Tag Archives: Congress

Urge Members of Congress to Attend a Briefing on Life for Palestinian Children under Israeli Military Occupation

From the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness

50 Years of Israeli Military Occupation & Life for Palestinian Children
Thursday, June 8, 2017
9:30 AM
Cannon House Office Building, Room 122

 Confirmed speakers include:

Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director, Human Rights Watch
Brad Parker, Staff Attorney and International Advocacy Officer, Defense for Children International – Palestine
Nadia Ben-Youssef, Director, Adalah Justice Project
Yazan Meqbil, Leonard Education Scholar and student at Goshen College

1912539_1519557018267999_6120668267282374878_oThe briefing marks 50 years since Israeli forces occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. Children under 18 years old currently represent 46 percent of the 4.68 million Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. This current generation has grown up in the shadow of failed negotiations and with futures stifled by systemic discrimination, persistent settlement expansion, blockade, and repeated military offensives.

Panelists will examine how persistent human rights violations, systematic impunity, discrimination, and a hyper-militarized environment affect the lives of the Palestinian children growing up under a military occupation with no end in sight.

 The briefing is sponsored by Defense for Children International-Palestine and American Friends Service Committee as part of their No Way to Treat a Child campaign.

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For the peace of Syria

Today … and everyday …

pray for the peace of Syria

work for the peace of Syria (contact U.S leaders by email and by phone)

fast, if you are able, for the peace of Syria

Today … and everyday …

pray, work, and fast (if you are able) for the

peace of Syria and the

peace of the world.

See you along the Trail

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Stated Clerk issues statement in the wake of the escalating violence in Syria

This story originally appeared on the Web pages of the Presbyterian News Service:

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness provides an opportunity to tell President Obama and Congress to refrain from a military response in Syria.

LOUISVILLE

The Rev. Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) issued a statement today (August 30) in the wake of the escalating violence in Syria, calling upon U.S. and world leaders to refrain from military action.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

We are deeply concerned about events in Syria. We grieve for our brothers and sisters who have suffered so deeply for so long. We yearn for an end to the bloodshed and renew our call for a cease-fire and a mediated process involving all parties to provide new choices for all Syrians.

We condemn the use of chemical weapons. Regardless of who perpetrated the attack, such a usage violates a longstanding international norm.  We recognize the authority and the responsibility of the United Nations Security Council to deal with this violation of international law. We call all nations to encourage the Security Council to address this illegal and immoral act. We do not doubt that justice is needed, but question the unilateral and inevitably selective role the United States has too often played, too often leading to greater violence, terrorism, and instability.

We call upon the President and the members of Congress to follow the example of other strong leaders in the past by exercising the courage and wisdom to refrain from military action that is likely to escalate the conflict further, and to bring our country directly into another war in the Middle East.

We applaud the President’s efforts to consult widely, conferring with international leaders and with Congress.  Now we ask him to spend time over this holiday weekend listening to what Americans want and fear.

Now is not the time to feed the violence and instability that has claimed the lives of over 100,000 Syrians, driven 3.4 million Syrians from their country, and displaced an additional 6.8 million Syrians from their homes. Most people affected by the conflict are noncombatants. Expanding the conflict will increase the suffering of the innocent.

Now is the time to heed the voices of our church partners who pray and call and work for peace. Our partners look to us to challenge policies of our government that help to fuel conflict in Syria and proxy wars across the Middle East.

Now is the time to reflect on the lessons of 12 years of involvement in conflict in the Middle East by the United States. Limited engagement is never truly limited.

Now is the time to support the peacemakers of Syria who seek to end the violence and build a future. In any Congressional deliberations, we urge that nonviolent forms of intervention be considered, and that next steps beyond military force be grounded in defensible cooperative goals for the region.

Now is the time for all outside parties to cease all forms of military intervention in Syria. States and and non-state actors must stop feeding the conflict in Syria by sending weapons to the government and to opposition forces.

Now is the time to renew the efforts for a diplomatic solution. The United States must work with the United Nations and other governments to contain the violence, restore stability in the region, provide humanitarian assistance, and encourage the building of an inclusive society in Syria that protects the rights of all its citizens.

Now—in the grimmest of situations—is the time to build a coalition of nations and peoples willing to do the long, hard, and essential work of establishing interfaith relationships of respect and understanding.

Now—for Syria and all its neighbors—is the time to seek a new vision of cooperation and nonviolence that will support an intervention with the power of impartial justice that will lead to a just and lasting peace.

Now is the time to pray for wisdom for leaders, for courage to turn from violence, for grace to build and nurture relationships, for justice to roll down like waters, and for peace to prevail in Syria.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” For the people of Syria, may it now be a time for peace.

 

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Seriously? The House failed to do what?

The U.S. House of Representatives – primarily the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives – failed to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. The Senate approved reauthorization in a bipartisan vote. The House – the Republicans in the House – let the law expire. Apparently the new version is too supportive of immigrants, the LGBT community, and Native Americans.

For the first time since 1994, the Violence Against Women Act is no more. And state and local governments will receive far fewer resources to address sexual and domestic violence.

It can sometimes be said that laws are not renewed because they are no longer needed. That does not work here.

An effort to revive the Violence Against Women Act can begin in the new Congress. Anyone who loves, or who has ever loved, a woman needs to be part of that effort.

See you along the Trail.

 

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Filed under Current Events, Human Rights