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.

UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People - 29 Nov. 2013

Category: Calls & Statements
Created: 15 November 2013

26th, November 2013

Statement

ISDThe World Young Women's Christian Association (World YWCA), the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and the General Arab Women Federation, join women and men throughout the world in observing the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

The Israeli Occupation and the separation wall continue to severely violate the Palestinian People's human rights. All Palestinians are routinely harassed, intimidated and abused by Israeli soldiers at checkpoints and gates. Palestinian women, in particular, are humiliated in front of their families and subjected to sexual violence by both soldiers and settlers. Restriction of movement due to the occupation severely impedes their access to education and health. Restrictions on movement and harassment on checkpoints has seriously affected their feeling of safety, and limited their opportunities for independence. The number of women seeking formal education or employment outside of their direct settings has reduced. Women's health has suffered as a result of their inability to access health services. Pregnant women are vulnerable to long waits at checkpoints, which has led to a number of unsafe deliveries in which both mothers and infants have died at checkpoints. Between 2000 -2005, 68 women were forced to give birth at checkpoints as a result 34 new born babies died.1

Poverty levels in the West Bank and Gaza continue to soar due to these imposed physical restrictions by the Israeli Occupation. 57% of Gaza households are food insecure and about 80% are aid recipients2. Although thousands of young men and women are graduating from Universities annually, yet the potential for them to get jobs is very limited, thus adding to their sense of hopelessness and frustration. Young people in Palestine cannot see a bright future, which in the long run could create a major civil unrest.

Since the adoption in 1977 of November 29th as the annual observance of solidarity with the Palestinian People, we have stood firm that human rights and international law be protected and affirmed for all. In addition we affirm the role of women in peace building and conflict resolution as enshrined in the UN Security Council Resolution 1325. We also reaffirm our commitment to working for the Right of Return for refugees as enshrined in United Nations resolutions 181 and 194. Also, during this time of renewed peace talks, we support Palestine's right for self determination as enshrined in UN resolutions 242 and 338 and we call for peace with justice to prevail in the entire region, including in Syria and Egypt.

We ask that these resolutions and international law be implemented and that all measures including economic ones be considered including corporate responsibility in relationship to the illegal settlement building and the selling of its products.

We support and welcome Palestine as a non-member observer state to the United Nations but continue to hold Israel accountable for its ongoing occupation, actions that undermine peace negotiations, and obligations to international law as an occupying power. We therefore share this statement with deep pain and anger over Israel's ongoing settlement building project destroying more and more Palestinian farms, confiscating more and more land, and displacing more and more Palestinian families from their homes. Earlier this month on November 12 just before the peace talks were about to resume, Israel's Ministry of Housing and Construction announced plans to construct 20,000 new settlements units in the West Bank.

Finally, we are distressed that Gaza continues to be under siege (since 2007) and that a humanitarian disaster exists with essential power companies operating less than 8 hours a day and some services not operating at all at the writing of this statement.

On this special day we call on governments and civil society to take every necessary step to achieve:

  • An end to the siege, an urgent response to the humanitarian disaster in Gaza and a prompt recovery in the provision of disrupted services;

  • An end to the building of new settlements;

  • Implementation of all agreed upon United Nations resolutions on the question of Palestine, as well as implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325, as the basis for building peace with justice in the entire region;

  • Support for the popular boycott, sanctions and divestment movement against Israel until it respects international law;

  • An end to the Occupation and the necessary steps needed to begin the construction of peace based on justice for all in the region.


Furthermore, we are calling:

  • The Palestinian Authority and institutions to demonstrate strong, cohesive, inclusive and democratic leadership;

  • Governments and civil society to stand in solidarity with all Palestinians particularly the women who are affected by this ongoing violence and lack of justice in their lives;

  • The international community to support all the above actions.

As organizations that have a long history of working on issues of peace with justice and who have witnessed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 1948, we stand in solidarity with our Palestinian sisters and brothers on this day and recommit ourselves to seeking a rights based solution rather than a power based outcome.

Thank you.


 

1 UNFPA, 2007. Checkpoints Compound the Risks of Childbirth for Palestinian Women (accessed 2 January 2013)

2 "THE GAZA STRIP: THE HUMANITARIAN IMPACT OF MOVEMENT RESTRICTIONS ON PEOPLE AND GOODS", OCHA, JULY 2013

 

JAI Call for Peace and Justice in the Middle East Region

Category: Calls & Statements
Created: 31 August 2013

31st, August 2013

We, the YWCA OF Palestine and East Jerusalem YMCA represented by the JAI and as organizations that have a long history of working on issues of peace with justice,and stand in search for lasting and durable peace with justice for all the people in the Middle East, are deeply concerned about the escalating situation in the Middle East, and the increasing foreign military presence. We are very concerned about the threats made in the last few days by the USA and some European countries to directly attack Syria following the accusation of the Syrian Government of using chemical weapon against civilians. Although we do not support the use of any military force and prohibited weapons, we also recognize that any attempts to strike Syria will definitely and only cause more killings and suffering to the Syrian people in addition to more destruction of the country, and more refugees and displacements in the whole region. This direct foreign military intervention in Syria will escalate the situation in the entire Middle East and more countries might join and might cause a regional war that will claim lives of more civilians from all the surrounding countries. We as women and youth organizations recognize that women, youth and children suffer most in times of war, and will have to bear for generations to come all the negative consequences of house demolishing, displacements and trauma.

We commend the UN's initiative to send the UN inspectors to investigate the use of chemical weapons, and urge all parties for self-control until the mission submits their reports to the UN, with the hope that the UN will become the broker for peace and security in the world, rather than war.

As we express our deep appreciation to all the peoples in the world, civil society organizations, churches, Church leaders, who expressed through different measures their concerns, and /or demonstrated against such threats in the last few days asking their governments to take their hands off Syria, we urge all our partners, friends, and peace-loving people worldwide to immediately and urgently intervene stop the attempts made by the USA and the other counties to attack Syria, and lobby their governments to refrain from any military intervention in Syria.

Military aggression will only lead to more displacement, more refugees and more internal conflict in the countries of the region. Already Syrian refugees are fleeing to Jordan and Lebanon, creating a stressful internal situation and instability, as well as competition over limited resources. Until today, the Iraqi situation and war in Iraq has not yielded peace, and governments are not learning the lesson that: War does not make Peace.

The failure to create peace by Western governments and the UN System and the lack of understanding that there can be no peace as long as the basic rights for selfdetermination for people and sovereignties of governments are abused, will continue to threaten the regional and world peace.

We therefore call on YWCA movement worldwide, and the YMCA's and the International community, churches, civil society and non governmental organizations to:

  • Organize and join peaceful demonstrations in your countries against war and are in favor of peace and political solutions for any type of conflict;

  • Write to your MPs encouraging them to seek peaceful measures for conflict resolution: We want Peace not War;

  • Continue solidarity campaigns within your communities and societies and with your governments for Peace in the Middle East

We urge you to continue to support us and all the peoples in the region as we seek to find peaceful solutions, and a long lasting peace that is based on justice for all, and respects and adheres to all principles of human rights, and promises improved livelihoods . Investing in war has only reduced resources available for investing in human development, and is making the mission of civil society organizations, the UN and governments in its fight against poverty and displacement almost impossible.

LET US JOIN FORCES FOR PEACE
LET US CREATE A BETTER FUTURE FOR OUR CHILDREN

LET US KEEP HOPE ALIVE

 

Call for Action - Israeli settlers destroyed land planted through the Olive Tree Campaign

Category: Calls & Statements
Created: 21 November 2012

Field Attack 21Nov2012 1Settlers from the Israeli settlement of Carmel in the South of Hebron Hills have uprooted most of the 400 olive trees planted by the campaign earlier in 2012.

The attack was carried out by the settlers on Wednesday night, November 21, 2012. The following morning, a shepherd saw the destroyed trees and contacted the families and landowners about it.

It was obvious that the settlers took their time destroying everything on the land, and spraying racist graffiti and threats. They also used the term "Price Tag" which is a term used by the Israeli settlers for justification of acts of violence that aim to eliminate Palestinians, terrorize them, and destroy their livelihood.

Field Attack 21Nov2012 3Jamil Hoshyyeh (Abu Iyad), one of the affected farmers, complained about the destruction to the Israeli authorities, who filed the "incident" against "anonymous" and did not purse any investigation to catch the settlers who destroyed the land.

The area where the trees were destroyed is surveyed with at least one camera from the settlement. There are only a few settlers who live there. As such, it is logical that the Israeli Authorities could catch the offenders easily, but once again they act in favor and protection of the Israeli settlers.

Finally, 185 of the destroyed trees were sponsored by friends and partners from Denmark, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the USA.



 

In case you are from any of the mentioned countries we urge you to do some of the following:

  • Write a letter to your countries representative in Tel-Aviv asking for a visit to the destroyed fields and affected farmers. Contacts to the farmers can be made available after contacting the Olive Tree Campaign (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

  • Write a private and / or public (through news papers) letter to the Israeli representatives in your country, sharing the story of the farmers and seeking explanation for lack of investigation and failure to bring those responsible for the destruction to justice.

  • Write a letter of support to the farmers to let them know they are not left on their own in watching their livelihoods being destroyed.

  • Try to bring this story to light using your local newspapers, radio, TV stations or any other media tools.

  • Help in sponsoring the planting of more olive trees or call on your friends and other people you know to sponsor olive trees to be planted in fields that suffer the same type of risks.


Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of in case you have decided to do something about this loss

 

JAI Christmas Message from the Holy Land - 2012

Category: Calls & Statements
Created: 26 November 2012

26th, November 2012

Palestinian Christmas Greeting CartoonIn this season of Christmas let us remember the story of the shepherds keeping watch over their flock and the visit from the angels of the Lord proclaiming the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ singing songs of peace and hope. While the landscape of the shepherd's field has changed, the message of hope has not. Today, the constant threat of harassment, imprisonment, and land confiscation make seeing hope in this place of the message of hope difficult. However, with this Christmas season the shepherd's field brings a renewed call of hope and peace for the world.

As history has been witness, our struggle has seen periods of reduced violence followed by periods of escalated violence. On November 14th Israel initiated a campaign of aggression towards our people in Gaza. This most recent wave of aggression resulted in 165 deaths (43 children & 16 women) and 1,200 injured. Despite the commitment to a ceasefire agreement the daily threat and damages of the occupation continue.

Just a few hundred meters from, the shepherd's grotto, there exists one such threat. In the place known as Ush Ghrab a group of extremists, the Women in Green, are staging the establishment of a new Israeli settlement. A settlement whose infrastructure and "security measures" will further threaten the towns of Bethlehem and Beit Sahour. Adding to the more than 21 existing and expanding settlements currently surrounding and constricting Bethlehem, the new settlement at Ush Ghrab would further isolate Beit Sahour by occupying the only land available for future growth of the community.

The olive tree, an international symbol of peace, continues to be under direct threat of destruction as Israeli settlers and military forces act to expand their sphere of control over the Palestinian territory. Not dissimilar to Herod's campaign to find and kill the baby Jesus, Israeli policy in the West Bank and Gaza is a campaign to kill the hope and livelihood of steadfast Palestinians who desire to be free in their homeland.

The Joint Advocacy Initiative continues to take an active part in the ongoing effort to maintain and plant trees that have become victims of the occupation. May we suggest the sponsorship of an olive tree through the JAI's Olive Tree Campaign in honor of someone you love this Christmas season. This living symbol of hope will not only help a Palestinian farmer, but will also serve as a visual reminder to the world that hope cannot be killed.

While the situation is bleak, the people of Palestine stand together in proclaiming their right to stay on the land on which they have lived for centuries. Through continued and renewed campaigns of nonviolent resistance, the people of Palestine seek to continue to be messengers of peace, hope and justice

The birthplace of Jesus Christ has become an open-air prison. Without the support and intervention of the international community, there is little hope for this sacred place. We humbly ask our friends and partners around the world to offer a special prayer for the people of Palestine and for our efforts to keep hope alive. We ask you to act against all the injustices we live under so we may be liberated from oppression and live in peace with justice.

We wish all of our friends and partners around the world a happy and joy-filled Christmas season. May we all be blessed to see peace and hope in the world around us. Merry Christmas!

The JAI Team

 

International Solidarity Day with the Palestinian People - 29 Nov 2012

Category: Calls & Statements
Created: 15 November 2012

Dear friends, partners, and peace with justice activists,

In light of the escalating attacks of Israeli settlers and soldiers on Palestinian farmers, land and olive trees, as well as the coming Israeli elections which will clearly result in a very right wing and more aggressive government leading to increased apartheid and occupation measures against Palestinians;

We, the Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI) of the East Jerusalem YMCA and YWCA of Palestine, call on our friends, partners, and peace with justice activists around the world to make a strong stand this year in solidarity with the Palestinian people and their just cause for freedom by expressing your call for real practical change and continued pressure on Israel to end the occupation.

On Thursday the 29th of November, the UN assigned International Solidarity Day with the Palestinian People, we call you to organize actions and activities of solidarity individually and/or with your Church congregation/group, YMCA/YWCA movement, solidarity group, university or school students…etc. You can also join actions and activities organized by Palestinian solidarity groups in your country or area.

Actions Suggested:

  • Protest in front of the Israeli embassies and diplomatic missions in your countries, to be held on that day.

  • Send clear individual or (preferably) collective letters to your Minister of Foreign Affairs calling for practical steps and policies to put pressure on Israel to force it to respect human rights and UN resolutions, stop its unjust practices against Palestinians, and abide by international law.

Below is a sample letter.

PLEASE This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (shortly), on any action you take or join in this regard, and responses you may receive. It is very IMPORTANT for us to keep records of such.

 

Sample letter:

Minister of Foreign Affairs

We receive official reports and trustful information from our partners and friends in the occupied Palestinian territories of ongoing Israeli settlers and soldiers’ attacks on Palestinian land, farmers, trees, and homes, as well as ongoing occupation practices including daily arrestments of Palestinians, land confiscation, and movement restrictions.

On the UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we/I express our deep concern and call upon you, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and government to show support of the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people, and put pressure on Israel to respect human rights and UN resolutions, stop its unjust practices and violations of international law, and end its occupation to the Palestinian territories.

We/I highly appreciate your practical response and measures taken.

Sincerely,

 

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