This is a shameful and terrible bit of news.
International Solidarity Movement- a group which I had the honour and
privilege of serving with in the West Bank and with which I hope to go
again some day- works to bring an end to human rights abuses against the
Palestinian people by documenting the brutalities of the IDF and
settlers, serving as human shields, accompanying farmers and children to
work and school, coming out to demonstrations against the occupation.
ISM activists operate in the West Bank and Gaza. Although they often
face arrest, beatings, threats, tear gas, and some have even died, they
have never used violence against anyone and are not antisemitic. During
the few weeks I was in Palestine and Israel, I have seen fellow ISM
activists assaulted and arrested, had guns pointed at, and my friend and
I were attacked by settlers. During this time, not one of us ever used
violence against either the Israeli settlers or army, or expressed any
hatred towards the Jewish people. Some of ISM's founders are Jewish,
some of them also Israeli.
Britain's support for Israel's
policies is bad enough, but it is especially despicable when activists
returning from a place where they have served to protect innocent
people, are treated as criminals. The brief detention and shameful
treatment of my comrades does nothing to dispel the fact that the cause
ISM and many others fight for is just, and it also does not change the
fact that one day the Palestinian people will be free and both Israelis
and Palestinians will live in security and justice and peace.
May the light of
Christ bring freedom and salvation to every Palestinian and Israeli, and
may there one day be a reality in the Holy Land where no one is
occupied or lives in fear.