JAI: An Eye on Palestine – February 19, 2016

JAI: An Eye on Palestine – February 19, 2016

The YMCA-YWCA Joint Advocacy Initiative issues this bi-weekly newsletter to keep you updated on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories related to the Israeli occupation.

Three boys among 6 Palestinians killed during bloody weekend

Israeli forces shot and killed six Palestinians over the weekend, including three children and a woman, and critically injured a 14-year-old girl.  On Sunday night, two Palestinians were shot dead after allegedly attempting to carry out an armed attack outside Damascus Gate in occupied Jerusalem’s Old City. Omar Ahmad Omar and Mansour Yasser Abdulaziz Shawamra, both of them 20-year-olds from the West Bank village of al-Qubeiba, were carrying explosives, homemade Carl Gustav-style rifles and a knife, according to reports. Shawamra was reportedly an officer with the Palestinian Authority security forces, which Israel has heavily relied on to repress resistance against the military occupation. He is the third PA officer in recent months to have been slain while allegedly carrying out an attack. Last month a staff sergeant was shot dead after opening fire at soldiers at a checkpoint and another officer, Mazen Oraibi, was slain during a similar incident in December.  Read more

The water of life – not in Palestine. A Kairos perspective

Water is a source of life and a gift of God to all. This becomes especially clear when we read the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman (John 4:4-10), when Jesus is talking about the water of life, a synonym for salvation. But also in a literal sense water remains an essence of life. The dialogue between Jesus as a Jew and the woman as a Samaritan makes it very clear; water is life and should be distributed equally to everyone despite his or her cultural, religious or ethnic background. You can even draw the conclusion that everyone is responsible to work for access to water for everyone in this world. In the world today, we call that a human right – the right to have access to water.

As proclaimed by the Bible, in Occupied Palestine (OP) the centrality of water is crucial for life and human dignity. However, Israeli apartheid policies contribute to an alarming water shortage that denies Palestinians their most basic rights and threatens their very future on their land. These policies are leading to a “drying out” of Palestine.  Read more

Harvard Law loses 250K after ‘Palestine Exception’ event

The law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadely & McCloy reportedly pulled $250,000 from Harvard Law after a panel discussion called “The Palestine Exception to Free Speech: A Movement Under Attack.” The October 20 lunchtime lecture featured Palestine Legal staff attorney Radhika Sainath, Omar Shakir, a Bertha Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), and Northeastern undergraduate Kendell Bousquet and was sponsored by the law school’s Justice for Palestine student group.

The event – which was standing-room only – began with a 3-minute video of students and professors discussing how they were censored, punished or falsely accused of anti-Semitism for taking a principled stance for Palestinian rights. The panel included a presentation on a recent report released by Palestine Legal and CCR detailing the tactics used by Israel advocacy groups to silence speech supporting Palestinian rights, a discussion on the firing of Professor Steven Salaita after he issued tweets critical of Israeli policies, and a first-hand account of disparate treatment experienced by Students for Justice in Palestine at Northeastern University.  Read more