Community for Justice in Palestine & Israel

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This community seeks to follow the model of the 1st Century Jesus by “speaking truth to power” in 21st Century Palestine and Israel. The pursuit of justice is based on building meaningful relationships between and among all people, using the definition given to us by Martin Luther King, Jr., “Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” This community works for justice in Palestine and Israel by raising awareness about the current situation there, sponsoring trips/pilgrimages to the Holy Land, networking with other likeminded faith-based groups, and advocating the pursuit of justice with elected policy makers. We believe that if justice exists, peace will be found. Contact GJ Tarazi or Dona Smith-Powers.

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Tell Obama to Keep the Two State Solution Alive

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of G.J. Tarazi G.J. Tarazi 4 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #238
    Profile photo of Kristy Pullen
    Kristy Pullen
    Participant

    Bob Tiller sent this for the Community to consider signing:

    http://action.cmep.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=20738

  • #239
    Profile photo of G.J. Tarazi
    G.J. Tarazi
    Participant

    Dear Bob and Community Members,
    I cannot sign this petition with good conscience. Palestinian desire for justice have not and cannot be well served with this failed policy. Here are my reasons:
    1. Obama did not kill this effort. Nor does he have the political capital to revive it.
    2. This two-state dream was effectively shattered and destroyed a long time ago by the policies and actions of Zionist Israel. They have stolen 78% of the West Bank, confiscated East Jerusalem and created the world’s largest open-air prison with their 8-year inhuman siege. They have built more than 250 illegal settlements on this stolen land in the West Bank and are subsidizing over 600,ooo illegal settlers. It is much more accurate and appropriate to call them colonies and colonizers. It is very much a throwback to European Imperialism and colonialism. Israel has also demolished more than 26,000 Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Israel has created these realities on the ground that have destroyed a two-state solution.
    3. The so-called “Peace Talks” for the past 25 years have been virtually a shell game. These protracted talks have not moved anyone even an inch closer to peace with justice. On the contrary. During these years we have witnessed the construction of the illegal apartheid wall, repeated massive attacks on Gaza and all those things I mentioned above.
    4. History has shown that the US is NOT a fair mediator between Israel and Palestinians. Israeli policies and actions have destroyed the possibilities for a two-state solution.
    5. Palestinians have finally learned that these talks and the US’s role in them have proven to be a farce have decided to talk their desire for human rights, civil liberties, and justice to the world community.
    Here is a wonderful article by President Carter that better describes the reality of the situation on the ground in the Holy Land.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2015/07/withdrawn-mediator-rejection
    I look forward to hearing from others in our community.
    Best,
    G.J.

  • #240
    Profile photo of Ralph McCoy
    Ralph McCoy
    Participant

    While I agree with a number of the comments in Ambassador Clarks letter, I cannot continue to support the concept of a two state solution as it is currently perceived and advocated by our government. Thus I could not personally sign the petition. G.J. has addressed this well. It seems clear to me that there will be no peace until the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem ends. I believe that should be the subject of focus at this time.
    Ralph McCoy

  • #241
    Profile photo of Leslie Withers
    Leslie Withers
    Participant

    Thanks to G.J. for clearly articulating why a 2-state solution is no longer a realistic possibility and why we must reluctantly cannot conclude that the U.S. is a reliable broker or that Israel is genuinely interested in a functional 2-state solution. In 1980 I was working in an interfaith justice and peace organization (CALC) and convened an interfaith dialogue in Atlanta on finding solutions to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Christians, Jews and Muslims committed to meet together weekly for 6 weeks, listen and learn from each other, and try to find a solution all could agree to. Remarkably, we succeeded, determining that what was needed were 2 secure, economically viable states, with defensible borders. Our statement was later adopted by the national organization. However, that was more than 35 years ago. Since then Israel has divided and occupied the West bank with settlements and roads, leaving Palestinians in small bantustands that are neither defensible nor economically viable, while turning the Gaza Strip into what G.J. eloquently referred to as the world’s largest outdoor prison. Through all this, the U.S. has actively supported Israel or refused to participate with the U.N. in condemning Israel’s actions. Instead of signing a petition to resuscitate a policy that no longer has a realistic possibility of succeeding, join us at the Alliance community gathering in Winston-Salem September 18-20 as we learn and work together for strategies that will realistically advance the possibilities for justice and peace in Palestine and Israel. The models for our work are the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and the (continuing) civil rights struggle in the U.S. One democratic state where everyone has a vote and is free to follow their own religious beliefs and practices. “And each shall sit under their vine and fig tree, and none shall make them afraid.”

  • #242
    Profile photo of G.J. Tarazi
    G.J. Tarazi
    Participant

    Thank you, Leslie and Ralph.

    Soul liberty is our identity as Baptists. It is in our DNA. Doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with our God are also what makes us “Baptists on the Frontier.” To learn critically, persistently and fervently is our first step for discernment. And, discernment leads us to do justice. The Holy Land, the home of Jesus is in need of justice for all of God’s children, including Palestinians. As Leslie mentioned in her post, our “Waging Peace: Doing Justice Through BDS” will examine this nonviolent and effective strategy. Please join us in Winston-Salem September 18-20 to learn so you can discern what you and church can do to bring peace with justice to Palestine and Israel.
    Here a link for more information about the gathering:

    Hope to see many of you there.

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