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HELP Khan Al-Ahmar!

“It’s inhuman, it’s like putting them in pens, it’s like a zoo.” – Michael, international observer, speaking of the proposed relocation site for the villagers of Khan Al-Ahmar

The West Bank Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar faces the imminent threat of demolition by Israeli forces. The Israeli government plans to transfer the residents against their will to the village of Al Jabel, near the Abu Dis garbage dump.

This would be the third time this Bedouin tribe was forced to move – they were expelled from the Negev desert by the Israeli military decades ago, and then forced from West Bank land where an Israeli settlement now sits.

Khan Al-Ahmar is just one of dozens of communities that could be forced to move.  In total, around 7,000 people from 46 Bedouin communities live there in Area C “and we are concerned about all of them”, a United Nations spokesperson said, noting that the community is located near existing “large Israeli settlements.”

According to UN officials, “This situation occurs on the backdrop of a wave of demolitions across the West Bank in recent days.” 

The Israeli human rights center B’Tselem sent a letter to top Israeli government and military officials, warning them that the forcible displacement of Khan al-Ahmar and the village of Susiya (also scheduled for destruction) “would constitute a war crime committed at your instruction and under your responsibility, and for which you would bear personal liability.”

The village of Khan Al-Ahmar is in a crucial location in the West Bank: if it is destroyed and replaced by settlements, Palestinians will be further cut off from Jerusalem and from one another in the West Bank.


The Israeli High Court gave a green light to the demolition, but petitions to the court have cause the plans to be delayed. International pressure – including the presence of international observers in the village, and a letter from 76 members of Congress has helped to raise awareness about Khan Al-Ahmar and other villages scheduled for demolition. 

It is critical for advocates to continue to voice our concern – for Khan Al-Ahmar and all Palestinian communities that are threatened. 

Click the button below and join thousands across the US who are contacting members of Congress, asking them to speak out against this demolition and forced displacement! You'll review the message to Congress before sending it.

It would SO great is you would do these too....

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UMKR Condemns Israel's
Apartheid Law

26 July 2018 – United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR) joins with Palestinian civil society, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), the Israel/Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace (PCAP), and all people of conscience who decry and condemn the recent adoption by the Israeli legislature of the Nation State Law. This bill now enshrines in Israel's Basic Law, the Israeli equivalent to a national constitution, the denial of equal rights for Palestinian Israeli citizens who comprise 20% or more of Israel's population.

We recognize that for many years, both law and practice in Israel have failed to protect essential human rights for minorities in Israeli society. However, as explained by the Palestinian legal center Adalah, the Nation State Basic Law is now the “law of laws” in Israel and overrides any ordinary legislation. This anti-democratic law will enable more egregious racial discrimination than currently exists in Israel; it provides the status of a constitutional mandate for the apartheid policies of the Israeli state. (See the text of the law here.)

UMKR notes the response to the Nation State Law by the Palestinian BDS National Committee, including this statement by Palestinian activist Omar Barghouti: "If ever there was a time for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel’s system of oppression, it is now. Israel’s official adoption of apartheid opens the door for the Palestinian people, Arab nations and our allies around the world to pressure the UN to activate its anti-apartheid laws and impose serious sanctions on Israel like those imposed on apartheid South Africa."

We also note that, by identifying Israel as "the nation-state of the Jewish people," this law attempts to falsely claim that the state of Israel represents and acts on behalf of the worldwide Jewish community. On the contrary, many thousands of Jewish citizens of dozens of countries on five continents strongly oppose the state of Israel's oppressive policies towards the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories and within Israel.

UMKR commends the timely statement earlier last week by thirty Jewish organizations around the world in which they affirm their support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement and the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality, while also rejecting attempts to falsely "conflate anti-Jewish racism with opposition to Israel’s policies and system of occupation and apartheid."

In light of this new apartheid-codifying Israeli law and numerous other deeply disturbing actions and developments in 2018 – including but not limited to: the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem; Israel's growing assault on free speech rights and its determination to muzzle human rights organizations; the ongoing destruction of Palestinian communities and expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank; the massacre of unarmed Palestinian protesters in which over 150 have been killed and over 16,000 thousand injured; Israel’s closure of Gaza’s only commercial crossing, intensifying the already catastrophic living conditions for 2 million imprisoned Gazan residents; and Israel’s military assault on Gaza late last week – UMKR pledges to continue and redouble our efforts to inform and mobilize the people of the global United Methodist Church and our fellow citizens throughout the world, working for the goal of freedom, equality and justice for all Palestinians and Israelis.

Founded in 2010, UMKR is an international grassroots movement of clergy and laity in the United Methodist Church connecting justice advocates in dozens of annual conferences (church regional bodies) on four continents. We are answering the urgent call of Palestinian Christians - in Kairos Palestine: A Moment of Truth - for effective action to achieve a just peace in the Holy Land. Learn more about our work at www.kairosresponse.org.

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