In and with genuine love and respect for all those who live in the land three faith traditions call holy — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — members of the United Church of Canada are being urged this Advent by their church to begin non-violent resistance to actions of the State of Israel which demonstrably stand in the way of peace in Palestine Israel.
It is very difficult for those of us who have not visited the region to understand what has most recently come to pass since the 1948 partition in the area that led to the creation of the State of Israel and a large stateless population of Palestinians. In Hamilton Presbytery we have been blessed with explanations by three of our number who in recent months accepted the invitation of our Palestinian brothers and sisters in faith to “come and see.”
What they saw confirmed that which our General Council has asked us to open our eyes to see: the destruction of homes, the expropriation of property, the building of security walls on Palestinian land, the development of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank of the Jordan River. All of these actions truly stand in the way of peace. All of them are being carried out in direct contravention of Geneva conventions regarding the obligation of occupying forces. The occupation is destructive of human lives in Palestinian territories, and it is corrosive of the very spirit of democracy which the State of Israel claims it seeks to safeguard and promote in the region.
The occupation needs to end.
We members of the United Church of Canada are being encouraged to pray for this, to study it, and to act to help bring it about. Here is a link to the United Church of Canada webpage that outlines the pray, study, act elements of our UCC initiative.
On Tuesday, December 3 at 12 noon we members of the United Church will be joined by other groups expressing solidarity with our initiative for peace at the Federal Building in Hamilton at 55 Bay Street North. We will pray, reflect, sing, and then be invited into a non-violent act of protest. To begin.
To begin. Be there if you can.