“Let us work together to replace despair with HOPE, fear with human SECURITY and humiliation with DIGNITY”

Peace & Justice March from Bethlehem to Jerusalem

The last day of the year, December 31, 2001, will be celebrated by a demonstrative march leading from Bethlehem through the main checkpoint into Jerusalem. The march will culminate in prayer for peace in both Al-Aqsa Mosque and Saint Anne’s Church and then a human ring around the Old City walls symbolizing a protective embracement.

Hereby we would like to draw your attention to the following event.

The last day of the year, December 31, 2001, will be celebrated by a demonstrative march leading from Bethlehem through the main checkpoint into Jerusalem. The march will culminate in prayer for peace in both Al-Aqsa Mosque and Saint Anne’s Church and then a human ring around the Old City walls symbolizing a protective embracement.

Itinerary

At 10:00 participants will depart from Nissan, Bethlehem; pass through the checkpoint, and stop at Mar Elias (11:00). At that location marchers will take buses to the New Gate (12:00) from where they jointly walk to the Lion’s Gate (13:00). Christians gather at St Anne’s, and Moslems at Al-Aqsa. After prayers (14:30) the participants spread out towards different sections of the Old City walls to create the human ring.

The president of Pax Christi International, Mgr. Michel Sabbah, will lead the march in Bethlehem together with other church representatives.

Demands

The non-violent “justice and peace” march is designed to make two simple but powerful demands for the new year:

Open Jerusalem
End Occupation

In announcing these demands to the world, the marchers wish to express their deep-felt commitment to end the suffering and violence, and to work for a peace marked by justice and reconciliation.

The march a campaign sign/logo with an image of the olive tree and an original design using the colours of the Palestinian flag (black, white, red and green).

Persons of all religious and national affiliations, and of all sections of the society, are invited to join as individuals.

The march will be accompanied by international civilian observers who will form a “tunnel of protection” in front of the Bethlehem/Jerusalem checkpoint. They will also join the ring.

People from other areas, too, are invited to come to Jerusalem and join the ring.

Nature of march

The nature of the march is as follows:

* The march will be calm.
* Participants will be encouraged to sing or pray.
* Local and international music groups will be invited to play.
* Participants will hold olive branches and wear various articles marked by the campaign sign: caps, buttons and ribbons.
* There will be moments of silence to commemorate the victims.
* Wishes and prayers coming from persons from all over the world will be attached to balloons and distributed among the participants. At the Lion’s Gate, the balloons will be lifted into the air, a gesture to symbolize the universal right to freedom.
* There will be texts in Arabic, English en Hebrew to explain the march’s aims and non-violent nature.
* Some 100 persons responsible for order will be instructed beforehand and will be clearly marked during the march.

Publicity

* The march will be announced and explained by local and national TV, radio and press, in churches and mosques, and among internationals including clergy.
* Simple posters will be distributed in the larger Bethlehem-Jerusalem area.
* At the end of the march and human ring, a press conference will be held by the religious leaders to explain the initiative.

Action context

The marches will take place in the context of a series of other planned activities including

* 23/12, 10:00: Decoration Christmas Tree at Orient House in Jerusalem (GIPP)
* 25/12: Candle procession/march Beit Sahour-Bethlehem-Jerusalem (Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between Peoples)

The march is the beginning of a larger campaign to organize marches between Bethlehem and Jerusalem with a focus on the two abovementioned demands.

Organization

The Bethlehem-Jerusalem march will fall under the responsibility of:

* The Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem
* Grassroots Internatioinal Protection for the Palestinian People (GIPP)
* Civil organizations in the Bethlehem area including Arab Educational Institute (AEI), Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between Peoples, Conflict Resolution Center Wi’am, Arab Orthodox Society, and the Scouts Troops Leaders in Bethlehem.
* United Civilians for Peace (UCP) takes part in the preparations as observer.

The march is prepared in coordination with the High Islamic Council of Al  Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

International support in the form of an endorsement of the two demands and the march will be coordinated by GIPP, Rapprochement and the Arab Educational Institute and, in The Hague, by Pax Christi Netherlands and the Interchurch Peace Council (IKV). Pax Christi International (Brussels) will appeal to its members and others to send wishes and prayers.

We appreciate your support and involvement.

Thank you very much for your attention,

Sincerely,

The organizing committee
(GIPP, AEI, Rapprochement, Church leaders (Jerusalem, Fr Raed), Arab Orthodox Society, Wi’am and Scouts Troops Leaders, with UCP as observer)

Contact for any further information:
AEI  (secretariat, Bethlehem): 02-2744030
GIPP (Ramallah): 02-2963847
Rapprochement (Beit Sahour): 02-2772018
Wi’am (Bethlehem): 02-2770513
Church Leaders (Jerusalem): 02-6282323 (Fr Raed)
Scouts Troops Leaders (Bethlehem): 052-284450
Arab Orthodox Society (Bethlehem): 02-2742001

We are grateful to the Dutch development organization CORDAID which provides support for the logistics of the march.

2016-10-24T07:35:27+00:00 December 20th, 2001|Categories: News|