YWCA of Palestine Easter Message 2016
As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.” Luke 19:41-42
Blessed is the one who wept over Jerusalem
for not knowing the ways of peace.
Blessed is the one who yearned to gather us
under her wing like a Mother hen.
Blessed is the one who rode a donkey
through the shouts of joy and hope,
palms waving and stones crying out.
Blessed is the Messiah who entered
the dangerous streets of Jerusalem.
Hosanna, teach us the things that make for peace
with justice, freedom and dignity.
Help us to recognize you
in all your humble glory
and in each other.
Escalation of violence doesn’t begin to capture the depth and breadth of the violence happening here since October 2015. In addition to what has become almost daily alleged stabbings and extrajudicial killings, there has also been a sharp increase in demolitions; 400 already this year of which 200 were European Union funded buildings in the West Bank. The result is that 480 have been made homeless, including 220 children.
Buildings and structures are destroyed because they are built without permits or to make room for military zones or “green spaces” or new settlements. It is next to impossible for Palestinians to get permits so almost everyone builds without one and almost everyone has a demolition order.
On February 21, just outside Jerusalem in the Abu al-Nawar Bedouin community, the only elementary school was bulldozed. This was an EU funded project to provide education, a basic human right.
The picture shows a teacher and her students continuing their education without the school. Like this teacher and her students who continue their education no matter what, the YWCA of Palestine continues its work with women and young people for peace and justice.
As a rights-based organization, it continues to equip its youth and women with the tools to engage as decision makers and leaders in their communities and to work for peace with justice.
It continues to explore the interconnections between the occupation and patriarchy as a form of violence against women and how economic independence is a justice issue. In March, the YWCA of Palestine sent a delegation to the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) where last year the UN commission on the Status of Women passed a resolution stressing the quest for equality and reaffirming that “the Israeli occupation remains the major obstacle for Palestinian women with regard to their advancement, self-reliance and integration in the development of their society.”
The YWCA of Palestine asks you to join them in its work, teaching and advocating for the things that make for peace with justice, a life with freedom and justice.