David Grishaw-Jones donated 2018-09-24 07:48:38 -0700
The displacement of the Palestinian people has gone on for 70 years. Your voice is needed for justice to prevail.
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David Grishaw-Jones posted about Interfaith Clergy to Durham: End police partnerships with the IDF on Facebook 2018-04-11 10:33:08 -0700As interfaith clergy from around the country, we call on the Durham Police Department to end its partnership with Israeli military forces.
We speak on behalf of a large and growing movement of Jews, Christians and Muslims that numbers in the hundreds of thousands that seeks an equitable and lasting peace for all the peoples of the Holy Land, in particular the Israeli Jews and the Palestinians. We do so from a place of love and in line with the values of our faiths.
As clergy, we wholeheartedly endorse the amazing work of Demilitarize!Durham2Palestine to halt any future police exchange partnerships between the Durham Police Department (DPD) and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Given the IDF’s record of human rights abuses, we strongly encourage the Durham City Council to pass the statement that affirms as policy that such exchanges will not occur. This statement is a ray of light. We believe it is our religious and moral duty to champion human rights and we respect this courageous statement that seeks to protect all communities from harm, from Durham to Israel/Palestine and across the world.
The proposed statement recognizes the preciousness of human life and human rights, which we see reflected in the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim teachings that all people are created in the image of God, and that we are commanded to love our neighbor, and the stranger, as we love ourselves. We have seen with our own eyes the brutality of Israel’s military occupation and the daily violations of Palestinians’ most basic human rights. We have seen the increased militarization of our police forces here in the United States and the unequal treatment faced by people of color in our communities.
The essence of our religious traditions is to act for justice and the Durham City Council is fulfilling the best of our teachings in acting on its ethical and social obligations in a way that makes this world more peaceful and just. Our prayer is that other city councils will join Durham in using their legislative power to end exchanges between their police departments and Israeli security forces.
David Grishaw-Jones posted about Clergy Members Stand with New Orleans on Facebook 2018-01-17 18:09:50 -0800I just signed on to a clergy letter in solidarity with New Orleans Palestine Solidarity activists! Will you sign?152 signaturesTo the City Council of New Orleans: Our affirmation, thanks and esteem.With deep appreciation for the New Orleans City Council, we affirm and support the Council's January 11, 2018 action to elevate human, civil and labor rights criteria in City investments and contracts.Especially in light of intense opposition to your principled stand, we thank you for your political and moral courage. No nation should be exempt from the standards of human, civil and labor rights as expressed in your resolution. This includes the nation of Israel, noted by your detractors as vulnerable to censure based upon its policies and actions.It is incumbent upon elected leaders at all levels to embrace the political trust and ethical responsibility they hold as stewards of public funds.This is especially true at this critical moment in history when global corporations abuse human rights to the detriment of communities and individuals.As Christian leaders, we honor the New Orleans City Council for taking a first, historic step. Thank you for establishing a process to create investment and contractual screening based on human, civil and labor rights.You continue the legacy of bold leaders such as Nelson Mandela, who said, "To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity."By affirming the values stated in its Resolution as central to the fiscal commitments of New Orleans, the City Council has offered distinguished leadership for New Orleans and a model for cities across the nation.We salute you for this action and hope other municipalities will follow your lead.
David Grishaw-Jones posted about I Stand with Esther on Facebook 2017-10-27 12:32:10 -0700Sign the petition: #IstandwithEsther
From buses to tea, fossil fuels to grapes, boycotts are a time-honored and constitutionally protected form of speech! #IstandwithEsther and her right to boycott!92 signatures
Did you see our ad in the Kansas City Star? Donate here to help us spread this message further.
Help us show Esther Koontz that we support her courageous stand.
Learn more about her case, here.
Whenever we choose to work for peace and justice in the Middle East, we know this choice can be costly.
In August, Ms. Esther Koontz, a trainer of math teachers in Wichita, Kansas, and a member of the Mennonite Church USA, learned that she would not be allowed to participate in a professional program for which she was qualified because she would be required to sign a statement affirming she is not presently engaged in a boycott of Israel. When Ms. Koontz refused to sign that statement, she was informed she would be ineligible to receive payment as a state-contracted teacher trainer.
In gross violation of her First Amendment right to free speech, Ms. Koontz was thus denied a professional opportunity based on her conscientious determination to preserve her right to boycott companies that profit from violent and repressive business endeavors.
This is what costly solidarity looks like. This is Christian faith and conviction applied in real time. This is moral authority speaking loudly not simply through words, but through action.
Indeed, the June 12, 2017, letter from the National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine explicitly pleads for our “costly solidarity” including creative, nonviolent resistance to the military occupation of Palestinian land.
On July 6, 2017, the Mennonite Church USA resolved overwhelmingly to review its investment practices for the purpose of withdrawing investments from companies that profit from the military occupation of Palestine. The Mennonite Church USA urged all church members to review their investments in a similar way.
The Clergy and Seminary Action Council of Friends of Sabeel North America honors the Mennonite Church USA and especially Ms. Esther Koontz for their bold actions. We express our respect, our solidarity, and our Christian faith in affirming this costly witness. We are grateful for this expression of conviction which adds authority and power to the ongoing work of the church to end military occupation of Palestine—a military occupation now in its 50th year. We are pleased to know the American Civil Liberties Union will argue Ms. Koontz’s case on Constitutional grounds.
May God grant strength, relief, and many steadfast allies as this case plays out in the courts. We aim to be among those allies.
Friends of Sabeel North America Clergy and Seminary Action Council
David Grishaw-Jones donated 2017-08-05 12:54:20 -0700
“Jerusalem is like a dove. It belongs to no one.”
—Issa, age 10, Silwan, Jerusalem
All over the world people honor the sacred dove, symbol of peace, as a thing that should not be caged, sold, or violated. Jesus’ actions show us in prophetic action, that sacred things are never for sale, and that we must fight to protect them from the gears of militarism.
Will you join us in supporting the Palestinian struggle to protect the sacred? Your donation this Easter season will go directly to Sabeel Jerusalem, the heart of Palestinian Liberation Theology.Donate
David Grishaw-Jones posted about World Council of Churches on Facebook 2017-07-25 13:39:55 -0700Sign the petition: Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. (Isa. 1:17)
We, Christians throughout the United States, stand with the Palestinian Christian community and urge the World Council of Churches (WCC) to adopt their call to take brave action in the face of 50 years of Israel’s military occupation, 70 years since the Nakba and ethnic cleansing of Palestine began, and 100 years since the Balfour Declaration. As the WCC gathers in Bethlehem on the 10th Anniversary of the Amman Call may you adopt the actions outlined in the NCCOP's prophetic letter. As Christian clergy and lay leaders in the United States, we commit to redouble our efforts to amplify the voices of Palestinian Christians and mobilize our communities to act as outlined, from recognizing Israel's human rights violations, to defending and intensifying economic measures used to pressure Israel to recognize Palestinian human rights. Together may we find the strength to face the pressure, speak the truth and heed the call.
"We need you and we need you now more than ever. We need your costly solidarity. We need brave women and men who are willing to stand in the forefront. This is no time for shallow diplomacy Christians...Things are beyond urgent. We are on the verge of a catastrophic collapse. The current status-quo is unsustainable. This could be our last chance to achieve a just peace. As a Palestinian Christian community, this could be our last opportunity to save the Christian presence in this land. Our only hope as Christians comes from the fact that in Jerusalem, the city of God, and our city, there is an empty tomb, and Jesus Christ who triumphed over death and sin, brought to us and to all humanity, new life." -Open letter from The National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine (NCCOP) to the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the ecumenical movement635 signatures
الئتلف الوطني للمؤسسات المسيحية في فلسطين
NCCOP National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine Open letter from The National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine (NCCOP) to the World Council of Churches and the ecumenical movement
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. (Isa. 1:17)
As we meet this month in Bethlehem in occupied Palestine, we are still suffering from 100 years of injustice and oppression that were inflicted on the Palestinian people beginning with the unjust and unlawful Balfour declaration, intensified through the Nakba and the influx of refugees, followed by the Israeli occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem and Gaza and the fragmentation of our people and our land through policies of isolation and confiscation of land, and the building of Jewish-only settlements and the Apartheid Wall.
We are still suffering because of one political declaration from a Western Empire, based on a twisted theological premise. Even some churches and few Christian leaders supported the establishment of the colonial state in our land, and totally ignored – even dehumanized – the nation, our people that had already existed here for centuries and paid the price for atrocities committed in Europe.
Hundred years later and there is still no justice in our land! Discrimination and inequality, military occupation and systematic oppression are the rule. Today, we stand in front of an impasse and we have reached a deadlock. Despite all the promises, endless summits, UN resolutions, religious and lay leader’s callings – Palestinians are still yearning for their freedom and independence, and seeking justice and equality. Humanly speaking – we have reached the “moment of impossible”, as Emeritus Latin Patriarch Sabbah said recently.
Could it be that we have reached this “impossible moment” because things were built from the very beginning – a hundred years ago – on an unjust premise? Should we expect that such an unjust declaration will create anything but strife and destruction?
Today is also an opportunity to remember the Amman Call which was proclaimed ten years ago. We are thankful to those who stood with us back then in costly solidarity; those who stood for truth and justice. We are also concerned that ten years later the situation has been worsening on on the ground and still deteriorating. Like other initiatives advocating end of occupation, the Amman Call did not achieve its goals in building and achieving just peace and we must ask ourselves today – why?
We are also concerned by Israel’s systemic assault on Palestinian creative resistance, and on our partners worldwide who use this method to pressure Israel to end the occupation. Many new laws were issued in Israel and around the world to oppose this creative non-violent resistance unlawfully, and to stop all effort towards peace. Not only is this an attack on the freedom of conscience and speech but it is also an assault on our right and duty to resist evil with good. Israel is even now trying to prevent pilgrims from visiting Bethlehem – the city of Emmanuel!
While we are grateful for the ‘costly solidarity’ articulated in the Amman Call and exercised by many churches around the world, we are concerned that some churches have weakened their positions in the last ten years as a result of this manipulating pressure. Many still hide behind the cover of political neutrality, not wishing to offend their religious dialogue partners.
Finally, we meet in an environment of religious wars and persecution in our region. Religious extremism is on the rise, and religious minorities have paid a heavy and painful price. We thank you for your efforts towards the refugees and towards ending the conflicts in our region. We also thank you for your support of persecuted Christians in places like Iraq and Syria.
“God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6)
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness (Justice), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me”. (Matthew 5:10-11)
As we stand in front of this “impossible moment”, it gives us no pleasure to say that “we told you so” eight years ago when we declared the moment as a Kairos moment! We stand facing the impossible, but we have not lost hope, since as followers of the Risen One, we are the people of hope. However, we need you and we need you now more than ever. We need your costly solidarity. We need brave women and men who are willing to stand in the forefront. This is no time for shallow diplomacy Christians. We urge you to hear our call and adopt the following:
1. That you call things as they are: recognize Israel as an apartheid state in terms of international law and in agreement of what a person like Desmond Tutu said and as the UN ESCWA report said: “Israel is guilty of imposing an apartheid regime on the Palestinian people”. We are disturbed by the fact that States and churches are dealing with Israel as if the situation were normal, ignoring the reality of occupation, discrimination and daily death in the land. Just as churches united to end apartheid in South Africa and whereby the WCC played a courageous and pivotal prophetic and leadership role, we expect you to do the same!
2. That you unequivocally condemn the Balfour declaration as unjust, and that you demand from the UK that it asks forgiveness from the Palestinian people and compensates for the losses. We ask that churches and Christians to support the Palestinians in their request for justice. It was his infamous declaration, after all that laid the ground for the concept of an ethno-religious state – the very same thing our region is suffering today.
3. That you take a clear and the strongest theological stand against any theology or Christian group that justifies the occupation and privileges one nation over the other based on ethnicity or a covenant. We ask that you adopt and live the theology suggested by Kairos Palestine and that you organize conferences to bring awareness towards this end.
4. That you take a stand against religious extremism and against any attempt to create a religious state in our land or region. We ask that you support us in combating the foundations of extremism and that you seek our council when acting against religious extremism so that you do not jeopardize and harm our standing here.
5. That you revisit and challenge your religious dialogue partners, and that you are willing to even withdraw from the partnership if needed – if the occupation and injustices in Palestine and Israel are not challenged.
6. That you lead campaigns for church leaders and pilgrims to visit Bethlehem and other Palestinian cities on this side of the wall in cooperation with Palestinian tourist and pilgrimage agencies, in response to recent attempts by Israel. We ask that you publicly challenge any attempt by Israel or other Christians that discourage pilgrims from visiting Palestinian places.
7. That you defend our right and duty to resist the occupation creatively and nonviolently. We ask that you speak in support of economic measures that pressure Israel to stop the occupation and go further to support sport, cultural and academic measures against Israel until it complies with international law and UN resolutions urging the ending of its occupation, Apartheid and discriminations, and accepts refugees to return to their home land and properties. This is our last peaceful resort. In response to Israel’s war on BDS, we ask that you intensify that measures.
8. That you create lobby groups in defense of Palestinian Christians. We ask that you publicly and legally challenge Christian organizations that discredit our work and legitimacy. 9. We therefore propose as a matter of the greatest urgency that you create a strategic program within WCC similar to the Program “To Combat Racism” to lead efforts to lobby, advocate and develop active programs towards justice and peace in Palestine and Israel and work on maintaining the presence of the Palestinian Christians through supporting their organizations, church
9. We therefore propose as a matter of the greatest urgency that you create a strategic program within WCC similar to the Program “To Combat Racism” to lead efforts to lobby, advocate and develop active programs towards justice and peace in Palestine and Israel and work on maintaining the presence of the Palestinian Christians through supporting their organizations, church work and peaceful efforts.
As faithful witnesses, we acknowledge, affirm and continue the long standing prophetic tradition, especially the one started by the Amman Call and articulated in the Kairos Palestine document. We fully grasp the pressure church leaders are facing here and abroad not to speak the truth, and it is because of this that we are raising this call.
Things are beyond urgent. We are on the verge of a catastrophic collapse. The current status-quo is unsustainable. This could be our last chance to achieve a just peace. As a Palestinian Christian community, this could be our last opportunity to save the Christian presence in this land. Our only hope as Christians comes from the fact that in Jerusalem, the city of God, and our city, there is an empty tomb, and Jesus Christ who triumphed over death and sin, brought to us and to all humanity, new life.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Cor. 4:8-9)
12 June 2017
- Arab Catholic Scouts Group
- Arab Orthodox Society, Jerusalem
- Caritas, Jerusalem
- Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees- Middle East Council of Churches
- Greek Catholic Sayedat AlBishara Association
- International Christian Committee
- Laity Committee in the Holy Land
- National Christian Association
- Pontifical Mission Palestine
- SABEEL – Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center
- Seeds of Better life
- Union of Arab Orthodox Club, Jerusalem
- Young Men’s Christian Association –YMCA
- Young Women’s Christian Association –YWCA
- NECC office
Bethlehem (NCOB) Network of Christian Organizations in Bethlehem
- The East Jerusalem YMCA /Beit Sahour Branch
- The Arab Educational Institute
- Holy Land Trust, Bethlehem
- Wi’am Center, Bethlehem
- Saint Afram Assyrian Society
- Holy Land Christians Ecumenical Foundation, Bethlehem
- Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI)
- Arab Orthodox Club, Beit Sahour
- Arab Orthodox Club, Beit Jala
- Arab Orthodox Club, Bethlehem
- The Arab Orthodox Charitable Society, Beit Sahour
- Bethlehem Bible College
- Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies
- Alternative Tourism Group, ATG, Beit Sahour
- Senior Citizen Charitable Society
- Environmental educational Center, Beit Jala
- Saint Vincent Charitable Society, Beit Jala
- Shepherds' Children Society, Beit Sahour
David Grishaw-Jones posted about HP Free Churches on Facebook 2016-12-08 14:03:21 -0800Sign the petition: We Pledge to Become an HP-Free Church
Not yet ready or able to sign the pledge on behalf of your congregration? Find additional resources here!
For thousands of years, churches have served as places to give thanks, to bring families together, to provide sanctuary for those in need. We cannot allow these core commitments to be diminished by allowing companies complicit in human rights abuses to establish themselves in our houses of worship. Hewlett Packard (HP) provides Israel with the technological tools to facilitate its oppression of the Palestinian people.
The Presbyterian Church, Unitarian Universalists, United Church of Christ, Quaker Friends Fiduciary, and Alliance of Baptists have all divested from HP at the denominational level. Let’s bring this courageous stand to the congregational level by becoming an HP-free church.39 signatures
As a community of faith, we recognize that mass incarceration, restrictions on movement, and illegal settlements and occupation are unjust, unsustainable, and irresponsible practices.
Until HP ends its complicity in the illegal Israeli occupation and ceases to profit from the violation of Palestinian human rights, we pledge to not buy Hewlett Packard products, including printers, computers, and ink.
(If you are unable to sign on behalf of your congregation, you can sign as an individual here.)