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Letter from Taybeh: A Day of Irony and Tragedy

Letter from Taybeh: A Day of Irony and Tragedy

Dear Friends of Saint George Taybeh,

Across America everyone celebrated Thanksgiving and since I am still in the USA,

I pray and hope you had a blessed Happy Thanksgiving weekend.

We give glory to God for all things!

I am personally thankful for the hope Christ offers with all of our struggles.

Today was the Feast Day of St. Philoumenos, one of the most newest saints of Palestine who was brutally killed by Israeli settlers on November 29, 1979 at Jacob’s Well where Christ spoke to the Samaritan woman.

Neomartyr Philoumenos of Jacob's Well - Palestine

Let no Orthodox Christian and Christian in general, ever dare forget the memory of St Philoumenos of Jacob’s Well, who was killed by Jewish Settlers in the name of Zionism for being a Christian and serving the Palestinian Orthodox Christian faithful. Eternal is thy Memory!

Also, it is the Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people thus I am sharing a letter from a friend in Jerusalem, Samia Khoury, author of Reflections from Palestine. May this most holy time of year be filled with many fruits of the Holy Spirit as we prepare our soul to receive our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Irony of History: When Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, Palestinians remember the partition of their homeland and their subsequent expulsion in the events of Al-Nakba

Irony of History: When Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, Palestinians remember the partition of their homeland and their subsequent expulsion in the events of Al-Nakba

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Al-Nakba 1948 - The Palestinian Catastrophe

Al-Nakba - Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus

Dear Family and friends:

November 29 is the day that the UN has designated for the Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people   This date is actually the commemoration of the UN resolution 181 on November 29, 1947 to partition Palestine.   A resolution that ended up with the establishment of the state of Israel and the creation of the Palestinian Nakba which saw the exodus of around 750,000 Palestinians ending up as refugees in Jordan, East Bank, and West Bank, Syria, Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, Egypt, and the diaspora, and who were never allowed to return home in accordance with  the UN general assembly resolution 194 adopted on December 11, 1948.

After the Israeli occupation of the rest of the Palestinian territory in the wake of the June 5, 1967 war, UN security council 242 which emphasized the  “inadmissability of the acquisition of territory by war” was adopted unanimously on November 22, 1967.   And with the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority in the wake of the Oslo Accords and the peace process, the UN general assembly voted overwhelmingly on November 29, 2012 to accord Palestine  a non-member observer status.  And in a special ceremony on September 11, 2015 the Palestinian flag was raised at the UN building in New York.

Palestine flag

On November  15, 1988 the Palestine National Council in its meeting in Algiers adopted a resolution to establish the Palestinian State on the 1967 borders, and November 15 was declared officially as the day of  Palestinian independence.

Ironically we have a so-called state whose borders, and 61%  of its area,  are not under our control.   We have a flag which is raised in New York, but cannot be raised in East Jerusalem. And of course we take a day off on November 15 celebrating our independence while we are still under a brutal occupation.  After sixty seven years of dispossession, and 48 years of Israeli military occupation,  all that the UN was able to grant the Palestinians were  symbolic gestures.  In the meantime it has failed to sanction Israel for not implementing UN resolutions, for its violations of  human rights and international law, and it has turned a blind eye to the new realities that Israel created in the occupied territory with the building of  Jewish settlements. Of course the power of veto that the US has used all along,  played a substantial role in supporting the impunity of Israel.

So to our  friends who are standing in solidarity with our people on November 29, we want to thank you and express our appreciation for all your support along the years, and especially for those who have taken courageous measures to support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.  We urge you to demand protection for the Palestinian people and especially those children who have reached the limit of their endurance and were bound to rise up to resist the violence of occupation.

Samia Khoury

Al-Nakba - The Palestinian Reality past and present

Al-Nakba – The Palestinian Reality past and present

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