In mid-September the Israel/Palestine CCN held a week on Iona focused on hearing Palestinian voices. We left enriched by our speakers’ humanity and knowledge, by the spirit among the participants, by the hospitality and creativity of the Island staff in too many ways to list… and refreshed by the rain.
Then we came to the horrors since 7 October. The CCN online meeting soon after focused on prayer, silence and on sharing our shock and personal responses. We reaffirmed our position statement on Israel/Palestine and endorsed the Sabeel-Kairos call to action. The position statement outlines the context of occupation and dispossession of Palestinians since the founding of Israel, and our solidarity with non-violent resistance that seeks justice for all in the land under international law.
On 22nd October we heard of the unimaginable loss of 21 members of the family of Ahmed Alnaouq, a speaker with us on Iona, from an air attack from Israel Ahmed’s is only one family among so many as Israel’s bombardment seeks maximum destruction. An average of 22 destructive missiles per square kilometre have landed in the Gaza Strip (as of 24th October). Ahmed co-founded We Are Not Numbers. Their Facebook page reports that four of their writers have been killed: Mahmoud Alnaouq, Huda Al-Sosi (and 7 family members), Heba AbuNada, Yousef Maher Dawas.
How have Members of the Community been responding to Israel/Palestine?
- We pray and take other actions as we are able
- We raise awareness of what is happening (the less or un-reported facts), in any way open to us
- We join with groups organising and protesting and promoting boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).
- We urge elected representatives to seek a ceasefire and a just future
- We celebrate and raise awareness of Palestinian identity and culture, inspired by organisations such as Hadeel.
- We share, and gain encouragement from, news of Israeli-Palestinian groups such as the Villages Group, bringing food and support to Palestinians attacked by settlers
- We get informed and sign petitions