Justice in the Middle East

Justice in the Middle East (JME) is a group of members of the Main Line Unitarian Church who work to promote peace and justice in Israel-Palestine. JME affirms the right to equality, dignity, freedom, and security of all peoples involved.

Education and discussion within our congregation and in our community are important contributions toward the goal of justice. Accordingly, we strive to inform people instead of trying to form their beliefs. We also promote political action in support of justice, based on our understandings and beliefs.

We provide films, presentations, speakers and an opportunity for dialog at MLUC. We are affiliated with the national UU group UUJME www.uujme.org. Contact  for more information. Suggestions for interesting programing welcome.



Upcoming Event: Sunday Service, July 9, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.

A Palestinian Christian will share some of the hopes and dreams of his community in the Holy Land. There will be a Q&A opportunity after the service during our coffee hour.  

Dr. Sa’ed Atshan, an Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College has a joint Ph.D. in anthropology and Middle Eastern studies and an MA in social anthropology from Harvard University, and a Master in Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School. He has been awarded multiple fellowships, including a Soros Fellowship and a Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace. Atshan has worked for the American Civil Liberties Union, the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, Human Rights Watch, Seeds of Peace, and the Palestinian 
Negotiations Affairs Department. Atshan is a Christian/Quaker, grew up in Palestine, and is also an LGBTQ rights activist.

Professor Atshan was at the center of a controversy that arose at Friends Central School Philadelphia where, earlier this year, he was disinvited to speak after objections from some parents.


Past Events

 Friday, October 10, 7:00 p.m.

The Law in These Parts - Film and Discussionlaw in these parts film in the McGuinness Room

This documentary is an unprecedented exploration of the evolving and little-known legal framework that Israel has employed to administer its 40-year military occupation of the West Bank and, until 2005, the Gaza Strip. It won the Best Documentary award at the 2011 Jerusalem Film Festival and the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize in Documentary at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Celebrated Israeli filmmaker Ra’anan Alexandrowicz elicits this story from the very military judges, prosecutors and legal advisors who helped create the system and who agreed to take the cinematic witness chair to explain their choices. These interviews combined with archival footage, create a comprehensive and evocative portrait of one of the world’s most stubborn and enduring conflicts.

The film asks some crucial questions that are often skirted: Can such an occupation be achieved within a legal framework that includes genuine adherence to the principles of rule-of-law? What are the costs that a society engaged in such a long term exercise must bear? Can a modern democracy impose a prolonged military occupation on another people while retaining its core democratic values? The Law in These Parts reveals not only the legal architecture of military occupation, but also its human impact on both Palestinians and Israelis.

 

shatter the silence authorSunday, February 19, 12:30 p.m.

Waking Up to Shatter the Silence

All are invited to the McGinness Room for a video screening of Hanan Watson's award-winning sermon from the 2011 General Assembly in North Carolina. "Waking Up to Shatter the Silence" was the winning entry for the Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East’s (UUJME) contest, which had the theme "Why are UU congregations reluctant to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and how can they overcome this reluctance to help our faith community contribute more meaningfully to the cause of peace and justice for Israelis and Palestinians?"

Hanan Watson, of All Souls Unitarian Church in New York City, was chosen to present her moving sermon at GA 2011. Watson was born in Jerusalem to Palestinian Christian Arab parents and in 1948 became one of the 750,000 refugees from the newly established State of Israel. She earned Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from the American University of Beirut. After moving to New York in 1966, she worked in the executive search field until retiring to devote herself to volunteer work.

 

Thursday, March 1
mornings in jenin authorMornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa
Potluck Dinner in the Fireside Room at 6:00 p.m. followed by an author presentation at 7:00.

Each year the MLUC Social Action Leadership Council recommends a book that corresponds with a social justice issue of interest and relevance to the entire congregation. The choice for 2012 is Mornings in Jenin, a novel by Susan Abulhawa.  On Thursday, March 1, the author will join us for a potluck dinner with book discussion to follow.  All are welcome to attend. Copies of the book are available for purchase in the MLUC book cabinet.

This novel is the story of four generations of a Palestinian family exiled from their village and their struggles during the over 60 years of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The story takes us from the Jenin refugee camp to Jerusalem, to Lebanon and to the anonymity of America.  The human voices of this riveting story encourage us to take another look at one of the defining political conflicts of our lifetime.

Susan Abulhawa was born to refugees of the Six-Day War and moved to the United States as a teenager. She is a resident of Philadelphia and founded Playgrounds for Palestine, an NGO that builds playgrounds for Palestinian children in refugee camps and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

 

Recent Film Screenings

Budrus
An award-winning feature documentary film about a Palestinian community organizer

Amreeka
Journey into the lives of Palestinian immigrants

Beyond Belief
The story of two pregnant 9/11 widows

Sentenced Home
Cambodian refugees growing up in America

Very Young Girls
The tragedy of human trafficking

 


Resources

For more information about these issues, visit:

Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East

Two Peoples One Future

Jewish Voice for Peace

Foundation for Middle East Peace 

American Muslims for Palestine