Calls & Statements

JAI calls for actions and statements on events and crisis. Calls got sent immediately to the YMCA-YWCA JAI partners and friends for actions and responses.

YWCA Palestine Conference Report - 29 Sep. - 1 Oct. 2014

Category: Calls & Statements
Created: 13 February 2015

YWCA Palestine LogoWomen's Freedom, Peace and Dignity in Palestine UNSCR 1325 for Accountability

It takes a village to raise a child. It takes many people to pull off a successful conference. The YWCA of Palestine would like to thank all the people who made this conference possible, meaningful, and historic.

First we would like to thank our YWCA family beginning with our national staff and board members, our association staffs and members. We also are very appreciative of the support from World YWCA as well as Y-Global for their special support, and all our YWCA sisters and brothers from around the world. Conference preparation began many months before the actual conference and it took everyone’s hard work and creativity to make it a success. We would also like to thank Joint Advocacy Initiative for their assistance for the success of our Witness Visit and for their presentation on the Olive Tree Campaign during the conference.

To read the full report please click here.

 

Diplomatic pressure for Peace: A call for Sanctions

Category: Calls & Statements
Created: 23 July 2014

"So now, you kings, come to your senses, You earthly rulers, learn your lesson".
Psalms 2:10

What is going on these days in Gaza is not war. It is a massacre of civilians, men, women and children. More than 600 people killed and over 3600---- injured, the majority being civilians; this cannot be justified as an act of self-defense! What is going on in Gaza is blind evil striking out through a wrong vision of security, self-defense and peace.

We implore God Almighty who told us: "Ask and it will be given to you, search and you will find,, knock and the door will be open to you." ( Mt.7;7) O lord we have asked, and we have knocked, and we have been seeking justice and peace for years. But no doors have been opened and we have been treated very unjustly. Lord, open the hearts and minds of all, those who are afraid and insecure, those who kill, and the people of Gaza who, despite a 7 year-old siege and three consecutive assaults believed that they were secure in their rebuilt homes, but their homes are demolished and their lives taken.

It is time for a radical change of concepts and positions. Israelis and Palestinians can live together in peace and mutual love if the root causes of injustice are removed. Education given to the people was negative in past years. A new education must start: love is possible, coexistence is possible. The concept of fear and insecurity should change. The concept of killing so easily hundreds of men, women and children must change. Lords of war, you are on the wrong path. All the killings, all your violence, all your weapons will not bring you security and will not take away your fear.

The ways of peace are ways of peace. Only these can lead to security and peace. Israel and all Israel's friends must understand that after sixty years of killing and violence, the salvation and the survival of Israel will never be achieved by the present violence.. Israel's friends must help Israel understand, if their love for Israel is sincere and if they truly care for the human being, whether Israeli or Palestinian, things must change. The present Palestinian Authority has chosen this path of peace, and maintains its right and constant position, even if it has lost its popularity among its own people, who see that these ways of peace facing Israeli violence are fruitless.

The same conversion should happen in the hearts of Israeli Authorities. All their armies, weapons and reprisals are useless and fruitless. Seeking peace can only be achieved through peaceful means.

We call upon all who care for human dignity, and human life to act now without any further delay. We call upon the international community, governments, churches and civil society to exert pressure on Israel to abide by international law and to lift the siege on Gaza and put an end to its military occupation of the Palestinian Territories in accordance with UN resolutions. And to overcome and remove all the obstacles that have hindered the long awaited peace. It takes wisdom and compassion over and above being fair to both parties of this conflict – especially when one is an occupier and the other is occupied. There needs to be an exerted effort and resolve to bring about peace for all: Israelis and Palestinians whereby everybody feels secure and enjoying freedom and equal rights in a democratic sovereign state. No more repetition of invasions and massacres and senseless killing, whether individual or collective as it is happening now in Gaza.

We call on the Churches to assume their responsibilities towards the Holy Land, the land of their roots, if they truly care for their roots, and for the Holy Land and its people. Many churches seem to be indifferent or intimidated to take action. Churches need to put pressure on Israel and also on their governments to end Israeli impunity and hold her accountable. Such Diplomatic pressure is needed now more than ever. It is a question of saving lives but also imposing accountability for criminal acts. As in similar International situations, now is the time for Economic and Military Sanctions.

Almighty God, heavenly Father, hear our prayers. Help us work together towards freedom, justice and peace Fill our heart with love and compassion and help us achieve just peace without which no security can be guaranteed for anybody. Remind us that we are all created in your image, and that we can all triumph over every evil and live in your peace, and not only by human treaties and agreements.

National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine  Kairos Palestine 
 NCCOP  kairos-palestine

                                         

 

Palestinians Becoming Internally Displaced People (IDP) Again

Category: Calls & Statements
Created: 06 August 2014

YWCA Palestine Logo

ywca 6august2014

(Photo credit: Lefteris Pitarakis, July 31, 2014)

This is five-year-old Hajar Muharram. Look into her eyes. She is from Beit Lahya, one of the towns where the residents were forced to evacuate their homes due to bombing. Her family got one of those courtesy missile knocks on the roof telling them they had 58 seconds to leave. Hajar and her family of seven fled their home and have since joined hundreds of other Palestinians taking refuge in a United Nations school which is being used as a shelter. But shelters are not guaranteed safe places; over 8 UNWRA schools/shelters have been bombed. Look into her eyes for this may be the last time if her school is targeted.

Children are bearing the brunt of this newest offensive military bombardment. Since July 8, over 430 children have been deliberately killed in Gaza with over 2,878 more injured. In addition there are over 373,000 more who require psycho-social support. There is no post-traumatic stress syndrome because the trauma is ongoing. If Hajar survives she will be one more child in need of this support. Look into her eyes and see what has happened to her home or neighborhood.

Over 485,000 people have been forcibly displaced which is almost one third of the Gaza population as a result of Israel's latest military offensive against Gaza. Many of them were refugees from 1948 or have grown up in one of Gaza's refugee camps.Their homes in the camps have been targets. Hajar in Arabic means "emigrated" but there is nothing voluntary about her displacement. The legal term for this is forced transfer. The term on the streets is ethnic cleansing.

We believe that the international community has the legal and moral responsibility to protect the Palestinian population living under Israeli occupation and that it must hold Israel accountable regarding its severe violations of international humanitarian law. Lack of accountability will continue to fuel Israeli atrocities and crimes. We must move past moral outrage to direct action to demand Israel to end collective punishment of civilians. This is the year of solidarity with Palestine. Stand with us and stand up to Israel's impunity.

In addition to ending this military occupation against the State of Palestine here are things you can do:

  • Call for a durable, comprehensive and mutually agreed upon ceasefire agreement which secures facilitation and access to humanitarian aid and opening of borders to and from Gaza; lift the siege on Gaza;

  • Call for Palestinian leaders and UN Security Council to refer the situation in Gaza to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC);

  • Support the YWCA's advocacy project Fabric of Our Lives which supports refugee and internally displaced people's rights including the Right of Return;

  • Join the worldwide BDS movement as a tool for accountability and ending impunity especially sanctions like weapon and trade embargos.


Let Us Join Forces to End this Occupation

 

Join the Global Movement to Support Gaza's Right to Life

Category: Calls & Statements
Created: 23 July 2014

YWCA Palestine Logo

YWCA Alert 23July2014

(Art by Amir Schiby)

In memory of four boys killed playing football on the beach in Gaza:
Mohammed Bakr, 9 years old. Ahed Bakr, 10 years old. Zakaria Bakr, 10 years old. Mohammed Bakr, 11 years old.

In this time of fear and suffering, from Jerusalem to Gaza, from Hebron to Nazareth, we reaffirm that all people deserve security, justice, dignity, and peace. We mourn all who have died, been injured, or made homeless. This is not a conflict but a war... it is an offensive Israeli attack on a people who have no army, navy, or air force.

"Operation Protective Edge" as Israel calls it, is taking place in the context of Israel's illegal military occupation and a seven year siege on Gaza. Israel controls Gaza from air, land, and sea therefore it is obliged to protect civilians not attack them according to the Geneva 4 Convention. It is criminal to collectively punish a whole population, or to target civilians, journalists, and medical workers. It is criminal to use banned weapons and gases that blow up bodies beyond recognition. These are crimes against humanity and violate humanitarian and international law.

We cannot be silent. We must hold Israel and all governments and companies accountable.

With feelings of pain, grief, and anger thousands of people are taking to the streets here in Palestine and throughout the world. They are calling for an end to genocide‐‐‐the killing of children and the bombing of civilians. They are also calling for the end of the illegal Israeli Occupation‐‐‐ the building of the illegal wall and the settlements it protects. They are calling for equal rights for all and the right of return for the over 7.5 million refugees' worldwide. They are calling for a just peace not just a cease‐fire.

Christians, Muslims, and Jews here in Palestine and Israel along with people of conscience throughout the world ask you to raise your voices, stand in solidarity, and act. The time is now.

  1. Pray for a cease‐fire and a peace with justice
  2. Mourn the deaths by holding memorial services or public readings of all the names
  3. Join local or national protest marches and demonstrations
  4. Support arms embargos like the ones that were imposed in South Africa
  5. Demand that your government stop trade with Israel or boycott Israeli products
  6. Support Palestine taking Israel to the Hague or Criminal Court of Justice for war crimes
  7. Sign petitions, post on face book, or write letters to the editor sharing your views
  8. Demand severance of diplomatic ties with Israel
  9. Demand immediate international protection of civilians

 

THERE CAN BE NO PEACE WITH OCCUPATION……LET US END OCCUPATION

 

YWCA Action Alert: A Time of Reckoning

Category: Calls & Statements
Created: 20 August 2014

YWCA Palestine Logo

YWCA 20August2014

"all is shrapnel and hunger none is safe all are waiting between wall and wait and sea and wall there is no day"
from Suheir Hammad

As of August 19th, there have been over 2,000 deaths in Gaza. Most are women and children including even unborn children. Over 10,000 have been injured.. In addition, there are approximately 450,000 displaced people from a population of mostly refugees from 1948 or 1967 which had been 1.7 million.

The ceasefire ended in the middle of families beginning to reckon with loss of family members, homes, and life. They were counting who is still alive, dead, or injured. All are damaged and traumatized. Children are still drawing pictures of the bombing or writing their names on their bodies in case they are blown up and their parents need to find their body parts. Nobody is sleeping not just because there are no beds or even houses but because you could be bombed in a minute with or without warning, and especially that Israel pulled out of the negotiations and called back its team from Egypt.

Water and electricity are scarce and many neighborhoods still have no water or electricity. As families were looking at the remnants of their houses, their neighborhoods started being bombed again, as if the earlier destruction was not enough! It is a humanitarian disaster area say relief agency leaders. And now the bombing has resumed.

As the Gazans look for safe places to shelter and take stock of what is gone or left, how are you reckoning with the killing of civilians? How are you reckoning with your country's complicity in selling arms? Your country's blocking of criminal charges at the international court of justice? Your country's support of Israel's right to security or defense at the cost of massive civilian deaths or Palestine’s right to self defense as an occupied people?

Is it proportionate and legitimate to decimate whole neighborhoods like Shujaiya? Or bomb hospitals and UN shelters? Is it proportionate and legitimate to target journalists and healthcare workers? Use banned weapons that blow people to bits? The day of reckoning is upon us. What are you going to do as a person, as YWCA's, as women organizations, as human rights organizations and individuals, as a faith communities, churches, community leaders and as a citizens of the world?

We, here at the YWCA of Palestine, ask you to stand with the people of Gaza by taking the following actions:

  • Call on your governments to convene the Security Council and to find a lasting, sustainable and just solution to the Palestinian problem.
  • Immediately and urgently support the lifting of the siege on Gaza;
  • Support arms and trade embargos and other actions related to the BDS global movement;
  • Support Palestinians taking Israel to the Criminal Court of Justice for war crimes.
  • Support the protection of women and children in compliance with UNSCR1325
  • Support the YWCA of Palestine's work with refugee women through our Fabric of Our Lives Project


There can be No Peace and Justice Until and Unless
The Israeli Occupation of All Palestinian Territories Ends

20th of August, 2014

 

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