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Welcome to ChristianPeacenetwork.org. We are creating a social network for Christian peacemakers. Please feel free to explore the site and register to participate in our forums. In the coming days we’ll be implementing a host of features including:

  • Chat – private and group (already available for registered and logged in members)
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And others. Stay tuned as things develop!

Crimes Of The Christian Right

The Disaster of Political Evangelicalism

by William L. Anderson – February 5, 2015 (reprinted with permission)

Iraqi Christians who fled the violence in the village of Qaraqush

Iraqi Christians who fled the violence in the village of Qaraqush

At this writing, Islamic State militants are engaging in some of the most horrific persecution of Iraqi Christians since the days of the Roman Empire. Children are being beheaded, parents gunned down, churches burned, and whole populations uprooted, all to feed a monster known as radical Islam.

While I believe that those who commit such atrocities should be held accountable personally for this violence, I am under no delusion as to who bears much of the responsibility for creating the conditions that have nurtured this outrage: conservative American Christians. That’s correct; I am calling out the Religious Right for helping to set the stage for the slaughter of Christians.

To interpret my comments in the context that supports them, one has to understand the real disaster that has been conservative evangelical politics, a pestilence that has infected our body politic for nearly four decades. I say “disaster” because no other word will suffice, and I also say it as one who is an evangelical that holds to many of the same views of Holy Scripture as do most conservative evangelicals, including many who are quite vocal in electoral politics. (One significant difference between many other evangelicals and me is that I am not a Dispensationalist, so I don’t see the modern state of Israel as a fulfilment of Biblical prophecy and a re-establishment of Israel of ancient Bible times.) Read more »

Both/And

Both/And

by Cory Lockhart – January 27, 2015 (reprinted with permission)

I am not pro-Palestinian. I am not pro-Israeli. I am pro-human.

These are words that I say in the introduction of my talk on Palestine. I am certain that some people who listen to my talk don’t believe me. More than once, people have told me that really, I am pro-Palestinian.

They don’t know what’s in my heart.

I’ll admit that if I used hashtags, I’d probably use one that said #Palestinianlivesmatter. Surely this would be proof to some that I have higher regard for Palestinians than for Israelis.

During my 2013 stint in Hebron, an Israeli soldier was killed. I don’t like that the Israeli soldiers are in Hebron. I believe that the Occupation must end and that those soldiers must leave. Read more »

Political Prisoner in America: A Drone Activist’s Future in Prison

Editors note: This isn’t a story about Palestine. This is a story about a person who has stepped into the breech to fight a practice that is abhorrent. Namely the use of unmanned drones to kill people thousands of miles away. This is active non-violent resistance folks. Kathy Kelly will be reporting to prison today, January 35, 2015 because she dared to act against drone strikes. I sought and gained permission to reprint her story. David Jones

My Future in Prison

‘I will be free in three months, but our collective future is most assuredly shackled to a wrongheaded criminal justice system.’

lex_lrg

Political Prisoner in America: A Drone Activist’s Future in Prison

The Bureau of Prisons contacted me today, assigning me a prison number and a new address:  for the next 90 days, beginning tomorrow I’ll live at FMC Lexington, in the satellite prison camp for women, adjacent to Lexington’s Federal Medical Center for Men.  Very early tomorrow morning, Buddy Bell, Cassandra Dixon, and Paco and Silver, two house guests whom we first met in protests on South Korea’s Jeju Island, will travel with me to Kentucky and deliver me to the prison gates.

Read more »

You Can’t Handle The Truth

Jerusalem and the Israeli American Colonization of Palestine

by Ludwig Watzal – January 19, 2015

“With regard to Israel the United States is not a umpire or referee. It is not a broker or a passive observer. ” The illegal settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan are financed by US capital and tax-exempt private donations. Israel is defended by US supplied arms, sustained by the US mass media, shielded by US diplomacy and often manned by US-born colonist, so Professor Walid Khalidi before an UN body. “The US is a major part of the problem and the major actor in the solution.”

This three year old video is highly recommended. Walid Khalidi tells a UN body what Zionists and their friends in the US and Western Europe don’t want to hear: the truth.

Note: you can fast forward past the introduction to the 4:15 mark to hear Mr. Khalidi speak.

Children Bear The Brunt In Israeli / Palestinian Conflict

“No respite” from Israeli violence against Palestinian children, says human rights group

Submitted by Nora Barrows-Friedman on January 19, 2015

An attorney and international advocacy officer for Defence for Children International-Palestine (DCI-Palestine) says that 2014 was “devastating” for Palestinian children.

Whether they were killed, injured or left homeless and traumatized in the Gaza Strip during Israel’s summer attack, or whether they faced “increasing levels of violence [by Israeli forces] … at demonstrations [or] as part of military operations throughout the West Bank” including occupied East Jerusalem — especially during frequent arrest raids — Palestinian children were regular targets of Israel’s systematic violence throughout 2014, says Brad Parker of DCI-Palestine.

Read more »

Israel Steps Up Use Of Live Ammunition In Occupied Territory

Military steps up use of live 0.22 inch bullets against Palestinian stone-throwers

Published January 18, 2015 – B’Tselem

West Bank military commander recently confirmed shift to use of live fire instead of crowd control weapons

Sniper firing 0.22 bullets at stone throwers, a-Nabi Saleh, 5.12.2014, Photo: Haim Schwarczenberg

Sniper firing 0.22 bullets at stone throwers, a-Nabi Saleh, 5.12.2014, Photo: Haim Schwarczenberg

Recent months have seen a dramatic rise in Israeli security forces’ use of live 0.22 inch caliber bullets (Ruger rifle bullets, also known by the nickname Two-Two) in clashes with Palestinians in the West Bank. The firing of this ammunition is an almost weekly occurrence in the West Bank in sites of protests and clashes. Most of those injured have been young Palestinians, including minors. Yet, in the last two months, one Palestinian woman, at least three photographers, and a foreign national who was taking part in a demonstration were also hit by these bullets. B’Tselem does not have the full data on the number of people wounded this type of ammunition.

Read more »

Why Christians Should Care About Hebron

Why Christians Should Care About Hebron in the West Bank

by Kurt Willems – December 18, 2014 (Reprinted with permission of the author)

Taken from the Palestinian market, the fencing was installed to protect shoppers from debris, often thrown down by Israeli settlers above. The wall up above, is a barrier between a settlement (Israeli controlled) and the historic marketplace below. Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thepangeablog/2014/12/18/hebron/#ixzz3P2ZRrZtk

Taken from the Palestinian market, the fencing was installed to protect shoppers from debris, often thrown down by Israeli settlers above. The wall up above, is a barrier between a settlement (Israeli controlled) and the historic marketplace below.

Hebron.

It is the city where one building, separated by bulletproof glass, is both a mosque and synagogue. Here houses the legendary burial sites of Abraham and Sarah (Tomb of the Patriarchs).

Hebron is a city of division. Of violence. Of pain. Of apartheid. Of racism. Of militarism. Of despair. Of settlement.

I know this first hand. I’ve been there.

Read more »

The Truth Hurts

BBC Reporter Tim Wilcox Forced To Apologize For Making Comments Sympathetic To Palestinians at Paris Rally

21st Century Wire – January 15, 2015

Tim Wilcox

Tim Wilcox

A BBC reporter hit the free speech trip-wire this week, after making a comment which the Jewish lobby said was offensive and also “Anti-semitic”, before being forced to make a public apology – or lose his job as a BBC front-line reporter.

There were calls from certain corners, particularly in the US and Israel, after the BBC’s Tim Wilcox (photo, left) told the daughter of a Holocaust survivor during a live broadcast conversational exchange at Sunday’s massive “Anti-Terror” Charlie Hebdo rally in Paris:

“Many critics though of Israel’s policy would suggest that the Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well”.

So apparently, for any broadcaster to suggest that it’s possible that, ‘Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands’, could cost your job working in the mainstream media. His accuser’s full name was not given to the media, only that she is known as “Chava”, an Israeli national who says that she is the daughter of Polish Holocaust survivors. Read more »

The Paris Tragedy

by David Jones – January 11, 2015

Police in Paris at the offices of Charlie Hebdo

Police in Paris at the offices of Charlie Hebdo

What happened in Paris this week was a tragedy. The senseless killing of twelve people by religious lunatics is reprehensible. Unfortunately, the American media is doing a yeoman’s job of distorting the truth. And in the process they are fomenting more (if that is even possible) hatred toward Muslims. I’ve watched the news this week simply as a way of gathering information about the deception that is put forth by the media. Here’s what I have learned – All Muslims are terrorists. 100% of them. Now, I know this isn’t true but a lot of people believe it. Certain media outlets such as the one that begins with “F” and ends with “ox” are hellbent on advancing this false narrative.

Here’s the sad part. Whenever an event takes place like the one that happened this week people tend to lose the ability to ask ‘why?’ This may insult some readers but Americans are particularly guilty of this. Following 9/11 the military-industrial complex was ramped up, sovereign nations invaded and hundreds of thousands of innocent people were killed. Very few people had the sense to question an American foreign policy that precipitated the attack. And those of us who had the temerity to suggest that our foreign policy over the last several decades in part motivated the attack were pilloried. Read more »

It’s Actually Pretty Simple

by David Jones – January 10, 2015

Woman on Mekong River in Luang Prabang, Laos

Woman on Mekong River in Luang Prabang, Laos

Back in 1999-2000 I spent a few months in Southeast Asia backpacking around Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Burma. On New Year’s eve 1999, the millennium, I was in Laos in a little town called Luang Prabang on the banks of the Mekong River. It is there that I took this photo. A woman was picking out grains of rice from the dirt on the bank of the Mekong and carefully putting them into a basket, I am guessing to feed herself and her family.

I wasn’t particularly Christian back then. Simply a man looking to find my way in the world, searching for a truth that had alluded me. Today this is one image on the desktop of my computer. I often wonder what I would say, what I would do if saw her today. Read more »

Israel and Palestinians Need a One-State Solution

Without real sovereignty, a separate Palestinian state will only enable Israel’s crimes

January 6, 2015 2:00AM ET
Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu

Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu

On Dec. 30, the United Nations Security Council rejected a proposal put forward by a coalition of Arab states and the Palestinian Authority calling for “full and phased withdrawal of Israeli forces” from all territories seized after 1967 and full Palestinian sovereignty over the West Bank and Gaza by Dec. 31, 2017.

The resolution needed nine votes to pass but garnered only eight. The United States and Australia voted against it, and five countries abstained. If the measure passed, the U.S. signaled plans to veto and override the vote — as it has done 41 times on Israel’s behalf since 1972.

Moreover, the resolution had no enforcement mechanism. It was not taken under Chapter 6 or 7 of the U.N. Charter, which authorizes economic sanctions, diplomatic coercion or military intervention. So even if the measure had passed without a veto, Israel would not have faced consequences for noncompliance, which, given Israel’s history of defying U.N. conventions, would be a certainty.

Read more »

Palestinian Statehood Poses A Threat To Isreal

Why Palestinian Statehood Poses Such A Threat To Israel

By Catherine Shakdam, MintPress News – December 29, 2014

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014. Israel’s prime minister said Sunday that the public expects the government to “return to normal conduct” and hinted at the possibility of early elections if his coalition does not overcome a crisis linked to a contentious nationality bill that would enshrine Israel’s status as a Jewish state. (Photo: Ronen Zvulun/AP)

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014. Israel’s prime minister said Sunday that the public expects the government to “return to normal conduct” and hinted at the possibility of early elections if his coalition does not overcome a crisis linked to a contentious nationality bill that would enshrine Israel’s status as a Jewish state. (Photo: Ronen Zvulun/AP)

Refugees in their own land, stateless within the ever-shrinking borders which Israel concedes to assign them, faceless and voiceless before the international community as their legal status continues to ring hollow — the Palestinian dossier remains the unclosed chapter of a crisis which has been unfolding since 1948, when Israel declared its own statehood.

In the wake of Israel’s latest mass aggression on Gaza, this summer’s Operation Protective Edge, also known as the “50-day war,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has vowed to take his people’s fight for official recognition before the United Nations.

Abbas confirmed on Dec. 15 that he would press forward with a fresh bid for statehood before the U.N. Security Council. His call has echoed across the political spectrum, with both Hamas and Fatah — the major Palestinian political factions — standing in agreement.

Read more »

The Two Faces of Rand Paul

Editors note: Why not introduce legislation that would tie Israel’s foreign aid to the withdrawal of settlements from the West Bank? Or better yet, suspend foreign aid altogether to Israel? Israel is often touted as the “Middle East’s only true democracy” which is far from the truth. Palestinians have absolutely no say in Israeli politics. In truth Israel is not a democracy. Israel has no constitution and no bill of rights. In addition, its history of legislating apartheid, unequal civil rights, privileges and access to public funds make a disqualifying mockery of the definition of “true” and the concept of “democracy.” – David Jones

Senator introduces bill to cut aid to Palestinians

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Paul is introducing a bill that would immediately halt U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority until it withdraws its bid to join the International Criminal Court to pursue war-crimes charges against Israel.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Paul is introducing a bill that would immediately halt U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority until it withdraws its bid to join the International Criminal Court to pursue war-crimes charges against Israel.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. Rand Paul introduced a bill on Wednesday that would immediately halt U.S. aid to the Palestinians until they halt their effort to join the International Criminal Court to pursue war-crimes charges against Israel.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ recent turn to the international court at The Hague marked a major policy shift and transformed his relations with Israel from strained to openly hostile. Abbas has been under heavy domestic pressure to take stronger action against Israel after a 50-day war between the Jewish state and militants in Gaza over the summer, tensions over holy sites in Jerusalem and the failure of the last round of U.S.-led peace talks. Read more »

A Week of Israeli Occupation In Pictures

soldier tear gas

TEAR GAS AT SCHOOL TIME

Pictured here: An Israeli Border Policeman empties his chambers after firing 6 rounds of tear gas into the crowd of teenage Palestinians. On December 30th 2014, Israeli border police made an incursion into the Qitoun neighborhood. Having arrested one 12 year-old Palestinian boy,  Israeli border police fired over 30 tear gas canisters into the area, into a crowd of predominantly teenage boys, engulfing the area in teargas. During the month of December, 170 teargas canisters and 19 stun grenades have been fired by Israeli forces at school time on 14 of the 20 days children have gone to school.  Read more »

Israel Tail Wags the American Dog

us-israelIsraelis to ask US State Department to take punitive measures against the Palestinian Authority in its bid to ask for war crime indictments against the Netanyahu government – an apparently prima facie case of collusion to avoid justice by the most powerful state in the world – that violates both international law and the Geneva Conventions on Human Rights.

Israel is not a member of the international court and refuses to recognize its jurisdiction. The ICC has no police force and no authority to go into Israel and arrest suspects however it could issue international arrest warrants that the European Union and other countries would be willing to enforce. That is the position of which Israel is frightened and desperate to avoid at any cost.

U.S. Displays Double Standards

State Dep’t threatens aid to Palestinians over ICC, but holds out no consequences for Israel’s settlements

Jen Psaki, U.S.  State Department Spokesperson

Jen Psaki, U.S. State Department Spokesperson

Yesterday we saw two glaring double standards in the American official discourse when it comes to Israel and other countries.

First, in yesterday’s New York Times, longtime Israel advocate Dennis Ross called on all those who are pushing for a Palestinian state to offer Israel certain assurances, among them “a resolution of the Palestinian refugee issue that allows Israel to retain its Jewish character.”

Can you imagine the New York Times running an article saying that the U.S. has to be allowed to retain its white character in the face of rising numbers of Hispanics and Asian immigrants? No, you can’t. It goes against a modern liberal understanding of how societies are composed to say such a thing. Or retain the U.S.’s Christian character? Hogwash.

Read more »

Open Letter to the Editors of the New York Times

Open Letter to the Editors of the New York Times

By Sam Bahour – December 31, 2014 (reprinted with permission)

Re “Gaza Is Nowhere” (By Roger Cohen, Dec. 30, 2014):

Gaza City

Gaza City

I started writing this as a Letter to the Editor, but my anger could not be conveyed in only 150 words, so I am posting this open letter instead:

Readers expect greater accuracy from New York Times columnists.

How dare Mr. Roger Cohen suggest that Gaza, a part of my homeland, is “nowhere!”

If Mr. Cohen is at a loss to know where Gaza lies, allow me to guide him. The Gaza Strip, as well as Gaza City, were both part and parcel of Historic Palestine, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Following the colossal injustice that resulted in the displacement of more than half of the Palestinian people, and then the creation of what we know today as the state of Israel, and the subsequent military occupation of the remaining Palestinian lands of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Gaza Strip become part and parcel of an Israeli-militarily-occupied territory. It is this military occupation under which many of my friends and colleagues were born and live to this day. Read more »

What Happens To Her?

by David Jones – January 2, 2015

littegirlhebronYou know, the thing that had the deepest impact on me when I was in Palestine was the children. While in Bethlehem and especially Hebron I witnessed child abuse on a daily basis. There’s no other way of putting it. Anytime a heavily armed soldier shoots a tear gas canister or flash bang grenade at a group of children that is abuse. One cannot spin it any other way. There is no way of defending such behavior by adults who should know better.

Children are bearing the brunt when it comes to the Israeli / Palestinian conflict. Their tiny shoulders are the fulcrums on which the levers of discord pivot. Personally, I was deeply offended by what Israeli military and border police subjected children to each and every day. There must be some sort of mental gymnastics at play in the minds of these people who somehow justify doing these things. I’ve tried to imagine what kind of a person would do those deeds and the only thing I could conclude was that they are morally bankrupt. Either that or they simply have no conscience. Read more »