One of the oldest, and most prominent Churches in the USA, the University Christian Church of University Christian Church, considered an intellectual and influential "hub"
Ft.Worth hosted a Sunday Morning program meeting by members who recently returned from the West Bank to investigate conditions there.
The program, was intended to be a "Pro Israel, Pro West Bank, Pro USA" program.
But the facts, documented by the respected group, has raised the concerns and disturbed many influential members of the church.
The meeting took place just before the main worship service at University Christian Church, Sunday, April 18th.
The meeting attracted a "standing room audience", of several hundred people, during a teaching time slot that normally attracts small groups. Fort Worth citizens reported dismal and cruel living conditions in the West Bank of Palestine, imposed on the people there, by Israel.
Of the hundreds of attendees present, one man spoke out and said "Propaganda!" After 5 minutes he left. But the vast majority were moved because the programs documentation was so powerful. Armed with photos, evidence and on site interviews, UCC's members confirmed that they had witnessed the results of continual persecution by Israel, causing mounting hunger, illness and poverty on the West Bank. They noted "essential means of survival have been gradually taken away".
Carol Ehlman, Judy O'Donnell, and Ed Ackall (who grew up in Palestine), told of Palestinians who have lost: Child intimidated by soldier
- the right to own and live in their homes without harassment
- the right to travel freely to work, school or hospitals
- the right to own property or have bank accounts that will not be seized
- freedom from fear of attacks or arrest by soldiers without warrants in their homes throughout the night
- simple freedom of speech, liberty and safety for their children
- access to drinking water
- ability to enter Jeruselem, and loss of jobs inside and outside of their compound
- they have even lost access to paved roads, and must stay off of "good roads" to travel on "rocky trails" while Israeli auto's zip by on paved highways.
Prominent and respected citizens of Fort Worth, Texas were amazed to observe the living conditions caused by political decisions in Israel.
The Sunday meeting, which was supposed to have a few Sunday School class people, grew to several hundred, who were stunned by what they heard from their fellow members.
Consider a place like the West Bank, where thousands of people, (including Americans from UCC) "Could not take a bath or even flush comodes for days, because Israel had rationed the water", even though the water runs abundantly just a short distance away in Israeli territory.
UCC's members were touched and moved to offer support for the people of the West Bank when they heard stories and saw photos of what is happening there.
After the meeting there were passionate responses, but the facts were that a personal visit by Americans from Texas, was enough to show them, on the ground what is happening at the West Bank.