Israel/Palestine – A Just Peace

Sharon Copeman

Rev. Sharon Copeman
June 17th, 2017

Lets Keep Talking About Peace in Palistine
The Separation Wall – Bethlehem
Children in Susiya’s Perspective
An Israeli Perspective

     The following suggestions and information resulted from the brainstorming session held regarding A Just Peace for Israel/Palestine during the Knox hosted Let’s Keep Talking Forum June 2017.


1. Learn, listen and talk together:
     a. Be open to news from the Middle East and Israel / Palestine and share good articles or notices of events with others.
     b. Follow news and Urgent Action requests by clicking on these links…
          i.     United Church of Canada’s Justice Initiatives – Coose Peace Palestine and Israel
          ii.    UNJPPI  
          iii.   Independent Jewish Voices Canada
          iv.  Jewish Voice for Peace
2. Use The Fabric of our Lives dolls to connect people with this issue.
3. Selling and using olive oil from Palestine.
4. Invite Rabbi David Mivasair to come and share stories of his recent trip to Israel/Palestine.
5. Write letters — contact our MPs — based on Urgent Action Requests from the United Church,  UNJPPI
6. Travel to Palestine/Israel to see for ourselves — come back and become actively involved.
     a. Terry has sent contact information for the organizers of the olive picking and tree planting tours he and Yoko participate in.  This is a project of the East Jerusalem YMCA and YWCA of Palestine.
7. Give financial support to others who need help with funding but are able to travel — fund-raise.10. Distribute the list of products made in the occupied Palestinian territories: Soda Stream, Ahava, Keter Plastic products; Naot shoes, Holy Land Hummus, Holy Land Baba Ganouj.
8. As a hostess gift when invited out, rather than giving a bottle of wine, give a bottle of Palestinian olive oil in a wine bag.  (Olives are a symbol of peace, and olive trees are a symbol of resurrection.)
9. 2017 marks 50 years of the Occupation.  This is the Jubilee year.  The biblical imperative is for forgiveness of debt and the return of land to the original owners.  There is an opportunity for action here!
10. Martha forwarded the following to me this week:  (I share it for information and as a word of encouragement)

Amnesty International has just launched a ground-breaking, bold and exciting campaign ‘Occupation @ 50’.  AI is calling on all third party states to abide by their legal obligations under international law to not recognize or assist illegal situations.  Therefore, AI calls on countries to:
     • stop helping to sustain the settlements (illegal activity) by banning all settlement goods from their markets and 
     • prevent, through legislation and/or regulations, companies domiciled in their countries from operating in settlements or trading in settlement goods.  

     This is an invitation to organizations that would like to join us and partner in this initiative to push the U.S. government to ban all imports from Israeli settlements and prevent U.S. based companies from operating there or in trading in settlement goods to contact me.  We believe this will be a good first step in ending the human rights violations of Palestinians living there.

     The first six (6) months of this year long campaign will be spent educating, networking and gathering signatures on a petition that will look much like this global petition, only formatted specifically for the U.S.  The last half (Jan – May 2018) will be the main advocacy/lobbying push. 

     This campaign isn’t based on any new report, our usual procedure.  AI believes 50 years of condemnation is enough.  It’s time for action and we have a body of documentation spanning decades of violations.  The campaign will highlight about a dozen of the more serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law that have been happening since 1967 and their impact on those living under the occupation with a focus on Israel’s settlement enterprise.  Settlements are sustained through government subsidies, but also their own internal commercial and business economy.

Outputs so far:
The AI Perspective on the Palestinian Story
The Global Petition
Help End Half A Century of Violations
AIUSA Campaign Launch Blog…United States Must Stop ‘Propping Up’ Illegal, Israeli Settlements
Al Jazeera OpEd by Philip Luther