Palestine (MNN) — The United Nations has condemned a decision by the Israeli Minister of Defense to label six Palestinian human rights groups as terrorist organizations.
Jonathan Kuttab serves on the board of Bethlehem Bible College, and he also founded one of these six organizations. He says, “The one I’m associated with, Al-Haq, is a human rights organization. It documents human rights violations, urges people to follow international law, works for equality, and works for peace and nonviolence.”
Kuttab says he helped create Al-Haq over 40 years ago as an affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists. “As a Christian, I felt that Jesus doesn’t call us to pick up arms and kill anybody, including our enemies. So we have to find ways to fight for our rights that are nonviolent. And we thought that law is a very good instrument.”
The organization calls for the human rights of all people, regardless of nationality or ethnicity.
Other organizations on the list advocate for women and children or work with research and agriculture. The ban will allow the Israeli military to arrest staff, close offices, and seize their assets.
Kuttab explains the politics behind the scenes. “I think the defense minister is worried because some of these organizations, including Al-Haq, are preparing documentation on war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
Some of these reports have to do with the fighting this spring, during which artillery fire into Gaza killed hundreds of Palestinians, including 66 children.
How to pray
Pray the love and nonviolence of Palestinian Christians would point others to Jesus: “Who opened God’s love to all mankind,” Kuttab says, “not just to one tribe. He opens God’s caring to the whole world.”
Kuttab also asks listeners to pray for peace in this region, based on equality. “Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are things that we should be fighting all the time.”
Header photo shows Palestinians harvesting olives. (Photo courtesy of Bethlehem Bible College on Facebook)