Blessing Children at Christmas

“And he [Jesus] took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.”(Mark 10:16)


Thank you to Revd Damon Draisey and the South Downs Gateway Churches for their generous donation of Christmas presents for the children of Southampton & Winchester Visitors Group (SWVG) and CLEAR Project members who are seeking asylum in Southampton.

Find out how you too can support SWVG and be a blessing to the families of asylum seekers.

Global Apartheid and Systems of Exclusion: Allan Aubrey Boesak

We are pleased to publish, with his permission, a paper delivered by Dr Allan Aubrey Boesak at the Chile Conference on Palestine and Latin American Churches on 5 November 2022. His presentation was entitled Global Apartheid and Systems of Exclusion “This Wall Has No Future”


“Every time right minded Black South Africans have the opportunity to visit Israel/Palestine, they come away with a profound sense of shock, and it is the shock of recognition, of profound disorientation, of relived trauma: this is apartheid. It is the sense that something as irrelevant as the colour of one’s skin or what is called “racial identity” has condemned you from birth. It is the onslaught upon your dignity through discrimination, a thousand humiliations every day in every imaginable situation, and the relentless, deliberate process of dehumanisation. 

      It is the sense not only that your very life is being threatened at every turn, but that your life does not matter. It is the ongoing tragedies of dispossession through land theft and forced removals, destruction of property, and devastation of communities, legalised and legitimised by the law and enforced by the violence of the state. It is the myriad ways in which one is told that one has no place in the country of one’s birth. And it is always the violence: systemic, structural, physical, pervasive, and permanent. 

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Justice, Peace and Reconciliation in Palestine: A Convivencia Alliance Webinar

In October, the Convivencia Alliance arranged an international webinar entitled: “The Convivencia Declaration: Justice, Peace and Reconciliation in Palestine – Christian Perspectives: The Struggle for Justice and Peace: Experiences from South Africa, Northern Ireland, USA and Palestine. 

You may watch the entire webinar above or view the four presentations individually by clicking on the speakers below:


Revd Allan Boesak: Professor of Black Liberation Theology and Ethics at University of Pretoria

Mark Braverman: Executive Director, Kairos USA and Research Fellow in Systematic Theology and Ecclesiology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Jonny Clark: Programme Manager for Public Theology at the Corrymeela Community, Northern Ireland

Rifat Kassis: General Coordinator of Kairos Palestine

Read the Convivencia Declaration

The Convivencia Alliance members

Tools for Self Reliance

Tools for Self Reliance are a UK based charity working to help relieve poverty in Africa. They work with local organisations to bring about effective and sustainable change.

If you live in the Southampton/New Forest area and would like more information on volunteering, please get in touch.

Tools for Self Reliance was started in 1979 by a handful of dedicated volunteers. Disillusioned by their experiences of development projects in Africa and the failure of overseas development assistance at that time to trickle down to the grassroots, our founders took it upon themselves to work with small-scale community based groups and at the same time lobby major institutional donors and governments to adopt a more people-centered approach to development assistance.

Find out more about how you can support Tools for Self Reliance

Convivencia Alliance Appoints First Chair

The Convivencia Alliance is a coalition of Jewish, Muslim and Christian organisations supporting a just peace in Palestine based on One Democratic State, launched at the P21 Gallery, Euston in London in May 2022. The founding organisations were Jewish Network for Palestine, (JNP), Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) and Peacemaker Trust.  

The Alliance has grown significantly since the launch and the Convivencia Declaration, outlining the aims and objectives of the Alliance, has already been endorsed by an extensive and growing list of internationally known leaders and organisations

Dr Stephen Sizer, who is also the founder and director of Peacemaker Trust, has been appointed the first chair of the Convivencia Alliance. This will be a revolving position shared between the three founding organisations to reflect the joint nature of the Convivencia Alliance. The role will involve representing, publicising and growing the Alliance. 

We are also grateful to our interim Chair, Mr David Cannon, who also serves as the chair of the Jewish Network for Palestine. His conscientious and diligent leadership has been fundamental to the growth of the Alliance and Declaration.

Dr Sizer is convening the first of three international webinars The Convivencia Declaration: Justice, Peace and Reconciliation – Christian Perspectives on Tuesday 25th October 18:00. Speakers include Revd Allan Boesak (South Africa), Mark Braverman (USA) Jonny Clark (Northern Ireland), and Rifat Kassis (Palestine). 

  

Dr Antony Lerman “Whatever Happened to Antisemitism?”


Dr Antony Lerman on “Whatever Happened to Antisemitism? Redefinition and the Myth of the ‘Collective Jew’“, a webinar organised by the Jewish Network for Palestine based on his new book published by Pluto Press.

Antisemitism is one of the most controversial topics of our time. The public, academics, journalists, activists and Jewish people themselves are divided over its meaning. Antony Lerman shows that this is a result of a 30-year process of redefinition of the phenomenon, casting Israel, problematically defined as the ‘persecuted collective Jew’ among the nations, as one of its main targets.

This political project has taken the notion of the ‘new antisemitism’ and codified it in the flawed International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s ‘working definition’ of antisemitism. This text is the glue holding together an international network comprising the Israeli government, pro-Israel advocacy groups, Zionist organisations, Jewish communal defence bodies and sympathetic governments fighting a war against those who would criticise Israeli Apartheid.

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