A Letter from the Palestine/Israel Network of the MN Conference UCC

“WHY SHOULD WE CARE ABOUT PRESIDENT TRUMP’S RECOGNITION OF JERUSALEM AS THE CAPITOL OF ISRAEL?”

Dear Friends in Christ,

As we gather this Advent Season to sing the carols, tell the stories, and celebrate the coming of the Light of God into the world, let us also speak the truth of Bethlehem today – a Palestinian city on the West Bank, surrounded by a concrete wall and controlled by a brutal military occupation.

American Jewish author and activist, Anna Balzer, articulates clearly and succinctly what PIN (Palestine/Israel Network of the MN Conference UCC) believes to be the truth behind Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  Here is Anna’s message:

“Last week, President Trump declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel and announced plans to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, flying in the face of international law and reversing decades of official U.S. policy, and much worse, legitimizing Israel’s ongoing process of “Judaizing” Jerusalem – which is code for violently driving out the native Muslim and Christian population and importing Jewish residents in order to establish an artificial Jewish majority in a city holy to so many religions.

These devastating developments are also opportunities to shed light on what has been the reality all along:  full military and diplomatic U.S. support for Israel as it perpetrates war crimes in the process of its ongoing colonization of Palestine.  President Trump’s declaration has pulled the hood off the illusion that the U.S. could ever be an honest broker for peace.  It cannot.  People are understanding that it is up to us, people of conscience, in solidarity with the Palestinian people, to build campaigns to hold Israel accountable.  As we get angry, we must also get to work.”

In a recent letter, a Palestinian Quaker and member of the Ramallah, West Bank Friends Meeting writes:  “May we be mindful that both freedom and liberation involve responsibility, as well as action, to build God’s realm on earth as it is in heaven…  In the light of advent that shines in the darkness, we pray and sing ‘Emmanuel, O come, and we will rejoice’.  May we do so through our actions, priorities and service.”

Members of PIN offer ourselves as resources for further discussion.  Let us know how we can accompany you as you have this conversation in your congregation.

May you be empowered by the peace of Christ Jesus,

 

Palestine/Israel Network of the MN Conference UCC