A call for International Protection of Palestinians from Israeli-Sanctioned Murder

Lawlessness and violence against Palestinian civilians reached new levels during the March 28 anti-BDS rally in Jerusalem. The Israeli minister of transportation, intelligence and atomic energy, Yisrael Katz, said that Israel must carry out a “targeted civil thwarting of the BDS leadership,” naming Omar Barghouti and other Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activists. (“Targeted thwarting” is an Israeli military term for “assassination.”) Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri escalated the fear-mongering by claiming that Barghouti and other BDS activists are paid by terrorist organizations hostile to Israel.

Friends of Sabeel North America condemns this dangerous and violent rhetoric by Israeli leaders. As a Palestinian Christian organization, FOSNA affirms the sanctity of every human life and asserts that murder and intent to assassinate targeted civilians runs contrary to our religious principles and international law. We reject statements by extremist religious leaders who distort the teachings of their own scriptures, religious law, and prophets by justifying murder with hate speech. A central principle of our Judeo-Christian-Islamic scriptures and traditions is the responsibility “to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke.”

Please contact Secretary of State John Kerry in support of Senator Patrick Leahy’s request to investigate “gross violations of human rights” in Israel. Write to your local newspaper in support of sanctions against Israel in light of these threats. Speak to your congregations about the violence Palestinians experience under occupation. In a climate of rising extremism among Israeli settlers and the military, Western powers need to intervene to protect increasingly vulnerable Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip.

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