I might not have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.
I have seen simple Palestinian homes topped with blue rain barrels designed to make the most of every drop of rain in an arid climate. And, covering the hillsides of the same dry Palestinian countryside, I have seen lush gated and guarded cities, with sprinklers watering green lawns and an abundance of swimming pools. These picturesque dessert oases are Israeli settlements that have been built illegally on Palestinian land.
I witnessed these and many other injustices as part of a learning tour for young adults organized by Mennonite Central Committee and Mennonite Church Eastern Canada. You can read more about our experiences on the Yella 2015 blog.
And so, last week at the Mennonite Church Canada Assembly in Saskatoon, I was overjoyed when we passed a resolution calling Canadian Mennonites to pray for a just peace in Palestine/Israel and stating (among other things):
We ask the Mennonite Church Canada General Board, regional churches, congregations, and members to avoid investing in or supporting companies that do business with Israeli settlements and the Israel Defence Forces, and companies that are profiting from the occupation of the Palestinian territories.
You can read the full resolution on page 28 of this document.
A week later, with all of us who attended the assembly once again scattered across Canada, I’m worried that the momentum will be lost and we will feel good about having passed this resolution, but ultimately do nothing to put it into practice.
That is where you come in, community! So many of you have much wisdom to share around this issue. How do we live this out? Which companies should we be avoiding? How can we become better advocates? Let’s pool our knowledge and live it out together!
My prayer moving forward is from Micah chapter 4:
YHWH will judge between many peoples and arbitrate between mighty and distant nations; They will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation will not raise the sword against another, and never again will they train for war. People will sit under their own vines and fig trees with no one to make them afraid.
(The Inclusive Bible)