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Arabs Have Right To Full Citizenship

Arab citizens have a right to full citizenship in Israel

The affirmation of Katanji Brown Jackson as a Supreme Court justice is a most recent application of the lofty goal of full citizenship rights and responsibilities as declared in our U.S. Declaration of Independence.

For much of U.S. history, equal citizenship was a distant dream for African-American persons. Here’s our Declaration of July 4, 1776:

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the 13 United States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

From the beginning of our history, Africans were NOT treated as “equal” in regards to citizenship rights and responsibilities. They were bought and sold as property, as slaves.

May 14, 1948, is the day Israel declared its independence as a sovereign State.

Here is her Declaration of Independence:

ACCORDINGLY, WE, the members of the National Council, representing the Jewish people in Palestine and the Zionist movement of the world, met together in solemn assembly today, the day of the termination of the British mandate for Palestine, by virtue of the natural and historic right of the Jewish and of the Resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations,

HEREBY PROCLAIM the establishment of the Jewish State in Palestine, to be called ISRAEL.

WE HEREBY DECLARE that as from the termination of the Mandate at midnight, this night of the 14th and 15th May, 1948, and until the setting up of the duly elected bodies of the State in accordance with a Constitution, to be drawn up by a Constituent Assembly not later than the first day of October, 1948, the present National Council shall act as the provisional administration, shall constitute the Provisional Government of the State of Israel.

THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open to the immigration of Jews from all countries of their dispersion; will promote the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; will be based on the precepts of liberty, justice and peace taught by the Hebrew Prophets; will uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of race, creed or sex; will guarantee full freedom of conscience, worship, education and culture; will safeguard the sanctity and inviolability of the shrines and Holy Places of all religions; and will dedicate itself to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

The key concept is highlighted in bold print. From the beginning, Israel has treated the indigenous people of Palestine as unwanted holdovers from the Ottoman empire. When as many as 20 percent of the Arabs refused to leave in 1948, they were given second-class citizenship rights. From the beginning, the State of Israel has NOT promoted the “development of the country for the benefit of ALL its inhabitants … uphold(ing) the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of race, creed or sex” (Declaration text).

Kairos West Michigan joins with countless organizations, calling for Israel to extend full citizenship rights to that 20 percent of her Arab citizens.

We are happy when the U.S. more fully complies with her standards. We call upon our friends the Israelis, to do likewise.

John Kleinheksel,

Kairos West Michigan

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New From RCA Global Missions and The Tent of Nations

Check out this newly released video featuring Daoud Nassar and the Tent of Nations story.

 

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Healing The Trauma–With Rich Forer

Join us now via recorded zoom session for a discussion with Rich Forer on Rabbi Michael Lerner’s views on healing the trauma felt by both Israelis and Palestinians.

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Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, PC-USA

Please see this link for an MLK Day-related address on Israel-Palestine.

 

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Write That Letter!

 

Kairos West Michigan invites you to take action: Stand against apartheid.

 

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From Jerusalem To London To New York City: Time To face The Truth Of Apartheid

Today (Feb. 1), London-based Amnesty International became the third international NGO within the last six weeks to declare Israel’s treatment of Palestinians as apartheid. “…territorial fragmentation; segregation and control; dispossession of land and property; and denial of economic and social rights…amounts to apartheid.”

B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group in Jerusalem itself declared on Jan. 12, “A Regime of Jewish Supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is Apartheid.”

On Dec. 14 the New York-based Human Rights Watch wrote, “the particularly severe repression against Palestinians living in the OPT, amounts to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”

14 million people live in Israel-Palestine today. About half are Jewish; the other half Palestinian. Is it in Israel’s self-interest to deny human rights to half of the people living under its control? Is this sustainable, or just, or righteous? Why should we care? $4 billion of our tax dollars goes to support this important ally and friend of ours. Write our leaders, especially President Biden, asking them to demand of our friends the same respect for human rights we cherish at home.

“Justice can only be effective when each of the following… is present: mercy, truth, righteousness, and peace. Justice without mercy leads to further injustice. It is impossible to achieve justice without addressing truth. And where is the virtue of justice if it does not bring peace?” Salim Munayer

Bart Den Boer

Kairos West Michigan

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Mission Hebron

Choose a link below to access KWM’s January 20 webinar, “Mission Hebron,” featuring Cody O’Rourke from Good Shepherd Collective, Tom Arendshorst, former Hebron Christian Peacemaker Team member, and John Kleinheksel, KWM founder.

Full Video:

Audio

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Seeking The Path: Bruce Fisk

Friends:

You can find Bruce Fisk’s November 14 presentation, “Seeking The Path”  at this link.

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US Demands Israel Explain Its Terrorist Designation of Palestinian NGO’s

PHILADELPHIA (October 22, 2021) On October 19, the Israeli Ministry of Defense issued a military order declaring key Palestinian human rights organizations “terrorist organizations.” The named organizations include Defense for Children International – Palestine, Al-Haq, Addameer, Bisan, the Union of Agricultural Working Committees, and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees. The declaration effectively outlaws these groups.

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) – a Quaker organization that has been working with Palestinians and Israelis since 1948 – condemns this action against human rights defenders and Palestinian civil society and calls for its immediate reversal.

“The Israeli government has targeted these organizations for decades because of their human rights activism. They have arrested and detained staff, raided organizations offices, and made similar accusations to these organizations’ donors,” said Michael Merryman-Lotze, Middle East program director for AFSC. “This is an outrageous and dangerous escalation of Israel’s attacks on civil society.  The U.S. government must immediately condemn this move, demand its immediate reversal, and insist on protections for civil society and human rights defenders.”

US Demands Israel Explain Its Terrorist Designation of Palestinian NGO’s

Take action: Tell Congress to oppose the order and calls for its immediate reversal! 

 

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Help Save The “Tent Of Nations”

Daoud and Jihan Nassar, and the Nassar family are our dear friends

and Tent of Nations is one of ICMEP’s Mission Partners

 

FROM FRIENDS OF TENT OF NATIONS – NORTH AMERICA

Dear Friend and Supporter of Tent of Nations,

     You have been a supporter of Tent of Nations or are receiving this email from a friend or colleague who wishes to inform you about this urgent situationAs you know, Tent of Nations is a peace project located on a farm owned for over 100 years by the Nassar family, located 6 miles southwest of Bethlehem in the occupied Palestinian territories. Since 2001, Tent of Nations has been a place where “people from many different countries come together to learn, to share, and to build bridges of understanding and hope.” The Nassar family runs empowerment programs for women and children in the local area and welcomes thousands of international visitors every year, inspired by the courageous and steadfast stand of this family for justice and peace.  

 

     Recent events have raised the concern that the farm is at increased risk of destruction or confiscation. On May 21, 2021, more than 1,000 fruit trees were destroyed by arson. On June 9, 2021, the Israeli military entered the farm with vehicles and a bulldozer, destroying over 50 trees and damaging the terraced land. In the last few months, the Nassar family have been under increased pressure as the pace of settlement expansion, construction of roads for settlers that restrict the movement of Palestinians, and the use of checkpoints has accelerated. Taken together, these acts are intended to pressure the family to leave their home so that the land can be taken and incorporated into the adjacent Israeli settlement.

 

     Of greatest concern at this time is the delay in the re-registration of the property. Since 1991, the Nassar family has been in the Israeli Military and Supreme Courts defending their land from demolition and confiscation. The process has been subject to continued delays on the part of Israel, requiring that the Nassars re-initiate the process multiple times. Finally, in 2019, the Nassars received confirmation that their re-registration application to establish ownership was complete. After two more years of additional delays, a meeting was held in February 2021 by the Israeli Registration Committee, the purpose of which was to determine and inform the family about next steps for re-registration. Despite repeated inquiries, the Nassars continue to await notification of the results of that meeting.

 

     Given recent events, the delay in the land re-registration process exposes the Nassar’s farm to severe risk. It is critical that the re-registration process of the Nassar land be concluded without further delay and that no demolition or eviction orders are issued.  Completion of the land re-registration constitutes Israeli authorities’ recognition of the Nassars as the private owners of this land and ends their legal struggle.

 

     Your help is needed to exert pressure on Israel to stop issuing demolition and eviction orders and to complete the re-registration of the land.

     Here is what you can do:

     1.    Sign this petition, which will be delivered to the U.S. Secretary of State and the U.S. Embassy in Israel. 

     2.    Contact your senators and representatives. Urge them to ask the State Department to question the Israeli government about the Israeli Military’s recent acts of destruction of Nassar property and the delays of the re-registration. 

 

     Click here for scripts to guide your phone calls and emails.

      Click here to download a one-page backgrounder on Tent of Nations that you can send on to your representatives and to others.

 

     Use these links to obtain the contact information for your elected representatives:

     House of Representatives: 

        https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

     Senate: 

        https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm?OrderBy%253Dstate%2526Sort%253DASC

 

     Thank you for your longtime support for the work of the Nassar family. You may share this with trusted others.

 

Daoud Nassar

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At Kairos West Michigan, we work to unify and mobilize West Michigan Christians to take a stand for peace in Israel/Palestine. We believe that the time is right and that God is preparing the way for peace and justice in Israel and Palestine.

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