The National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine issued an open letter to the World Council of Churches (WCC) in June 2017.
18 months later, in Canada there has been NO response to this call.
Christians in Palestine said they need the eccumenical movement more than ever,: “We need brave women and men who are willing to stand in the forefront. This is no time for shallow diplomacy Christians.”
In Canada, NO response has been provided by the eccumenical Christian leadership through either the Canadian Council of Churches, the members of the Council or others Christian communities.
The June 2017 letter expressed the urgent situation of the people in Palestine: “We are on the verge of a catastrophic collapse,” the letter states. “This could be our last chance to achieve a just peace.
Read the open letter from The National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine (NCCOP) to the World Council of Churches and the ecumenical movement:
November 29th is the International Day of Solidarity with the people of Palestine. In recognition we call the Canadian Christian community to take immediate and decisive action in response the call from the Christian Palestinian community.
The Canadian Council of Churches, Canadian Christian denominations, congregations and organizations are called to make a clear statements and take action that addresses the call of the Palestinian Christians which urged churches to:
- recognize Israel as an apartheid state;
- condemn the Balfour declaration as unjust;
- take a clear theological stand against any theology or Christian group that justifies the occupation and privileges one nation over the other based on ethnicity or a covenant;
- revisit and challenge religious dialogue partners;
- defend the right of Palestinian Christians to resist the occupation creatively and nonviolently;support BDS.
- publicly and legally challenge Christian organizations that discredit our work and legitimacy
- lobby, advocate and develop active programs towards justice and peace for the people of Palestine
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. (Isa. 1:17)
More background to the statement from the Christians in Palestine in making this call:
We are suffering from 100 years of injustice and oppression that were inflicted on the Palestinian people beginning with the unjust and unlawful Balfour declaration, intensified through the Nakba and the influx of refugees, followed by the Israeli occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem and Gaza and the fragmentation of our people and our land through policies of isolation and confiscation of land, and the building of Jewish-only settlements and the Apartheid Wall.
We are still suffering because of one political declaration from a Western Empire, based on a twisted theological premise. Even some churches and few Christian leaders supported the establishment of the colonial state in our land, and totally ignored – even dehumanized – the nation, our people that had already existed here for centuries and paid the price for atrocities committed in Europe.
Hundred years later with thousands of lives lost, towns and villages razed from the face of the earth – though not our memory –, millions of refugees, thousands of homes demolished and continued incarceration of prisoners, our Nakba goes on.
Hundred years later and there is still no justice in our land! Discrimination and inequality, military occupation and systematic oppression are the rule. Today, we stand in front of an impasse and we have reached a deadlock. Despite all the promises, endless summits, UN resolutions, religious and lay leader’s callings – Palestinians are still yearning for their freedom and independence, and seeking justice and equality. Humanly speaking – we have reached the “moment of impossible”, as Emeritus Latin Patriarch Sabbah said recently.
Could it be that we have reached this “impossible moment” because things were built from the very beginning – a hundred years ago – on an unjust premise? Should we expect that such an unjust declaration will create anything but strife and destruction?
While we are grateful for the ‘costly solidarity’ articulated in the Amman Call (2007) and exercised by many churches around the world, we are concerned that some churches have weakened their positions in the last ten years as a result of this manipulating pressure. Many still hide behind the cover of political neutrality, not wishing to offend their religious dialogue partners.
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 Cor. 4:8-9)
with Jonathan Kuttab
From September 24 to October 12, 2018.
Locations in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, British Columbia, and Ontario.
Events in other provinces will be added later in 2018 and/or early 2019. STAY TUNED
Description of Event
Hear what is happening currently on the ground in Palestine from respected international human rights lawyer, Jonathan Kuttab.
Palestine is at a watershed moment. The Deal of the Century, the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem and the ending of UNRWA funding by the Trump Administration, are a few of the current issues.
25 years post-Oslo, a two state solution is no longer feasible. This being the case what is the solution? What is the role of Canadian civil society? How do we hold our Canadian government accountable in this regard under international and domestic law?
POST-OSLO PALESTINE/WHAT DEAL OF THE CENTURY
NEW THINKING, CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES
Monday, September 24, 7 to 9 PM
Thursday, September 27, 7 to 9 PM
the Lantern-- A Christian Centre
35 Barnes Road
St. John's, Newfoundland
Friday, September 28, 7:30 to 9:30 PM
Unitarian Congregation of Niagara
233 Church Street
St. Catharines, Ontario
Monday, October 1, 7 to 9 PM
Muslim Association Centre-Vancouver
2122 Kingsway, Vancouver
Wednesday, October 3, 7 to 9 PM
Tuesday, October 9, 7 PM to 9 PM
Friends House, 60 Lowther Ave, Toronto
Palestinian human rights lawyer, Jonathan Kuttab, examines the present configuration of forces and personalities leading to current outlook for justice and peace for Palestine and Israel. He is concerned by what he sees as the continued erosion of human rights for all Palestinians under Israel's control and the rightward shift of Israeli society and state. Yet he is still hopeful that the present forces can be undone and situation reversed with our help.
Other Related Events
Threat to Masjid Al Aqsa
Saturday, September 29, 7 PM to 9 PM
Sunday, September 30, 6 PM to 9 PM
Holy Land Focus
Tuesday, October 2, 7 PM to 9 PM
Northwest Auditorium, Trinity Western University student invitation, Langley, British Columbia
Thursday, October 4, 7 to 9 PM
A104, DTB/David Trump Building,
University of Victoria,
3800 Finnerty Road, Victoria British Columbia
Friday, October 5, 11 PM to 1:30 PM
Room 119, entrance at 932 Balmoral Road, First Metropolitan Unitarian Church, 2829 Douglas Street, Victora
The Trump administration’s decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem and end UNRWA funding for refugees introduces new challenges to the Palestinians, including the Christian Palestinian minority. Hear what is happening currently on the ground in Palestine from respected international human rights lawyer Jonathan Kuttab.
Special Events: Panels and Workshops
CHILDREN RIGHTS IN THE REALITY OF ONGOING GLOBAL COLONIZATION
September 28th, 2 to 4 PM
with Children and Youth Studies Union, Ryerson University
NOTE LOCATION: Friends House, 60 Lowther Ave Toronto
- Jonathan Kuttab, International Human Rights Lawyer
- Tori Cress, leader of the Idle No More movement
- Swathi Sekhar, immigration lawyer
The United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child: Perceptions and Reality in the Context of Ongoing Global Colonization
This panel brings together academics, international law experts, human rights activists and child & youth professionals to look a:
- the vision of the United Nation's Convention on the Right of the Child, and
-the reality is for indigenous populations here on Turtle Island, for immigrant and refugees to Canada, along with the role Canada plays internationally related to children.
This is an opportunity to understand realities and consider the real advocate role called for by the child and youth professionals, policy makers, academics, and others.
EFFECTIVE STUDENT ADVOCACY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
September 29, 11 AM to 3 PM
Student event in Toronto
NOTE LOCATION: Friends House, 60 Lowther Ave Toronto
with webcast for across Canada.
Students and allies: be ready for the reality of advocacy for human rights, free speech and international law on campuses across Ontario in this era of Ford.
"Colleges and universities should be places where students exchange different ideas and opinions in open and respectful debate," said Ford in press release August 30. "Our government made a commitment to the people of Ontario to protect free speech on campuses. Promise made, promise kept." Universities and colleges are mandated to implement this free speech policy by January 1, 2019.
What does does this mandated change mean for those who stand against human rights and international law violations in Palestine? What consultation process are being put in place at universities and colleges across Ontario, and what learnings are there for campuses across Canada.
Also, pro-Israel groups have indicated the code of conduct for all universities in Canada will be updated by 2020 based on their effective pro-Israel lobby.
Learn about these and other mandated changes happening on your campus, and consider what this means for your work as an advocate for human rights and international law.
Join with current and former students from campuses across Ontario to consider the current situation, and consider how we can work effectively together, using advocacy tools, and with the support of resources and advice, to support a voice for international law and human rights.
Webinar will be available for student groups outside Toronto, and this will be of interest also to students across Canada
Speakers will be present to share information, in the context that colonization continues to play from Turtle Island to Palestine. What does this means for the work of advocacy for students and others in the context of human rights, international humanitarian law, other international law and Canada's own domestic law.
Jonathan Kuttab will be joined with including Canadian lawyer Stephen Ellis, Coordinator for Christian Peacemaker Teams-Canada, Rachelle Friesen and others.
Jonathan Kuttab is a leading human rights lawyer. After a graduating with his Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) from Virgina Law School, and practicing a couple years on Wall Street, Jonathan returned home to Palestine.
In 1979, Jonathan cofounded Al Haq, the first international human rights legal organization in Palestine. Later he co-founded the Palestinian Center for the Study of Non-Violence (now Violence International) and also founded the Mandela Institute for Prisoners.
Jonathan is a Palestinian Christian, who is past chair of the Bethlehem Bible College serves on the board of the Sabeel Ecumenical Theology Center in Jerusalem and is a leader in the establishment of Christ at the Checkpoint conference. Jonathan was part of the 1994 legal team for the Cairo agreement that resulted in the Oslo II Accord.
Jonathan was visiting scholar at Osgoode Law School at York University in Toronto in the Fall of 2017, and is a founding director of Just Peace Advocates?Mouvement pour une Paix Juste, a Canadian based international law human rights not-for-profit.
Jonathan is a resident of East Jerusalem, and is a partner of Kuttab, Khoury and Hanna Law Firm in East Jerusalem.
Campaigns in partnership with Just Peace Advocates that Jonathan will also be sharing:
Jonathan will speak of the situation for Palestinians living in Gaza, and highlight the Al Haq Gaza 20/20: Perceptions and Reality campaign.
Jonathan will also speak about the demographic plan to remove Palestine from Jerusalem, and will highlight the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem campaign "The Reality for Jerusalem After Trump."
Al Haq is an independent Palestinian non-governmental human rights organisation based in Ramallah, West Bank. Established in 1979 to protect and promote human rights and the rule of law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), the organisation has special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
The Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem includes a number of human rights groups who come together to focus on the rights of Palestinians in Jerusalem.
Just Peace Advocates focuses on public policy interests for equity for all people including those of Palestine is advanced through strong national and international networks that build effective relationships with government, media, Canadian civil society, including all faiths and ethnic groups, and supporters of human rights and international law.
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