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Showing posts from January, 2009

Franciscan International’s oral statement for the Ninth Special Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the situation in Gaza

Franciscans International (FI) would like to express its deep concern about the recent events in Gaza and Southern Israel that have led to the loss of hundreds of civilian lives. The escalation of violence has completely disregarded the most basic principles of International Humanitarian Law leading to the present humanitarian tragedy.
FI calls upon Israel and the Hamas leadership to immediately cease hostilities. The ceasefire is absolutely necessary in order to prevent the further targeting of the civilian population. This is true in the Southern Israeli towns attacked by rockets launched - Call on Israel to fully cooperate with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967;
- Review in its forthcoming March session the steps undertaken by the concerned actors to implement its recommendations.
While this emergency calls for intense diplomacy to bring about a cessation of all violence, the international communit…

Israel and Gaza: who should we demonize?

A friend of mine emailed me about my comments regarding the Israeli offensive in Gaza. He suggested that I had the wrong end of the stick, and pointed me to several articles that supported Israel, and demonised Hamas.
I wrote this long response, and post it here for further comment.

Thanks Antony for the article
However, I think the writer has got the wrong end of the stick. It saddens me to think that anyone can support the use of force by either side as a way to achieving peace. And it saddens me even more when Christians do it.

To comment on the article. Israel withdrew from Gaza, which was occupied territory, because it was difficult to continue to protect the settlers, and because it meant they could say they are withdrawing their settlers in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions, while leaving the major settlements on the West Bank. (Those settlements mean that there will never be a free Palestinian State on the West Bank, but isolated cities surrounded by Israel, and at …

Once

On happier note, we are spending some nights watching movies. Last night we watched "Once". This is a stunningly beautiful movie, apart from some of the language. It is a great story, and the music is amazing. Just amazing. My two older children really got into it, and immediatly after went online to buy the soundtrack, as you do.

Regarding Gaza

Regarding Gaza

By Rev. Alex Awad, Dean of Students, Bethlehem Bible College
December 31, 2008

One hundred tons of bombs are Israel’s way of saying to the captive citizens of Gaza, Merry Christmas, Happy Eid (feast) and Happy New Year. These “gifts” that were showered from US-made F-16 fighter jets demolished government buildings, mosques, a university, hundreds of homes and snuffed out many lives – among them scores of children. Like many in this part of the world and around the globe my heart aches when I read and see pictures of the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip and likewise when I see Israelis killed or injured by Qassam rockets. However, I have a special love for Gaza and its people. Before the strict closure of Gaza, Bethlehem Bible College used to have an extension there. I went to Gaza once every Thursday to teach our students and often I stayed the night there. Interacting with Gazans in class, in church and in the community, I learned much about the kindness and th…

Happy New Year

What a way to start. Fireworks. Big crowds at the Mount. All good
And in Israel, fireworks and big crowds too, only not so much fun. AS I watch the terrorist state of Israel continue to target UN facilities, and teh civilians within, as they continue with their ongoing blockade that prevents food, medicine, fuel, hope from entering Gaza, I wonder how a people who were treated so appallingly can so quickly act with so little humanity, so little compassion, and instead poor out such hate on other people.
There will be no peace while Israel insists on acting as a terrorist state, and whil America supports them in their terrorist activities.

Anyway, happy new year!

I enclose a email I received last week.

Hello all,
I am spending the Christmas break here in Jerusalem with my girlfriend Karin and her family. It was a lovely Christmas, as we went to Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity and Christmas Lutheran Church on Christmas Eve and then to the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Old City J…