November 2011 Archives


Note:   Cussin’ may relieve a person’s frustration, but cussin’ doesn’t alter the facts on the ground.  Peers, we don’t have time to get depressed.  The smartest thing we can do is make sure information like this gets the widest possible circulation on the Internet.  People need to understand what the snags are in the peace process.  No matter where the snags are.  Even if the snags are in our own front yard.   Peace, Roy

Article by Bradley Klapper from…. Posted on October 3, 2011.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration cut off funding for the U.N. cultural agency on Monday, after its member countries defied an American warning and approved a Palestinian bid for full membership.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the vote triggered a long-standing congressional restriction on funding to U.N. bodies that recognize Palestine as a state before an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is reached. She said the U.S. as a result would refrain from making a $60 million payment it planned to deliver in November.

“Today’s vote by the member states of UNESCO to admit Palestine as a member is regrettable, premature, and undermines our shared goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East,” Nuland told reporters. “The United States remains steadfast in its support for the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state, but such a state can only be realized through direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

The U.S. will maintain its membership and participation in the body, Nuland said, though it was not immediately clear how that would work if it was no longer paying its share of the costs. UNESCO depends heavily on U.S. funding — Washington provides 22 percent of its budget — but has survived without it in the past: The United States pulled out of UNESCO under President Ronald Reagan, rejoining two decades later under President George W. Bush.

The UNESCO vote represented a fallback plan for the Palestinian leadership that presented its plan for U.N. recognition as a state and full membership in the global body in September. Israel has fiercely opposed the bid, and it has no chance of passing because the Obama administration has promised to veto any resolution in the Security Council.

Nuland said U.S. payments to the Paris-based organization stopped effective Monday. While more than 150 countries voted for the Palestinian bid or abstained, Nuland insisted that their decision “creates tensions when all of us should be concerting our efforts to get the parties back to the table.”

The U.S. has long brandished the Palestinian efforts at the U.N. as counterproductive to the Mideast peace process. But Washington has been unable to present a viable alternative, after a year when Israelis and Palestinians have refused to hold any direct talks on the parameters of peace agreement with one another.

White House spokesman Jay Carney also called UNESCO’s approval “premature” and a distraction for peace talks. Carney spoke as U.N. peace envoy Tony Blair was meeting Monday with President Barack Obama at the White House.

To read original article click here.



Note:  Peers who wish to keep up to date with Palestine’s perspective on the Holy Land issues can become subscribers to MIFTAH’s mailing list.  Scroll down for contact information.  Another way to keep up is to bookmark MIFTAH’s website:….   Peace, Roy

Article by Joharah Baker for MIFTAH. Posted on October 31, 2011.

In the Palestinian-Israeli conflict there are no secrets. Israel’s occupation of Palestine is unabashed, brutal and The latest spate of violence in the Gaza Strip is horrifying. Twelve Palestinian men, all in the prime of their lives, were killed in Israeli shelling of the Strip, nine in one hit overnight. The next morning, after a fragile truce between the Islamic Jihad and Israel was brokered by Egypt, another Israeli strike killed yet another three men. One Israeli man was also killed in the city of Ashkelon from a Palestinian rocket. There are scores of people, no doubt, in mourning today in Gaza. unforgiving and the Palestinians’ desire for freedom and independence is so palpable you can almost touch it. There are no secrets, but when we wake up to a body count of 12 in a 24-hour time span, we also realize there must be something we can do to save more Palestinian lives.

The Palestinian struggle has taken on many forms over the years, none of which have yet fulfilled the final goal of liberation. This is not entirely the fault of the Palestinians themselves; the cards are unquestionably stacked against them, what with Israel and its staunch ally the United States. But the internal trappings of the Palestinian struggle and the effectiveness of its forms of resistance is something we Palestinians must measure and weigh on our own.

As usual, Israel has taken advantage of the crude rockets fired from Gaza’s territory as an excuse to fire back with cruel, extremely disproportionate force. Israel makes no apologies for striking at Palestinians, especially when it has a so-called “justification”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on October 30 said at a special cabinet session that Israel’s defense policy was based on two principles: “Kill or be killed” and “He who harms you should bear the blood on his head”.

To continue reading this article click here.


Note:  Those of us who wish to subscribe to TOI’s mailing list will find subscription information in this mailing.  Uri Avnery’s weekly essays are always included.  See the Israeli Peace Camp’s website for additional inspiration and encouragement:…. Peace, Roy

Ad in Ha’aretz  Oct 28, 2011

Foreign Minister Lieberman
Called for the removal
Of Mahmud Abbas.

As always,
He says openly
What Netayahu is thinking.

A Palestinian leader
Who mobilizes without violence
World-wide support
For a Palestinian State
Constitutes a dangerous threat
To our present government.

Cheques to help us with ads and campaigns:

to Gush Shalom, P.O.Box 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033

מודעה  ב”הארץ”,  28 באוקטובר, 2011

שר-החוץ ליברמן
קרא לסילוקו
של אבו-מאזן.

כמו תמיד,
הוא אומר מה
שנתניהו חושב.

בעיני ממשלה זו,
מנהיג פלסטיני
המגייס ללא אלימות
את תמיכת העולם
למדינה פלסטינית
מהווה איום מסוכן

עזרו לנו במימון הפעולות והמודעות
צ’קים לפקודת גוש שלום
ת.ד. 3322, תל-אביב 61033


Adam Keller: Who do we talk to?…

אדם קלר: מאיפה זה בא לנו?…


Uri Avnery: A View from the Villa

THE KILLING of Muammar Gaddafi and his son Muatasim was not a pretty sight. After seeing it once, I looked away when it was shown again and again on TV – literally ad nauseam.

In Israel there was a special motive for showing these lynch scenes repeatedly, as the commentators made abundantly clear. These scenes proved, to their mind, the primitive, barbaric, murderous nature of the Arab peoples, and, indeed, of Islam as such.

For the full article:…


אורי אבנרי: מראה מן הווילה


הוצאתם להורג של מועמד קדאפי ובנו מועתסים לא הייתה מראה מלבב. אחרי שראיתי את זה פעם, עצמתי את עיניי כאשר הראו את זה בטלוויזיה שוב ושוב – עד כדי להקיא, פשוטו כמשמעו.                                                                                           ו

הטלוויזיה המסחרית קיימת, כמובן, כדי לעשות כסף לטייקונים על-ידי פנייה לאינסטינקטים הפרימיטיביים ביותר של ההמון. נראה שיש ביקוש בלתי-נדלה למראות מזוויעים.            י.

אך אצלנו יש עוד מניע להצגת מראות הלינץ’ עד בלי די. כפי שהבהירו הפרשנים היטב, המראות באו להראות את האופי הברברי והרצחני של העמים הערביים, ואכן – של האסלאם עצמו.                                                                               ו.

למאמר המלא:…



Note:   Those who wish to subscribe to WCC’s mailing list will find contact information at the website.   Peace, Roy

Clare Amos, the World Council of Churches (WCC) programme executive for inter-religious dialogue and cooperation shares reflections from her participation with the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit at the vibrant interfaith gathering of Assisi on 27 October, called by Pope Benedict XVI to promote a message of peace and inter-faith harmony in our world.

*Reflections by Clare Amos

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace”. These words, from the prayer traditionally ascribed to St Francis, were a sentiment in the hearts and minds of many who participated in the “pilgrimage of truth, pilgrimage of peace” which took place in Assisi – hometown of Francis – on October 27 2011.

Called by Pope Benedict XVI, and intended to mark the 25th anniversary of the first multi-faith pilgrimage to Assisi in 1986, representatives of most world religions were present – as well as members of many Christian churches and traditions. The marvellous array of different dress was a visual sign of the great variety of people who, by their presence, were making a commitment to work for peace in our world.

The WCC was represented by Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, the general secretary and myself.  There were also, leaders present from many of the WCC’s member churches. They were part of the group of almost 300 people to take the special train which was arranged for the pope and his guests taking them from Rome to Assisi. The enthusiastic crowd that lined the route and waved as the train passed through the stations on its journey suggested how the vision of peace proposed by “Assisi 2011” has caught peoples’ imagination.

In Assisi itself the programme was divided between morning events in the Basilica of St Mary of the Angels just outside town, and an afternoon programme in the piazza of St Francis in the heart of the city. The programme was designed to engage heart and soul as well as mind – with the earlier part of the day offering intellectual challenge, and the afternoon music and dance, colourful symbolic gestures and opportunity for participation in an act of personal and institutional commitment to work for peace.

The WCC general secretary was one of the four Christian leaders who had been invited to make a speech as part of the morning’s programme. Tveit’s words about the importance of young people as peacemakers for our world today, and his reflection on the role of the city of Jerusalem as both symbol of peace and symbol of conflict attracted wide attention.

Along with Christian speakers there were also five representative speakers from other world religions – and one speaker from the humanist tradition.  After his guests had spoken the pope addressed the gathering. It was a sombre message, reflecting on the ambiguous role that religion had played in the history of the world – how it had not always been in fact a tool for peace, and the “constant need for purification of lived religion”.  At the end he invited his guests to continue on “a journey towards truth” and make “a common engagement for peace against every form of destructive forces”.

The excitement of the day was particularly apparent in the afternoon, as every small space in the town of Assisi was filled with people from all parts of the world wanting to participate in whichever way possible.  As we were asked by Cardinal Koch, President of the Pontifical Council of Promoting Christian Unity to hold lighted lamps and candles we were invited to become “instruments of the peace that comes from above… [to] remember that there is no peace without justice; that there is no justice without forgiveness”.

It was a day not without its ambiguities – the striking under-representation of women in the official delegations was a notable example, which somehow needs to be addressed for future occasions. But like many others, those present from the WCC would want to offer thanks to Roman Catholic colleagues for their generous hospitality, and the smooth and efficient running of the day.

The challenge now of course is to ensure that “Assisi 2011” does not remain just a one off day experience for a comparatively small group of people, but helps to sustain and reinforce the path of peace for the ongoing future of our world!

* Clare Amos is the WCC programme executive for inter-religious dialogue and cooperation

Read also:

Churches seek peace and justice through dialogue in Assisi 2011

Full text of WCC general secretary’s speech at Assisi, 27 October 2011

WCC programme for inter-religious dialogue and cooperation



Note:   A person who wants to learn what the UN has done in the past (or not done) about the “question” of Palestine can learn a lot by clicking around inside the activated links below.    Peace, Roy

Question of Palestine

The Question of Palestine

View of Jabalia refugee camp, Gaza City. IRIN

The UN has been working on the question of Palestine since the first special session of the General Assembly in April 1947, which set up a body to investigate the issue. Since then, the UN’s work on the issue has continued to adapt to address changing realities on the ground.

Palestinian application for UN membership

· Palestinian Rights Committee

· UN Information System on the Question of Palestine

Issues in Focus

Quartet meetings, statements, action

Road Map to Israeli-Palestinian peace

Separation Wall – International Court of Justice advisory opinion and its aftermath

Two States: Israel and Palestine – Security Council affirms the vision

Security Council briefings by the United Nations Secretariat