This is a letter to Kairos Palestine from an informal collective of civil society groups, churches, and individuals calling for justice on the 70th anniversary of the Nakba.
This May 15th will be one that is remembered by people around the world who care about justice in Palestine with pain and rage. Not only is it 70 years since Nakba, or catastrophe, the ethnic cleansing that led to the establishment of Israel. Like all Palestinians we also recall how Israel carried out mass ethnic cleansing to establish Israel. We see how Israel, in a classic example of its brutal impunity, and how it celebrates - something it gained at the cost of thousands of thousands of Palestinian people who are refugees. We see how the ethnic cleansing continues as Israel confiscates more land; build more settlements, carries out massacres and ethnic cleansing. In this sense, the Nakba is an ongoing one. We state unmistakably: "We disagree".
We share the agony of Palestinians for whom it is a tragic coincidence that the 70th commemoration coincides with the day when the Unites States of America under Donald Trump is shifting its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. We understand that Jerusalem holds many meanings for people across the world. Jerusalem is an irreplaceable cornerstone of the Palestinian struggle for freedom. Further, Jerusalem is a holy place for people from three major faiths in the world. Christians, Muslims and Jews hold Jerusalem as a place of great religious importance. We also condemn the US decision as a flagrant violation of international law.
We admire the courage and steadfast spirit of the Palestinians who refuse to surrender to a strong military under any circumstances. Palestinians know for certain that Israel’s case is morally untenable and Israel, itself, will collapse under the weight of its own immoral political ways. We watch with respect and admiration how since 30th March this year, Palestinians in Gaza have been marching to the borders every Friday peacefully to claim their basic human rights. We are pained to see how this peaceful protest has been met by unimaginable violence by Israeli forces.
We commit ourselves to the following:
- Joining the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement as an integral part of building a non-violent, human rights resistance for Palestine. In this regard our symbolic but firm starting point is the boycott of Hewlett Packard (HP) companies. We boycott them because we are aware that they enable aid and abet the notorious ID system that maintains the illegal occupation including the siege on Gaza, and entrenches colonialism by operating through illegal Israeli settlements.
- Creating public awareness of the situation in Palestine and changing public perception about the reality on-the-ground.
- Challenging the government to detach itself from economic, cultural, academic and military ties with Israel until it ends the illegal occupation.
Members of an informal collective of civil society groups, Christians, for justice in Palestine