Anti-BDS legislation resources, WWPPI and more
October 2017 - In this issue:
BREAKING NEWS: ACLU Challenges Anti-BDS Legislation 
THEOLOGY IN ACTION:  "An urgent issue of faith" - Interview with Dr. Peter Makari
PALESTINE PORTAL COMMUNITY:  One congregation has a big impact! » Tree of LIfe 
MORE TRIPS : Find a dozen upcoming trips to the Holy Land
REMEMBRANCE: Cotton Fite, 1938-2017  
Esther Koontz, Kansas teacher and member of Mennonite Church USA
ACLU Challenges Anti-BDS Legislation
The ACLU has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Esther Koontz, a teacher in Kansas and a member of the Mennonite Church USA, who is being denied a teaching opportunity because she would not sign a document stating she is not currently engaged in a boycott of Israel. Koontz supports the boycott call of her church.
Justice in the Holy Land - An Urgent Issue of Faith    
In this Palestine Portal interview, Dr. Peter Makari - Global Ministries Executive for the United Church of Christ and The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) - shares his experience and insights on:   
- the long-term witness of these denominations in response to the call from Palestinian Christians;  
- the critical importance of partners in the Middle East for the witness and vitality of the whole Church; and 
- the resolutions adopted this year in both denominations: calling on the State of Israel to cease abuse of Palestinian children and on the U.S. government to hold Israel accountable for human rights violations.
     "We are not organizations that are interested in promoting peace," says Dr. Makari, a long-time justice advocate with deep experience in the region. "We are churches doing it out of a clear commitment to our faith."
One congregation has a big impact! » Tree of Life 
The Tree of Life Educational Fund (TOL) was established by The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, CT to provide
travel experiences, interfaith conferences and educational opportunities to help participants to become engaged in making this a more just and peaceful world in which to live.  
This September saw the Tree of Life Educational Fund's second labor union delegation to Israel/Palestine. The group included members of several labor Unions, two labor lawyers, and the former Political Director of the AFL-CIO. Read the report from this trip, including letters sent to Senator Blumenthall of Connecticut. 
Learn about the exceptional programs offered by Tree of Life since its establishment in 2006, including events coming up this Fall. How much has emerged from a single congregation that is committed to walking the talk of social justice and discipleship! 
Join the upcoming Tree of Life Journey in January 2018, "The Right of Return" - an interfaith journey that is open to all. It is cosponsored by The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme and The Islamic Association of Greater Hartford.
More Trips to the Holy Land 
Palestine Portal has posted many ways to Visit or Volunteer in Israel/Palestine, the most comprehensive list on the internet for responsible tourism opportunities in Israel/Palestine.  
Rather than just being a tourist in the Holy Land, consider these trips that allow you to learn firsthand from the people of the land about the current situation and discover what Palestinians and Israelis are doing to achieve a just peace. Come home empowered to be a peacemaker for the Holy Land. Most tours include visits to key biblical and historical sites. Click the button to see many upcoming trips.
Cotton Fite, 1938 - 2017 
We have lost a wonderful friend and a tireless worker for justice. Fr. Cotton Fite died on August 15th after suffering a fall. Cotton was a beloved, trusted and generous colleague across the network of church organizations devoted to justice in Palestine. He was a key figure in establishing the Palestine Israel Network of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship (EPF PIN), was a longtime member of the Chicago Faith Coalition, and was one of the founding members of Kairos USA.    
Together with Rabbi Brant Rosen, Cotton co-founded the Fast for Gaza and was a founder and Co-Moderator of the Seraj Library Project , which establishes children's libraries in rural Palestinian villages. Read more on Cotton Fite's life
Read personal testimonials to Cotton, provided by EPF PIN