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Al Aqsa masue seen through barbed wire. Public Domain image by Pixabay user RJA1988.
The Dispossessed and Displaced in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
May 28, 2021
A growing chorus of voices and coalitions of people of faith are calling for a different approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people.
A distressed child rides atop the shoulders of a man, surrounded by fire and destruction. Public domain image by Pixabay user Hosny Salah.
The Scale of Destruction the Unseen Trauma May 28, 2021
When Ahmet* left the United States in early May to spend the last week of Ramadan with his family in Gaza, he had no idea what was to come. The long-awaited reunion turned into a struggle to survive, a time to mourn and cope with the destruction and trauma of 11 days of bombs and airstrikes. With limited electricity and drinking water and no health infrastructure - Ahmet is hoping citizens of the world will call on their political leaders to broker a lasting peace and protect the human rights and dignity of Palestinians. 

*For security reasons, we are not using Ahmet’s full name.
Rev. Dr. Mae Cannon. Image courtesy Rev. Dr. Mae Cannon
The Path Forward: Prioritizing Human Rights and Learning from the History May 29, 2021
It’s indisputable that the Israeli settler movement has led to the systematic displacement and dispossession of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.  According to the Rev Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, executive director of Churches for Middle East Peace, the bureaucratic efforts that allow the government to seize Palestinian homes and forcefully remove residents have been ongoing and represent a violation of human rights and the Oslo Accords. As Dr. Cannon reviews the events that triggered the most recent wave of violence she describes the work of an ecumenical coalition of Christian religious pushing for a holistic and lasting peace plan in the Middle East.

The conversation continues as Dr. Cannon challenges the old views and misconceptions of the conflict.  She reviews the historical and theological misconceptions about the relationship between the descendants of Abraham, the implications of ethnic nationalism on our foreign policy, and the five actions she would like to see the Biden Administration take in the coming weeks.

Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon. Ordained Pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church, and Executive Director of Churches for Middle East Peace. She earned doctorates in History (Ph.D.) and Spiritual Formation (D. Min.). Her Ph.D. focused on American History with a minor in Middle Eastern studies from the University of California – Davis, focusing her dissertation on the history of the American Protestant church in Israel and Palestine. Cannon’s Doctorate of Ministry in Spiritual Formation is from Northern Theological Seminary. Cannon holds an M.Div. From North Park Theological Seminary, an M.B.A. from North Park University’s School of Business and Nonprofit Management, and an M.A. in bioethics from Trinity International University. Cannon completed her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Chicago in History, Philosophy, Social Studies, of Science and Medicine.

Rev. Mae Elise Cannon contributed to an op-ed in Sojourners calling on Christians in the United States "to take on a more prominent role in calling for a just and lasting peace that is built on realizing equality for Palestinians and ending human rights abuses."

You can read the statement of the Office of The High Commissioner, United Nations Human Rights, here.

Churches for Middle East Peace has issued many press releases on the need to end the violence in Gaza and Jerusalem.

You can read more about Mohammad El Kurd's experiences and his path to becoming an activist.

Excerps of Just Vision's documentary My Neighborhood can be found on Vimeo.

Screen capture of Just Vision's documentary "My Neighborhood"

My Neighborhood
Just Vision


This week's episode contains three pieces of oud music from
Bein Alnakhil (Nassir Shamma), Farid al-Atrash, and the ensemble of Derek Wright and Tobias Roberson,
all share under a Creative Commons By Attribution 4.0 license.
Additional loops and samples assembled at Dissimilation Heavy Industries.