ISRAEL-PALESTINE: Send a message of hope this Christmas; 4 actions you can take

from the Faith Forum on Middle East Policy

3rd Thurs graphicNOTE: Pax Christi USA is a member of the Faith Forum. This is their “Third Thursday for Israel-Palestine” action for December. 

Jesus, the Prince of Peace, brought hope to a troubled world, and we are invited to embody that hope in the troubled world of today.

In Israel and Palestine, the escalation in tension and violence that started this fall continues. A UN report gives figures for October and November of 103 Palestinians and 17 Israelis killed.

In the midst of such a tense situation, the Palestinian Authority asked its West Bank municipalities to tone down public Christmas celebrations.  In Bethlehem, the biblical city of Jesus’ birth, plans have been scaled back. “Every year, when we light the tree, usually there is a huge display of fireworks, but this year we will ring church bells instead,” said [Mayor] Baboun. The bells, she added, will remind everyone “that we exist despite all the catastrophes.”

Offer a message of hope for peace this Christmas by calling on Congress to support measures that will serve the cause of a just peace for all. In addition to calling for a halt to the current violence, ask them to address the root causes, including the Israeli occupation, so that a lasting peace can be found.

ACTION #1: Contact your elected officials today and urge them to:

  • Call for an immediate halt to violence by all parties
  • Call for an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land
  • Insist that military aid to Israel is used in ways consistent with human rights standards as outlined in US laws

Sample letter to elected officials:

Dear Senator/Representative,

As a person of faith, I write to you during this holiday season out of concern for the current climate of escalating tension and violence in Israel and Palestine.

I hope that you will both call for a halt to the violence and address the root causes, including the Israeli occupation, so that a lasting peace can be found.

I hope that you will speak out to:

  • Call for an immediate halt to violence by all parties
  • Call for an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land
  • Insist that military aid to Israel is used in ways consistent with human rights standards as outlined in US laws

I believe that calling for such measures that will serve the cause of a just peace for both Israelis and Palestinians.

Thank you for your consideration.

Contact your elected officials today. Click here to find your representative and click here to find your senators.

ACTION#2: Send a message of hope directly to Bethlehem

Let the people of Bethlehem know you’re advocating for a just peace by telling them about your message to Congress. During Advent and Christmas 2015, Pax Christi International invites members and people of good will to write a message of hope and encouragement to friends in Bethlehem. Arab Educational Institute (AEI), a Pax Christi International member organization based in Palestine will distribute the messages to citizens of Bethlehem, members and friends. Send your emails to aei@p-ol.com. Messages will be posted on the AEI website.

ACTION #3: Join in a joint simulcast worship service with Bethlehem

The ninth annual Bethlehem simulcast service will be held Saturday, December 19 at 10:00 AM Eastern Time (5:00 PM in Bethlehem).  Congregations will gather at the Washington National Cathedral in DC and at the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem.  Prayers, readings, and hymns alternate between the two congregations in a joint celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace. To live-stream the service, go to cathedral.org.

ACTION #4: Pray for peace

Pray for peace in God’s troubled world.  The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem has prepared “A Litany for Peace in the Holy Land” which can be found here.

 

2 responses to “ISRAEL-PALESTINE: Send a message of hope this Christmas; 4 actions you can take

  1. Rita Queimadelos da Silva

    Faith,Love,Peace.Amen.

  2. Tension must lead to justice rather than to violence.