Muslim-Christian solidarity on Palestine unvails action plan

Muslim-Christian solidarity on Palestine unvails action plan

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A seminar on Muslim-Christian Solidarity on Palestine held in Kuala Lumpur on 14 and 15 May 2012 brought together nearly 80 participants from Malaysia and various other countries. It was organized by the International Movement for a Just World (JUST) in collaboration with Peace for Life (PFL).The seminar sought to explore forms of collective action that Muslims and Christians could undertake to demonstrate their solidarity with the Palestinians.
The Palestinian struggle is one of the longest struggles for self-determination in the contemporary world. Israel has strengthened its stranglehold over Palestinians by usurping land and resources and reducing Palestinian territories to mere ‘Bantustans’. This deadly occupation, marked by harsh and inhuman measures, has remained one to which the international community has been indifferent.  The USA
and other western powers have ensured that Israel’s flagrant disregard for international human rights law, and international humanitarian standards and practices, and relevant institutions is ignored and, thus, allow Israeli crimes to go unimpeded and with impunity. Powerful Zionist lobbies go all out to protect Israel’s intransigence and arrogance. While the prospects for peace keep shrinking, Palestinians remain steadfast in their struggle believing that justice will come. Yet, the international community is under obligation to do its part in pressuring governments around the world and organizing people at the grassroots to act decisively and boldly in supporting the Palestinians through actions that will hasten the end of the occupation and will bring the Palestinians justice and freedom.
Actionable Proposals & Recommendations
The seminar in Kuala Lumpur agreed on the following actions and strategies as immediate steps to be taken in pursuance of their deliberations:
1.            Convene a seminar of Muslim and Christian theologians, academics, and activists for a deeper reflection and dialogue on Kairos and, thus, develop sustained and stronger collective responses to the emerging situation at the global level and in strategic national contexts. The goal is to craft a Muslim-Christian Charter for Peace with Justice in Palestine. At the same time, more Muslims, in particular, should be persuaded to endorse the statement entitled An Islamic Response to Kairos.
2.            Initiate a BDS campaign with the following strategies:
a.            Target a popular consumer product to boycott with the twin aims of creating public consciousness about the Israeli occupation as well as changing consumer attitudes to Israeli products.
b.            Coordinate such actions with Kairos Palestine and the BDS National Committee to identify companies that they consider are vulnerable to an international campaign.
c.             Request relevant groups to monitor origins of cultural troupes planning to perform in Israel and campaign for boycotts.
d.            Request relevant Palestinian groups to monitor universities with whom Israel organizes exchange programmes and lobby for academic boycotts against Israel.
e.            Demand that all governments, inter-governmental agencies, and regional groupings review their economic, financial, cultural, and educational ties with the apartheid regime in Israel with the aim of reinforcing the global BDS campaign.
3.            Adopt the “Come and See’ call from Kairos Palestine and Alternative Tourism Group (ATG)/Palestinian Initiative for Responsible Tourism (PIRT) and, thus, actively promote alternative pilgrimages/tour programmes through which travellers to The Holy Land are able to encounter people living under occupation and the political-economic-social-cultural reality of Palestinians as opposed to abstract pilgrimages which end up being merely sentimental journeys into The Holy Land.
4.            Promote Muslim-Christian-Jewish teams on speaking tours of countries where houses of worship are open to listening to the Palestinian narrative and to the nature of inter-religious cooperation between Muslims, Christians and Jews. The purpose of this will be to break the stereotypes about the state of inter-religious relations in The Holy Land.
5.            Encourage different religious communities – Muslims, Jews, and Christians – to develop a more critical self understanding of how their faith can enhance the struggle for the liberation of Palestine.
6.            Embark upon a global campaign to uphold the right of Muslims and Christians in the Holy Land to practice freedom of worship in the holy sites of Jerusalem without restrictions. Such a campaign should work towards the adoption of a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council in 2013.
7.            Encourage the continuing commitment to non-violent resistance to Israeli occupation through newer forms of struggle especially civil disobedience.
8.            Monitor and counter the trends towards Islamophobia and all other forms of prejudice and discrimination which inhibit the growth of a more profound understanding of the Palestinian cause.
9.            Oppose the hegemonic designs and agenda of the centres of power in the West in which political Zionism and Israel have played a pivotal role.
10.          Harness new information technologies to the hilt in the service of the Palestinian cause as the infrastructure for strengthening a global network of solidarity against hegemony and anti-life ideologies which subvert justice and human dignity.
(Source: Just Commentary)

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