#WallWillFall: Breaking down the Walls of a Conflict or a Rape?

What do we ask for when praying for Palestine Israel? Do we ask God to end the conflict? Do we ask for reconciliation and strive for a balanced approach? The answer is a definite ‘NO’ to all of these.

I raise these points as we are preparing for the annual World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel (20 – 26 September 2015)

To talk about ‘balance’ or a ‘conflict’ in the context of Palestine Israel presupposes equal sides. Nothing can be further from the truth. David Wildman (Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church) writes as follows:

Too many churches rushed to embrace interpersonal reconciliation projects without any examination of the inequalities in power between the Israeli state and Palestinians. Churches stressed the need for balance when there was nothing balanced about the situation. This is a key value of “church theology” that must be challenged. […] Israel has had a state since 1948 while Palestinians were largely refugees and civilian populations living under military occupation and unending dispossession from their land.

(Click here for Wildman’s full paper: BDS_and_Churches_now_ David Wildman.)

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In this year’s World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel the World Council of Churches asks us to pray, to educate and to advocate around the theme of “God has broken down the dividing walls” (Ephesians 2.14).

My experience in South Africa is that many people do not know what these dividing walls are. They only know of the suffering of Israelis. They do not realise that the analogy is closer to a ‘rape’ than to a ‘conflict’.

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Israel – a military superpower funded by the USA – denies Palestinians basic human rights, they injure and kill Palestinians and their resources in a grand sweep of land theft, displacement and mass destruction. Israel denies six million refugees to return to their homes and have more than 50 laws that discriminate against Arab Palestinian Israeli citizens. The Palestinians scream for help, throw stones and fire some rockets in response to these large scale systemic injustices by Israel. But the rapist wants the sympathy of the world and it gets it! Can we blame a rape victim who scratches her rapist?

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How do we know what to pray for and what to do?

Do we say it has nothing to do with us or is too complex to grasp? Do we question the focus on Israel?

Once more, the answer is NO. More and more people are starting to see the links between global empire systems of greed, power and militarism that are crystallised in Israel’s relations with the Palestinians. Likewise people are starting to realise how we are led by the nose by what Dr Mitri Raheb calls the “software” – the stuff that enables us to think that Israel is untouchable and above international law.

No, we don’t give up. It is wrong to think it has nothing to do with us.

A world system that allows the USA to consistently veto all UN decisions to enforce international law on Israel is a sick society. Does it not warrant our attention? Is it not in our own interest to educate ourselves? When we benefit from Israeli produce and services (think Dead Sea cosmetics, G4S, retailers like Woolworths that claim ethical business but do not apply it to Israel, etc.) then our money support the oppression of the Palestinians. If we ignore the public plea of the Palestinian civil society for non-violent resistance through Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) we are complicit in entrenching the Palestinians’ suffering.

If we lie to ourselves about it or blame others, we fool ourselves. We cannot deny it – we are involved in this matter. Yes, there are many other issues in the world, but you are reading this post and therefore right now this matter is knocking on your door.

The segregation wall

Have courage

To embark on a road in the pursuit of love and a just peace is most fulfilling and deeply enriching. The important thing is to START by taking the FIRST STEP.

If you have not yet done so, start by reading the urgent, deeply inspiring appeal (‘A Moment of Truth’) of the Palestinian Christians. It is available in 22 languages (also available in Afrikaans). You’ll find it by clicking here. It addresses not only Christians. It also asks for several practical actions. For facts and figures, go to the United Nations website by clicking here http://www.ochaopt.org

Let us pray for a world where international law, human dignity and equality apply to all. Let us pray for a shift in consciousness and a spirituality that fosters human and all other forms of life on this planet. Let us practice our belief in equality and pray for both the oppressed and the oppressor. Let us educate ourselves and our circles. Let us work with those Jews, Muslims, Christians and the people of other faiths or none who share our values to create a better world.

God,

You ask for our courage to protect the powerless
but we prefer to remain safe, preserving ourselves for future challenges.

You ask us to speak out for justice
but we whisper, in case we are heard.
You ask us to stand up for what is right,
but we would rather blend in to the crowd
You ask us to have faith,
when doubting seems so much easier.

Lord forgive our calculated efforts to follow you,
only when it is convenient to do so,
only in those places where it is safe to do so,
only with those who make it easy to do so.

Together we pray
God forgive us and renew us;
Inspire us and challenge us
So that we might risk the journey, to your kingdom with you,

Amen
(Prayer of Confession as read in 2003 at a service at Cheltenham Races, GreenBelt, UK)

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More about the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel 2015:

Why a theme on walls? In the figurative sense it is of course about walls that separate classes, ethnic groups, religions and the transcendence thereof. But it is also about the ongoing construction of the illegal, Apartheid Israeli Wall that grabs more and more fertile Palestinian land. Click here to watch a short, shocking video on Israel’s theft of land from the Catholic Church in the West Bank, and here for yet another story of land confiscation – one of thousands of similar tales.

The Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) of the World Council of Churches invites churches, faith-based communities, and civil society organizations to join in support of an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine and a just peace for all in Palestine and Israel. For full details go to their website. You can also write to Ranjan Solomon, Consultant for the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum at ranjan.solomon@wcc-cor.org.

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#Kairos30: Dare we remember?

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Now that I’m home from our global #Kairos30 conference (titled Kairos as a Dangerous Memory) the question remains: “What do we do with our memories?”

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You see mine are not those of taking a brave stand against apartheid like the theologians who wrote the 1985 Kairos document. Mine are memories of feeling scared, incapable and paralysed. They are memories of apathy and silence about something I clearly knew was wrong. For I was one of those white South Africans who did nothing to end the systemic, legalised injustices in my country.

Thirty years ago a group of South African theologians (listed below) asked the world for help in ending apartheid. Their appeal became known as the South African Kairos document. Since then the Kairos theology has found root in diverse places such as Germany, India, the USA, Swaziland, Palestine, India, Brazil and Nigeria. This week (17-20 August 2015) delegates from these and many other countries gathered in Johannesburg to reflect on what Kairos theology means to us now.

We asked: What can we learn from the Kairos of then? How should we critique it? Are we faced with new contexts that need interventions? How do we go forward? Dare we remember?

I cannot go forward without facing the truth of the past, and without being open, or for that matter public, about my neglect. I have failed to stand with my black sisters and brothers during South Africa’s struggle against apartheid. I have failed calling on my white sisters and brothers to be honest, just and loving. I have failed the Christian principles of love, justice and inclusivity. I have failed (and harmed) myself when I reduced my own happiness by not reaching out to others. For all of this, I am truly sorry. I know I cannot correct your pain and suffering.

Despite all this so many of you receive me with immense, gracious love and warmth. You treat me as if I am one of you despite my failures. You allow me to learn from you and you walk with me.

Often, when we come across so much resistance amongst Jewish and Christian Zionists and other supporters of Israel’s human rights abuses in respect of the Palestinians, I long to hold them tightly. I want to say to them “It’s okay to admit it. Just do it and release yourself from this terrible burden of justifying the modern state of Israel. We too shall welcome you and be there for you. It’s not a scary thing to support the human dignity of the Palestinians. In fact it may make you feel stronger and better!”

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Today Kairos Palestine’s evocative Kairos document A Moment of Truth: A word of Faith, Hope, and Love from the Heart of the Palestinian suffering, for example, challenges Christians worldwide (in 22 languages) to help them in their non-violent struggle.

11024714_10152916108011537_1010922261154685911_n(All four of the above photos on the #Kairos30 conference are by Sid Luckett)

Here is the full #Kairos30 statement as released on 20 August by the conference delegates:

Kairos 30th Anniversary Statement:
Dangerous Memory and Hope for the Future

We gathered in Johannesburg (near Cottesloe) from 17 to 20 August 2015, to celebrate how the 1985 South African Kairos document, “Challenge to the Church,” responded to a moment of truth in the most painful days of Apartheid. That Kairos document inspired three decades of Kairos movements in many different contexts. This 30th celebration has now re-inspired us toward a common humanity and a concern for human dignity and our environment.

The pain of Marikana and the reasons behind it (multinational profit before people and corporate greed) hovered over our conference.

The 2009 Kairos Palestine document, “A Moment of Truth,” a cry from the Palestinian Christian community, carries a disturbing echo of the dangerous memory of the South African story of Apartheid. Kairos Palestine has evoked a powerful global response from Kairos contexts around the world. The catalyzing power of Kairos Palestine was deeply felt in our gathering. We were inspired by this renewed energy. Palestine is the space where our sacred texts are contested.

There was much to celebrate in this gathering. Our Kairos conversations were intentionally multi-generational and broadly international. We were grateful to engage deeply with Muslim and Jewish perspectives. We found much joy in our solidarity and shared struggles. We were particularly encouraged by the inter-generational nature of this gathering and how that can be nurtured and encouraged. We are particularly inspired by the birth Zinzi Kairos Mbenenge during the conference. “… for unto us a child is given”!

A NEW KAIROS
We have reached a new moment of truth, a new Kairos. We recognize how the coming of Jesus and his teaching about a new kingdom and a new reign against the Roman empire of his day has completely passed us by. We lament that, by and large, the church of today has become distracted from this mission of preparing the way for God’s reign.

In our time, we find that various sites of pain and struggle are joined in a Global Kairos, a shared quest for justice. In our discussions, we named our shared struggle against the scourge of this global empire of our times. Empire is an all-encompassing global reality seeking to consolidate all forms of power while exploiting both Creation and Humanity. The empire we face is not restricted by geography, tribe, language or economy. Empire is an ideology of domination and subjugation, fueled by violence, fed by fear and deception. It manifests itself especially in racial, economic, cultural, patriarchal, sexual, and ecological oppression. Empire deceptively informs dominant, white supremacist, capitalist paradigms controlling global systems and structures. Global empire is sustained by weapons and military bases (hardware) along with ideologies and theologies (software).

We rejoice that resistance against empire is manifested in a plurality of struggles throughout the world. Struggles against ecological injustice, gender injustice and patriarchy, landlessness, abuse of people on the move, refugee vulnerability, political and religious persecution, social exclusion, denial of indigenous rights, neglecting children’s rights, harm to LGBTI persons, access for the differently abled, and racial supremacism represent only a portion of the struggles against empire. Since 1985, Kairos documents have expressed resistance to these and other realities in Central America, Europe, Malawi, India, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Palestine. In this conference, we were pleased to receive new Kairos documents from siblings in Swaziland, Nigeria, and the United States. The memory of unjust suffering in all contexts is dangerous to the purposes of empire.

In our listening to one another, we found that the context of suffering and pain created by Israel’s oppression of Palestine contains all aspects of empire. Palestine is therefore a microcosm of global empire, a critical site of reflection that can bring experiences in other locales into sharper focus. Palestine does not eclipse other situations around the globe but instead intensifies the need for greater interconnection and mutual engagement.

All Kairos movements emerge from sites of grave injustice and deep pain. Every Kairos document is a cry to God and to the world. We confess, however, that we have served two masters and preached a gospel that requires nothing of the rich young ruler, even as we build empire on the widow’s mite. We recognize that we and our church institutions have often closed our ears to our siblings’ cries and drowned them out. In many cases, very little action has followed. The church has often been ambiguous and cautious in its response to human suffering. Sometimes, the church has engaged in active opposition to the liberating work of God present in communities of resistance, increasing church complicity in structures of injustice. The church has often provided theologies of domination in the service of Empire. In our discussions, we found that the South African Kairos indictment of Church Theology is as relevant in our time as it was in 1985.

RESISTING IMPERIAL THEOLOGY
The dangerous memory of the South African Kairos document provided a prophetic critique of State Theology, theologies that validate and confirm forms of state terror. It identified as heresy theologies that justify Apartheid. In our time, we are called to expand this critique and rejection of state theology to address Imperial Theology, the ‘software’ that justifies imperial exploitation and oppression. We were encouraged to find that, although Empire seeks to divide communities from one another, peoples’ resistance can unite us across religious, ethnic and culture divides.

Imperial theology is at work in the continued oppression of Palestinians and the crisis now engulfing what is known as the Middle East. Analysis and rejection of the State Theology supporting Apartheid in South Africa was an essential element in exposing and resisting that sinful system. In its dominant forms, Zionism has been used to justify the dispossession, transfer, massacring, ghettoization and exploitation of the Palestinian people. Zionism has become an element within the dominant structures of empire. Politically, we call for an intensification of all economic and political pressures on the State of Israel, including the Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). In our biblical interpretation, we strongly distinguish between biblical Israel and the modern State of Israel. Theologically, we declare to be heresy any Christian theologies that support the Zionism informing Israeli oppression.

We now therefore resolve

1) to act and pray, inspired by the dangerous memory of Jesus Christ, God’s siding with suffering and poor communities, aiming to do all we can to return the global and local church to the mission of Jesus to enact the reign of God, opening toward a new way of relating to humanity and the earth;

2) to encourage all Christians to respond to the Palestinian Christian call to “come and see” the living stones of the Holy Land, providing hope to all who suffer under the cross of illegal Israeli Occupation;

3) to advocate that international law must apply equally to all. We reject the imperial dictate that imposes sanctions on some regimes while vetoing and criminalizing popular calls for sanctions on egregious violations of international law;

4) to impress upon our churches, seminaries and theological institutes the need to deepen theological engagement with the pressing challenges of the world, including the global systems and structures of empire and to promote Kairos spirituality;

5) to reflect intentionally on the South African experience of the effectiveness of the BDS efforts and express our full support for an intensification of BDS as an effective, nonviolent strategy against global empire;

6) to create appropriate systems to ensure that young people will be nurtured and mentored in the Kairos understanding of faith, hope, and love and supported in their growth into leadership;

7) to express public support for those working against corruption in South Africa; while we rejoice that political apartheid has ceased in South Africa, we lament that economic apartheid continues; we commit to working toward Kairos Africa to ensure that the hopes of the next generation of the African continent are not dashed by Empire; and

8) to foster and nurture the Global Kairos for Justice movement; we are because you are.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4)

20 AUGUST 2015

FOR COMMENT:

Reverend Edwin Arrison: +27 (0) 847351835 / earrison78@telkomsa.net
Mark Braverman: +14439957882 / mbraverman@kairosusa.org
Ms. Marthie Momberg: +27 (0) 832907742 / momberg@sun.ac.za

Kairos Document: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kairos_Document
Kairos Palestine: http://www.kairospalestine.ps/content/kairos-document
Kairos USA: http://kairosusa.org

 

11180304_1449819825322050_2669416159281431213_nPreparing for the #Kairos30 conference with Mokesh Morar, Father Albert Nolan, Rev Edwin Arrison, Nonhlanhla Shezi and Vernon Weitz.

Signatories of the 1985 South African Kairos document against apartheid:

1. Dr JC Adonis
2. LA Appies
3. Ms Mary Armour
4. Dr JF Bill
5. Rev N Bixa
6. Rev A Bhiman
7. Rev N Botha
8. Rev A Boer
9. Rev A Booyse
10. Rev AS Brews
11. Rev J Carnow
12. Sis F Cassidy
13. Mr Tony Chetty
14. Rev F Chikane
15. Dr J Cochrane
16. Rev R Cochrane
17. Dr GD Cloete
18. Mr W Cloete
19. Mr Roy Crowder
20. Canon C Davids
21. Mr Mike Deeb
22. Mr S de Gruchy
23. Prof JW de Gruchy
24. Rev J de Waal
25. Dr W Domeris
26. Rev JH Dyers
27. Ms JW Engelbrecht
28. Mr PA Germond
29. Dr B Goba
30. Fr G Gobaiyer
31. Rev S Govender
32. Dr TSN Gqubule
33. Sis Aine Hardiman
34. Sis Clare Harkin
35. Rev A Hendricks
36. Fr Basil Hendricks
37. Rev B Hoorn
38. Rev R Jacobus
39. Dr Lizo Jafta
40. Ms Jave Joubert
41. Mr K Kiefer
42. Rev HM Koaho
43. Rev JNJ Kritzinger
44. Rev C Langeveld
45. Rev T Lester
46. Mr J Liddell
47. Ms L Liddell
48. Rev AM Lindhorst
49. Mr D Loff
50. Rev Wesley Mabuza
51. Archdeacon E MacKenzie
52. Prof SS Maimela
53. Rev JF Mahlaseala
54. Rev CJ Martin
55. Rev PN Mentoor
56. Rev Kenosi Mofokeng
57. Dr KE Mgojo
58. Fr S Mkhatshwa
59. Mr Peter Moll
60. Fr MSL Monjane
61. Dr M Mothlabi
62. Rev M Mpumwlana
63. Dr B Naude
64. Dr Margaret Nash
65. Sis B Ncube
66. Pastor Z Nertuch
67. Rev H Ngada
68. Fr S Ntwasa
69. Rev TW Ntongana
70. Dr A Nolan
71. Mr R Nunes
72. Rev M Nyawo
73. Fr R o’Rourke
74. Rev C Ontong
75. Rev T Pearce
76. Rev GB Peter
77. Ms Debora Patta
78. Mr RE Phillips
79. Rev Robin Peterson
80. Mr VP Peterson
81. Ms Heather Peterson
82. Canon G Quinlan
83. Rev C Sampson
84. Fr L Sebidi
85. Prof G Setiloane
86. Rev JN Silwanyana
87. Rev AL Smith
88. Rev Z Somana
89. Fr Thami Tana
90. Mr S Thaver
91. Mr B Theron
92. Rev M Tisani
93. Rev S Titus
94. Fr B Thlagale
95. Rev M Tsele
96. Rev J Thsawane
97. Rev van den Heever
98. Mr K Vermeulen
99. Dr C Villa Vicencio
100. Rev A Visagie
101. Rev H Visser
102. Rev MR Vithi
103. Dr CA Wanamaker
104. Rev MI Weeder
105. Rev D White
106. Ms J Williams
107. Rev B Witbooi
108. Fr A Winston
109. Mr RG Wortley
110. Rev BB Finca
111. Rev Z Mokhoebo
112. Ms S Britton
113. Rev DN Goga
114. Mr Paul Graham
115. Rev G Grosser
116. Rev B Habelgaarn
117. Rev Frans Kekana
118. Dr W Kistner
119. Rev CT Kokoali
120. Prof Charl le Roux
121. Rev CW Leeuw
122. Rev PT Letlala
123. Rev Gerrie Lubbe
124. Mrs M Mabaso
125. Rev Lucas Mubusela
126. Rev Maake Masango
127. Rev S Masemola
128. Rev TS Farisani
129. Rev O Mbangula
130. Rev GT Mcoceli
131. Rev M Mguni
132. Rev S Mogoba
133. Mr C Molebatsi
134. Rev Sol Jacobs
135. Vicar F Muller
136. Mrs M Mxadana
137. Mrs L Myeza
138. Rev SB Ngcobo
139. Rev D Nkwe
140. Rev PA Nordengen
141. Rev T Nyanela
142. Mrs A Rathebe
143. Prof W Saayman
144. Prof Nico Smith
145. Rev WT Soeldner
146. Rev MA Stofile
147. Fr F Synnott
148. Rev E Tema
149. Rev B Tshipa
150. Rev Stephen Warnes
151. Fr X Keteyi
152. Rev CZ Nevhutalo
153. Rev Lionel Louw
154. Ms V Zweigenthal
155. Rev Sol Jacobs
156. Dr T Kneiffel

Extraordinary session of Russell Tribunal on Palestine: The crime of genocide in Gaza

For the first time ever regarding Israel, the crime of genocide, will be examined. On Wednesday September 24, 2014 judges, legal scholars, UN officials, journalists and cultural luminaries will gather in Brussels for an emergency session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine. They will focus on Israel’s most recent military operation in Gaza – Operation Protective Edge.

jews against genocideJews against Genocide protested agains the killings of Palestinians by burning dolls in front of the Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem.

PRESS RELEASE

24-25 September 2014 – Brussels – Albert Hall, Brussels
www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com/en/

The extraordinary session of the Russell Tribunal will examine Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity and for the first time regarding Israel, the crime of genocide. The Tribunal will also examine the legal consequences and third state responsibilities arising from the above.

The members of the jury are Michael Mansfield QC, Professor of International law and former judge John Dugard, former UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Richard Falk, President of the EJE Association (Les Enfants, le Jeu, l’Education) and wife of Tribunal patron Stephane Hessel Christiane Hessel, Founder of the Tunisan Association Against Torture Radhia Nasraoui, Film Director Ken Loach, Writer Paul Laverty, Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters, former African National Congress Minister Ronnie Kasrils, Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Soueif, and author Vandana Shiva.

The Jury will hear from the following witnesses: Genocide expert Dr Paul Behrens, Advocacy Units Coordinator of Defense for Children International Ivan Karakashian, Surgeons Mads Gilbert and Mohammed Abou-Arab, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights Director Raji Sourani, munitions expert Colonel Desmond Travers, Advocacy Officer at Aprodev Agnes Bertrand, former Israeli soldier Eran Efrati,Coordinator in Europe with the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) Michael Deas, Film-maker Ashraf Mashharawi and journalists Mohammed Omer, Martin Lejeune, David Sheen, Max Blumenthal and Paul Mason.

Guardian Cartoonist and author Martin Rowson will be the Tribunal’s illustrator.

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine was established under the patronage of the late Stephane Hessel, a former resistance fighter, concentration camp survivor and author of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the recent multimillion selling ‘Time for Outrage!'(Indignez-vous!)

This is the fifth session of the peoples’ tribunal to take place in the past five years. Other have examined Third Party complicity regarding the UN, EU, and Corporate complicity as well as the Crime of Apartheid.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu said of the Tribunal: “There is no military solution to the conflict in the Holy Land. Violence begets violence, which begets more hatred and violence. Nor have the world’s political and diplomatic leaders succeeded over many years to engineer a just and sustainable peace. Civil society must step into the breach, as it did in South Africa’s struggle against apartheid. The Russell Tribunal on Palestine is an important civil society initiative to hold Israel to account.”

The jury will give its findings at 10am on the 25thSeptember at an international press conference at the International Press Center (IPC, Brussels). In the afternoon, the Jury will be received at the European parliament and address a message to the UN General Assembly for its reopening.

CONTACT

Russell Tribunal Media Team:

Email: pressRTOP@gmail.com

Ewa Jasiewicz 0044 7754 360 030 (English, Polish and spoken Arabic)

Quote

Invitation: Norway’s Dr Mads Gilbert in South Africa

This is not a battle between terrorism and democracy. Hamas is not the enemy Israel is fighting. Israel is waging a war against the Palestinian people’s will to resist. [Israel is waging a war against] the unbending [Palestinian] determination not to submit to the [Israeli] occupation. It is the Palestinian people’s dignity and humanity that will not accept that they are treated [by Israel] as third, fourth, fifth-ranking people.

These are the words of Norwegian surgeon Dr Mads Gilbert.

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While working treating the injured and wounded in Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital in the Palestinian Gaza Strip Dr Gilbert wrote a gut-wrenching open letter on his experiences in Gaza. It was published in The Independant. (Read my post on it here, and the letter in the newspaper here.)

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Even better –  attend one of Dr Gilbert’s talks in South Africa:

 

TUESDAY, 26 AUGUST AT 19H00
TYPE: Public Event
CITY: Johannesburg
GUESTS: Dr Mads Gilbert (Norway); Dr Aaron Motsoaledi (South African Minister of Health, TBC); COSATU President, Sidumo Dlamini; Dr Shereen Usdin (StopTheJNF and BDS South Africa) and others
VENUE: Protea Auditorium, STH Building, Bunting Road Campus (off Annet Road), University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park, Johannesburg
HOSTED BY: Channel Islam International, BDS South Africa, Cosatu, UJ PSF, SA Medical Association
COST: Free
CONTACT: 0740543826

———-

WEDNESDAY, 27 AUGUST AT 12H00
TYPE: Public event
CITY: Durban
GUESTS: Dr Mads Gilbert (Norway)
VENUE: Cane Growers Hall, ML Sultan Campus, Durban University of Technology
HOSTED BY: Channel Islam International, BDS South Africa, SA Students Congress (SASCO DUT) and DUT Student Representative Council
COST: Free
CONTACT: 0740543826

———-

WEDNESDAY, 27 AUGUST AT 18H00
TYPE: Fundraising Dinner
CITY: Durban
VENUE: NMJ Islamic Centre, Durban
HOSTS: Channel Islam International, BDS South Africa, KZN Palestinian Solidarity Front, Islamic Medical Association (IMA)
COST: R300
MORE INFO AND TO PURCHASE TICKETS: 0312081898 or 0312082529

———-

THURSDAY, 28 AUGUST AT 11H00
TYPE: Public Event
CITY: Cape Town
VENUE: 1H, Public Health Building, University of the Western Cape
HOSTS: Channel Islam International, BDS South Africa, UWC Palestine Solidarity Association
COST: Free

———-

THURSDAY, 28 AUGUST AT 19H00
TYPE: Public Event
CITY: Cape Town
VENUE: Molly Blackburn Auditorium, Upper Campus, University of Cape Town
HOSTS: Channel Islam International, BDS South Africa, UCT PSF
COST: Free
CONTACT: 0820619674

———-

FRIDAY, 29 AUGUST 10H00
TYPE: Seminar
CITY: Pretoria
TIME: 12h00
VENUE: HW Snynam Building University of Pretoria Medical Campus , Gezina
HOSTS: Department of Family Medicine
CONTACT: 0726370386

———-

FRIDAY, 29 AUGUST AT 19H00
TYPE: Main Fundraising Dinner for Gaza Ambulance Drive
CITY: Johannesburg
VENUE: LifeStyle Centre, Fordsburg, Johannesburg.
HOSTS: Channel Islam International and Purple Bandage
COST: R250
TICKETS: Click here for more information on this event.

———-

SATURDAY, 30 AUGUST
Dr Mads Gilbert to participate in national day of action against Woolworths as part of #BoycottWoolworths campaign

 

In commenting on the 2014 cycle of Israeli attacks on Gaza, Dr Gilbert added:

In 1938, the Nazis called the Jews ‘Untermenschen’, subhuman. Today, Palestinians are treated as ‘Untermensch’, as subhumans who can be bombed, killed, slaughtered by their thousands…however, solidarity is a powerful weapon…join the boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel campaign…Israel is more isolated than ever and they deserve to be.

mads

Dr Mads Gilbert is a specialist in anesthesiology, the head of the emergency medicine department at the University Hospital of North Norway and has been adjunct professor of emergency medicine at the University of Tromsø since 1995. Gilbert is in South Africa on a Channel Islam International and BDS South Africa speaking tour between Tuesday the 26th of August and Saturday the 30th of August.

Status

The biggest march ever in South Africa

nc4p logoCape Town, 9 August 2014, 11:00 – 13:00:
Starting in Keizergracht in the city bowl of Cape Town and from there to Parliament – the same route people used to protest against apartheid.

TRANSPORT UPDATE: Free transport on Metro Rail if you can show a NC4P/BDS pamphlet or a Palestinian scarf or T-shirt.

march 3

The humanity and the solidarity of every person counts. With this march we demonstrate our commitment to resisting Israel’s systemic injustices through non-violence.

The biggest march in South Africa under apartheid consisted of 90 000 people. The above photo is from the recent march for Palestine by 40 000 people. We hope to have many more on 9 August.


Since 9 August is Women’s day in South Africa, women will be in the front of the procession followed by religious leaders and everyone else. Please wear something that symbolises your affiliation – your university, your school, your religious tradition, and so forth. Like other South African ecumenical accompaniers who monitored human rights violations in Israel and Palestine on behalf of the World Council of Churches, I shall wear my EAPPI vest.

The march is organised by South Africa’s new National Coalition for Palestine (NC4P). Our aim is to receive a response from our government on our recent requests to them.

I don’t want to abuse emotional arguments, yet I believe it is a time for all in the world to feel shattered. As Chris Gunness, a spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees in Gaza says in a clip on YouTube:

The rights of Palestinians, even their children, are wholesale denied. And that’s appaling. It is an affront to the humanity of all of us.

Gunness succumbs to his emotions during a live interview with Al Jazeera when interviewed about an attack on a UN school shelter in which at least 15 people, mostly women and children, were killed.

We are shattered, but we are not paralysed. Let us – Jews, Christians, Muslims and others who hold the sanctity of life dear, speak up and act. An end to the violence in Gaza does not mean an end to the atrocities. Israel’s daily denial of granting Palestinians their humanity – in East Jerusalem, in Gaza, in the West Bank –  must stop. All of it. The solidarity, the intention, the words, the behaviour and the humanity of every single person counts.

Please share the details of the march widely and if you can, be there. Let us unite with all those who want a just and a viable solution. We endorse international law and those values that foster the flourishing of life for all.

 

 

Invitation to public talks: Illan Pappe in Stellenbosch, Cape Town, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Johannesburg

“Myths and Truths about the Land of Israel”

– by two Jewish scholars: Prof Illan Pappe & Dr. Heidi Grunebaum:

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Thursday, 31 July 2014
Room 222, Arts Building, c/o Merriman and Ryneveldt Streets, Stellenbosch

18:00 – Public Lectures/ Discussion
19:30 – Soup, Bread & Drinks + book and dvd sales.

Please RSVP by 30 July to psc.stellenbosch@gmail.com

This invitation to courageous conversations with two highly respected Jewish scholars on Israel/Palestine will be hosted by Stellenbosch University’s Sociology and Social Anthropology Department, Kairos Southern Africa and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) Stellenbosch on invitation of Muslim Views who is responsible for the South African tour.

For Prof Pappe’s schedule in the other South African cities, click here:
Pappe Programme – Public Sheet1

Background to the topic in Stellenbosch

The Israel-Palestine conflict is often viewed as so complex that no-one seems to know how it started or how to go forward. Such views lead to feelings of hopelessness and inertia and play into the hand of Zionist myths. The discussion will uncover myths such as “Palestine was a land without a people”, “Israel is about to be pushed into the sea”, “Israel wants peace for all” and “the exodus of Palestinian refugees in 1948 was a voluntary mass relocation” as portrayed by Jewish and Christian Zionist ideology.

These myths need to be uncovered not only for scholarly reasons or because it’s interesting. Amongst other, social relations and particularly the role of South Africa in either perpetuating the oppression of another people through our myths and ignorance or acting in solidarity, demand clarity.

The event offers the opportunity to reflect critically on common myths to advance an understanding of the historical political domination of the Palestinian People by the State of Israel.

More about the speakers

In the 1980s, a group of Israeli historians challenged the traditional Zionist view of the events leading up to and including the 1948 Declaration and War of Independence.

pappe2Prof. Pappe is one of these historians who argue that the violence and war crimes that accompanied the transfer of the Palestinian population to the West Bank and Gaza was a conscious strategy for ethnic cleansing. He is an Israeli historian from the College of Social Sciences and International Studies, Director of European Centre for Palestine Studies, and Co-director of the Centre for Ethno-Political Studies, University of Exeter, UK.

Dr. Heidi Grunebaum is a scholar, writer and senior researcher at the Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape. Her work focuses on memory and trauma; the afterlives of war and genocide; and psycho-geographies of displacement in South Africa, Germany and, more recently, Palestine/Israel. Her exploration mirrors that of Prof. Pappe through challenging the dominant mainstream Zionist myths.

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About PSC Stellenbosch and Kairos Southern Africa

PSC Stellenbosch is a group of people drawn together out of its concern for the human rights violations by Israel over the Palestinian people. Kairos Southern Africa is an ecumenical voice from within the Christian community, inspired by the contextual and liberation theology tabled in the 1985 South African Kairos document. Both PSC Stellenbosch and Kairos South Africa support the Palestinian peoples’ right to self-determination, oppose Israel’s systematic violation of the human rights of Palestinians, endorse the human rights and the dignity of both Israelis and Palestinians and join with like-minded others to work towards a sustainable, just peace based on international law.

Previous events hosted by PSC Stellenbosch and Kairos SA include the showing of three films on Israel/Palestine, as well as addresses by Israeli author Miko Peled and Dr. Mitri Raheb, a Christian Palestinian theologian.

We look forward to welcoming you on 31 July.

Please RSVP by 30 July to psc.stellenbosch@gmail.com

For Prof Pappe’s schedule in the other South African venues, click here:
Pappe Programme – Public Sheet1

40 000 join Cape Town protest against Israeli attacks

An estimated 40 000 South Africans poured through central Cape Town on Wednesday 16 July 2014 to Parliament.

Some analysts say that yesterday’s #GazaUnderAttack protest in Cape Town was the biggest protest march since the Anti-Apartheid protests of 1980′s. The peaceful protest was organized by the Muslim Judicial Council, COSATU and others.

march 3The city came to a standstill at lunchtime as marchers handed a memorandum to the chairperson of Parliament’s international relations portfolio committee, Mr. Masango.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMr Masango addressing members of civil society in a meeting in February 2014 with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on International Relations.

The huge crowd, which stretched over several city blocks, held aloft scores of banners and posters, calling for an end to the violence in Palestine’s Gaza Strip. “Free, free Palestine!” the protesters chanted outside the parliamentary complex.

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We, the South African civil society want our government to sever all diplomatic and trade ties with Israel and to actively promote and implement boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

 

Status

We are not happy with South Africa’s politicians

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Leaders of South Africa’s Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities have called on their followers to join a “Procession of Witness” from District Six to Parliament on Saturday 19 April 2014 to demand:

“A change in the practice and behaviour of all parliamentarians, captains of industry and commerce; and

“That all those, in all sectors of society, who have influence and power, return to Nelson Mandela’s way of governance and leadership: governance that was not threatened by healthy social discourse; governance that was always mindful of the plight of the poor and the marginalized; governance that took seriously its responsibility to all people who have given leaders their trust.”

When Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town announced the procession, he was supported by Maulana Abdul-Khaliq Allie, secretary-general of the Muslim Judicial Council, and Christian leaders including the national moderator of the Uniting Reforming Church of Southern Africa and president of the World Council of Churches, the Revd Dr Mary-Anne Plaatjies-van Huffel.

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The Union of Orthodox Synagogues also sent a message of support, as did the Western Cape moderator of the Ned Geref Kerk, Dr. Braam Hanekom.

in defense of the role of the Public Protector and to express their concern over other issues affecting Cape Town communities.

The procession will begin at 10 am on Saturday at Keizersgracht, District Six.

Archbishop Makgoba said that “while the Procession is open to all, including members of political parties, it will be led by religious leaders and no party political banners will be permitted.”

The Procession route, from Keizergracht in District Six to Parliament, is quite short so it should be possible for most people with moderate levels of fitness to participate. The maximum time for the entire event should be three hours, but it is likely to be less than this.

Other Christian leaders who joined the call included Bishop Michel Hansrod, head of the Cape district of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa; Bishop Margaret Vertue of the Anglican Diocese of False Bay; the Revd Lucas Plaatjie, moderator of the Cape synod of the Uniting Reforming Church; the Revd Michael Muller, moderator of the Presbytery of the Western Cape of the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa; and Dr Johan Botha, scribe of the Uniting Reformed Church.

The full text of Archbishop Makgoba’s statement follows:

Some weeks ago, a number of us gathered on the steps of St George’s Cathedral where our predecessors stood during the apartheid era. There we stood in silence under the banner, “A Flower for Thuli, A Message for the President”, referring to the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, and her report on the upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s private residence at Nkandla.

Our placards called on the president to respond to the Public Protector’s report and on the public to defend our “Chapter Nine” institutions – the independent institutions set up under the South African Constitution to guard our democracy.

Speaking in the Cathedral afterwards, I voiced my yearning for the entire faith-based and NGO community to come together not so much to defend the Public Protector as an individual as to defend the rights of the public and the integrity of her office, which appears to be under assault from forces including many members of Parliament.

After wider consultations led by the Dean, we have decided to pluck up the courage that the times demand of us and to invite the people of Cape Town to join us on a Procession of Witness from District Six to Parliament, with the aim of calling upon our leaders to live up to the national values established by the Constitution.

Although this is primarily a response to the crisis in government presented by the worrying developments surrounding the Chapter Nine institutions and especially those concerning the Office of the Public Protector, we are also responding to the plight of communities ravaged by gangsterism, drug abuse and poor education.

And while the Procession is open to all, including members of political parties, it will be led by religious leaders and no party political banners will be permitted.

We, the faith community, confess our silence over many years, and our failure to respond compassionately to God’s cry in the lives of the people of our land — especially those who are poor, naked and those denied their daily bread.

Our Procession is now being held to demand:

  • A change in the practice and behaviour of all parliamentarians, captains of industry and commerce;
  • That all those, in all sectors of society, who have influence and power, return to Nelson Mandela’s way of governance and leadership: governance that was not threatened by healthy social discourse; governance that was always mindful of the plight of the poor and the marginalized; governance that took seriously its responsibility to all people who have given leaders their trust.

We invite you to gather with us on Saturday, 9 April 2014 at 10am on Kaizergracht Street, District Six (below St. Mark’s Church) for our Procession of Witness to Parliament.

witness

Israeli Apartheid Week Campaign

South Africa’s 2014 IsraeliApartheidWeek campaign was launched today. Watch the inspiring IAW trailer – it will touch you.

The campaign involving events in more than 25 cities and towns involving students at more  has been endorsed by over 75 South African organizations including the South African Council of Churches (click here), South Africa’s ruling party the ANC (click here), South Africa’s largest trade union confederation COSATU (click here) and several other organizations. Click here for more information on IAW taking place in South Africa and how you can get involved.

Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) was launched 10 years ago. Today it takes place in 150 international cities. is an annual international series of events (including rallies, lectures, cultural performances, music shows, films and workshops) that raises awareness of Israel’s apartheid policies against the indigenous Palestinians and garners support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign.

SOUTH AFRICAN ORGANIZATIONS ENDORSING IAW:

African National Congress (ANC), African National Congress Women’s League (ANC WL), African National Congress Youth League (ANC YL), Ahlul Bayt Youth Movement of South Africa (ABYMOSA), Amandla, Botswana National Front (BNF), Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel in South Africa (BDS South Africa), Caring Women’s Forum (CWF), Centre for Civil Society (CCS), Chemical Energy Paper Printing Wood and Allied Workers Union (CEPPWAWU), Coalition for a Free Palestine (CFP), Communication Workers Union (CWU), Congress of South African Students (COSAS), Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA), Embassy of Palestine in South Africa, Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU), Friends of Cuba (FOCUS), Jamiatul Ulama of South Africa, Kairos Southern Africa, Islamic Medical Association of South Africa (IMA), Media Review Network (MRN), Mkhonto WeSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA), Muslim Judicial Council (MJC), Muslim Lawyers Association (MLA), Muslim Professional Network (MPN), Muslim Youth Movement (MYM), National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU), National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Newcastle Sports Association (NCSA),Open Shuhada Street (OSS), Palestine Solidarity Alliance (PSA PE), Palestine Solidarity Alliance (PSA Port Shepstone), Palestine Solidarity Alliance (PSA), Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), People Against Suffering Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP), Pietermaritzburg For Palestine (PMB4PALESTINE), Police and Prison Civil Right Union (POPCRU), Rhodes University Palestine Solidarity Forum (Rhodes PSF), Runners For The Freedom of Palestine, Rustenburg Palestine Solidarity Forum (Rustenburg PSF), South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU), South African Artists Against Apartheid (SAAAA), South African Communist Party (SACP), South African Council of Churches (SACC), South African Council of Churches Youth Forum (SACCYF), South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU), South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU), South African National Defence Union (SANDU), South African National Women’s Forum (SANWMF), South African Students Congress (SASCO), South African Union of Students (SAUS), Stellenbosch Palestine Solidarity Campaign (Stellenbosch PSC), StopTheJNF, Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN), UKZN Theology & Development Programme (UKZN-T&D), Union of Muslim Students Association (MSA), University of Cape Town Palestine Solidarity (UCT PSF), University of Johannesburg Palestine Solidarity Forum (UJ PSF), University of Western Cape Palestine Solidarity Association (UWC PSA), Vaal Muslim Womens Forum (MWF), Wits University Palestine Solidarity Forum (Wits PSC), Johannesburg Workers Museum, Workers World Media Productions (WWMP), World Federation of Trade Union (WFTU), Young Communist League of South Africa (YCL), Zaytoun South Africa.

Click here to watch the 2014 Israeli Apartheid Week trailer.

Launch of Israeli Apartheid Week in South Africa

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PRESS CONFERENCE INVITE: Launch of Israeli Apartheid Week in South Africa with Simphiwe Dana, former South African ambassador to Israel, representatives of national organizations and others [Sunday, 9 March 2014]

Members of the media are invited to a press conference this Sunday (09 March 2014) which will launch the 10th international Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW).

PRESS CONFERENCE TO LAUNCH ISRAELI APARTHEID WEEK 2014

DATE: 09 March 2014

TIME: 11h00

VENUE: Workers Museum, 52 Jeppe Street, Newtown (Opposite Sci-Bono Museum)

SPEAKERS:

– Musician, Simphiwe Dana

– Palestinian Ambassador to South Africa, H.E. Hafiz Nofal

– Former South African Ambassador to Israel, Ismail Coovadia

– Israeli Author of “The General’s Son”, Miko Peled

– Mayor of Johannesburg and Chairperson of ANC JHB Region, Parks Tau (TBC)

– Deputy General Secretary of the South African Communist Party, Solly Mapaila

– 2nd Deputy President of COSATU, Zingiswa Losi

– Deputy President of the South African Students Congress, Thabo Mlotja

– Deputy National Secretary, Alex Mashilo
– Deputy President of South African Union of Students, Tebogo Thotela

– President of South African Council of Churches Youth Forum, Vuyani Pule

– Coordinator of Swaziland Solidarity Network, Lucky Lukhele

– General Secretary of Friends of Cuba Society (FOCUS)

– Spokesperson for Stop The JNF (a group of progressive Jews in solidarity with the Palestinians), Alan Horwitz

– Director of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, Neeshan Bolton
– Kairos Southern Africa, Stiaan van der Merwe

– International Relations Secretary of ANC Youth League, Rebone Tau

At the Sunday 09th of March press conference the full schedule of IAW events for the upcoming week will be released to the media including details of which Government Ministers, artists, church leaders and others will be speaking during and for Israeli Apartheid Week as well as what sporting and cultural events will be hosted.

Media are invited to conduct interviews with members of the Israeli Apartheid Week campaign. Interviews, debates, radio shows and TV discussions can be arranged in all South African languages and in all South African cities and towns.

This year the 10th international Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) campaign will be held in over over 250 cities across the world, including in more than 25 South African cities, towns and universities. Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) will be held in South Africa between the 10th and 16th of March and organisers indicate that it will be the biggest IAW since it was first launched in 2004. To date over 75 South African organisations across the country including South Africa’s ruling-party the African National Congress, South Africa’s largest trade union confederation, COSATU; the South African Council of Churches; and several other civil society organisations  have endorsed the IAW campaign.

IAW is an annual international series of events (including rallies, lectures, cultural performances, music shows, films and workshops) that seek to raise awareness of Israel’s apartheid policies against the indigenous Palestinians and garner support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign which is aimed to bring an end to Israel’s apartheid policies and violations of international law.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, COMMENT OR TO ARRANGE AN INTERVIEW:
IAW South Africa National Convenor, Muhammed Desai:
+27 (0) 842119988
IAW South Africa National Spokesperson, Kwara Kekana:
+27 (0) 72 449 1774


ISSUED BY KWARA KEKANA, NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON OF “ISRAELI APARTHEID WEEK SOUTH AFRICA TEAM”
Tel:
+27 (0) 72 449 1774
Email:
iawsouthafrica@apartheidweek.org
Twitter:
www.twitter.com/iawsouthafrica
Facebook:
www.facebook.com/iawsouthafrica
Website:
www.bdssouthafrica.com/2011/02/israeli-apartheid-week.html or www.apartheidweek.org