Updates September 2010

 

 

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  We seek to keep you literally "updated" on movement in terms of truth and justice in the Middle East in general with a particular eye on Palestine.  The links below will take you to various articles and websites that offer the perspective of leaders in the religious, NGO, and human rights communities. Additionally, Al-Bushra, ever vigilant, provides links to regular reporting as well as opinion pieces by journalists. The dates given here indicate when the link was posted; the most recent posting is at the top. Check the article itself for the date of publication.  
     
 

Comments made over the years by Israeli leaders

 
     
 

31 October 2010 14:44:32 -0700

 
     
 
 

Sept. 24, 2010

America Magazine, the Catholic Weekly | Moderate Jordan Offers Oasis for Christians

As conditions for Chaldean Catholics in Iraq deteriorate and political unrest threatens Christians in Lebanon, the Kingdom of Jordan remains a small oasis of relative calm for the Middle East’s Christian minority. Bishop Selim Sayegh, the Latin patriarchal vicar for Jordan, told America that Christians in Jordan remain confident of their acceptance by the larger Muslim society as King Abdullah II remains a guarantor of their security. The Christian community is a disproportionate force in Jordan’s parliament, and the Hashemite kingdom continues to draw both Christian and Muslim refugees from Iraq. The bishop said the encounter with Islam is completely different in Jordan from what many Americans might expect. “The government is moderate and trying always to give a good balance,” he said. Christians and Muslims in Jordan practice the “dialogue of daily life” lived together.   Permalink

 

Sept. 14, 2010

CBS News | NYC Imam: Working on Solution to Defuse "Crisis"

The imam leading an effort to build an Islamic center near the World Trade Center site said Monday that events of the last few weeks "have really saddened me to my core," but promised that he was working on a solution to the "crisis" his plans have caused.

Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf said he was disappointed that many of the arguments made against construction of the Islamic interfaith center have been based on "deliberate misinformation and harmful stereotypes."

"I am deeply distressed that some have exploited this issue for their own agendas," he said.      Read more

 

Sept. 13, 2010

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights | A Palestinian Story

I met the family of Mohammed by accident as I offered them a ride back to their home in Dheisheh refugee camp from Gush Etzion colonial offices where they were seeking (unsuccessfully) a permit to enter Jerusalem for medical treatments (and I was called for questioning). What I learned about this family is almost unbelievable and could certainly be material for a book or at least a documentary.      Read more

 

Sept. 12, 2010

Zenit | Pope Sends New Year's Message to Rabbi

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 9, 2010 (Zenit.org).-Benedict XVI sent a message of congratulations and friendship to Riccardo Di Segni, chief rabbi of the Jewish community of Rome, on the occasion of the Jewish festivities celebrated this month.

The Jewish calendar marks Rosh Hashana 5771 (New Year) Sept. 9-10; Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) Sept. 18; and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) Sept. 23-Sept. 29.      Read more

 

Sept. 11, 2010

New York Times | Building on Faith - by Feisal Abdul Rauf

As my flight approached America last weekend, my mind circled back to the furor that has broken out over plans to build Cordoba House, a community center in Lower Manhattan.I have been away from home for two months, speaking abroad about cooperation among people from different religions. Every day, including the past two weeks spent representing my country on a State Department tour in the Middle East, I have been struck by how the controversy has riveted the attention of Americans, as well as nearly everyone I met in my travels.

We have all been awed by how inflamed and emotional the issue of the proposed community center has become. The level of attention reflects the degree to which people care about the very American values under debate: recognition of the rights of others, tolerance and freedom of worship.      Read more

 

Sept. 11, 2010

United Methodist Church | Commentary: A reflection on September 11 - by Glory E. Dharmaraj

This September is the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, which has become a landscape of untold loss and withheld sadness. We still have not gotten over the raw wounded-ness of the painful tragedy inflicted on our nation.

The community in which I live lost nine of its own on that fateful day. Those families and their friends are still struggling to cope with the loss and tragedy.

The recent developments of the Islamic community center and mosque two blocks from ground zero have ignited outbursts of indignation and raw emotions. Voices are raised and opinions are expressed from many sides on behalf of the living and the dead. I have been listening, reading and reflecting on some of the emotional debates for the last several weeks. And I am still trying to make sense of it.     Read more

 

Sept. 11, 2010

Haaretz | Legitimizing an obstacle to peace - by Theodore Bickel

I feel compelled to speak out on the controversy surrounding the Israeli artists who have announced their refusal to perform in the territories. For the record, my career as a performer has spanned 68 years. In my 20s, I was a cofounder of the Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv (of that group, I am the last one alive). I have resided in America since 1954, and as a concert artist I frequently work in the field of Jewish culture, performing in the languages of our people − Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino and even in English, the language spoken by the largest Jewish community in the world.     Read more

 

Sept. 11, 2010

Adam Keller, Crazy Country | Peace Summit in Hebron

Last week, on the same day that the leaders gathered in Washington to resume direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians and deliver festive speeches in front of TV cameras, there were contacts between Israelis and Palestinians also in Hebron. Israeli soldiers arrived at the home of the Palestinian Salayma Family on the city's outskirts and handed over to the family father Salem Salayma a legal decree, properly signed by the lawfully authorized military commander, stating that the family home was required by the Israeli Defense Forces for urgent security reasons, until further notice.    Read more

 

Sept. 11, 2010

Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom | Shana Toval

Shana Tova!

A year of

The end of the occupation,

Permanent borders,

Evacuation of the settlements,

Two states,

Two capitals in Jerusalem,

Security and prosperity

For all.

 

A Year of Peace.

 

Happy New Year!

Read more

 

Sept. 11, 2010

Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom | Satan of the Details

...THEREFORE I insist: there should be no agreement on a process that is designed to lead to a “declaration of principles” or a “framework agreement”.

There should be – here and now! – negotiations for a full and final peace treaty.

Satan resides in framework agreements. God resides – if anywhere – in a peace treaty.

Read more

 

Sept. 10, 2010

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights | Islamic Holiday, burning Qurans and more

On behalf of the staff and board members of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People (http://www.pcr.ps), we wish all Muslims around the world "Eid Mubarak". And happy new year to our Jewish friends and colleagues; many who suffered in challenging the Zionist project of ethnic cleansing and destruction.

If you are in the Bethlehem area, join Al-Walaja village residents for the Eid prayer at the wall. Friday at noon Palestinian time. By praying on their land near the wall, the villagers hope to draw attention to attempt by the Israeli authorities to separate them from their lands with the land-theft and apartheid wall.       Read more

 

Sept. 10, 2010

Christian Peace Team | Hebron : God's Justice, Even for the Shops, a Reflrection by Steve Heinrichs

“And the shops of the city will clap their hands!”

That’s what those radical biblical prophets would be singing if they were here in occupied Hebron , tramping thru the streets of the Old City , seeing the overwhelming number of Palestinian shops that have been shut down by the Israeli forces. Long time ago, these courageous truth-telling Jews, like Isaiah and Jeremiah, went around proclaiming to the oppressed that God was coming to bring justice to all things. Not only people, but everything would receive God's peace, so that according to the prophetic imagination, even “the trees will clap their hands” (Is. 55:12). And if trees clap, why not Palestinian shops?      Read more

 

Sept. 9, 2010

Faith in Public Life | The Healers of 9/11 - by Nicholas D. Kristof

September 9, 2010 - This weekend, a Jewish woman who lost her husband in the 9/11 attacks is planning to speak at a mosque in Boston. She will be trying to recruit members of the mosque to join her battle against poverty and illiteracy in Afghanistan.

The woman, Susan Retik, has pursued perhaps the most unexpected and inspiring American response to the 9/11 attacks. This anniversary of Sept. 11 feels a little ugly to me, with some planning to remember the day with hatred and a Koran-burning -- and that makes her work all the more exhilarating.

In the shattering aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, Ms. Retik bonded with another woman, Patti Quigley, whose husband had also died in the attack. They lived near each other, and both were pregnant with babies who would never see their fathers.

Devastated themselves, they realized that there were more than half a million widows in Afghanistan -- and then, with war, there would be even more. Ms. Retik and Ms. Quigley also saw that Afghan widows could be a stabilizing force in that country.

So at a time when the American government reacted to the horror of 9/11 mostly with missiles and bombs, detentions and waterboardings, Ms. Retik and Ms. Quigley turned to education and poverty-alleviation projects -- in the very country that had incubated a plot that had pulverized their lives.      Read more

 

Sept. 9, 2010

Sacramento Bee | Omri Casspi promotes kids' Mideast peace camp - by Aileen Voisin

A few hours before Israeli and Palestinian leaders met in Washington, D.C., Thursday in the latest movement toward peace in the Middle East, [Israeli basketball player on the Sacramento Kings team] Omri Casspi placed himself on the fringes of the conversation.

At the Peres Center for Peace youth sports camp Wednesday in Jaffa, Israel, he supervised drills. He answered questions about Kobe Bryant. He scrimmaged with a girls team against a boys squad consisting of Israeli and Palestinian youngsters.       Read more

Sacramento Bee | Casspi 'hurt' by vandalism incident

Reached at his family home in Yavne, Israel, a few minutes ago, Kings forward Omri Casspi said he was "hurt" upon learning that a mural featuring his likeness was defaced with a swastika. The incident at 16th and R Street in midtown is being investigated as a possible hate crime by the local authorities.

"It's been all over the news over here," said Casspi. "Everybody's talking about it. It's hurtful to think that this is 2010, and there are still people like that out there. I almost don't know what to say. It's probably just some idiot who wants some publicity. But I know the people in Sacramento, and they have been wonderful to me. I know they must feel bad about this. Same thing with the Kings. I'll just let the police handle this and focus on having a great season."

Casspi, who is the first Israeli to play in the NBA, returns to Sacramento on Monday to begin preparing for his second training camp. He spent part of last week participating in a basketball camp designed to foster friendships among Israeli and Palestinian youngsters. The event at the Jewish-Arab community center in Jaffa was sponsored by the Peres Center for Peace, in conjunction with the NBA.       Read more

 

Sept. 9, 2010

Churches for Middle East Peace | Statement Denouncing Anti-Muslim Bigotry

 

Churches for Middle East Peace unconditionally condemns plans by a group in Florida to burn copies of the Holy Koran on September 11 and to incite others to do so.

 

Such acts are intrinsically repugnant to us as Christians and are an affront to all those who seek to promote reconciliation and an end to the conflict between Israel and Palestinians on terms acceptable to both.

 

In this connection Churches for Middle East Peace fully supports the statement issued on September 7 in Washington, DC by 35 Jewish, Christian, and Muslim leaders that denounces the bigotry being directed against America's Muslim community.

 

Sept. 9, 2010

America Magazine, the Catholic Weekly | The Talking Cure: Eboo Patel promotes interfaith dialogue as a defense against anti-Islamic prejudice

The subject line of the e-mail read: “Ten reasons Muslims can’t be Americans.” The young Christian woman, who had received the chain message from a fellow member of a church committee, knew the content of the e-mail was full of lies. She chose to respond—kindly, respectfully—with the truth. As she typed her reply she drew on her experience working at the Interfaith Youth Core. As an intern with the organization she collaborated with Muslims on a daily basis, befriended Muslims, and participated in dialogue and service with them. She clicked “send” and hoped for the best.

The response from her fellow committee members was not as kind, however. Many were angered by her response and told her so. The young woman now attends a different church, but she doesn’t regret her actions.       Read more

 

Sept. 9, 2010

Tikkun | America Needs Repentance: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Atonement Are Not Just for Jews - by the Rabbi Michael Lerner

Now that the Iraq war is supposedly winding down, America needs a period of reflection, repentance and atonement before rushing into more of the same mistakes we’ve been making globally and domestically. So I’d like to invite my non-Jewish neighbors and friends and allies in the struggle to heal and transform America to join with Jews to use the ten days of repentance from Rosh Hashanah (Sept. 9) through Yom Kippur (Sept. 18) for that purpose-to create an All-American version of the Jewish High Holidays!

What makes the Jewish tradition useful in this regard is that it focuses not only on our own individual lives, but on taking collective responsibility for our larger world. The formulations of repentance and atonement use language like “Our father, our king, WE have sinned before you” and “For the sins WE have committed by….” (and then the community fills in the blanks).       Read more

 

Sept. 8, 2010

The Ugly Truth | A Personal Message from Father Elias Zahlawi, a Syrian Catholic priest to Pastor Terry Jones

Respected Pastor Terry Jones,

I have read your worldwide call for the burning of the Quran on this coming 11th of September. Your message stated that you are a pastor of one of the churches in Florida in the United States of America.

As an Arab Catholic priest from Damascus (Syria), I wondered what would be your objective, as an American pastor, for such a call?

I wondered, and I ask you: What are your responsibilities as a pastor?

Are you really a Christian pastor serving God in a church in America?

Or are you merely a layperson from America who is pretending to be in the service of Christ?

Did you give in to your nationalism (Americanism) rather than giving in to your Christianity?

What is your aim with that call?

(Do you wish) to further fuel hatred among people? Is that consistent with (the teachings of) Jesus, whom you represent in your eyes and the eyes of many others?

Read more

 

Sept. 8, 2010

Zenit | Vatican Protests "Outrageous" Qur'an Burning Plan: Calls for Respect, Protection for Other Religions

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 8, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue is protesting the "outrageous and grave" proposal of a man to hold a "Qur'an Burning Day" on Saturday.

Terry Jones, pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, said that he wants to publicly burn a Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, on Saturday's anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks by Muslim fundamentalists.

The Pontifical council stated in its English-language communiqué that "these deplorable acts of violence, in fact, cannot be counteracted by an outrageous and grave gesture against a book considered sacred by a religious community."       Read more

 

Sept. 8, 2010

Yahoo News | Even pastor’s old church condemns Quran-burning

It's increasingly looking as though the only spiritual or political figure who will not denounce Florida pastor Terry Jones' plan to commemorate Sept. 11 by burning copies of the Quran is Jones himself. Wednesday brings the news that even the church Jones founded in Germany in the 1980s is condemning the upcoming Quran-burning at his small place of worship in Gainesville, Fla.       Read more

 

Sept. 8, 2010

America Magazine, the Catholic Weekly | Mosque Hysteria

...Most of the voices that have spoken out against the proposed Park51 community center near ground zero in lower Manhattan will deplore Mr. Enright’s attack and then deny that their campaign had anything to do with it. Fair enough. No one will ever be able to say for sure what propelled Mr. Enright. But what the “no mosque” pundits cannot deny is the sour contribution they have made to respectful, rational dialogue in U.S. civic life.

Words have consequences; rhetoric is not disconnected from action.       Read more

 

Sept. 8, 2010

Mazin Qumsiyeh | Words are powerful tools

What is said and what is not said.

 

Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel told his governing coalition that he did not promise an extension to the partial suspension in settlement construction when it expires in September (BTW, the suspension did not cover most of the settlement areas which are around Jerusalem and did not cover existing construction in other areas not infrastructure, schools, synagogue constructions etc. In other words there was really no suspension.) Standing next to President Obama he simply emphasized that the topic to be discussed with Palestinians is how we can prevent attacks on illegal settlers in the

West Bank.      Read more

 

Sept. 8, 2010

Jewish Voice for Peace | This is my promise

To work for justice and peace for Israelis and Palestinians. As the Jewish New Year, 5771, comes upon us, we invite you to participate in the ritual of teshuvah, or turning, toward a new hope and a new world. Please share your hopes and commitments that will bring an end to injustice. Shanah Tovah, have a sweet and good year!      Read more

 

Sept. 8, 2010

Jewish Peace News | Avi Shlaim reviews Martin Gilbert's In Ishmael's House

I'm sending this review by Avi Shlaim not in order to promote the particular book under consideration, but because I think that what Shlaim says about Jewish life in Arab and Muslim countries is of great interest.

While Martin Gilbert pursues a version of history where the suffering, discrimination and degradation Jews suffered is what's most emphasized, Shlaim believes that "...the record of tolerance, creative co-existence and multi-culturalism in Muslim lands ...constitutes the best model we have for a brighter future."

Racheli.       Read more

 

Sept. 8, 2010

Zenit | Catholic, US Leaders Condemn Plan to Burn Qur'an - Call for Interreligious Respect

GAINSVILLE, Florida, SEPT. 7, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Catholic leaders worldwide are joining with U.S. officials to protest a plan to publicly burn a Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, on Sept. 11.

Terry Jones of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville has said that he wants to hold a "Qur'an Burning Day" on Saturday's anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks by Muslim fundamentalists.

Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha of Lahore, Pakistan, president of the Pakistan Catholic Bishops Conference, told Fides, "We strongly condemn this intention and this campaign, as it is contrary to the respect due to all religions, as well as contrary to our doctrine and to our faith."

Nazir Bhatti, chairman of the Pakistan Christian Congress, also appealed for the stopping of this initiative as "it could seriously harm Christian minorities in Muslim-majority countries."

This "Qur'an Burning Day," he said, "will be used by radicals Islamists as a pretext to attack Christians."      Read more

 

Sept. 8, 2010

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights | Two Years

Over two years ago, I wrote a message (reproduced below) explaining why I decided to leave the comfortable life in the US to Palestine.

Accomplishments were made (http://www.qumsiyeh.org/accomplishments20082010/) but I did want to share with you some personal lessons learned in the process (and such personal lessons are more important than accomplishments):

Appearances may be deceiving: When I lived in the US and came here only in short visits of 2-4 weeks, I was able to discern certain behaviors and individual characteristics. But perceptions after long term interactions on the ground can reveal much more. I have stopped admiring some individuals I used to admire (although still respect them) and developed a much better appreciation of many others whom casual interactions do not do justice to their humility, suffering, and persistence.      Read more

 

Sept. 7, 2010

Evangelical Lutheran Church of America | ELCA Joins Interfaith Religious Leaders to Address Anti-Muslim Rhetoric

CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) joined a coalition of Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders to denounce rising anti-Muslim rhetoric and bigotry in the United States, as the country prepares to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The religious leaders met in Washington at the request of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Plainfield, Ind., which hosted an emergency interfaith summit Sept. 7. Afterward, the interfaith leaders released a statement at a news conference at the National Press Club.

They stated, "As religious leaders in this great country, we have come together in our nation's capital to denounce categorically the derision, misinformation and outright bigotry being directed against America's Muslim community. We bear a sacred responsibility to honor America's varied faith traditions and to promote a culture of mutual respect and the assurance of religious freedom for all."      Read more

 

Sept. 6, 2010

Zenit | Nuncio Named for Jordan, Iraq

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 6, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI named Msgr. Giorgio Lingua, 50, as apostolic nuncio to Jordan and Iraq, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop.

The archbishop-elect will succeed Archbishop Francis Assisi Chullikatt, who was named in July as the permanent observer of the Holy See at the United Nations.       Read more

 

Sept. 6, 2010

Maria Khoury, Ed.D. | God's Humor in Promoting Taybeh

I am sitting in the middle of the wilderness and most of the days I am sincerely happy that the whole world is willing to come to me. I clearly have nothing to do with this fame since my brother-in-law, Nadim Khoury, worked extraordinarily hard since the early 90’s to make one of the best products that exist in Palestine. People from all of the world want to come and see how we make this great micro brewed beer, the only micro brew beer in the whole Middle East, Taybeh Beer. Most times I am thinking we are absolutely crazy to stay in the highest mountain region of Palestine especially when we have all of the illegal Israeli settlements closing in on Taybeh and preparing a greater Israel. Sometimes, no electricity and other times, no running water and once in a while a few army invasions. But, there is something amazing happening here in Biblical Judea where Judea is ending and Samaria begins. With God’s help we are still making the Finest Beer in the Middle East and feel this is our peaceful resistance.       Read more

 

Sept. 6, 2010

Zenit |  Vatican's Aid Sought for Iranian Sentenced to Stoning

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 5, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The director of the Vatican press office indicated today that the Holy See would like to help stop the death by stoning of Sakineh Mohammdi Ashtiani.

The Iranian woman is convicted of adultery and condemned to be stoned to death. Iran has said that her sentence is not because of adultery but complicity in her husband's death.

Vatican spokesman Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi told journalists that “the Holy See is following the situation with attention and participation.”      Read more

 

Sept. 6, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes to President Obama:

 

Please read Alan Hart's latest essay pasted below.  See: About Alan Hart.  From my perspective, Hart is mistaken about you.  My allies and I insist that you've not "surrendered to Zionism and its lobby".
 
      If I remember right, it was Hart who asked Golda Meir in a famous interview:  "If Israel's military were at risk of being defeated on the battlefield, would you bring the entire Middle East down with you?"  Golda answered without hesitating:  "Yes".
 
      In this essay Hart makes the case that if there's ever to be a solution to the Arab-Israeli issues, a solution must be imposed.  He has a point there, Sir.   International Law, etc.
 
Peace,
Roy+ 

Alan Hart, My Catbird Seat |  Obama has signalled his coming complete surrender to Zionism and its lobby   

He was speaking at the White House the day before the start of the new round of direct talks between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, after he had met with them and Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan’s King Abdullah II. (In my last post I anticipated Obama saying at the point of his complete surrender that “America can’t want peace more than the parties.” He also said that – ahead of schedule!)

Today there is a growing number of seriously well informed people of all faiths and none (including me) who believe there will only be peace if it is imposed.    Read more

 

Sept. 6, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:

 

Ann Wright is a 29 year US Army/Army Reserves veteran who retired as a Colonel.  She's also a former US diplomat who has served in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia and Mongolia.  She is the co-author of the book Dissent: Voices of Conscience.  (www.voicesofconscience.com).... 
 
Peace,
Roy 

Common Dreams |  Unseizing Gaza - by Ann Wright

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister says Blockade of Gaza Was a “Mistake and Not Effective.      Read more

 

Sept. 6, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:

 

From my perspective, Uri has not yet reached his prime.  If anybody wants to write to wish him a Happy Birthday, his e-mail address is avnery@actcom.co.il.  It was Uri who founded the Israeli Peace Bloc:  www.gush-shalom.org.

 

Shalom, Salamaat,

roy

Haaretz |  Like a pillar of fire - by Gideon Levy

This weekend an important Israeli [Uri Avenery] will celebrate his 87th birthday. Although he is the same age as Israel's president, and his influence on Israel's history has not been much smaller than the latter's.      Read more

 

Sept. 5, 2010

You Tube |  Bethlehem and Gethsemane 1929

11-minute video: A tour through Palestine in the 1920s, including many historical biblical sites.      See

 

Sept. 5, 2010

The Guardian |  Anger at EU chief's Middle East outburst

EU trade commissioner accused of antisemitism after saying Jewish intransigence dooms Middle East talks in Washington

...Explaining why he thought the peace talks were probably doomed, he added: "Do not underestimate the Jewish lobby on Capitol Hill. That is the best organised lobby, you shouldn't underestimate the grip it has on American politics – no matter whether it's Republicans or Democrats."

Jewish leaders were incandescent.

    Read more

 

Sept. 5, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:

Israel says the raids were in "retaliation" for Palestinian attacks over the past week. One might argue that the attacks were in retaliation for Israel's occupation. Israel's occupation is the cause of the fighting. Jewish leaders bemoan the rise of anti-Semitism throughout the world. One might add that the causes of anti-Semitism are becoming more and more apparent. Peace, Roy

BBC News |  One dead in Israeli raids on Gaza

Israeli aircraft have carried out three bombing raids on the Gaza Strip, killing one man and injuring another.

Palestinian officials said at least one other person was missing after the raids, which targeted tunnels used to smuggle in goods from Egypt.

The Israeli army said the raids were in retaliation for attacks against Israelis over the past week.     Read more

 

Sept. 4, 2010

Politico |  Moving beyond peace processes past - by AFIF SAFIEH

The Obama administration has been persistent about the Middle East peace process. But is it serious about peace? If it is, and I believe that President Barack Obama is personally serious in spite of widespread skepticism among Arabs and Palestinians, then this administration needs to understand why its predecessors have failed.

There were serious flaws in previous peace processes, and I saw how they played out firsthand from my posts in London, Washington and Moscow.     Read more

 

Sept. 4, 2010

Electronic Intifada |  Why Israel imprisoned my best friend -  by Mohammed Khatib

When I was a boy I was still allowed to travel in Israel. I went to the beach and swam in the sea, something that most Palestinian children living in the West Bank today can only dream of. Israel has been restricting movement more and more over the years. We Palestinians were banned from traveling to Israel, the land where many of our parents were born. And now I find I cannot leave the West Bank. I was stopped from leaving the country on 4 August when I tried to cross the Allenby Bridge and reach Jordan in order to fly to Europe.     Read more

 

Sept. 4, 2010

Dan's question for Conversations at the Carter Center on September 14: I asked only one question. I asked Carter whether he has any personal advice for Obama during the negotiations.     Peace, Dan T.
 

Sept. 4, 2010

 

Monsignor Labib Kobti's questions for Conversations at the Carter Center on Sept. 14:

  1. The Palestinians and the Israelis have been negotiating directly or indirectly for years and the US has been acting as a broker. At the same time more settlements have been build, more restrictions have been put on the Palestinians, more pressure, more killing and more frustrations that created radical groups. HOW CAN this new direct negotiations be different from any other when the USA again does not guarantee anything and puts more pressure on the Palestinians?

  2. Why do the Israelis have the right to put conditions [building settlements during the negations, the Palestinians should recognize Israel as a Jewish country, Israel should have control on the borders, no to Jerusalem, no to the refugees]...while the Palestinians are told not to put forth any conditions but rather must start from Zero?

  3. Do you think really that any US adminstration can be an honest broker? Is so, how? If not, why not?

 

Sept. 4, 2010

Haaretz | We're dividing. Finally - by Yitzhak Laor

The right wing's self-righteousness that flooded the media did not succeed in blurring the clear fact: Ariel is a settlement, not an Israeli community.    Read more

 

Sept. 4, 2010

Adam Keller, Crazy Country | A few square miles, so what?

"At last we meet! Abu Mazen, you are my partner! ! This is our opportunity, a historic opportunity to reach a historic compromise which will be inscribed in all the history books!

Wait a minute, what are you muttering there? What about the construction freeze in the settlements? Really, at such a historic moment you start hair-splitting and bringing up trivial details? So we will build a few houses, and the settlements will expand a bit, so what? What are several thousand acres between you and me?    Read more

 

Sept. 4, 2010

Adam Keller, Crazy Country | The new leftist

A big headline in the extreme right paper Makor Rishon: "Netanyahu is a Leftist"

 
Columnist Ariel Kahane is in a hurry to cry out and alert the paper's readers throughout the settlements"...,. Read more
 

Sept. 4, 2010

Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom | Damage Control

A DUTCH journalist asked me last Wednesday to try and divine the thoughts of Binyamin Netanyahu on his way to Washington.

It seems that she was satisfied with the results, because she asked me to divine the thoughts of Mahmoud Abbas, too.

She must have liked that as well, because then she asked me to do the same for Barack Obama.

Here, then, is what I told her:    Read more

 

Sept. 4, 2010

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights | 50 Ways to act for peace with justice

50 Ways to act for peace with justice (out of hundred) http://palestinejn.org/resources/resources-for-activism-

1) Educate yourself via reliable books. For example books by Ilan Pappe (Ethnic Ceansing of Palestine), Edward Said (The Question of Palestine).    Read more

 

Sept. 4, 2010

The Jewish Museum | A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and The Jewish People

Throughout his life, Pope John Paul II has endeavored to break the chain of 2,000 years of difficult relations between Catholics and Jews. A Blessing to One Another is named for the Pope's 1993 commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising when the Pope said "As Christians and Jews, following the example of the faith of Abraham, we are called to be a blessing to the world. This is the common task awaiting us. It is therefore necessary for us, Christians and Jews, to first be a blessing to one another." The exhibit includes photographs, video footage, documents and artifacts recording the extraordinary contributions of Pope John Paul II to relations between the Catholic and Jewish faiths.

 

Sept. 4, 2010

Zenit | Priest: Islam May Fill Europe's Religious Vacuum

ROME, SEPT. 3, 2010 (Zenit.org).- On an official visit to Italy this week, the Libyan chief of state caused a few ripples by stating that Europe should convert to Islam. The general public was perhaps more shocked, however, by his request for a few billion dollars to stop African immigration.

However, a missionary priest did call for taking seriously Muammar al-Qadhafi's statements on religion, saying a European conversion to Islam just might happen if the continent continues denying its Christian roots.    Read more

 

Sept. 4, 2010

Zenit | Aide: Pope Sees Hope in Israeli-Palestinian Talks

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 3, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is expressing hope regarding the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, after a meeting Thursday in Washington, D.C.    Read more

 

Sept. 4, 2010

EAPPI news August 2010 | Promoting a just peace in Israel and Palestine

Greetings from Jerusalem. The Middle East is experiencing an intense heat wave and as the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan begins, West Bankers are preparing for a tough period.

The heat adds an additional burden to Palestinian communities coping with the multiple impacts of the occupation. July saw a sharp rise in the frequency and scale of house demolitions by Israeli forces. Several families have also been evicted from their homes to make way for Israeli settlers, especially in Jerusalem.           Read more

 

Sept. 4, 2010

Washington Post | Israel and Palestine: A true one-state solution - by George Bisharat

"Where is the Palestinian Mandela?" pundits occasionally ask. But after these latest Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in Washington fail -- as they inevitably will -- the more pressing question may be: "Where is the Israeli de Klerk?" Will an Israeli leader emerge with the former South African president's moral courage and foresight to dismantle a discriminatory regime and foster democracy based on equal rights?           Read more

 

Sept. 4, 2010

Friends of Freedom and Justice Bil'in | Dozens of people were injured by gas bombs on the fourth Friday in Ramadan

3-9-2010-This demonstration was held on the Fourth Friday in Ramadan , The popular committee for resisting the wall and settlements in Bil'in organized the demonstration, which began after the Friday prayer. They were supported by villagers and number of international supporters.           Read more

 

Sept. 3, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:

Peers,

Keep hope alive!

 
      There are Righteous Jews in Israel, and there are Righteous Jews in the USA.  In his latest essay, Uri Avnery wrote:  "If people of goodwill want to speed up the end of the occupation, they must support the peace activists in Israel."  See:  www.gush-shalom.org.   In the USA Jewish Voice for Peace condemns Islamophobia and anti-Arab bigotry.  See:  www.jvp.org.  The highlights in JVP's latest mailing are mine.
 
Peace,
 

Sept. 2, 2010

Zenit | Cardinal Highlights Importance of Melkite Church

CORDOBA, Argentina, SEPT. 2, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Leonardo Sandri is calling for a rediscovery of the contributions offered by the Melkite Church, particularly leading up to the October synod of bishops for the Middle East.

The prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches said this Tuesday in an address to bishops of the Melkite Church who are working in Argentina.

The cardinal was present at a Eucharistic celebration held in Cordoba, along with Gregorios III Laham, patriarch of Antioch for the Greek Melkite Church; Melkite Bishop Abdo Arbach, head of the apostolic exarch in Argentina; and Archbishop Carlos José Ñáñez of Cordoba.

The Greek Melkite Church is an Eastern Catholic Church of the Byzantine rite (in its Greek variant), that is, a particular Church of the Catholic Church, which enjoys autonomy and is in full communion with the Pope.    Read more

 

Sept. 2, 2010

Zenit | Benedict XVI Meets With Israeli President

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 2, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI was visited today by President Simon Peres of Israel at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo. Their dialogue included a discussion on negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

A Vatican communiqué reported, "Concerning the renewal of direct contacts between Israelis and Palestinians, scheduled for today in Washington, the hope was expressed that this may assist in reaching an agreement that is respectful of the legitimate aspirations of the two peoples and capable of bringing lasting peace to the Holy Land and to the entire region."   Read more

 

Sept. 2, 2010

World Council of Churches | Comment from the WCC general secretary on the killings in Hebron

The Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, condemns the killings of four Israeli settlers near Hebron in the West Bank on Tuesday and expresses his condolences to the affected families. He rejects any use of violence as a means to gain the much-desired and needed peace for this region.   Read more

 

Sept. 2, 2010

World Council of Churches | Concern over status of Jerusalem and future of Palestinian Christians voiced by WCC

The general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) has sent a message to the Middle East negotiators in Washington to stress the concerns of Palestinian Christians.

The message conveys concern over the final status of Jerusalem, the future of the Christians there and the need for a just peace in the region.

"Now is the time for a just peace," Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit says in the message from Jerusalem, where he is visiting this week with a WCC delegation. "The Christians here pray for that; all peoples here need it desperately. The time of occupation and violence must end."

The message also talks about the need for the final negotiations on the status of Jerusalem to involve the heads of the local churches. "Palestinian Christians are also concerned about their future here and about their status in Jerusalem," his message said.   Read more

 

Sept. 2, 2010

Sojouners, God's Politics | Glenn Beck vs. Christ the Liberator by the Reverend James Martin, SJ

After his colossal “Restoring Honor” rally in Washington, D.C., Glenn Beck took aim at one of his favorite targets, Barack Obama, but in a novel way. Beck regrets saying a few months ago that President Obama was a “racist.” What he should have said, he now realizes, was that he didn’t agree with Obama’s “theology.” And what is Obama’s theology, according to Beck? Liberation theology.

Here’s Beck’s definition of the arcane area of study known as liberation theology:

I think that it is much more of a theological question that he is a guy who understands the world through liberation theology, which is oppressor and victim …. That is a direct opposite of what the gospel is talking about … It’s Marxism disguised as religion

As Ronald Reagan used to say, “There you go again.” A few months ago, Beck decided to try to demolish the idea of “social justice,” by telling Christians that if their priests, pastors, or ministers use that buzzword on Sundays they should leave their churches.  Read more

 

Sept. 2, 2010

Common Dreams | Unseizing Gaza: Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister says Blockade of Gaza Was a “Mistake and Not Effective” - by Ann Wright

In an interview with National Public Radio aired on August 30, 2010, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said that the three-year blockade on most foodstuffs and other materials was "a mistake" and that "denying different items or products into Gaza was not effective." 

For three years, Israel and Egypt, supported by the United States and the European Union, have restricted travel and trade and have allowed only the most basic humanitarian aid into Gaza as collective punishment for the Palestinians of Gaza electing Hamas as their government.  The purpose of the siege, blockade, quarantine of Gaza is to put pressure on the people to overthrow the government of Hamas.   Read more

 

Sept. 2, 2010

SADAKA | Palestine in Irish Politics, Paper 8

Politics is about changing the world through action. As a small state, there are limits to Ireland s power to affect developments in the Middle East. However, it can influence the foreign policies of the great powers, primarily through the positions it adopts internationally through intelligent use of its influence at the EU and the UN. In defence of the Bahrain Declaration , a major Irish government initiative in early 1980 which contributed to a fundamental shift in EEC policy towards Palestine, Brian Lenihan snr., the then Irish Foreign Minister, stated in an interview with The Irish Times:

I want to emphasise that this is Ireland s role, and the role that a small neutral country can take in matters of this kind, a positive role in trying to achieve peace in difficult areas. In times past Frank Aiken [former Minister for Foreign Affairs] took a similar role in regard to calling for debate on the admission of China to the UN.

Over the period from the 1930s and to the present, several initiatives by the Irish State some mild and others more decisive - contributed importantly to shaping international and European attitudes and policy with regard to Palestine. These interventions have followed a consistent line of support for international law and, in that context, for the rights of the Palestinian people.

As in all politics, the key issue is translating words into action and policy into effective strategy. This Ireland has succeeded in doing at several crucial junctures in the history of the Middle East. There have also, of course, been clear limits to the positions Ireland has been prepared to take and pressures on Israel it has been prepared to espouse. Nevertheless, the history of the Irish position on Palestine and Israel is a proud inheritance that forms the basis for a continued engagement with the issue.  Read more

 

Sept. 2, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, sends an open letter to Jimmy Carter regarding the Conversations at the Carter Center webcast scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 7:00 PM Eastern time.

President Carter,
 
      Thank you for your post which announces this year's "Conversations at the Carter Center" which will be webcast live and accessible at your website.  The announcement is pasted below for the convenience of the Peers.  My allies and I are especially looking forward to the first conversation on Tuesday, September 14.
 
      Thank you for providing us with the opportunity to Submit Questions for the Webcast.  Thank you for making it possible for Internationals to submit questions, also.  I have already submitted my three questions using the form you provided.  My questions have to do with the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks which are currently in progress.
 
      My first question:  "I submit, Sir, that there will be security for Israel when there's justice for the Palestinians.  Would you please comment?"  My second question:  "A unified government in Palestine is essential for President Abbas to negotiate effectively with Prime Minister Netanyahu.  All the Palestinians must be represented at the negotiations.  You have met with the leaders of Hamas.  Would it not serve the cause of justice if Hamas were removed from the State Department's list of terrorist organizations?"  See: Pause for Peace - New York Times and YouTube - Carter meets with Hamas for confirmation.  My third question:  "Would you please comment at length on the speech Charles W. Freeman, Jr. made in Oslo, Norway on 1 September 2010?"  I have pasted a copy of Freeman's speech below for your convenience, immediately beneath your announcement.
 
Peace,
Roy+     
 
Dear Roy,

http://donate.cartercenter.org/site/R?i=ygpyCWfS-L0fr-teX2GGZQ.. I hope you've been enjoying a happy summer, and I want to update you on what we've been up to at The Carter Center.  It's been a busy year as we've worked on a number of critical projects that help to prevent disease, strengthen democracy, and advance human rights around the world.  We've had some great successes lately, and there is so much to share.

That is why Rosalynn and I are hosting the first "Conversations at The Carter Center" event of the year on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 7–8:30 p.m.  This town hall-style meeting will be presented live online, so you can watch as we answer questions from in-house audience members and web viewers like you.

Get more details and submit your own questions for the event.

Also, please mark your calendars and join us for other Conversations in the 2010-2011 schedule.  A complete list of dates and Conversations topics is listed below:

Tuesday, Sept. 14, 7–8:30 p.m.
 

 

Just World News.org | Remarks of Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. (USFS, Ret.) to staff of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

You have asked me to speak to current American policies in the Middle East, with an emphasis on the prospects for peace in the Holy Land. You have further suggested that I touch on the relationship of the Gulf Arabs, especially Saudi Arabia, to this. It is both an honor and a challenge to address this subject in this capital / at this ministry.

The declaration of principles worked out in Oslo seventeen years ago was the last direct negotiation between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs to reach consequential, positive results. The Oslo accords were a real step toward peace, not another deceptive pseudo-event in an endlessly unproductive, so-called “peace process.” And if that one step forward in Oslo in 1993 was followed by several steps backwards, there is a great deal to be learned from how and why that happened.

There can be no doubt about the importance of today’s topic. The ongoing conflict in the Holy Land increasingly disturbs the world’s conscience as well as its tranquility.  Read more

 

Sept. 2, 2010

Jewish Voice for Peace, Muzzlewatch | Hudson’s co-founder, the Israeli academic purge and the subversion of US Middle East policy

Evidence is mounting that the Institute for Zionist Strategies (IZS) — an Israeli NGO at the forefront of an ongoing campaign to purge Israeli Universities of faculty and programs deemed “left-wing” — is a creature of  The Hudson Institute, a major Washington based neoconservative think-tank, which played an active role in shaping the Bush administration’s Middle East policies.

Hudson is the primary financial backer of the IZS, providing at least half of the organizations’s total reported multi-year funding, but the connection does not end there.  Read more

 

Sept. 2, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:

There are things about Israel's government which Americans do not know.  The highlights in Lincoln Shlensky's introduction to Dr. Neve Gordon's essay are mine.  I also highlighted the essay's concluding paragraph.  From last Tuesday:  BBC News - Israeli academics boycott West Bank settlements.    Peace, Roy  

The anti-liberal and anti-democratic agenda of the American right and the Israeli right are forging closer connections than ever, as Dr. Neve Gordon, a professor of politics at Ben-Gurion University, points out in the following article about threats to academic freedom in Israel. The McCarthyite tactics of those in Israel who wish to suppress dissenting views of professors (and students) is remniscent of incidents such as The David Project's notorious "Columbia Unbecoming" film, Daniel Pipes's "Campus Watch" project to recruit students to spy on American professors critical of Israel, and the drumming out of Norman Finkelstein from his academic post at DePaul University. Neve Gordon explains, however, that as Israel is becoming ever more polarized, its most worrisome right-wing extremists have moved closer to the center of political power. In their witch-hunt against leftist dissenters, who are increasingly portrayed as "traitors," organizations like Im Tirtzu have received support from American backers such as the Rev. John C. Hagee and Alan Dershowitz. (But Hagee recently was forced to drop his support for Im Tirtuz, in what Didi Remez calls a "neocon-theocon proxy war" <http://bit.ly/bYlYTV>.) Gordon's article on the erosion of academic freedom appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, suggesting that American academics are concerned about the rapid fading of civic discourse in Israel and about threats to the intellectual autonomy of their Israeli colleagues. 

--Lincoln Z. Shlensky

The Chronicle of Higher Education | An Assault on Israeli Academic Freedom—and Liberal Values - by Neve Gordon

On May 31, I joined some 50 students and faculty members who gathered outside Ben-Gurion University of the Negev to demonstrate against the Israeli military assault on the flotilla carrying humanitarian aid toward Gaza. In response, the next day a few hundred students marched toward the social-sciences building, Israeli flags in hand. Amid the nationalist songs and pro-government chants, there were also shouts demanding my resignation from the university faculty.

One student even proceeded to create a Facebook group whose sole goal is to have me sacked. So far over 2,100 people (many of them nonstudents) have joined. In addition to death wishes and declarations that I should be exiled, the site includes a call on students to spy on me during class. "We believe," ends a message written to the group, "that if we conduct serious and profound work, we can, with the help of each and every one of you, gather enough material to influence ... Neve Gordon's status at the university, and maybe even bring about his dismissal."

Such personal attacks are part of a much broader assault on Israeli higher education and its professors.  Read more

 

Sept. 2, 2010

Zenit | Israel's President Peres to Visit Pontiff - Meeting Coincides With Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 1, 2010 (Zenit.org).- President Simon Peres of Israel will visit Benedict XVI on Thursday at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, confirmed the Vatican.

The two have met three times during the Pontificate of Benedict XVI: twice at the Vatican (2006 and 2007), and a third time when the Pope visited Israel in 2009.

Thursday's visit coincides with the first direct peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders in nearly two years. The talks are taking place in Washington, D.C., at the initiative of U.S. President Barack Obama.

The Holy Father appealed for peace in the Middle East on occasions such as his visit to the synagogue of Rome on Jan. 17, 2010, when he said: "I invoke from the Lord the precious gift of peace in the whole world, in particular in the Holy Land."  Read more

 

Sept. 1, 2010

Electronic Intifada | Church boycott calls ring louder - by Sarah Irving

The world's churches have long been one of the battlegrounds of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. With the strengthening of the BDS movement, a number of churches across the globe have seen the boycott of Israeli and Israeli settlement goods hotting up, and recent weeks have witnessed some notable victories.          Read more

 

Sept. 1, 2010

Maria Khoury, Ed.D., of Taybeh |Back to the Violence in the Holy Land

It’s one of those regular days in the village, where as a foreign wife you stay home all day waiting for the Palestinian husband to come home. Except sometimes such deep violent things happen that the day sort of takes you eight years back. This is the problem with the Middle East, for every few steps that we take forward there are double those steps we take backwards when people decide to use violence as the answer. It’s absolutely so frustrating to live without freedom and under harsh military occupation but still we cannot condone violent action. After a long wait for the husband to come home, I understood it was going to be a long night since all the roads were closed looking for the people who killed four Israeli settlers in the West Bank. It’s the holy month of Ramadan in the Muslim world, why does anyone want to kill anyone during such a time?          Read more

 

Sept. 1, 2010

Video on You Tube, 4 minutes | Dr. Gilbert, an emergency medicine physician, worked at Shifa Hospital in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli assault in the winter of 2008-2009

Katharine writes: "If you click on the link, you'll find video narrated by Mads Gilbert about the Gaza offensive."        Read more

Dr. Gilbert's book, Eyes on Gaza, is coming out this month. You can order it from Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Eyes-Gaza-Mads-Gilbert/dp/070437191X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1283384043&sr=8-1

Book Description

Despite the Israeli authorities' attempt to shut out aid workers and the media from the conflict zone, NORWAC (the Norwegian Aid Committee) succeeded in getting some of its envoys into the heart of Gaza City including two doctors: Erik Fosse and Mads Gilbert. For some time, the two were the only Western eyewitnesses in Gaza. This book is an account of their experience during sixteen harrowing days from 27 December 2008 to 12 January 2009. Each chapter covers just one day, as the reader follows the doctors' journey through the ravaged city, treating local Palestinians and hearing their stories. Hailed by the influential Norwegian Newspaper Klassekampen as the 'best book of 2009,' Mads Gilbert's and Erik Fosse's shocking, yet sober account sheds much-needed light on this recent chapter of one of the most prolonged and complex conflicts of our time. Eyes In Gaza is translated from the Norwegian.

About the Authors

Mads Fredrik Gilbert is a Norwegian doctor. He received his PhD at the University of Iowa, is a specialist in anaesthesiology and a leader of the Emergency Medicine Department of the University of Troms since 1995. He has served as a doctor with NORWAC extensively in the Palestinian Territories and Lebanon. Erik Fosse is a Norwegian musician, doctor and professor of medicine at the University of Oslo, specialising in general surgery. Mads Gilbert and Erik Fosse have been interviewed on their experiences in Gaza for the BBC, CBS, CNN, ABC, Independent, Sky News, and New York Times.

 

Sept. 1, 2010

Zenit | Lebanon Makes "Outburst of Love" for Mother Teresa

Missionaries Joined by Poor in Celebrating Founder

BEIRUT, Lebanon, AUG. 31, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Celebrations for Mother Teresa's 100th birthday reached to the Middle East, with her "beloved children in Lebanon" making an "outburst of love" for the Calcutta nun.         Read more

 

Sept. 1, 2010

Jewish Voice for Peace, the Only Democracy? | Max Blumenthal finds some real terrorist-loving religious leaders

...But because the religious leaders in question are Jewish, the Israeli government seems powerless to do much. When the spirtual leader of Shas, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef made similar statements about killing Palestinians. “God should strike them with a plague, them [leaders like Mahmoud Abbas] and these Palestinians,” Yosef’s son had endorsed the book mentioned above. Netanyahu responded with a disclaimer that the views of his own coalition member, the fifth largest party in Parliament, are not the views of his government. Blumenthal calls this statement, “not only weak. It was false.”        Read more

 

Aug. 31, 2010

World Council of Churches | Christian Leaders Offer Words of Hope and Encouragement to President in Advance of Peace Talks

Dear Mr. President,

As leaders of American Christian faith communities deeply concerned with the need to end the long-standing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, we are pleased with the success of your diplomacy in bringing the Prime Minister of Israel and the President of the Palestinian Authority together in Washington September 1-2 to restart direct negotiations aimed at reaching an agreement on final status issues within the coming year. We fully support your goal of ending the occupation that began in 1967 and achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive peace with a viable Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace and security.

At the same time we have no illusions about the difficulty of the task ahead. Both sides hold deep convictions contrary to those held by the other. Although many issues have been clarified in past negotiations, major compromises by both sides will be needed at considerable political risk and cost. Without your help it seems unlikely that an agreement can be reached. Time is short. If an agreement is not reached within the coming year, it may not be reachable at all.       Read more

 
 
       

 

 

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