Justice in the Middle East (UUJME )
In the fall we showed the film “Occupation of the American Mind”, which was produced by Media Ed. It addressed the unbalanced media coverage of the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the effort by the Israeli government to portray Israel in a good light whatever its actions. The producers described the propaganda effort called hasbara to portray Israel as a victim of Palestinian terrorists, denying any legitimate protests by Palestinians about their loss of land, homes, water, etc. There was a large outcry by pro-Zionist groups in the area who asked us to shut down the film in advance and called us Anti Semites. 200 or so people attended the film and many participated in a dialogue with the producer monitored by Wendy and participated in a “fishbowl” exercise afterward.
Members of the Church have joined with UUs from Boston area UU congregations to form the Massachusett Chapter of Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East, UUJME-MA. UUJME is a national “affiliated organization” of the UUA. The local branch of that group has been gathering for the last few years and has adopted the following mission statement.
“We are committed to the covenant of our faith, which speaks to the inherent worth and dignity of every person; justice equity and compassion in human relations, and the free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
With these UU principles in mind, it is our mission through education and dialogue to raise the consciousness of the UU community in Massachusetts, so that we can contribute to a just resolution of the Israel/Palestine situation.”
a second time. But last Those of us who are concerned about the Israel/Palestine issue, in collaboration with UUs for Justice in the Middle East, ACLU, and many other groups, also lobbied Commonwealth Representative Lori Ehrlich, attended hearings and made phone calls to defeat legislation offered by the JCRC to ban advocacy for BDS. This local AIPAC-like group has worked to penalize groups who support Boycott Divestment and Sanctions as a way of persuading the Israeli government to change its policies toward the Palestinians. The ACLU argues that trying to restrict advocacy is unconstitutional. We were able to defeat JCRC’s move for minute
efforts to ban BDS have continued.
In keeping with that mission, the members of our Social Action Committee, including those who are members of UUJME MA, are hoping to continue the effort to provide information to our congregation and others in the region about the Palestinian experience of the Middle East conflict and the role played by the United States in the conflict. We are working for a long term just and peaceful solution for all the people in Israel/Palestine.
role in advocacy in this arena. We also periodically attend speaker meetings or protests organized by other UU Congregations and like-minded organizations. Members also provide sermons and arrange local speaking and the Presbyterian Church USA, which has taken leadership.eventsWe organized and ran a study group in 2014-15 using curricula published by UUJME
We periodically sell Olive Oil produced by West Bank farmers and made available thru Equal Exchange.