As the violence in Gaza and Jerusalem escalates, Pax Christi USA has joined in several efforts to address the crisis. Earlier today (May 14), we joined with over 100 other organizations in issuing a joint statement calling on the Biden Administration to:
- Immediately send the strongest possible diplomatic message to Israel to desist from its plans to demolish Palestinian homes in Al-Bustan and evict Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah;
- Publicly reiterate that U.S. policy opposes Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem and that East Jerusalem is Occupied Territory under international law;
- Undertake an expeditious review of previous Congressional requests that the State Department investigate whether Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes with U.S. weapons violates the Arms Export Control Act (AECA);
- If Israel proceeds with its plans to demolish Palestinian homes in Al-Bustan and evict Palestinian residents from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, then the U.S. Embassy to Israel should send observers to document Israel’s forced displacement of Palestinians, including details on the military units involved in these operations and the usage of any U.S. weapons for purposes of oversight and accountability regarding Leahy Law and AECA violations.
Media Statement from Roxana Bendezú, Program Director, Pax Christi USA:
“Pax Christi USA has joined more than a hundred U.S.-based progressive organizations to call on the Biden Administration to condemn the Israeli government’s plans to forcibly displaced Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem. Furthermore, as stated in our Statement of Principles, we condemn the role of the United States in providing financial and political support to the government of Israel in its occupation of Palestinian land, an occupation illegal under international law.”
From Pax Christi USA’s Statement of Principles, originally issued in anticipation of the 2020 Elections:
ON PALESTINE: The United States of America continues to provide financial and political support to the government of Israel in its occupation of Palestinian land, an occupation illegal under international law. Meanwhile, the Israeli military continues displacing, killing, and terrorizing Palestinians, denying residents of the West Bank and Gaza their human rights to medical care, to clean water, to electricity, and to mobility. As a community of conscience, we stand together and fully support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement to pressure the leaders of Israel towards a just peace in this conflict, and we join in solidarity with the Palestinian population.
>> Read Pax Christi USA’s 2014 statement regarding violence in Gaza.
From Pax Christi International
Pax Christi International released two statements earlier this week. The first statement urges the United Nations Security Council to oppose the impending home evictions by Israel in the neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan. Read the statement here.
The second, “Embolden peacebuilders, demand justice: Message on the situation in Jerusalem”, addresses how underneath “this explosion of violence is a long history of simmering anger, resentment, and loss of hope.” Read this message from Pax Christi International at this link.
“Pax Christi members watch in horror as the Holy Land and its City of Peace devolve into violence and carnage. Our hearts are broken by the relentless loss of life and number of injured persons that seem to increase by the hour. We lament that the hopes of one people must be sacrificed in pursuit of another’s; and, while we reject all forms of violence, the great imbalance of geo-political power and military might must be acknowledged. Until the dignity and human rights of all parties involved are equally protected and justice is secured, the fields, streets and skies over Palestine and Israel will not know peace.” ~Abigail Abysalh Metzger, representative, Pax Christi International UN Team
- Pray with Sabeel’s Wave of Prayer blog post for May 10.
- Read Kairos Palestine’s call to The Holy See (Vatican), The World Council of Churches and Church Leaders Worldwide for Solidarity and Action.
- Read Stephanie Saldaña’s, “A Christian in Jerusalem at the Start of Another War” in America.
- Take action with the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns by urging President Biden to act for peace in Israel-Palestine.
- In 2015, Pax Christi USA sent a delegation of about 30 people to the Occupied West Bank to attend the Pax Christi International World Assembly, meet with our Palestinian colleagues and Israeli peace and justice groups, and more. See their reflections, commentaries and photos at this link.