conflict between israel and palestine


Friends of Sabeel, Australia, join the rest of the world in distaining the US President’s ‘Deal of the Century’ as a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

The fact that no Palestinian was involved in the formulation of the proposal, nor was present when it was unveiled, is indicative of the fact that the US and Israeli leaders prepared their deal for domestic consumption. It offers nothing to the Palestinian people – no land, no real sovereignty, and no right of return for refugees. It is, as some commentators have suggested, the Monty Python parody of Israel-Palestine peace initiatives.

Friends of Sabeel, Australia, stands with the Palestinian people in the fundamental demands as outlined in the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) program:

  • An end to the Israeli Occupation of Palestinian lands
  • Equal rights for Arabs in Israel
  • The right of return for refugees

No meaningful deal can be made with the Palestinian people that does not address these basic demands.

Father Dave Smith, President of Friends of Sabeel, Australia, said “If Mr Trump wants to make a deal with the Palestinian people, he needs to actually deal with the Palestinian people and their demands. This one-sided parody of a peace initiative does nothing to move us closer to a just settlement of the Israel-Palestine conflict”.


Father Roy writes:  Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to comment on the decision, but many observers view it as a deliberate impediment to the two-state solution.  Also note: U.S. condemns Israel’s settlement expansion plan in Jerusalem, West Bank and Hillary Clinton warns Israel on settler homes.  Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert calls the decision A slap in Obama’s face… JPost.  The International Debate about the Holy Land issues is growing more robust every day.   Peace, Roy


Israel Authorizes Controversial New Settlements in Revenge for Palestine’s UN Bid

The location of the new settlements are intended to break the contiguity of Palestinian territory in the West Bank, negating two-state solution

by John Glaser, November 30, 2012

Following the overwhelming UN vote for implicit recognition of Palestinian statehood, Israel has authorized the construction of 3,000 more housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and is also speeding up the processing of 1,000 additional planning permissions.

According to the New York Times, the bulk of the new housing units are set to be built “in a controversial area of East Jerusalem known as E1, where Jewish settlements have long been seen as the death knell for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Other parts of the construction projects will connect Jerusalem and the illegal Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim, and “therefore make it impossible to connect the Palestinian cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem to Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.”

Connecting Jerusalem to Maale Adumim “will create geographical continuity between the capital and its northern suburb, a move that the US and European countries have warned against,” Haaretz reported.

The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to comment on the decision, but many observers view it as a deliberate impediment to the the two-state solution, in revenge for the Palestinians’ peaceful diplomatic efforts to national self-determination at the UN, which was supported by an overwhelming international consensus.

Israel, and especially the administration of Benjamin Netanyahu, simply refuses to accept a Palestinian state. Their efforts, including this latest settlement authorization, to colonize Palestinian territory and undermine the viability of a Palestinian state is representative of their refusal to give up the prospect of a Greater Israel with full sovereignty over all of historic Palestine.


Father Roy writes:   They really are up-to-date in Chapel Hill, N.C.  A few years ago, a public forum on a subject related to Israel would not have been allowed.  There would have been no ads like this one to debate.  The ad in question was paid for by the Church of Reconciliation, a Presbyterian Church which teaches:  “Public debate is critical to a democratic society.”   Peace, Roy   

Bus ad policy scrutinized at Chapel Hill Town Council forum

By Holly West

, with some calling for the end of political advertising.

The forum was held in response to a petition filed on Sept. 12 urging the Chapel Hill Town Council to revise its transit advertising policy after some residents were offended by the content of a widespread ad.The ad — which runs on Chapel Hill Transit buses — that calls for an end to U.S. military aid to Israel.

It was paid for by the local Church of Reconciliation as part of the “Be On Our Side” national campaign, which argues foreign aid to Israel is perpetuating the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

The council did not make a decision at the forum, but many residents voiced their opposition to the ad and others like it.

West End Wine Bar owner Jared Resnick spoke at the public forum on behalf of several businesses on Franklin Street.

“Collectively, we share a strong belief that these ads are negative, detrimental and just overall bad for our community,” he said.

But some residents fear putting restrictions on ads would stifle free speech.

Janie Freeman, from the Salaam-Shalom committee at the Church of Reconciliation, said the purpose of placing the ad was to bring about discussion on the issue.

Public debate is critical to a democratic society, and public debate can take place on buses,” she said. “It has been pointed out that the First Amendment would not be needed if it only protected speech that is agreeable to all.”

Chris Brook, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, agreed that the town should not restrict speech on bus ads.

“There’s a lot of danger in attempting to bar ads because people find them offensive,” he said.

But forum attendee Bill Carr said discourse should happen in places such as the Town Hall.

“This is a wonderful forum for public discussion,” he said. “Buses and subways are not.”

Moving forward, the council will consider a number of options that were proposed at the meeting.

The council could ban political advertising, as suggested in the petition.

“We don’t want people to feel like they are being bullied and then hide behind freedom of speech,” said councilwoman Penny Rich.

The council could also decide to keep the town’s current policy, which many think is working well.

At the end of the day, I don’t want to live in a community where, when faced with controversy, we shut down the dialogue,” councilman Lee Storrow said. Another option would be to end bus advertising altogether. “What has been made clear this evening is that there is not a political or religious ad that would not be found offensive by someone,” councilwoman Donna Bell said.