|Prayer during rally for Gaza in Federal Plaza, Chicago|
“In the spirit that infuses this land with sanctity and holiness and in keeping with our faith and its teachings, we appeal to all peace loving people across the world to work with their governments and fellow citizens to stop the destruction and the carnage that is going on in Gaza. The current distressing situation in the Gaza Strip is the result of the impasse in the political process and the absence of peace. We strongly believe that the cause of all this is the continuing Israeli occupation and the blockade and restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities on the Gaza Strip and its 1.6 million population. The Israeli policy of targeted killings, which started the current episode of fighting, is morally wrong. It also provokes strong emotions that fuel determination for revenge and furthering the endless cycle of confrontation. The scenes of innocent Palestinian children killed by bombings of family homes that are spread on the internet further promote uncontrollable emotions that are directed not simply against those responsible in Israel but also against Western and other powers and governments that support Israel in its actions in the Gaza Strip. This further increases the polarization across religious and national lines and promises spiraling violence that is the loss for each and every one of us all created in God’s image.
|Some of the est. 1,000 people who marched in Chicago|
in support of the people of Gaza on November 19.
Toward this end, they urge congress to hold hearings to examine Israel’s compliance and regular reporting on compliance and the withholding of military aid for non-compliance. Many of these leaders, including my own, are representing their members resolutions passed at general assemblies to make military aid conditional on upholding human rights and international law. Their prophetic call has led to vicious attacks and the ending of some interfaith partnerships. However they are standing boldly in insisting that it is their moral responsibility to question the continuation of unconditional U.S. financial assistance to the government of Israel. They recognize that a lasting peace will require this accountability and that to continue will only “serve to sustain the status quo and Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian territories.”
Let me end my inviting you to join me in prayer or meditation on this prayer from the Sabeel Center followed by a short blessing from me.
God of freedom and justice, empower us today to stay focused on the end goal----a just peace for all of your people based on equality and freedom. Help us to stay the course, in the streets, on-line, even with our political leaders. Help us bear the burden of hope with our Palestinian sisters and brothers to share with them with what Mahmoud Darwish called “this incurable malady of hope, hope in liberation and independence.”
Actions You Can Take Now
Call for Ceasefire in Israel and Gaza
Sign the letter to Obama supporting conditional military aid to Israel at www.Obamaletter.org
Boycott Soda Stream
* * * * *Top and center photo: FJJ.