Let light shine from Gaza to Bethlehem!
Lights blazed from the Christmas tree in Manger Square next
to the Church of the Nativity as Bethlehem mayor, Vera Baboon, lit up the
15-meter tree in the annual ceremony
on December 6. The mayor offered a
simple message on the occasion, saying that what is needed this Christmas is
As has been the case for years now, the town of Bethlehem
remains cut off from Jerusalem by the separation wall, and more and more land
around the town is threatened with confiscation by the Israeli government. Israeli settlements expand in the West Bank,
including East Jerusalem, while Palestinian homes and other buildings are
The situation in Gaza was already dire and is now worsening
considerably with the onset of winter. An estimated 100,000 people lack shelter,
electricity blackouts are constant, and key infrastructure, including water
treatments plants, are in a state of disrepair.
The UCC Justice and Witness Ministries and Global Ministries joined 19 other organizations in a Dec. 15 letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, expressing “serious concerns related to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” and noting that “the situation in Gaza was already dire and is now worsening considerably with the onset of winter.” The signers state, “This humanitarian crisis is unconscionable and is the clear result of policy inaction and failure.” As we prepare to celebrate the holidays, ask your elected officials to remember the Palestinian people who struggle under the ongoing Israeli occupation and the Israeli people who also suffer because of the lack of a durable peace. Call on them to:
- Increase the U.S. financial commitment for Gaza
- Urge Israel to fully lift the Gaza
- Urge Egypt to allow full freedom of movement
through the Rafah crossing,
- Work with the Palestinian government, the
Israeli government, and the UN to resolve several issues related to the
recently established Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM).
To break the dark
cycle of violence that causes so much suffering for both Palestinians and
Israelis, the underlying causes must be addressed. This Christmas, let light
shine by calling for justice. Contact
your elected officials to call for help in Gaza and for policies that work to
end the Israeli occupation.
Personalize the subject and text of the message below with your own words, if you wish.
If your elected official(s) will be leaving
office at the end of this year, consider taking this opportunity to thank them
for their service during their time in office.
- Complete the form below with your information.
- Click the Send Message button to send your letter to these decision makers:
- Your Senators
- Your Representative
Dear [Decision Maker],
With appreciation for your service,
[City, State ZIP]