peace process

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Thank God for Jimmy Carter. He continues to shine out like a light in dark the world of international politics.

What Carter says is what everybody already knows, of course – that the current Israeli government has no intention of granting the Palestinian people their own state. The fact though that Carter and the Elders are saying it openly is of great significance.

Having said that, how many people will listen? And will Obama be one of them?

Father Dave 

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Jimmy Carter: Israel not committed to two-state solution

Former US president says two-state approach seems to have been “abandoned,” points finger at Prime Minister Netanyahu during visit by “The Elders” group of past world leaders to Israel, West Bank, Egypt.

Former US President Jimmy Carter on Monday said the Israeli-Palestinian peace process had reached a crisis point and that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government was not pursuing a two-state solution.

“That policy of promoting a two-state solution seems to be abandoned now and we are deeply concerned about this move towards this catastrophic so-called one-state choice … this is a major concern,” Carter told a news conference.

Carter helped forge Israel’s peace deal with Egypt in 1979, the first between the Jewish state and an Arab country but has been a strong critic of Israeli settlement policy in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

“Every (Israeli) prime minister that I have known has been a pursuer of the two-state solution and I don’t know that (US President Barack) Obama has found that Prime Minister Netanyahu has been willing to go that route,” Carter added.

He spoke during a visit along with other members of “The Elders”, a group of former world leaders, to Israel, the West Bank and Egypt.

“All indications to us is that this two-state solution has basically been abandoned and we’ve had a moving forward towards a ‘greater Israel’ which I think is contrary to the two-state solution concept,” Carter said.

Netanyahu has voiced support for a two-state solution, but has said a future Palestinian country must be demilitarized and accept an Israeli military presence along the Jordan River, its likely eastern frontier.

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Father Roy writes:  The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church is a woman who flies an airplane:  Katharine Jefferts Schori.  The PB calls for peace in the Middle East to become an election issue.  The text of her letter is pasted below.   Peace, Roy 

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

photo: Jonathunder (creative commons licence)

article source: Episcopal News Service

Presiding bishop writes to presidential candidates

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs] Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has written to the presidential candidates, urging President Barack Obama and the Hon. Mitt Romney “to use the debate forum to articulate strong support for a just and peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as a clear plan for how you would work to support that goal in the next four years.”

The following is the text of the letter:

October 12, 2012

The Hon. Barack Obama The Hon. Mitt Romney
c/o Obama for America c/o Romney for President
P.O. Box 803638 PO Box 149756
Chicago, IL 60686 Boston, MA 02114-9756

Dear Mr. President and Governor Romney,

As each of you prepares for the two remaining presidential debates, I write to urge you to use the debate forum to articulate strong support for a just and peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as a clear plan for how you would work to support that goal in the next four years.

While the volatile political nature across the Middle East has emerged as a key theme in this year’s campaign, I am concerned by the relative absence of discussion of a conflict that is central to that region’s future. This week Palestinian leaders have signaled their willingness to consider a return to the negotiating table, and it will be vital for the next President to prioritize the re-launch of the peace process and to articulate a clear vision for how American diplomatic leadership can assist and encourage negotiations.

Support for a two-state solution is the shared policy of the United States government, the government of Israel, and the Palestinian National Authority. The contours of such a solution should be clear to all: a secure and universally recognized Israel, the homeland for the Jewish people, standing alongside a viable, contiguous, and independent Palestinian state with a shared Jerusalem as the capital for each state. Despite widespread recognition that a solution should reflect this goal, progress toward it has remained elusive.

In the meantime, the level of strife in the conflict has grown. Several current trends give significant cause for alarm, including the threat to Israel’s security from others in the region, most especially a nuclear Iran; continued Israeli settlement building, particularly in and around Jerusalem, at a pace and pattern that complicates the territorial contiguity of a future Palestinian state; unacceptable levels of violence on all sides; and the humanitarian disaster of the Gaza Strip. Each of these complicates the task of peace negotiations, and each passing day makes a final solution more difficult to achieve.

While it remains fundamentally true that only direct bilateral negotiation between Israelis and Palestinians themselves can bring about a just and lasting peace, history is clear that American political leadership has the power to play a catalytic role in supporting the work of peacemakers. As you present your foreign-policy plans to the American people, I urge you to discuss specifically how you would work with our nation’s partners in the Quartet for Middle East Peace to support the resumption and successful completion of negotiations. I urge you to be as specific as possible, considering not just the complexities of the issues to be resolved by the parties, but also the impact of such factors as the upcoming Israeli elections, Palestinian political division, rising unrest and extremism in the region, and the tragic humanitarian dimensions of the conflict.

As Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, I lead a faith community with a particular concern for peaceful resolution of this long and devastating conflict. Our Church’s partner in the region, the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, has stood for decades as a voice of peace and moderation – and a significant provider of healthcare, education, and social services – in the midst of the various instabilities of the region. The Diocese of Jerusalem, together with its Episcopal and Anglican partners in the United States and throughout the world, works to build understanding and reconciliation through these forms of human service – in Israel and the Palestinian territories, as well as Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. The Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, the Rt. Rev. Suheil Dawani, has described the role of Christians in the Holy Land as to “work together with people of other faiths to encourage the politicians to put politics aside and meet midway, where all people are equal.”

I believe that the next American President has an opportunity and a responsibility to help make this vision of reconciliation a reality. The peace and stability of the region, the safety and human dignity of those who live in the midst of this conflict, and the moral character of our own nation all require the full engagement of the United States and its President in the resolution of the conflict. Would that we were again known as builders of peace on the global stage!

Please know that my prayers are with each of you, and with our nation, in these undoubtedly challenging and personally costly final days of the campaign. I remain

Your servant in Christ

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop
The Episcopal Church

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Father Roy writes: There’s an interesting article from Ha’aretz pasted below.  Let’s take a closer look at Hezbollah.  Have you noticed?  There’s something about Muslim Militant Groups that’s refreshingly honest.  Muslim Militant Groups tend to take responsibility for their militant activities.  Not so with the CIA.  Not so with the Mossad.  Muslim Militants generally don’t engage in covert activities such as false flag operations.  I’m not making an unpatriotic statement here.  I’m merely suggesting that all of us should consider the speck and the mote before we presume to pass judgement on our neighbors.  Because hypocrisy does not facilitate the peace process.

Israeli aircraft penetrate Lebanon’s air space all the time: israeli planes lebanon airspace – AOL Search Results.  It was Hezbollah … in the year 2000 … that ended Israel’s 18-year occupation of the southern 1/10th. of Lebanon.  Hezbollah is an integral part of Lebanon’s government now.  Israel still occupies Sheeba Farms.  Bibi wants the EU to put Hezbollah on their list of terrorist organizations as the US has done.  The EU has resisted doing that … so far.

Is everybody on the mailing list aware that Hezbollah maintains a vast social services network?  hezbollah social services network – AOL Search Results.   Please read on … about the drone.

Peace,Roy

Hezbollah chief claims responsibility for drone that entered Israeli airspace

Nasrallah says drone aircraft flew over ‘sensitive installations’ and was shot down near the Dimona nuclear reactor.

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah on Thursday claimed responsibility for a drone that was shot down by Israel after it had entered its airspace last week.

Israeli officials had previously hinted that the drone might have been the work of the Shiite movement, which is believed to have advanced Iranian weapons and has sent drones over Israel in the past.

Nasrallah said on Thursday the drone aircraft which his group sent into Israel was shot down near the Dimona nuclear reactor.

“The drone flew over sensitive installations inside southern Palestine,” he said in a televised speech.

“The Resistance in Lebanon (Hezbollah) sent a sophisticated reconnaissance drone from Lebanon toward the [Mediterranean] Sea … before it entered [Israeli airspace] and hovered over many important locations before it was discovered by the Israeli air force,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech on the movement’s al-Manar television.

He said the unarmed drone was not Russian made, but Iranian and was assembled in Lebanon

“The drone managed to arrive in an area close to the Dimona plant,” Nasrallah said.

The Hezbollah chief said that the main achievement of the drone was to fly that far in an area secured by U.S.-Israeli air defense systems.

“We will leave it for the Israelis to sit down and discover the drone’s abilities … We are only revealing part of our capabilities and concealing many others,” Nasrallah added.

The United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon denied earlier this week that the drone had come from Lebanon.

Earlier Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Hezbollah of sending the drone.

In a statement from his office, Netanyahu said during a tour of the southern frontier with Egypt that Israel would “act with determination to defend its borders”, just as “we thwarted over the weekend Hezbollah’s attempt” to penetrate Israeli airspace.

Under surveillance by Israeli fighter jets, it was shot down on Saturday over a forest near the West Bank.

On Saturday, the Israeli Air Force shot down an unidentified aerial vehicle that penetrated Israel’s airspace.

The IDF said Saturday that the drone arrived in Israel from the west after flying over the Mediterranean and the Gaza Strip.

After the drone traveled east some 35 miles (56 km) across Israel’s southern Negev desert, the drone was shot down above a forest in an unpopulated area near the border with the West Bank, the IDF spokesperson said.

On at least one previous occasion, Hezbollah has launched a drone into Israel across its northern border with Lebanon.