April 30, 2021
Action Alert
"Join the Palestinian Christians," reads this urgent message from Kairos Palestine to Pope Francis, the global ecumenical movement and the World Council of Churches. "Your sisters and brothers in Palestine implore you to resist the State of Israel’s impending eviction of families from their homes in the Israeli-occupied territory of East Jerusalem."
Israel's planned expulsions and home demolitions will target over 1,500 Palestinian residents in Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan and other historically Palestinian neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem. Originally set for May 2, these actions have been postponed to May 18. This has provided the opportunity for coordinated actions by a broad international coalition of secular, Muslim, Christian and Jewish organizations and world leaders to exert pressure on the U.S. and other governments, the United Nations, the World Council of Churches and the international community to prevent this crime.
"We don’t understand the reluctance of many leaders in the global church to use the words apartheid and ethnic cleansing to describe the laws and practices of the State of Israel in relation to its Palestinian citizens" reads the Kairos Palestine letter.
Visit Palestine Portal for comprehensive background and updates from Mondoweiss, Middle East Eye and Electronic Intifada, the appeal from 14 human rights organizations to the United Nations, the Kairos Palestine appeal to Pope Francis and the global ecumenical movement, and links to actions you can take now.
“I sat in the tent and it was full of light.” 
In the photo: Khawla and Majid Hannoun, Fawzieh al-Kurd, Nasser Ghawi and his father.
These words open the blog posting from Kairos USA's Mark Braverman after visiting the Al Kurd family in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem in 2009. Anyone who has visited the displaced families of Sheikh Jarrah or participated in the demonstrations that were held weekly for years to protest Israel’s heartless and cynical dispossession of these families in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, in the streets of the Old City, and in the Bedouin pastures to the east can fail to have a heart for the Palestinians of East Jerusalem, robbed of their homes, their communities and their very city in Israel’s relentless project of ethnic cleansing.

The “Judaization” of East Jerusalem has been in process since the military conquest of the West Bank by Israel in June 1967, beginning with the destruction of the historic 600-year-old Moughrabi (“Moroccan”) section of the Old City to make way for the “Western Wall Plaza.” It has involved not only the incremental taking of non-Jewish property within the walls of the Old City but the relentless ethnic cleansing of Palestinian neighborhoods and lands surrounding the Old City. The goal has been not only the making of Jerusalem into a totally Jewish city but its encirclement by a ring of Jewish settlements, cutting Jerusalem off from the West Bank and rendering the establishment of a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem impossible.
The Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighborhoods have been the focus of Palestinian and international protest for some time. The B’tselem report on the Batan al-Hawa neighborhood of Silwan and Jeff Wright’s piece in Mondoweiss provide background and context for the evictions planned by Israel.
Over 20,000 people have signed this petition and over 100 organizations have endorsed it.
This campaign is gaining momentum daily. Over the coming weeks we will keep you apprised of developments in the coordinated international action in response to Israel's threatened eviction of these families.
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