in the state.

PowerPoint Presentation:

Symons Valley United Church The Reality on the Ground 1.3 Emigration is another element in our reality. The absence of any vision or spark of hope for peace and freedom pushes young people, both Muslim and Christian, to emigrate. Thus the land is deprived of its most important and richest resource---educated youth. The shrinking number of Christians, particularly in Palestine, is one of the dangerous consequences, both of this conflict, and of the local and international paralysis and failure to find a comprehensive solution to the problem.

PowerPoint Presentation:

Symons Valley United Church The Reality on the Ground 1.4 In the face of this reality, Israel justifies its actions as self-defence, including occupation, collective punishment and all other forms of reprisals against the Palestinians. In our opinion, this vision is a reversal of reality. Yes, there is Palestinian resistance to the occupation. However, if there were no occupation, there would be no resistance, no fear and no insecurity. This is our understanding of the situation. Therefore, we call on the Israelis to end the occupation. Then they will see a new word in which there is no fear, no threat but rather security, justice and peace.

PowerPoint Presentation:

Symons Valley United Church The Reality on the Ground 1.5 The Palestinian response to this reality was diverse. Some responded through negotiations: that was the official position of the Palestinian Authority, but it did not advance the peace process. Some political parties followed the way of armed resistance. Israel used this as a pretext to accuse the Palestinians of being terrorists and was able to distort the real nature of the conflict, presenting it as an Israeli war against terror, rather than an Israeli occupation faced by Palestinian legal resistance aiming at ending it.

PowerPoint Presentation:

Symons Valley United Church The Reality on the Ground 1.5.1 The tragedy worsened with the internal conflict among Palestinians themselves, and with the separation of Gaza from the rest of the Palestinian territory. It is noteworthy that, even though the division is among Palestinians themselves, the international community bears and important responsibility for it since it refused to deal positively with the will of the Palestinian people expressed in the outcome of democratic and legal elections in 2006 . Again, we repeat and proclaim that our Christian word in the midst of all this, in the midst of our catastrophe, is a word of faith, hope and love.

United Church of Canada Policies on Israel and Palestine:

United Church of Canada Policies on Israel and Palestine O riginated with the 40th General Council (2009) which, like a number of Councils before it, had received numerous proposals from around the church calling for specific actions in relation to Israel and Palestine . The 41st General Council (2012) upheld the United Church's long commitment to deepening relationships and supporting the voices of Palestinian Christians, coupled with a deep concern for the welfare and security of Israel. The Council affirmed continuing support for a two-state solution to resolve the turmoil in the region and as an option of offering security and justice for all of its peoples. The Council named the occupation, begun in 1967, as a major contributor to the injustice that underlies the violence of the region. It also denounced the ongoing aggression and incitement to violence toward the state of Israel and its people and all questions of Israel's right to exist or that seek to undermine its legitimacy as a state

United Church of Canada Policies on Israel and Palestine:

United Church of Canada Policies on Israel and Palestine Maintained the decade-long policy of the United Church in affirming Israel as a Jewish state Recognized that the Palestinian "right of return" was linked to the rights of all refugees in the world to return to their homes, and affirmed that a just resolution of this right for Palestinian refugees must be part of peace negotiations. However, it also affirmed that in this situation any resolution must protect the demographic integrity of Israel . the window for the creation of a viable Palestinian state is closing due to the continued presence and expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories . The settlements and the restricted roads linking them, together with the separation wall, annex land and make the creation of a viable Palestinian state increasingly unlikely.

United Church of Canada Policies on Israel and Palestine:

United Church of Canada Policies on Israel and Palestine Called for the dismantling of settlements within the occupied territories, the end of all settlement construction, and the dismantling of the separation wall in all places where it crosses over the "Green Line .“ D irected that United Church members be encouraged to avoid the purchase of settlement products, and that an information campaign on this issue be developed and offered to the church. C onfirmed the direction of the working group report that the church does not support the formal Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign, which calls not only for a comprehensive boycott of all Israeli businesses and products, but also for the full implementation of a Palestinian Right of Return .

United Church of Canada Policies on Israel and Palestine:

United Church of Canada Policies on Israel and Palestine A ffirmed that while the United Church does recognize Israel as a Jewish state, it is not appropriate for the church, as it had done in the past, to call on Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state as a prerequisite to peace negotiations . Palestinian Christians have expressed their desire that the new Palestinian state be secular and democratic. Affirming Israel's identification as a religious state makes it harder for those Palestinians who seek to ensure that Palestine does not also identify itself as a religious (Islamic) state . Affirmed the importance of deepening relationships with Palestinian Christians . Noted the negative impact of the teachings of hatred against Palestinians by some Israeli settler communities, and denounced those teachings and the violence against Palestinians that they engender.

PowerPoint Presentation:

Small Group Discussion Thoughts and feelings as you reflect on Section 1 of the Kairos Palestine statement What questions, affirmations and/or surprises did you have after hearing the Reality on the Ground information? After reading through the United Church of Canada’s policies on Israel & Palestine? Write down questions and issues that need further discussion or clarification

PowerPoint Presentation:

Thank you for coming For next week: Read Sections 2, 3 & 4 Session #2 Wednesday November 21 at 7 pm

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