ICAHD UK send our warmest congratulations on the 6th rebuilding of Beit Arabiya to Salim and Arabiya Shawamreh (Beit Arabiya is their family home), to Jeff Halper and everyone else at ICAHD; and we send particular thanks and congratulations to 85 young people brought together from around the world for a Global Youth Festival by a Palestinian Christian organisation, Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Centre, supported by Swedish NGO Diakonia. In an impressive “guerrilla” action, the young people got stuck into manual labour and sweated under the midsummer Near Eastern sun, and from 3rd to 5th July, in an amazing two and a half days, they helped raise Beit Arabiya for the sixth time from the rubble of its last demolition.
Yesterday, July 5th, we celebrated as Beit Arabiya is rebuilt for the 6th time. In just 2 1/2 days, 85 young people from around the world, brought to the site by Sabeel, a Palestinian Christian liberation theology organization, rebuilt the home of Arabiya and Salim Shawamreh and their family. Supported by the Swedish development agency Diakonia, they joined with ICAHD to complete the 187th Palestinian home that ICAHD has rebuilt as a political act of resistance to the Israeli Occupation. Next month ICAHD activists will complete the site as a memorial of the 28,000 homes demolished (so far), including a rock garden (whose irocksi will be pieces of demolished Palestinian homes) and meeting places for groups.
Sabeel and ICAHD work together often, cross-fertilising ideas and philosophies from their various constituencies. Jeff Halper has been invited to speak regularly at Sabeel conferences in Israel-Palestine and in the USA and elsewhere.
ICAHD UK and Friends of Sabeel UK work together closely at events such as the annual Greenbelt Festival at Cheltenham. Some supporters of ICAHD UK are also members of Sabeel, and have been to Sabeel’s biennial international conference or on one of their Witness Visits in Israel-Palestine which are regularly arranged by the staff of Sabeel.
Sabeel is supported by churches and church-based groups (such as Diakonia) in the USA, Scandinavia and the UK, and others, who also sponsor short or longer term “missionary” volunteers. See Sabeel’s website for details of forthcoming events.