Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church
from the Institute for Middle East Understanding
This year’s nativity scene at the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, Palestine is a powerful statement on Israel’s ongoing crimes against humanity—and how the Church sees God in the humanity of the Palestinian people in Gaza.
Reverend Isaac Munther from the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church writes of the scene: “In Gaza today, God is under the rubble. He is in the operating room. If Christ were to be born today, he would be born under the rubble. We see his image in every child killed and pulled from under the rubble. In every child in incubators.”
The Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church is one of the oldest Lutheran churches in Palestine, Jesus’s birthplace.
As Christmas approaches in Palestine, Israel is escalating its violence in Gaza and has killed over 22,000 Palestinians—including over 6,600 children. It’s past time for a permanent ceasefire.
How to Call Our Representatives to Ask For a Ceasefire
Note: Your call is more likely to be counted if you give your voting address (but you don’t have to) and ask for a written response (via mail or email) or a call back (remember to give your number).
Recommendation: Get the 5 Calls app to have a similar script on your phone paired with easy access to these numbers!
SCRIPT FOR SENATOR RON WYDEN:
Federal Office: 202-224-5244 /// La Grande Office – 541-962-7691
My name is [YOUR FIRST & LAST NAME], and I’m a constituent of Senator Ron Wyden. I’m calling about Palestine and Israel. The Senator must take immediate steps to deescalate, by calling for 1) a total and permanent ceasefire, 2) humanitarian aid allowed to enter Gaza, 3) an end to Israel’s siege on Gaza, and 4) no more weapons or funding to the Israeli military. Please vote NO on the supplemental funding package to send more weapons to Israel. I support a permanent ceasefire, along with 61 Congressmembers, and two thirds of American voters. I am asking the Senator to publicly call for a ceasefire, in line with the Ceasefire Now resolution in the House, H.Res. 786, led by Rep. Cori Bush.
SCRIPT FOR HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE CLIFF BENTZ:
Federal Office: 202-225-6730 /// Ontario Office: 541-709-2040
My name is [YOUR FIRST & LAST NAME], and I’m a constituent of Representative Cliff Bentz. I’m calling about Palestine and Israel. The Representative must take immediate steps to deescalate, by calling for 1) a total and permanent ceasefire, 2) humanitarian aid allowed to enter Gaza, 3) an end to Israel’s siege on Gaza, and 4) no more weapons or funding to the Israeli military. I support a permanent ceasefire, along with 61 Congressmembers, and two thirds of American voters. I urge the Representative to sign on to the Ceasefire Now resolution H.Res. 786 led by Rep. Cori Bush.
SCRIPT FOR SENATOR JEFF MERKLEY (who has called for a ceasefire!)
Federal Office: 202-224-3753 /// Baker City Office: 541-278-1129
My name is [YOUR FIRST & LAST NAME], and I’m a constituent of Senator Jeff Merkley. I would like to thank Senator Merkley for calling for a ceasefire! I encourage him to introduce a ceasefire resolution in the Senate in line with H.Res. 786 led by Rep. Cori Bush.
Ask the Oregon State Treasury to Divest Public Retirement Funds from Israel’s Largest Military Contractor
In 2022, OR PERS secured a 500-share stake in Elbit, Israel’s largest military contractor, through a private equity firm. Given the atrocities committed in Gaza with Elbit munitions, this investment is unacceptable. Please send a public comment to the Oregon Investment Council, which oversees the management of the Public Employee Retirement Fund, by emailing OIC.PublicComments@ost.state.or.us.
Let the OIC know that Oregon taxpayers do not want to be invested in war crimes and other crimes against humanity. Below is a sample script and talking points. If you are a PERS recipient, please note that in your message.
Dear members of the Oregon Investment Council,
Please immediately divest the Public Employee Retirement Fund from the Israeli military contractor Elbit Systems. As an Oregon [taxpayer/PERS recipient], I object to my [taxes/pension] being used to support Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people. In the last two months, Israel’s bombardment of Gaza has killed nearly 15,000 civilians, including more than 6,000 children, using munitions and other weapons of war made by Elbit. The Oregon Treasury’s investment in Elbit makes Oregonians complicit in the crime of collective punishment, which is forbidden by the Geneva Convention. We will not be complicit, and we will not be silent. Divest Now!
Boycott Products Supporting the Israeli Military Occupation of Gaza
https://www.amirahzaky.com/boycott lists products/brands you can boycott in support of Palestinians, as well as alternatives
https://bdsmovement.net/Act-Now-Against-These-Companies-Profiting-From-Genocide gives information on why specific companies were selected and explains the difference between boycott, divestment, and pressure campaign targets
“No Thanks” app shows you what products to avoid (only available on Android as of 12/12/23)
Attend the Weekly Palestine Solidarity Vigil
Every Sunday, 4-5 pm, at the Courthouse, until there is a ceasefire
Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/24343345445310267/24343345471976931/
All welcome – come chat with us if you have questions! Put together by an independent group of citizens.
We stand in mourning and protest of this atrocity. We call for a permanent ceasefire, an immense influx of humanitarian aid, the end of US military aid to Israel, and a political solution that ensures the rights of all living in Israel/Palestine, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or race. We also stand in solidarity with Jews and against antisemitism, understanding that holding the state of Israel accountable for genocidal actions is not antisemitic and that we also need to better address the antisemitism that is present in our country and in our county.
Please come if you would like to stand in support or learn more. We welcome people who want to learn more about this issue to come chat! We will be gathering from 4-5 pm every Sunday until there is a permanent ceasefire. Candles will be provided but please feel free to bring your own and bring signs. Please share widely as you are able!