Thursday, May 28, 2009

28/5/09 - English

As Israel moves closer to banning commemorations of the Palestinian Nakba, we pray that God will stop this unjust law from coming into effect. This and a law requiring a loyalty oath of all citizens are the latest measures facing the Arab population of Israel.  May the day come soon when discrimination is replaced with equity and respect.

President Obama is currently preparing to address the Arab world on June 4 in Cairo. We pray that whatever Middle East policy he articulates will be solidly rooted in a commitment to justice. It is our prayer that he will listen to wise advisors and have the courage to make the difficult changes that are necessary for peace.

Next Thursday the World Council of Churches “World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel” begins. We are thankful for the worldwide community spanning more than 38 countries that will join together in prayer, education, and advocacy in the cause of justice.  

This Pentecost, we remember how the way of eternal life began in Jerusalem and spread throughout the world to all people through the sending of the Holy Spirit. We pray for closer understanding and unity among the different members of the one church, so that we can better bring about Christ’s vision of the Kingdom. 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

21/5/09 - English

Due to an extremely dry winter, water issues threaten to be a source of contention this summer—areas of East Jerusalem have already experienced water shortages. This is exacerbated by the unjust distribution of water resources. We pray for a mild summer in Palestine and an end to the misuse of water as a political tool and weapon.

President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu are meeting in Washington, this week. We pray that the United States will keep Israel accountable to its obligations to the peace process and international law. May President Obama be moved to stand with conviction and courage in the interest of human rights and justice.

In recent talks, Fatah and Hamas have agreed to create a joint security force in Gaza until new elections are held next year. We earnestly pray that this development marks a new spirit of cooperation among Palestinian political parties. Cooperation is necessary to improve the situation of Palestinians and is vital to establishing a lasting and just peace.

As Pope Benedict XVI returns to the Vatican from his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, we offer a prayer of thanksgiving for his willingness to acknowledge the difficulties facing Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. Christians from Gaza, Jerusalem, and the West Bank delivered a message to His Holiness during his time in Jerusalem. We pray that this and other experiences will encourage the Church in working for justice and peace for all people of this region.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

7/5/06 - English

After several months of discernment, evaluation and prayer, Christian Peacemaker Teams have chosen to restart their Hebron team. We thank God for CPT’s presence in the midst of violence and settlement expansion. We pray that they may remain safe and resolute in their work of “getting in the way.”

Pope Benedict XVI will arrive in Israel and Palestine on Saturday. We pray that he will have opportunity to see and comprehend the realities of life in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. May his pilgrimage offer encouragement to the shrinking Palestinian Christian community who are leaving because of the brutality of living under occupation.

This weekend, Sabeel will host a dialogue event for young adults from Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Nazareth. The participants will spend two days together enjoying cultural events, sharing meals, and cleaning a Muslim cemetery and a church in Ma’lul, a mixed Christian/Muslim village that was depopulated during the Palestinian Nakba of 1948. We pray that these young adults will develop new relationships and learn from the story of Ma’lul.

Last Friday, the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs issued a report  highlighting the issues of house demolitions and evictions of Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the increase in Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem. The UN called on Israel to uphold the Geneva Convention. We pray that Israel will follow this path and seek to act legally and justly.