Plight of Gaza highlighted at Christian festival

By staff writers
August 29, 2010

Thousands of participants in the four-day Greenbelt Christian arts festival at Cheltenham Racecourse have been reminded about the plight of blockaded Gaza.

A campaign entitled "If Greenbelt was Gaza" has been asking the 20,000 plus attenders of the annual event to "confront the stark contrast" between ordinary life in Britain and the "day-to-day life experienced by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip".

Christians in Palestine and Israel are among those calling for international solidarity with the people of Gaza, and concerted action towards a just-peace which offers security and hope to all people in the region, Jews and Arabs alike.

The Gaza initiative asks festival-goers to consider how they would manage with only one tap on the site or how many thousands of people would survive without basic provisions.

Greenbelt is backed by international development agency Christian Aid, the Methodist Church in Britain, the YMCA, the Church Times, and the Church Times.

The Methodist Church passed a policy in June 2010 calling for a boycott of goods from illegal Israeli settlements on the West Bank . The issue is also a matter of debate within the Church of Scotland.

Israeli human rights group B'tselem, Christian Aid's work in the Occupied Territories, Israeli-Arab peacemaker Archbishop Elias Chacour, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), and anti-Zionist Israeli academic Ilan Pappe are among the other voices being heard.

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