We give praise for the strong call for justice in the statement from the Vatican’s Middle East Synod “urging the international community to take necessary legal steps to put an end to the occupation of the different Arab territories.” May all peace seekers be strengthened and encouraged to speak and act for justice and peace for all the peoples in this land.
We hold in prayer the city and people of Jerusalem as two Israeli Parliamentary bills threaten to limit Palestinian life in the city. One proposing that only Israeli citizens may lead tours in Jerusalem would exclude Palestinians tour guides with a Jerusalem ID or work permit, while another bill to make Jerusalem a national priority zone may increase Israeli building projects in East Jerusalem. We pray that the religious and cultural diversity that makes this city so special may be preserved for all peoples.
We give praise for programs that strengthen commitment to local community: the Nazareth Youth program this week will photograph Nazareth for a gallery exhibition, and on Friday a joint Sabeel Jerusalem-Nazareth Community program in Haifa will partake in spiritual and emotional nurture, cultural celebration, and educational opportunities. We pray that participants will be encouraged to continue to work on issues important for the community.
We pray for the Presbyterian Church USA as its Israel/Palestine Mission Network voted to join the BDS (boycott, divest, sanctions) movement by boycotting goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories. We give thanks for such courageous action and pray for strength and encouragement for all who engage in the BDS movement.