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    United Methodists of Upper New YorkLiving the Gospel. Being God's Love.

    news article

    Because we Care: We must do something to help Palestinians

    March 22, 2022 / By UNY Palestine-Israel Task Force

    Conflict between Jews and Palestinians arose as a tragic choice, occasioned largely by European experiences. In spite of decades of hostility, divine impulse calls people of faith to an inclusive human identity. The Palestine-Israel Task Force believes we are called to care about every person in Palestine-Israel:  the land between “the River and the Sea.” Peace cannot come for any people alone until it comes for all peoples together.

    Father Abraham makes Jews, Palestinians, and Christians “blood brothers and sisters.”  All these siblings feel deep connection to the Holy Land.

    As Americans, we are also entangled politically and financially. As American Christians, our moral stake is clear: our tax dollars support an unjust structure of domination, which makes life miserable for millions of Palestinians living within the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem, and in refugee camps outside the land—who have been denied their “right to return” under international law.

    The Israeli military runs regular raids on Palestinian homes at night, taking children as young as 11 years of age to military prisons, beating them, interrogating them, coercing them without benefit of legal counsel or adult family members’ presence. Children are often kept in prisons for months. All of this is illegal by international law, to which Israel is a signatory.

    The Israeli military also confiscates lands, homes, businesses, orchards and water rights of Palestinians, supposedly for “security” purposes:  properties and resources owned by Palestinians over many generations.

    The Israeli military protects and supports illegal Jewish settlers in stealing land from Palestinians. When settlers attack Palestinians as they farm their land, the military protects the settlers.

    Actions by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have not always been just, and we implore the officials of those governments to seek justice and pursue it. Hezbollah and other external forces use power and terror to seek influence and more power. Yet none of these forces have power remotely comparable to the Israeli government, its Defense Force, “intelligence” networks, nuclear and conventional armed forces. As U.S. citizens, we can apply leverage to the Israeli government, to whom our nation gives more foreign aid than any other nation on earth. Edmund Burke’s dictum reminds us:  “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men (people) to do nothing.”

    The Task Force invites prayers and actions. We might begin by asking our Members of Congress to pass HR. 2590, which calls for withholding assistance to Israel's military to curtail illegal acts against children and the confiscation of Palestinian property and rights.

    With more than 100,000 members, United Methodists of Upper New York comprises of more than 675 local churches and New Faith Communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our vision is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."