Churches, Pastors, and Lay Members Urged to Sign Letter
While many people were celebrating the recent normalization deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, the threat of annexation remained very real for Palestinians living in the area slated for annexation. Although Israel suspended its immediate annexation plans, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to move forward. His commitment to the annexation plan promises a bleak future for Palestinians already compromised by human rights violations and greatly endangers any hope for a peaceful reconciliation.
Why It Matters
Organizations such as Amnesty International and the United Nations have already accused the Israeli forces of perpetrating a long list of human rights violations. Included on that list are:
- Home demolitions and the forced eviction of Palestinian families
- Punitive arrests
- Unfair trials
- Ill-treatment and torture of detainees
- The use of excessive or lethal force to subdue nonviolent demonstrations
- Severe restrictions on Palestinians’ movement by several hundred roadblocks and checkpoints make travel to work or visit family nearly impossible. There are concerns that it also affects access to water.
The Bible tells the people of God to defend those who cannot defend themselves and speak out on behalf of the marginalized (Pr. 31:8-9).
Annexation Portends a Future of Destitution for Palestinians
Annexation would add to the already unjust and inequitable situation for approximately 2.6 million Palestinians in the West Bank. It would amplify discrimination, make them subject to Israeli law (either civil or military) cut off Palestinians from natural resources and their land in annexed areas, and likely lead to displacement. They would become even more reliant on Israel to connect with the outside world, plunging them into increased isolation and more severe wide-spread poverty.
A Call to Action
Christians are called to be agents of reconciliation and to work for justice regardless of whether or not the people for whom we advocate share our beliefs. James challenges us to not only be hearers of the word but doers (James 1:22).
The evidence suggests that annexation will increase inequalities and human rights violations of the Palestinian people, making it imperative for Christians to oppose annexation and work toward an end to the conflict resulting in justice and equality for both Israelis and Palestinians.
The annexation continues to face opposition by essentially every government in the region, including a majority of Israeli Jews, the European Union, and nearly every humanitarian organization. Their opposition is based on the assertion that annexation will surely undermine efforts to create peace in the region and normalize human rights violations.
Even if you signed the June 2, 2020 letter to Congress urging them to oppose unilateral annexation of the Occupied West Bank and renounce the use of US funds to support or facilitate annexation, there is more work to be done. Jesus calls the church to “let our light shine” in such a way the world sees our good deeds and glorifies our Father in heaven (Mt. 5:16). We implore you to continue to assert pressure by signing our most recent statement to affirm your opposition. We hope that you will stand in solidarity with other church leaders and members to take action.