CLERGYMEN PLEDGE SOLIDARITY WITH PALESTINIANS
By Vimbai Kamoyo
The Zimbabwe pastors on Thursday came together to offer messages of camaraderie to the people of Palestine on the occasion of the latter’s celebrations of Al Nakba.
Al Nakba refers to the mass exodus of at least 750,000 Arabs from Palestine in 1948. In 1998, Yasser Arafat, Palestinian leader, proposed that Palestinians should mark the 50th anniversary of the Nakba by declaring 15 May, the day after Israeli independence in 1948, as Nakba Day, formalizing a date that had been unofficially used as early as 1949.
It was for this occasion that the men of cloth solemnly joined the Palestinians in commemorating that gloomy occasion.
Speaking at the well-attended meeting, Palestinian ambassador to Zimbabwe His Excellency Tamer Almassri emphasised that Palestinians who have laboured under the Israeli yoke for over seven decades will fight on and will never allow the Jews to persecute Christianity.
“As Africans you can you can understand what it has been to you before independence. Our situation is worse than what Africa went through. The Israelites are racists just look at how they treat black Jews. This solidarity meeting gives us spiritual strength to refuse and struggle against crimes committed against Christian believers the attempts to burn churches will be resisted.
” We have been under the Israeli apartheid regime since 1948 just like South Africa. While in Palestine we are religious tolerant, it is not the case in Israel where there are extremists groups.
Speaking at the same ocassion, Apostolic Bishops Network chairman Apostle Brian Mgabazi dispelled the misinformation on the Palestinian crisis and bemoaned the attacks on churches by Israeli security forces.
“What worry us as churches is the systemic destruction of churches in Palestine by Israeli forces. In particular the recent attack on worshippers during Ramadan. This cause for us to stand in solidarity,”
In his solidarity speech, Bishop Dr Albert Chikuni, President of the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development Zimbabwe (IAPDZ) called uponchurches to unite against the atrocities in Palestine.