Palestine (MNN) — On Friday, Israeli troops raided the offices of several Palestinian human rights and aid organizations. Last year, the Israeli government claimed these organizations had ties with terrorism.
Jonathan Kuttab serves on the board of Bethlehem Bible College. He is a human rights attorney, and he founded one of these organizations: al-Haq. He says, “Al-Haq is a world-class, world-famous human rights organization that has received more than 46 international awards for human rights advocacy. And it doesn’t hesitate to criticize the Palestinian Authority and Hamas as well as the Israeli government.”
Some European governments froze their support to al-Haq and the other organizations to investigate the claims. But they found no evidence of terrorism. Kuttab says, “So the Israelis went one step further. They sealed these organizations up with metal sheets. Then people just came and tore off the metal sheets, and they continued working.”
Human rights can be dangerous work, Kuttab says, especially since it often involves criticizing governments. “But it’s a struggle that is wholesome. And it’s a struggle that doesn’t hurt. It does expose the violations of human rights. It does call for greater respect for international law. It does call for freedom and democracy. But it works for it in very positive ways.”
“People who work for human rights don’t have weapons. We don’t have armies.”
Palestinian Christians work for nonviolence and peacemaking. Kuttab says, “I really think that Jesus doesn’t want us to kill. He doesn’t want us to use violence. He wants us to use different methods of working for the Kingdom of God.”
Pray the love of Palestinian Christians will bring peace and healing to the region.
The header photo shows part of the border wall between Israeli and Palestinian territory, near Ramallah, where the al-Haq office is located. (Photo courtesy of W. Hagens: senadmessage.nl took the picture, for W. Hagens: copyrights have been transferred to him., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)