Category Archives: Palestine

Zionism: Manufacturing a State

Zionism: Manufacturing a State’ explores the intricate ties between religion, ideology, and Israel’s brutal war on Gaza. Featuring Jewish rabbis and scholars, it critiques the impact of Zionism on Judaism.

The film traces historical roots, connecting the ideology to today’s Gaza events, and offering a nuanced look at the complex interplay of religion and ideology in Israel’s history.

Watch on Youtube

Southampton PSC: Peace Protest for Palestine

Imagine we are living in a parallel universe. 75 years ago, Britain was defeated in the 2nd World War.  The RAF lost the Battle of Britain. D Day was a disaster. Britain was invaded and then colonised. The majority fled the country and cannot return. Those who survived have moved to the Southampton-Portsmouth Strip. Nearly 3 million people live as refugees in what is the world’s largest open prison, 25 miles long, 5 miles wide. The M27 is a militarised separation barrier. The coastline is patrolled. The ports are derelict. No one can leave. There is no escape. Imports and exports are heavily restricted. We depend on UN aid to survive.  

Our democratically elected civil government has been designated a terrorist organisation. Three months ago, it got much worse. Armed resistance fighters broke out of our enclave. In retaliation, for the last 100 days, Southampton, Fareham, Gosport and Portsmouth have been sieged, invaded and bombed. Day and night. As a result, there are tens of thousands of dead and wounded. 80% of homes have been destroyed or are uninhabitable. The Civic Hall has been demolished. Portsmouth, Solent and Southampton Universities have all been flattened.  The University Hospital, Royal South Hampshire and Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth have been severely damaged and are out of operation. Southampton airport is unusable. Most churches and mosques, shops, schools and community centres have been demolished or are unusable. Mass burials are taking place daily on Southampton Common.

And then, just when we thought it could not get any worse, two million people have been forced to move to a so-called ‘safe zone’ along the Weston Shore, Netley and in Royal Victoria Park. We are living in the open air, in makeshift tents. There is little or no food, no water or electricity. There is a communication blackout. The UN are only allowed to bring in a fraction of the supplies we need to survive. Medical staff are performing operations without anaesthetics. With no sanitation, communicable diseases are rampant. diarrhoea cases surged 66 percent among children. Meningitis, chickenpox, jaundice also reported. Half a million people are literally starving.

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Christ in the Rubble: A Liturgy of Lament

The Revd Dr Munther Isaac, is the vicar of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem. Munther delivered a prophetic message during the Christ in the Rubble Liturgy of Lament service today. It was a powerful message challenging Western Churches to demonstrate solidarity with the suffering church in Palestine and repudiate the genocide occurring in Gaza, because silence is complicity.

View the video here
Read Munther’s text below:

Christ in the Rubble
A Liturgy of Lament

“We are angry…
We are broken…
This should have been a time of joy; instead, we are mourning. We are fearful.

20,000 killed. Thousands under the rubble still. Close to 9,000 children killed in the most brutal ways. Day after day after day. 1.9 million displaced! Hundreds of thousands of homes destroyed. Gaza as we know it no longer exists. This is an annihilation. A genocide.

The world is watching; Churches are watching. Gazans are sending live images of their own execution. Maybe the world cares? But it goes on…

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Jesus of Palestine: Gulf Cultural Club Christmas Seminar

Jesus of Palestine: A Christmas presentation given at the Gulf Cultural Club, Abrar House, London

The Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem are commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ differently this year. They have created a nativity scene resembling the situation in Gaza amid Israel’s brutal onslaught. The nativity scene shows a baby wrapped in the traditional Palestinian keffiyeh and placed in debris and rubble. While the keffiyeh symbolises Palestinian identity, history, and struggle, the debris represents destruction in Gaza, where at least 20,000 people have already been killed by Israel’s indiscriminate war, and thousands more are missing under the rubble, most of them children and women. The baby Jesus represents the thousands of children buried beneath the rubble in Gaza. The vicar of the Nativity Church, the Revd Dr Munther Isaac, said: “If Jesus were born today, he would be born in Gaza under the rubble.” The municipalities and churches in Bethlehem and Ramallah have announced that Christmas celebrations have been cancelled in the occupied West Bank in solidarity with Gaza, calling on parishes instead to collect donations to help the victims.[1]

As we reflect on Christmas at the Gulf Cultural Club, we have been asked to consider two questions this evening.  First, how would Jesus deal with the current situation in Palestine? Second, how can peace be promoted today? The hope is that this seminar will contribute to the promotion of justice and peace as we mark the festive season linked to Jesus and Mary. Let’s consider these two questions one at a time. 

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Jesus of Palestine: In Conversation with Chris Williamson

Jesus of Palestine: In conversation with Chris Williamson and David Miller on Palestine Declassified for Press TV. View the interview here:

What’s your view on Jesus’ politics?

In his first sermon Jesus announced his political agenda. 

 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:18-21; Isaiah 61:1-2)

The prophet Isaiah is referring to the coming of the Messiah to announce the Year of Jubilee (which occurred every 50 years). When debts were cancelled, all slaves were freed and any property sold was returned to each family. It was intended to avoid extremes of wealth and poverty, and ensure justice, liberty, and equality. Jesus insists the Jubilee had come because the Sovereign King had now arrived.  Jesus political agenda therefore was to transform a deeply divided and unjust world and bring liberty, equality and fraternity, in a right relationship with the one true God and one another. Although this will ultimately only be fully realised in heaven, we get to demonstrate a foretaste by the way we treat one another.

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Inevitable Solutions to the Palestinian Plight

May I begin by thanking Professor Datuk Azizian Baharuddin, the director of Universiti Malaya Centre for Civilisational Dialogue (UMCCD), for the kind invitation to give this lecture. I also wish to thank Norma Hashim and Professor Dr Mohd Nazari Ismail of the Hashim Sani Centre for Palestine Studies for co-hosting this lecture and also for sponsoring my visit.

Over thirty years ago I gave an annual lecture to 16–17-year-old students at Guildford Grammar School, on virtually the same subject as we are considering today. I began by warning the students that there would be homework to motivate them to pay attention. And I say the same to you today – there will be homework.

The title I have been given is “Inevitable Solutions to the Palestinian Plight”. Note the first two words – ‘Inevitable” and “Solutions” because there are many solutions to the Palestinian plight. I will major on three today. These three are in fact mutually exclusive. How then can they be inevitable? That in part depends on you, me and seven billion other people in the world. Let me illustrate. Climate change is inevitable, it is happening, but the solutions (and there are several) depend on us and how seriously we adjust our values, our priorities and life styles. So it is with resolving the Palestinian plight. 

You may download a pdf version of this lecture here.

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ICAHD Calls for an End to Israeli Genocide Against the Palestinian People

The term “genocide” was formulated by the Jewish-Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin against the backdrop of the Holocaust. It was codified as a crime under international law in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the Genocide Convention). The definition of genocide, as set out in Article 2 of the Convention, is simple and straightforward, its first three elements clearly reflecting Israeli policies and actions towards the Palestinian people since initiating its process of systematic genocide in 1947:

Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction
in whole or in part.

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