Serving our Global Community
This issue is dedicated to the first anniversary of the Palestinian Great March of Return

  • United Church of Christ Palestine Israel Network statement.
  • Rabbi Brant Rosen's poem "Dream of Return."
  • Israeli Jews Addressing Palestinian Right of Return
United Church of Christ Palestine Israel Network
statement on the Anniversary of the Great March of Return

“O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen? Or cry to you
 ‘Violence!’ and you will not save?" (Habakkuk 1.1-2)

Following are excerpts of the UCC PIN statement on the first anniversary of the Great March of Return.

"On March 30, 2018, Palestinians living in Gaza began a sustained protest against the military occupation of Palestine, demanding the right of Palestinians and their descendants displaced from their ancestral lands to return home. The largely peaceful protests have been met by a violent Israeli response resulting in approximately 200 Palestinian deaths and casualties in excess of 23,600.

The United Church of Christ Palestine Israel Network, committed to justice for all in a peaceful Palestine and Israel, calls upon all congregations and members of the United Church of Christ to mark this anniversary by:

Supporting UCC and Disciples Global Partners in Palestine and Israel and communicating support to our global partners in the region as a sign of our solidarity and commitment.

Calling the Thirty-second General Synod of the United Church of Christ to support the proposed resolution on Global Forced Migration, which includes the rights of Palestinian refugees, at its meeting in June, 2019.

Boycotting products made in illegal Israeli settlements, divesting from companies that profit from the Occupation, and calling for accountability in the distribution of U.S foreign aid to Israel

Advocating for legislation to be submitted in Congress that would seek to hold Israel accountable for its military detention of Palestinian children."

"Dream of Return"
Rabbi Brant Rosen's poem, after Psalm 126
"Restore us, God, from from our captivity, as the rains fill the riverbeds of the Negev." So reads Psalm 126, expressing the joy of the displaced Judeans returning home from exile: "They that sow in tears, will reap in joy." Rabbi Brant Rosen has powerfully brought this song into the contemporary experience of Jews and all who stand in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for justice.
They will return.
Like water flowing back
down parched river beds
like seeds blossoming into life
out of the hard dry ground
like rusted locks clicked open by ancient keys
they will return.

The Return Council is a forum of Israeli Jews who support the right of the Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons to return, and who act to promote the realization of this right. From the website: "We must act within Jewish society to raise awareness of the significance of return, its necessity, its rightfulness, and its feasibility. This is part of our accountability as Israelis on the one hand, and part of the need to make amends and redress the ongoing injustice against the Palestinian people."

"This future state will not have a sovereign, national Jewish character. The manifestations of Jewish collective identity will not be Zionist and will not express an aspiration for sovereignty. The constitution promulgated by the new regime will prohibit coercion by one nationality towards another, regardless of the identity of the eventual majority. The barriers that we confront include:

  • The trauma of the Holocaust, which is for some Jews a directly personal trauma.
  • Racism in the form of phobia of Arabs, Arab Jews, Arabness, Islam, and the orient.
  • Fear of changing the country’s Jewish character.
  • Confusing personal identity with national identification and the belief that maintaining a Jewish communal identity depends on a Jewish state."

See also Mondoweiss coverage of Israeli protest in Tel Aviv in support of Great March of Return and Palestinian Right of Return.
Addendum: Answering Christian Zionism in Honduras
In last week's Alert we brought you news about a new online resource on Christian Zionism (now in Spanish), and a theological response from Palestinian Jonathan Kuttab to a Honduran Christian organization's endorsement of that government's move of its embassy to Jerusalem. We had neglected to include a link to that endorsement.

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