Sabeel Wave of Prayer
20th February 2020
This week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of the Regional Council of the Palestinian Unrecognised Bedouin Villages (RCUV). The RCUV seeks to provide representation for Palestinian Bedouin villages in the Naqab. The Palestinian Arab citizens in these villages have no legal recognition in the Israeli state and no access to municipal services, like water or electricity. They wish to continue to follow their traditional way of life, rearing livestock and farming. Bedouin villagers, like those in al-Araqib, live under constant threat of demolition. The Israeli government wants to relocate them to urban centres without regard for their rural way of life.
· Lord, we pray for the work of the RCUV as they seek to protect those who have no rights in their own land. We pray that the way of life of the Bedouin people would be respected and that they would be left to farm in their traditional ways. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.
The UN Human Rights Office has issued a report on the companies which are profiting from the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The report names 112 businesses which have been involved with establishing the settlements, including Airbnb, , the Expedia Group and Motorola Solutions. There are now about 600,000 Israelis living in around 140 illegal settlements, built since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967.
· Dear Lord, we pray that the businesses named in the UN report will review how they are gaining profit from their links with Jewish settlements, which are considered illegal under international law. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.
Following a decision by the Israeli government to ban Palestinian exports of agricultural produce through Jordan, the Head of Mission of the Office of the Quartet, Dr John Clarke, stated that the Quartet would intervene in the decision to ban Palestinian exports of agricultural products and appeal to the Israeli government to lift this restriction. The Quartet on the Middle East is a group of international entities involved in mediating the Israeli/Palestinian peace process.
· Dear Lord, we pray that attempts by the Israeli government to choke the Palestinian economy would meet a strong intervention and practical action from the international community. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.
On Tuesday, the 11th of February, vandals slashed the tyres of dozens of vehicles in the Arab village of Jish in Northern Israel and spray-painted slogans on buildings warning of ‘Jewish-Arab assimilation’. Police are treating it as another attack by the so called ‘Price Tag’ organisation of hard-right Israelis, which has carried out similar attacks against Arabs in recent years.
· Lord, we pray for the Arab communities living in fear of these hate crimes. We pray that the police authorities will prosecute offenders and protect vulnerable communities. We pray that Israeli and Arab communities will live respectfully and peaceably in their shared land. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.
On Monday, the 10th of February, Sabeel published its new edition of Cornerstone entitled Theologies of Palestine. In this edition there are a number of interviews with Palestinian theologians from different denominations which explore their theology, how it deals with Christian Zionism, and their hopes for the future.
· Oh Lord, you are compassionate and merciful. We thank you for the desire to reach a deeper understanding of one another and how we reflect your glory and build your church where we live. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.
Nadia Habash, a lecturer at Birzeit University, has been named by the Middle East Architect magazine as one of the fifty most influential architects in the region. She described her work as part of a ‘national struggle to preserve the architectural heritage in Palestine’.
· Lord, we thank you for the gifts you give to architects like Nadia. We thank you that she has been able to celebrate and cherish her Palestinian heritage in an occupied land where there is so much destruction. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.
· We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of France, Germany and Monaco. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.