My friend and colleague, Jan McIntyre is back in Palestine as an EA, having been called in to serve when another EA from another country had to step down. jan is serving in East Jerusalem and I encourage you to check out her blog at amosaicforpeace.wordpress.com
Her recent blog is below, with encouragement for action, writing to the Canadian Government and to United Church of Canada General Secretary, Nora Sanders.
Since returning to Palestine, I have been appalled at the level of Israeli settlement growth (on Palestinian land in the West Bank) that has occurred since I left here 15 months ago. These settlements are built in direct contravention of International Humanitarian Law.
Many people in Canada are confused about settlements and settlers and what the terms refer to. Part of our work as EA’s is to write a blog. Over the past few weeks, I attempted to help people understand these terms through a blog post “Settlements and Settlers” (click here) and another post “The Human Costs of Settler Violence” (clickhere).
As you are aware, the issue of Israeli settlement products was discussed at the United Church’s General Council 41 in August 2012, with General Council taking definitive action. On February 28, 2013, Nora Sanders, General Secretary of The United Church of Canada, wrote to Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird [PDF: 2 pp/217 KB] asking that products produced in Israeli settlements in the West Bank be clearly identified and distinguished from products made in Israel. You can learn more about her letter on the United Church website (click here).
Peace, Salaam, Shalom,
In Winnipeg, an ad hoc group including UCC members, folks from Independant Jewish Voices, members of Peace Alliance Winnipeg, and folks from the student movement have been staging a weekly campaign outside The Bay downtown, offering education about Israeli Settlement products with particular focus on SodaStream. SodaStream is a home carbonation system that is touting itself as a ‘green’ product, emphasizing environmental values. A concern we hold is that this product seems to put environmental values above human rights. The product is build in an industrial zone just outside of Jerusalem in the Ma’ale Addumim Settlement. It is labelled as “Made in Israel”, but is made on stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank.
This is but one example of the kind of mislabelling that we want to see addressed by the Canadian government.
This Saturday, March 30th is Palestinian Land Day. The Winnipeg Demonstration will continue at 12 noon. If you are nearby, consider joining us. Perhaps use this day as a time to consider writing a letter stating your support for a Palestinian State, with self-determination for the people, and a viable land base for an economy that is not dependent on the occupiers for employment.
May ‘next year in Jerusalem’ be a time of peace and promise for all, for Muslims, Christians, Jews, Bedouin, Druse, Palestinians and Israelis.
Peace, Shalom, Salaam.