Essential to Peacebuilding is learning to accept blows, bad ones. How can we expect Israelis or Syrians or Iraqis not to become killers after suicide bombs on their streets or Palestinians not to become Hamasniks after losing everything if we cannot happily accept insults?
Education does not matter on these challenges. It is education of the heart that allows you to accept blows for the greater good of peace.
(Photo source: Belfast Telegraph)…
The cycle of intimate relations between angry men with great power just continues to suck us all into its vortex , and it makes me profoundly sad and bewildered by its power. Think about the world we live in today, conditioned by Jibril, but more to the point, Bin Laden, Bush, Khameini, Assad, Nasrallah, Putin, Erdogan, Al Badghadi, Meshal, and, of course, my very own dearest and nearest, Netanyahu. We must face the darkness here of this moment in history of the Middle East, so that we know best how to shift the vortex in a new direction beyond these angry violent men.
(Photo source: US News)…
The relationships between loving Jews and Arabs, even in Gaza right this moment, is plainly evident. I get reports every day. But it is hard to imagine for those who carry suspicion and fear and loathing of one side. But let’s talk about the strategic and moral and rational necessity of empathy. Hamas is their only defense right now. Hamas is not seen as the oppressor thanks to the twelve year siege and the constant wars. They WOULD be seen as such if anyone had a chance to live a normal life in Gaza. Would you have seen the Stern Gang as an oppressor in 1945, with both the British and the Nazis bearing down on you and the Mufti siding with the Nazis, even if you hated their philosophy of violence against civilians? You don’t have to approve of Hamas, you can consider them criminals, they are. But you …
There are important next steps being debated for what states can and should do to stop the current war, and set the stage for ending the current cycle of violence. That is not my subject. I thought recently that leaders are followers and followers are leaders, and neither knows it. The fact is that people and their individual initiatives have much more impact on the course of history than is acknowledged by government officials, by cynics, and by those too apathetic, too callous, or too fearful to act. If you are in that category, do not read forward. Just go back to Al Jazeera, Fox and CNN and choose a side. Or go back to Jon Stewart and have a good laugh.
Here is what is necessary, efforts that have worked before in history in changing the available information available to all parties so that more rational and more morally …
Martin Luther King Jr.
Let me share Larry Derfner’s latest article;
Larry Derfner, Blame Israel and Hamas both for Gaza’s civilian deaths (July 11, 2014)
Larry gets it perfectly, as more and better information emerges. A curse on both approaches to military solutions and killing. Mostly on both sides, the war crime result is from the political leaders not so much the military leaders. this is the emerging pattern from the USA to Russia as well. We have a global situation emerging of enormous firepower, ultimately in the hands of civilians who stay in power by showing a given constituency that they can be bastards to an enemy, whether that enemy is Hamas, Ukraine, or whoever. That means that we the people who give rise to such civilians bear the burden of responsibility for such male bravado in those leaders ignore all other means of problem solving. We are …
(This article was written in collaboration with Aziz Abu Sarah, Co-Executive Director of The Center for World Religions Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution.)
Ever since the disastrous split in Palestinian leadership of several years ago into Fatah and Hamas it has become clear that disunity has been a critical factor standing in the way of Palestinian statehood. Many reconciliation efforts, with several third parties, were attempted and aborted. This time it seems that things are different, despite the enormous ideological divisions and outstanding grievances between Fatah and Hamas.
Why is this happening now? Clearly, the historic impact of the “Arab Spring” on Egypt and Syria, and across the region, is an enormous game changer. The increasing instability of Syria suggests that there is a strong possibility that A) Hamas may no longer have a stable home in Syria, but, on the other hand, Palestinians now have a much more sympathetic …
From Fox Five News today. See the film clip.
via Clinton Opens New Round of Mideast Peace Talks
WASHINGTON – Marc Gopin from the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University joined us with more.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton formally opened the first direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in nearly two years on Thursday, imploring the parties to ignore the long history of failed negotiations and make needed compromises to forge an agreement.
At a ceremony in the State Department’s ornate Benjamin Franklin room, Clinton said the Obama administration was committed to forging a settlement in a year’s time. But, she stressed that the heavy lifting must be done by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
“We will be an active and sustained partner,” she said. “But we cannot and we will not impose a solution. Only you …
Folks, many of you may have seen this, but we have friends in the world who cannot directly access the Jerusalem Post piece. So here it is. Lauren is an amazing interviewer. She interviewed me for nine hours, longest interview of my life:
By LAUREN GELFOND FELDINGER
This week, Orthodox American rabbi Marc Gopin saw his coexistence work in Syria bear fruit. What turns a Soloveitchik disciple into an unofficial diplomat to the Arab…Somewhere between the shtetls of Eastern Europe and sites across the Levant, Rabbi Dr. Marc Gopin, 52, has found his calling.
Heading the George Mason University Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution in Arlington, Virginia, he is not waiting for a peace treaty to cause change. Gopin gets on a plane and heads for trouble spots wherever he can find openings. He meets with sheikhs, heads of state …
This is the full Goldstone Report on the War in Gaza, including all aspects of the war, its aftermath, full documentation of Hamas’ violations, crimes by the IDF, recommendations, reparations, as well as a review of what happened inside Israel during the war. It is over 500 pages of documentation and represents a powerful statement of truth from a man who has been at the forefront of the most important truth commissions in modern times. This is a good place to start in terms of future documentation of all violence in this conflict, Jewish and Arab, and a good model to build upon in terms of what exactly needs to happen to prevent such tragedies in the future. It is the details that everyone should read and debate. Here is the link again:
South African Justice Richard Goldstone at Brandeis University
Analysis continues on the reality of Hamas’ powerful role in Palestinian politics, whether or not their popularity at this moment is going up or down, in itself a contest topic.
Here is an excerpt from a recent USIP report, no less interesting because it is USIP that has published it. Tell me what you think:
Discussion in the United States regarding Hamas is usually framed by two somewhat contradictory assumptions: (1) that Hamas is ideologically incapable of evolving to accept the existence of Israel and (2) that isolation and strong pressure are the only tools that may force it to recognize Israel. This controversial report challenges both assumptions. On the one hand, the authors, make a case for recognizing that Hamas has already, in certain respects, changed and has sent signals regarding its possible coexistence with Israel. On the other hand, they conclude that Hamas might never “recognize” Israel in