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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

Monday, March 11, 2024: The time has come to end the suffering and the plight of millions of Palestine refugees in the homeland and the Diaspora

Monday, March 11, 2024:

The time has come to end the suffering and the plight of millions of Palestine refugees in the homeland and the Diaspora, to end their displacement and to realize their rights, some of them forced to take refuge more than once in different places of the world.

-              Mahmoud Abbas

Dear sisters and brothers: Yesterday we heard of the plight of Palestinians living in a tiny farming community of Wadoi Foquin. Many of us were moved to donate to an emergency fund to assist the people of the village to get through this terrible time. We welcomed Adam Manasra, a Muslim and young man who grew up in Wadi Foquin, Elham Rafia-Yuan a Coptic Christian woman who grew up in Egypt, and Michael Yoshi, a Methodist Minister who leads a non profit called The Friends of Wadi Foquin. Our friend and sister Therese Mughannam also spoke eloquently of the history of Palestine/Israel. Jim, JoAnn and Pat shared a lovely celebration with all of us. It was quite a night. We need to continue to follow the plight of Palestinians and assess how we can support them in their hour of need.

Below is a series of steps we can take individually, and as a community to support the oppressed people of Palestine. In the next few days we'll draft a letter to members of the Santa Rosa City Council, The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and the Press Democrat and Argus Courier demanding an immediate cease fire and open borders to relief aid to the people of Gaza and the West Bank.

Here's the information:

Donations for general support or specific projects/funds can be made to Friends of Wadi Foquin in two ways: ​


To donate to Friends of Wadi Foquin ONLINE, follow this link to Berkeley Methodist United Church :


Be sure to select "Friends of Wadi Foquin" in the dropdown menu, and include Emergency Fund ---otherwise your donation will go to the church operations


To donate by check, please make payable to BMU-FOWF and send to Jean Hart, FOWF Treasurer, 730 Tree Top Lane, Auburn, CA 95603. Please indicate any specific project in the memo line.

Or scan the QR code below in the image here -- and make sure to tap the Dropdown Menu and select Wadi Foquin. Then. designate Emergency Fund in the memo box.

Your contributions are tax deductible!


Rev. Naomi Southard and Linda Weingarten are Co-Chairs for the Friends of Wadi Foquin “Study Circle.” Please contact for more information.


Other ways to Support Wadi Foquin

Prayer  - commit to praying for Wadi Foquin, its concerns and needs. Contact Rev. Michael Yoshii  at


Engagement  - organize and promote community events that highlight Wadi Foquin and Israel/Palestine issues. Contact Rev. Emily Lin at or Rev. Mike Friedrich at


Advocacy - participate in campaigns prompted by Wadi Foquin. Contact Rev. Michael Yoshii at


Study  - organize opportunities for study on Palestine/Israel. Contact Rev. Naomi Southard at or Linda Weingarten at

Giving  - fundraise for Wadi Foquin projects, campaigns, and needs. Contact Jean Hart at


Wadi Foquin is the site of a community development project supported through the United Methodist Church's General Board of Global Ministries (Advance project #3021565). A resolution supporting Wadi Foquin was passed at the church's May 2016 General Conference acknowledging the challenges of settlement expansion and recent land confiscation orders. The resolution calls for accountability from the Israeli government for the destruction of land and life in Wadi Foquin. It also calls on U.S. officials to contact the Israeli government to immediately halt the illegal Israeli settlements and confiscation of Palestinian land.

New Land Confiscation in Wadi Foquin

The village recently learned that plans are underway for more land confiscation in the Wadi Foquin to make way for the construction of an apartheid road to develop the settlement infrastructure. Photo of map shows the route of the proposed settler only road which will cut through the eastern portion of Wadi Foquin.  The blue shaded areas show the current footprint of settlements surrounding the village.  The beige shaded areas are Paletistinian villages including Wadi Foquin located adjacent to the green line.

An advocacy campaign is being organized to stop this latest land confiscation.  Please contact Rev. Michael Yoshii, Friends of Wadi Foquin – Co-Chair at  for more information and/or your support.


SAMI ABU SHEHADEH is one of only 10 Palestinians in the 120-member Israeli Knesset (parliament). He recently came on a tour of the U.S. to share what it is like to be a Palestinian citizen of Israel, a perspective that is rarely shared. He also came  to touch base with Palestinians living in the U.S., intentionally speaking in locations where there are large numbers of Palestinian Americans, such as New York, Boston, Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area, where he spoke in Oakland on March 24.


Shehadeh initiated his remarks by providing a little history, beginning with the mass expulsion of more than 750,000 Palestinians when the State of Israel was created in 1948. He pointed out that, at that time, only about 5 percent of the population was Jewish, nearly all of whom were not Zionists. Palestinians who refused to leave became Israeli citizens, but they were and continue to be treated as enemies, he said.


Today, Palestinian citizens of Israel—20 percent of the population—are a minority in their homeland. The discrimination they encounter on a daily basis is profound and Shehadeh shared a few examples, including the following:


Separate educational systems for Palestinian and Jewish Israeli children;

Palestinian children being forced to learn modern Zionist history and denied the right to learn about Palestinian history; A lack of essential infrastructure in some predominantly Palestinian neighborhoods (for example, the lack of a basic water supply and electricity).


“I have to listen every day to racist people saying that the fact that I brought children into the world is a demographic [time] bomb for the state,” Shehadeh said.

“My [Jewish] neighbor, his children are considered a blessing for the state. And these are the words that they use.”


In the Knesset, the vast majority of his colleagues refuse to acknowledge that Shehadeh is Palestinian, routinely call him a terrorist and habitually interrupt and ignore him. “It’s a very hostile environment,” he said. Shehadeh shared that he has also been attacked physically by security forces when he attends demonstrations.


Shehadeh ended his talk by clearly stating the Palestinian position. “We say Israel must change and acknowledge the rights of everyone,” he explained. “We want equality. We think that the colonial project should end. We believe in justice and equality for all. A Jewish state cannot be a democracy. It’s an oxymoron. No equality, no democracy.”


Rev. Michael Yoshii, who was instrumental in organizing Shehadeh’s talk in Oakland, agreed. “Equal rights for all implies that you can’t have a Jewish state and call it a democracy,” he told the Washington Report.

Our Friend Michael Yoshii

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