Tag Archives: United Nations

the day of the Palestinian flag

30 Sep

Only the official “voting” member states had the right to fly their flag in front of the United Nations.

But the General Assembly just a few weeks ago voted overwhelmingly to allow the Palestinians and the Vatican, the only two nonmember “observer” states, to fly their flags.

The flag of the Holy See, the official “state” name of the Vatican, was raised without ceremony last Friday, the day on which Pope Francis addressed the United Nations. It was flying today in its permanent place with all the other flags of the nations.

Today the Palestinian flag was raised at the United Nations at 1:36 p.m. in a ceremonial garden.

At the ceremony Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, said that this day, September 30, will be known every year as the day of the Palestinian flag.

UN Palestinian flag 03

The banner of breaking news at the bottom of the screen was screaming for attention at the same minute.

it’s time

20 Sep

World Week for Peace in Palestine 21-27 September Israel 2014

World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel

21 – 27 September 2014

An initiative of the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) of the World Council of Churches

It’s time for Palestine. It’s time for Palestinians and Israelis to share a just peace.

It’s time to respect human lives in the land called holy. It’s time for healing to begin in wounded souls. It’s time to end more than 60 years of conflict, oppression and fear.  It’s time for freedom from occupation. 

It’s time for equal rights.  It’s time to stop discrimination, segregation and restrictions on movement. It’s time for those who put up walls and fences to build them on their own property. It’s time to stop bulldozing one community’s homes and building homes for the other community on land that is not theirs. It’s time to do away with double standards.

It’s time for Israeli citizens to have security and secure borders agreed with their neighbours.  It’s time for the international community to implement more than 60 years of United Nations resolutions. It’s time for Israel’s government to complete the bargain offered in the Arab Peace Initiative.   It’s time for those who represent the Palestinian people to all be involved in making peace. It’s time for people who have been refugees for more than 60 years to regain their rights and a permanent home.   It’s time to assist settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories to make their home in Israel. It’s time for self-determination.

It’s time for foreigners to visit Bethlehem and other towns imprisoned by the wall. It’s time to see settlements in their comfort and refugee camps in their despair.  It’s time for people living more than 40 years under occupation to feel new solidarity from a watching world.

It’s time to name the shame of collective punishment and to end it in all its forms. It’s time to be revolted by violence against civilians and for civilians on both sides to be safe. It’s time for both sides to release their prisoners and give those justly accused a fair trial.  It’s time to reunite the people of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It’s time for all parties to obey international humanitarian and human rights law.

It’s time to share Jerusalem as the capital of two nations and a city holy to three religions. It’s time for Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities to be free to visit their holy sites. It’s time in Palestine as in Israel for olive trees to flourish and grow old.

It’s time to honour all who have suffered, Palestinians and Israelis. It’s time to learn from past wrongs. It’s time to understand pent-up anger and begin to set things right. It’s time for those with blood on their hands to acknowledge what they have done.  It’s time to seek forgiveness between communities and to repair a broken land together. It’s time to move forward as human beings who are all made in the image of God.

All who are able to speak truth to power must speak it. All who would break the silence surrounding injustice must break it. All who have something to give for peace must give it.

For Palestine, for Israel and for a troubled world, it’s time for peace.