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 Freedom Flotilla
Methodist Middle East Resources
The Voice of Nonviolence
OnFire member interviewed
Annual Conference Reconciliation
Memorial Day and church history
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Volume VI  Issue 11   9 June 2010

The most recent news from Palestine-Israel is alarming, but it's unfortunately nothing new in the region's recent history: peace activists were met with violence while responding nonviolently to Israel's violation of international law.  Yet this incident has drawn more international press and outrage than other recent acts of violence.  In this issue of MFSA E-news, you'll find articles and resources that push back against what Israel claims were acts of "self-defense" in the face of "terrorist affiliated," "weapon carrying" ships:
Also in this issue:
ChapterSpotIn the spotlight: News from chapters and friends

Response and Resources from the UMC

GBCSJim Winkler, General Secretary of the General Board of Church and Society, released a statement in response to the siege of the Flotilla:

Boarding the Freedom Flotilla in international waters is more than just an act of high-seas piracy. It is symptomatic of a broader, hopelessly flawed policy by Israel to subjugate the Palestinian people, allegedly to protect its own security. The United States has been complicit in this flawed policy.

To read the full statement, click here.

New England ACThe Divestment Task Force of the New England Annual Conference has released new divestment recommendations.

 View the list here:

The California-Pacific Board of Church Holy Land Task Forceand Society has also newly created a Holy Land Task Force.  Check out the resources on their website:
Take Action

The Voice of Nonviolence

Free Freedom FlotillaThe US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, of which MFSA is a member, has multiple ways for you to respond to the violent acts against the Freedom Flotilla.  Click here for materials on organizing, protesting, and contacting the media.

Tired of the mainstream media?
You'll also want to check out these articles, statements and interviews:

"We Didn't Fight Back"
Huwaida Arraf, Palestinian Christian, Israeli citizen and founder of the International Solidarity and Free Gaza Movements, speaks to GritTV about her experience aboard one of the Flotilla ships.  Also included in the interview are Norman Finkelstein and Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

After the Massacre: The Global Impact of the Gaza Flotilla Crisis
-by Phyllis Bennis  Someone asked me the question: will they get away with it? So far, I answered, they HAVE gotten away with it. And if history repeats itself, if nothing changes, they will continue to get away with it. Our job is to change history.
SparksSparks: OnFire in action
OnFire member David Hosey interviewed by RT

OnFire member and featured blogger, David Hosey, was interviewed by Russian Television following Israel's attack on the Flotilla.  David is the Media and Outreach Coordinator for the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, of which MFSA is a member group.  This interview references David's latest enrty on the OnFire blog, which explores issues related to boycotting of Israel and Arizona.

     David Hosey Interview
NatUpNational Update

Annual conference: a season of reconciliation?

From the Facebook feed of MFSA Annual Conference MapBoard member, Rachel Harvey: Founding member of the confessing movement just stopped by the MFSA/RMN table in Arkansas which is proof that candy has the power to bring people together. 

What's your annual conference story?  Don't forget to take pictures of MFSA tables, events and award ceremonies to share on the MFSA web page.  Send write-ups and pictures to
ProgPondProgressive Ponderings

On Memorial Day: Perspective from Church History

Martin of ToursMartin [of Tours] was not a conscientious objector in the modern sense--he was only stating what Christians believed.  Long before theologians Ambrose and Augustine argued for just war, Christians were not allowed to fight.  No record exists that Christians served in the Roman army before 170.  The strong consensus of the early church was that war meant killing, killing was murder, and murder was wrong.

"The Christian fathers of the first three centuries," states theologian Lisa Sowle Cahill, "were generally adamant that discipleship requires close adherence to the nonviolent and countercultural example of Jesus' own life and his sayings about the nature of the kingdom."

Read more about early Christianity and nonviolence in an excerpt from Diana Butler Bass's A People's History of Christianity in a recent post on beliefnet.