Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Faith Groups Easter Appeal for Justice in Palestine


A petition supported by a range of faith organisations and campaign groups was handed into Mr David Cameron in  Downing Street on Friday, 30 March. It asked the UK Government to take action to prevent the destruction of Palestinian life in Jerusalem.  Pax Christi the Catholic peace movement, the Amos Trust, Architects & Planners for Justice in Palestine, Friends of Al Aqsa, Friends of Sabeel, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights  all supported the petition which had gathered more than 5,000 signatures.

Pat Gaffney of Pax Christi  said:  "As we approach Holy Week and Easter let us remember  those Palestinians who will be denied access to their places of worship. When the Israeli Government arbitrarily issues  permits during the Easter and Christmas seasons it is suggested that Palestinian Christians should feel happy to receive access to Jerusalem for a couple of weeks, and forget about the fact that full access for Christians and Muslims  is a right and not a favour. "

Diana Neslen, Jews for Justice for Palestinians said: "Jerusalem means 'City of Peace'. It is our belief that peace will not come to a city that privileges one community, the Jewish community, over all the other communities who hold Jerusalem dear.  We believe that the policies pursued by the Israeli government in Jerusalem today are against all the tenets of Jewish ethics and values and we challenge Israel to recognise that its behaviour in Jerusalem undermines its professed claim to democratic credentials."

Those supporting the Petition  call on our Government to work with the UN to ensure that the state of Israel recognises its responsibilities under international law to Jerusalem as a shared city, sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians and ends its occupation of East Jerusalem."

The full text of the petition is: 'We, as British citizens, call for action now to prevent the destruction of Palestinian life and culture in Jerusalem. We call on our Government to take steps to ensure that the Israeli authorities end: - systematic demolition of Palestinian homes - building of illegal settlements and associated infrastructure - granting of insecure residency status to Palestinians - expulsion of Palestinians from Jerusalem - by arbitrarily removing their residency rights and building the Wall to shut Palestinian communities out of the main city - preventing freedom of worship through barring Palestinian Christians and Muslims from visiting Jerusalem We call on our Government to work with the UN to ensure that the state of Israel recognises its responsibilities under international law to Jerusalem as a shared city, sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians and ends its occupation of East Jerusalem.'

Source: Independent Catholic News