Serving our Global Community
May 2019 Issue

  • German Parliament Condemns BDS
  • Faith-based groups support bill for Palestinian Children
  • Meet the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme
  • Mapping the Movement for justice in Palestine
Kairos Palestine to German Parliament:
What other avenue would you ask us to take?
" What other avenue would our German brothers and sisters ask us to take in order to overcome this historic injustice, the uprooting of our trees, the confiscation of our land, the forced transfer of our people, the denial of our human rights, the indiscriminate killing, the denial of self-determination and our right to live in freedom and dignity as Palestinians, free of foreign control and occupation?"

This the question posed by Kairos Palestine in an open letter to the German Parliament (Bundestag) following the release of the German Republic's vote condemning the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement as anti-Semitic. Titled “Resisting the BDS movement decisively – fighting antisemitism,” the Bundestag resolution expresses what has been the official position and logic of the German government: the State of Israel is synonymous with the Jewish people, BDS is an attack on Israel, therefore BDS constitutes antisemitism. Making direct reference to the persecution of Jews under the Nazi regime, the resolution associates the boycott of Israeli goods with the boycott of Jewish businesses under the Third Reich. Finally, the resolution repeats the declaration of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the Israeli Knesset that the security of Israel and fighting anti-Semitism is the "reason for being" of the German state.

The Bundestag resolution calls on Germans to decisively reject the BDS campaign, condemning calls to boycott Israeli products and businesses as well as academics, artists and athletes. The motion rules that no events organized by the BDS movement, including organizations and projects that follow similar objectives, will be supported or funded by the government, and that cities and communities in Germany should follow the same policy.

Rejecting the claim that BDS is anti-Semitic, Kairos Palestine "calls on the Bundestag to revise its resolution and to realize that Israel needs friends who can pressure and advise it to take the road of real peace and reconciliation." 
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This just in :

May 23: Fourteen Palestinian civil society organizations have published a comprehensive statement in response to the German Bundestag, Anti-BDS Resolution Violates Principles of International Law, Stands against Palestinian Civil Society and Aspirations for Freedom, Justice, and Dignity. " Read the piece in Mondoweiss by Jonathan Ofir for analysis and background, links to further commentary, and a history of the German response to BDS.

May 27: BDS Berlin has issued the following statement, beginning: "May 17th, 2019 was a dark day for freedom of expression in Germany and a stain in the history of the Bundestag. All political parties of the house of representatives have submitted motions which attempt to legitimize the crimes practiced by the State of Israel, including the Crime of Apartheid - a crime against humanity. It is even more preposterous to use the struggle against antisemitism to justify that." Read the full statement.
Faith-based Groups Support McCollum Legislation Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children

U.S. Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) announced support from 26 national and international religious and human rights organizations in support of   H.R. 2407 , the "Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act," introduced May 1, 2019. McCollum released the following statement:

“Peace can only be achieved by respecting human rights, especially the rights of children. These organizations are committed to human rights and are working to support another generation of Palestinian children facing cruel and dehumanizing detention at the hands of Mr. Netanyahu’s military. This strong show of support is part of a growing consensus that the Palestinian people deserve justice, equality, human rights, and the right to self-determination. It is also a signal that none of the billions of taxpayer dollars in American foreign aid to Israel should be spent on inhumanely locking up Palestinian children in Israeli military detention facilities.” 

Read the press release, distributed by the Presbyterian Israel Palestine Network, which includes the list of organizational supporters.

See the Action page from No Way to Treat a Child for background and links for action.

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme CT has truly walked the talk of a ministry of justice. Under the prophetic guidance of Pastor Emeritus David Good and now the inspired leadership of Pastor Steve Jungkeit, the FCCOL community maintains close ties with indigenous peoples of what is now the U.S.A., with freedom struggles in South Africa and Palestine, and now with asylum seekers . Through the Tree of Life Educational Fund the FCCOL community conducts annual journeys to Israel-Palestine, forging partnerships with communities and individuals working for justice and bringing ambassadors from the region and internationally to the annual Tree of Life conference in the U.S.
Spend a few minutes with FCCOL's most recent newsletter:
Page 1: Pastor Steve Jungkeit's letter focuses on the church's work with asylum seekers, including providing legal assistance and giving sanctuary in the church for eight months to a Pakistani family. Don't miss Steve's description of a recent courtroom scene, covered in greater depth on page 12 of the newsletter.

Page 4: A nnual journey to the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. 

Page 5: Climate Change Taskforce.

Page 11: Young adult justice trip to Southern U.S.

Page 12: Immigration Committee update. "My first impression walking into the courtroom was visceral despair," writes FCCOL member Lina Tuck.
Read Dave Eggar's New Yorker piece on FCCOL's sheltering of the family from Pakistan.

Contact Palestine Portal to share about your congregation's activities and ministry with the wider community!
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