Thursday, December 3, 2009

3/12/09 - English

Young adults from across Holland have joined together to form the new Young Friends of Sabeel - Netherlands. The group seeks to connect young people interested in justice issues in Palestine and Israel by publishing a monthly newsletter. We give thanks for this initiative and pray for continued engagement of Dutch Christians and churches.

In recent months, the Israeli Ministry of the Interior has drastically tightened restrictions for internationals wishing to volunteer or work in Palestine and Israel. Many organizations (including Sabeel) feel the effects of this policy through higher staff turnover and additional resources spent dealing with the added bureaucracy. We give thanks for all who offer their time and talents in service and pray for an end to the hostility shown to them. God, in your grace, transform our world.

On Tuesday morning, a group of Israeli settlers, accompanied by armed military and police forces, occupied the home of Rifka al-Kurd in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem. The settlers reportedly produced a court order giving them consent for the takeover. In compliance with another court order that prohibited their presence in the house, the al-Kurd family was not at home when the settlers arrived. May this injustice not go unnoticed.

Conflicts within Israel seem to be escalating. Tensions between the ultra-orthodox and secular Jews, standoffs between the military and settlers, and a soaring crime rate indicate a very frustrated and fractured society. We pray that voices of moderation and justice can prevail and that Israel will recognize “the things that make for peace.”

This week we join with the World Council of Churches in praying for: Liberia, Sierra Leone

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