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Greetings,

It is Holy Week...   

Ahed Tamimi turned 17 years old in an Israeli prison after slapping an Israeli soldier who was standing on her family's property, and after her brother was shot in the head by the Israeli military at a protest demonstration.

Last week she plea bargained to serve 8 months in an Israeli prison and pay an 11,000 shekel fine, a sentence that does not include time already served. 

It is Holy Week...

May we not forget the words from Isaiah that Jesus spoke to inaugurate his public ministry, remembering that the people who heard these words then wanted to throw him off a cliff:  

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.   (Luke 4:18-19)

It is Holy Week...

Last June the open letter of the National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine (NCCOP) said this to the world:  

Things are beyond urgent.  We are on the verge of a catastrophic collapse.  The current status-quo is unsustainable.  This could be our last chance to achieve a just peace.  As a Palestinian Christian Community, this could be our last opportunity to save the Christian presence in this land.  Our only hope as Christians comes from the fact that in Jerusalem, the city of God, and our city, there is an empty tomb, and Jesus Christ who triumphed over death and sin, brought to us and to all humanity, new life.

It is Holy Week...

Faithful response means we listen to the words of our Palestinian brothers and sisters.  It means we pray for them and for their own self-described "last chance to achieve a just peace."

We commend for your Holy Week/Easter prayers and devotions the 2018 Easter Alert material created by Kairos Palestine for our edification and spiritual guidance, which can be found here: http://kairospalestine.ps/images/Kairos-Easter-Alert-2018.pdf

It is Holy Week, but Easter is coming...

We continue to call upon all followers of Christ, who once again this week listen to his anguished words in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the Cross of Calvary, that together, and in solidarity with people of other faiths, we may find inspiration from Jesus' call for forgiveness for the whole of humanity.   And let us also wake up on the morning of the third day, and through the tear-stained eyes of our own human struggles recommit ourselves to proclaiming the grace, healing, justice and resurrection hope for all people crushed by the inhumanity and injustice of this seemingly endless oppression in Palestine. Personally, I am less a child of God and less of a human being while Palestinian brothers and sisters, and any of God's children, suffer at the hands of those who oppress for the sake of personal privilege and power even while I fall asleep in the Garden having been called to keep watch...

We believe that the church must stand by people in any form of suffering and need... (it) must witness and strive against any form of injustice, so that justice may roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream...  that the church must stand where the Lord stands, namely against injustice and with the wronged; that in following Christ the church must witness against all the powerful and privileged who selfishly seek their own interests and thus control and harm others.     The Belhar Confession (10.7)

In the Justice of our Risen Christ,

Jeffrey DeYoe
Moderator, Israel / Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church, (U.S.A.)
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