Joyce Guinn endorsed 2023-10-11 09:46:06 -0700
East Jerusalem, Palestine - October 2023
Terrible violence continues between Israeli forces and armed Palestinian resistance groups, resulting in thousands of dead and injured on each side, including scores of civilian men, women, and children. This devastating escalation comes in the wake of a surprise attack on Israel by Hamas, with Israeli leadership threatening long-term violence and destruction.
At Sabeel, we envision a future where every life holds intrinsic value, and every individual enjoys freedom and safety, irrespective of their background or identity. Sabeel condemns and mourns the tragic loss of all life and human suffering. We categorically reject all forms of violence. And, we recognize that the only way forward for us is non-violence.
It has been 75 years since the Nakba, 57 years of brutal military occupation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and 16 years since the suffocating military blockade of Gaza began. In light of this seemingly endless march of dispossession and death, armed Palestinian resistance groups initiated an unprecedented assault, including the tragic massacre of Israeli civilians. Responding, the Israeli government has engaged in airstrikes, indiscriminate bombing campaigns, and responsive actions that amount to war crimes—accompanied by genocidal rhetoric—against the civilian population in Gaza. Recent events have witnessed the tragic deaths and injuries of numerous Israelis and Palestinians, along with the abduction of civilians.
As we experience and attentively keep track of events as they unfold, it is pivotal to remember:
- Palestinians have been under attack, suffering dispossession and dehumanization from Zionism, for over 75 years.
- The continuation of Israel's policies related to displacement, apartheid, and occupation has been facilitated by the backing of several dominant global powers, notably the U.S., which remains deeply involved in this conflict.
- In the past year, an extreme shift to the far-right in the Israeli government has seen an intensified and ruthless military occupation. The Palestinian people face violent expulsions, house demolitions, mass killings, sieges, and daily indignities.
- There are recurring, oftentimes violent, incidents where Jewish extremists and Israeli forces disrupt the right to freedom of worship, storming the Muslim Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, attempting to lay claim to the site, and intimidating peaceful devotees.
- The Israeli authorities have imposed exceptional restrictions on Palestinian Christians and churches, particularly during their religious festivities. Attacks by radical Jewish groups on Palestinian Christian communities and properties persist, with little to no action in response from the Israeli authorities.
- Over the years, the people of Gaza have felt the chokehold of a strict Israeli blockade by air, sea, and land, effectively trapping over two million individuals and depriving them of fundamental human rights. In recent days, Israel has prohibited all food, fuel, electricity, or water from entering Gaza.
- Palestinian prisoners, including children, are routinely assaulted, bound, blindfolded, and dragged from their residences in the early hours by Israeli occupation forces, often detained without formal charges or trial in military prisons for months or years. Peaceful protests against these policies, even in the form of hunger strikes, are met with harsh repercussions.
- Many Palestinian residences across various villages and towns are either set ablaze by Israeli settlers or demolished by military operations.
- Whole Palestinian communities have been forced to vacate their ancestral homes and lands, at times to facilitate Israeli military drills.
For 75 years, Israeli policies have revolved around displacement, military occupation, and the maintenance of an apartheid regime. The suffering over these years is significantly tied to the role of the international community in this turmoil, most especially the United States alongside global powers like the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and others. By consistently supporting Israel, the U.S. and other powers indirectly further the ongoing violence. The unchecked military aid, diplomatic shielding, and enormous financial support from the U.S. play a part in bolstering Israel's existing policies. Unwavering backing for the Israeli military only perpetuates the cycle of violence.
In light of these challenges, we, the undersigned, pledge our commitment to nonviolence, influenced by the following convictions:
- The might of the Israeli Army and its affiliates is unparalleled; violence will not bring victory.
- Nonviolence is a potent force. It enables collective participation from Palestinians, Israelis, and the international community. The path of nonviolence is the most impactful.
- Our ultimate struggle is not against individuals; it is against evil. Violence harms individuals, but our true adversary is the inherent evil of occupation and racist ideologies, which can be vanquished with good, for God is the embodiment of goodness.
- We champion nonviolence because it resonates with the divine principles set by the Creator. As rain is impartial, showering both the oppressed and oppressors, we uphold God's ways.
To all those who believe in and exercise violence, we want to say:
- Reject violence; it's not the solution. Don't be governed by wrath or vengeance.
- To those still gripping their weapons, we beg you to adhere to the principles of the Geneva Conventions and the laws of armed conflict. Upholding the sanctity of civilian lives is a shared tenet across religions and human morality. Let all combatants refrain from the wanton destruction of human life and adhere, at the very minimum, to the principles of distinction, proportionality, military necessity, fair treatment of prisoners, and no means malum en se (inherently evil methods).
- We do acknowledge those who have chosen to observe international humanitarian law even in the midst of so much devastation.
We extend an invitation to our friends, partners, and everyone devoted to justice, peace, and reconciliation to support our nonviolent mission. The longstanding policies of displacement, military occupation, and apartheid by the Israeli government must be dismantled, but not at the cost of our values and humanity. The elimination of the other is not a viable option. Stand with us in our nonviolent endeavors.
The international community must understand that lasting peace and the cessation of violence are intertwined with the pursuit of genuine justice based on international law. Palestinians call for a fair resolution to the injustice of the Nakba, an end to the 1967 military occupation, and an end to the apartheid system. The tenacity and spirit of the Palestinian people stand unwavering, with sumud ("steadfast perseverance") consistently evident. The nonviolent majority of Palestinians, along with our Israeli and international friends, should continue to harness creativity and courage as their primary tools, and it is imperative for all who seek liberation, justice, and peace in Palestine and Israel to uplift and support each other.
Consider supporting our essential work for authentic peace built upon a foundation of justice with a contribution to Sabeel at https://www.fosna.org/donatesabeel.Endorse
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@JoyceGuinn1 tweeted link to Faith Leaders Stand for Academic Freedom. 2018-11-01 13:51:59 -0700Kenneth Marcus' proposed definition of anti-Semitism is an attack on our academic freedoms. Sign this petition in support of our right to protest Israel's ongoing occupation and apartheid! http://fosna.nationbuilder.com/faith_leaders_stand_for_academic_freedom?recruiter_id=6988
We, the undersigned faith leaders, stand together in support of academic freedoms, the right to open debate, and the right to advocate for Palestinian rights. Kenneth Marcus, President Trump’s head of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, has recently adopted a working definition of anti-Semitism that would make criticizing Israel grounds for a federal investigation. In the face of intensifying repression of Palestinian rights activism, it is imperative that we stand united against such efforts that falsely conflate anti-Semitism with criticism of Israel’s practices of apartheid and occupation.
As justice-seeking Christian leaders, we decry anti-Semitism, racism, and prejudice in all its forms. We confess the brutal history of our own religious communities in this type of bigotry and the need to commit to fighting it alongside the oppressed. In an effort to do this, we also decry ways in which the threat of anti-Semitism is used to silence or impede the ways of justice, freedom, and equality of all people. We agree with Marcus that Jews must be protected under civil rights laws, but we disagree with the concept that criticism of Israel is a form of discrimination against Jews. Criticizing Israel’s discriminatory policies is about freedom for Palestinians, who have been denied their rights for decades.
Marcus’ efforts add no new legal protections for Jewish students; rather, they implement an agenda to stifle and silence the voices of advocates of Palestinian human rights on university campuses and beyond. Marcus’ definition undermines our civil rights to protest and hold open debate. We write to preserve these freedoms for students and staff on college campuses and to safeguard the value of open discourse without fear of retribution. If we believe that everyone is entitled to freedom of expression and equal treatment, students and scholars in support of Palestinian human rights should not be made the exception. Students and scholars should be free to support Palestinian rights, too, without the fear of federal investigation, penalization, and intimidation.
As so often has happened before, it is true that college and university students are the ones who now lead the way in political discourse. As faith leaders, we insist on protecting open debate on our nation’s campuses about Israeli occupation and apartheid because it is one of the most pressing moral issues for U.S. taxpayers. Israel has denied Palestinians their basic rights for decades with the support and complicity of the U.S. government and our tax dollars. Our campuses must remain places for students to discuss freely, think critically, and act ethically.
As people of faith, we recognize this as a justice issue rooted in our own deep faith that demands we stand with the vulnerable, the silenced, and the oppressed. We lift up our concerns in service to justice, fairness, and our faith, which demands that we speak out against injustice. We sign this letter as faith leaders from across the United States in firm support of our freedoms to open debate, protest, and advocate for Palestinian rights. We believe that protest of Israel’s apartheid policies and ongoing military occupation of Palestinian land is not only a right but our collective responsibility.99 signaturesAdd signature
Joyce Guinn posted about Jerusalem Appeal 2018 on Facebook 2018-04-16 18:09:56 -0700I just donated to FOSNA's Jerusalem Appeal to help fund Sabeel Jerusalem! Will you match my donation?
“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
Joyce Guinn donated 2018-03-16 10:22:34 -0700
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Joyce Guinn posted about World Council of Churches on Facebook 2017-06-13 18:01:16 -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 movement586 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
Joyce Guinn donated 2017-03-10 17:28:07 -0800
The displacement of the Palestinian people has gone on for 70 years. Your voice is needed for justice to prevail.
Your gift supports our programs in the United States, including educational conferences, BDS campaigns, witness trips, theological education in our seminaries, speakers' bureau, church & community outreach, and much more.
To ensure your gift provides a maximum impact, please consider committing to make a monthly donation by clicking here.
Friends of Sabeel is a certified 501c3 non-profit organization.
Prefer to donate via check? If so, please make your check out to "Friends of Sabeel - North America" and mail it to:
Friends of Sabeel North America
PO Box 3192, Greenwood Village, CO 80155-3192Donate
Laws that target Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, a powerful tool for standing with the oppressed, threaten our constitutional rights.
"As Christian leaders we have long used the non-violent instruments of boycott and divestment in our work for justice and peace. These economic measures have proven to be powerful tools for social change, from strengthening labor rights for farmworkers to ending apartheid in South Africa.1 Observing the success of these efforts, Palestinian civil society issued a call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) in 2005 to advance Palestinians’ long-denied rights to freedom, justice, equality, and self-determination.2 In 2009, Palestinian Christians included a call for boycott and divestment in their landmark document, “Kairos Palestine: A Moment of Truth.” Christian denominations around the world have responded by divesting from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation and its persistent settlement expansion—both of which are illegal under international and U.S. law.3
In January 2016, the pension board of the United Methodist Church decided to divest from Israeli banks and a real estate company due to their financing of settlement construction in Palestinian territory.4 In 2015, the United Church of Christ overwhelmingly approved a resolution divesting from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands along with, a boycott of products from Israeli settlements.5 In 2014 the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted at its general assembly to divest from three companies that profit from the occupation and in 2012 they implemented a boycott of Israeli settlement products. 6 Friends Fiduciary Corporation, the socially responsible investment firm serving over 300 Quaker meetings, as well as the American Friends Service Committee, also divested from companies benefitting from the occupation.7
Israeli governmental policy proponents, fearing the growing BDS movement, have launched a well-funded campaign 8 to suppress BDS. During the last two years, “anti-BDS” bills have been introduced in the U.S. Congress and several state legislatures.9 Legislation introduced in New York, California, Florida, Iowa and other states would prohibit investing in or contracting with organizations that boycott Israel and “its territories.” These laws may threaten public funding for social services such as soup kitchens and homeless shelters provided by churches that have passed BDS resolutions.
These bills attack a non-violent, time-tested, and constitutionally protected approach to achieving peace. The First Amendment protects more than “speech”: the Supreme Court has long recognized that it also protects expressive conduct. In NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., the Supreme Court found that “the boycott clearly involved constitutionally protected activity” through which the NAACP “sought to bring about political, social, and economic change.”10
We people of faith, representing various Christian traditions, are deeply concerned about this wave of state and national legislation: It threatens our constitutional right to engage in economic advocacy to end the Israeli occupation and uphold fundamental Palestinian rights. We urge our representatives to exercise their considerable political power to halt these misguided legislative efforts and to uphold the First Amendment rights of their constituencies.11"444 signatures
1. Historically, faith communities have used boycotts and divestment to change policies that are morally wrong or in violation of universally accepted human rights standards.
a. Gandhi employed a boycott of British-made goods during the nonviolent struggle for Indian independence.
b. The U.S. civil rights movement made heavy use of boycotts, including the Montgomery bus boycott and boycotts of segregated stores during the 1963 Birmingham campaign, which played a major role in the passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Churches and other faith communities played a key role in these efforts.
c. During the Vietnam War, faith communities took part in a boycott of products, such as Dow Chemical’s Saran Wrap, made by napalm producers.
d. Churches played a key role in the grape boycott organized by the United Farm Workers of America under the leadership of Cesar Chavez.
e. Many faith groups continue their participation in the boycott of Nestle products due to the company’s questionable marketing of baby formula in developing countries.
f. Faith communities participated in the boycotts, divestment and sanctions to end apartheid in South Africa.
g. Several churches have resolved to divest from companies doing business in Sudan and Burma/Myanmar.
h. Faith communities, including the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the United Methodist Church, the United Church ofChrist, the Disciples of Christ, the American Friends Service Committee, the National Council of Churches, and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, supported the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) in its successful boycott of Taco Bell to win a wage increase for tomato pickers in South Florida.
i. Many faith communities embrace boycotts to oppose oppressive or violent labor practices, such as sweat shops, and to promote fair trade products as ethical alternatives. http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=2702#sthash.LJMFcoaq.dpuf
2. “Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS.” The BDS National Committee. http://bdsmovement.net/call
3. “Kairos Document.” Kairos Palestine. http://www.kairospalestine.ps/content/kairos-document
4. “United Methodist Kairos Response Welcomes Pension Fund Exclusion and Divestment of Israeli Banks.” https://www.kairosresponse.org/pr_umc_divests_israeli_banks_jan2016.html
5. “UCC votes for divestment, boycott of companies that profit from occupation of Palestinian territories.” http://www.ucc.org/news_general_synod_israel_palestine_resolution_06302015
6. “221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Votes to Endorse Selective Divestment from Israeli Occupation.” http://www.israelpalestinemissionnetwork.org/main/component/content/article/18/278-divestment-vote-press-release
7. “Quakers Divest from Hewlett Packard and Veolia Environment” http://quakerpiag.blogspot.com/2012/09/quakers-divest-from-hewlett-packard-and.html
9. “Lawmakers take aim at your #Right2BDS” http://palestinelegal.org/news/2016/2/17/lawmakers-take-aim-right2bds
10. 458 U.S. 886 (1982)
11. “Boycott and Divestment, Frequently Asked Legal Questions” http://static1.squarespace.com/static/548748b1e4b083fc03ebf70e/t/55a006a3e4b01f5eb3cfd32e/1436550819443/Legal+FAQ+BDS+March+2015.pdf
Joyce Guinn posted about Faith G4S on Facebook 2015-09-21 10:12:55 -0700Religious leaders urge the UN to cease relations with G4S due to its active role in human rights violations #DropG4S
Dear Mr. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,
We, the undersigned religious leaders, are deeply troubled that the United Nations has a number of major contracts with the international security company G4S, which provides services to UN facilities and agencies in violation of the UN’s own guidelines. We urge the UN to end its relationship with G4S because of the company’s active role in human rights abuses (continues below)...80 signatures
(continued from above)
...Our diverse faith traditions all proclaim that each human being is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). This belief provides a moral imperative to respect the dignity of every person regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation. Intrinsic to human dignity are the rights that enable each person not only to survive but to thrive; that is, to fulfill his or her God-given potential. This theological principle is at the heart of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and the body of international and human rights law.
Our sacred texts (1) clearly teach us that human societies must restrain any attempts to violate the dignity of individuals or populations through deprivation or torture, that is, through violations of human rights—and in fact must make positive efforts to assist the needy and the oppressed. The specific emphasis on the most vulnerable among us—the poor, hungry, and children—must be granted a high priority of those needing special attention as protected persons.
G4S is complicit in Israel’s human rights violations, and it demonstrates by its actions that it does not support or respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights.
G4S has an ongoing contract with the Israeli prison service to provide and maintain security systems at Israeli prisons that currently hold almost 6,000 Palestinian political prisoners.(2) Palestinian and international human rights organizations have documented widespread torture and mistreatment of Palestinian political prisoners, including children.
- By maintaining security systems at Israel’s prisons, G4S assists Israel in using mass incarceration to deter Palestinians from protesting against Israel’s violations of international law and is complicit in Israel’s violations of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the transfer of prisoners from occupied territory into the territory of the occupier.
- G4S provides equipment and services to checkpoints that make up the route of Israel’s separation wall, ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004; to private businesses in illegal Israeli settlements; and to Israeli police facilities in other Israeli government(3) buildings in the occupied West Bank.
- G4S has provided equipment to checkpoints that enforce the siege of Gaza.(4)
A 2012 report by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 criticized G4S for its complicity with Israeli violations of international law.(5)
While G4S has made various commitments to end some aspects of its participation in Israeli human rights violations, it has not yet met any of these commitments, and has instead tried to deflect criticism of its role in Israeli human rights violations. It has hired known pro-Israel advocates to write legal analyses of its activities in Palestine/Israel. These analyses, commissioned by G4S, are neither independent nor credible.(6)
G4S commits grave human rights violations around the world.
- G4S has been implicated in labor rights violations at several of its global sites. Official complaints under OECD guidelines from G4S sites in Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, and others led to a G4S commitment to workers’ rights in 2008, but despite this, in the following years G4S was implicated in labor rights abuses in Uganda, South Korea, and South Africa, demonstrating that G4S cannot be trusted to maintain the fair conditions to which it formally agrees. (7)
- G4S has a deplorable track record of serious negligence and violent abuse in prisons it runs around the world. In the UK, G4S lost a contract for one of its multiple private prisons after evidence emerged of improper management of health care provision, suicide prevention, and human rights protection. In South Africa, investigations exposed G4S security teams using electric shocks and forcible medical injections of anti-psychotic drugs at the Mangaung prison.(8) In the United States, G4S operates juvenile detention facilities, provides infrastructure to track and confine formerly incarcerated people, and works alongside Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection to detain and deport people across the U.S.-Mexico border and to transfer immigrants to detention facilities across the country.(9)
- G4S has also been criticized for deaths in custody during deportation and immigrant detention. In one well-known case, Angolan national Jimmy Mubenga was suffocated to death by three G4S guards while being deported in 2010. In another case, Kenyan national Eliud Nguli Nyenze died at a removal center run by G4S, after he was refused medicine earlier in the day despite his complaints of severe pain.(10) G4S received 1,497 complaints in three years regarding its human rights record in these deportation institutions.(11)
The UN has an obligation to uphold human rights.
The UN Supplier Code of Conduct states “the UN expects its suppliers to support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights and to ensure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.” The UN Group on the Use of Mercenaries recently reported the risks of hiring companies with tarred human rights records.(12) We urge the UN to apply its own principles and standards and to end its relationship with G4S due to its clear and active role in human rights abuses.
(1) Throughout Hebrew and Christian Scriptures there is a conspicuous mandate to protect the vulnerable, the powerless, and the marginalized. Merely a few examples of these texts, as translated in the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, are as follows: In the Hebrew Scriptures: Exodus 22:22 (You shall not abuse any widow or orphan), Exodus 23:9 (You shall not oppress a resident alien), Deuteronomy 24:17 (You shall not deprive a resident alien or an orphan of justice; you shall not take a widow’s garment in pledge), Psalm 146:7 ([The LORD] who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free). In the Christian Scriptures: Luke 6:20–21 (Blessed are you who are poor; for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.), Matthew 25:35–36, 40 (. . . for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me. . . . Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me).
(2) Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Addameer Monthly Detention Report, 1 April 2015, http://www.addameer.org
(3) Defence for Children International, Palestinian Children in Israeli Military Custody Face Physical Violence, 20 January 2014, http://www.dci-palestine.org/documents/palestinian-children-israeli-military-custody-face-physical-violence
(4) Who Profits from the Occupation, March 2011, The Case of G4S: Private Security Companies and the Israeli Occupation. http://whoprofits.org/g4s_report
(6) United Nations Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 25 October 2012, “Boycott businesses that profit from Israeli settlements”—UN Special Rapporteur.
(7) Amena Saleem, 11 June 2014, G4S hires pro-Israel professor to whitewash war crimes, http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/amena-saleem/g4s-hires-pro-israel-professor-whitewash-war-crimes
(8) War on Want, June 2014, G4S: Securing Profits, Globalising Injustice. http://www.waronwant.org/sites/default/files/G4S%20securing%20profits,%20globalising%20injustice%20(corrected%202015).pdf
(10) Global Exchange, G4S Worldwide, http://www.globalexchange.org/economicactivism/g4s/worldwide. 11 Karon Monaghan QC, 31 July 2013, Inquest into the Death of Jimmy Kelenda Mubenga.
(11) War on Want, June 2014, G4S: Securing Profits, Globalising Injustice.
(12) 21 August 2014, Report of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of people to self-determination. http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N14/513/59/PDF/N1451359.pdf?OpenElement