Meir Amor, Haokets, +972 Magazine 12/19/2014
At the end of 2000, as the Second Intifada was beginning to spread throughout the West Bank and Gaza, Israeli Professor Meir Amor sat down to speak with Dr. Mubarak Awad, a Palestinian expert on nonviolent resistance. Fifteen years later, the two met once again to talk about nonviolence, growing religious fundamentalism, gender equality, Palestinian refugees and Jews from Arab countries. This interview will be published in Peace Magazine in January 2015.
Meir Amor: About 15 years ago you and I had a discussion published in Peace Magazine. The editors think it’s a good opportunity to have another one. So let me ask you: Does your approach to nonviolence have a religious basis? Do Jewish or Muslim religious authorities consider it compatible with their teachings?
Mubarak Awad: Personally, I do it from a Christian perspective. For me, it’s time for us all to learn not to kill or destroy. But I did not push that belief on any Israelis or any Muslims. However, I did study Islam and nonviolence a lot, and I thought it would be great to have a Muslim who was interested in nonviolence so we could have a strong campaign. At that time I was interested in a fellow by the name of Faisal Husseini, a great Muslim who believed in nonviolence. I bought a lot of books about a Muslim who had been with Gandhi—Abdul Ghaffer Khan, who said that Islam is a nonviolent religion.
I did this because the majority of Palestinians are Muslim. We held conferences studying Islam and nonviolence, discussing what jihad really means and Sufism in Islam. Sufis are like the Quakers in Christianity. There are many Sufis in Islam who accept the challenge of nonviolence. It’s a big struggle for them—not only between the Palestinians and Israelis or Arabs and Israelis, but also between themselves, for them to be nonviolent at home and active in nonviolence in their community. They can see that we human beings have brains, not just guns, and can resolve any conflict, however big, by debating, by forgiveness, by conciliation. more.. e-mail Israel’s splendid isolation
Uri Avnery, Redress 12/19/2014
Almost a thousand Israeli personalities have already signed an appeal to European parliaments for their governments to recognise the state of Palestine.
I am honoured to be among the signatories, which include former ministers and members of the Knesset, diplomats and generals, artists and businessmen, writers and poets, including Israel’s three outstanding writers Amos Oz, David Grossman and A.B. Yehoshua.
We believe that the independence of the Palestinian people in a state of their own, next to the state of Israel, is the basis for peace, and therefore as important for Israelis as it is for Palestinians. This, by the way, has been my firm conviction ever since the 1948 war.
The extreme right wing, which has ruled Israel in recent years, holds the opposite belief. Since it wants to turn the entire area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River into the “nation-state of the Jewish people”, it totally rejects the setting up of a Palestinian state.
These, then, are the battle lines:
Palestinian state or permanent war?
A Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital, an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty, the end of the occupation, peace between Israel and the entire Arab and Muslim world, or a Greater Israel, continuous occupation or annexation, more settlements and ethnic cleansing, permanent war.
Israel has to choose.
So has the world.... more.. e-mail Is there peace partner in Israel?
Fadi Elhusseini, Arabic Media Internet Network (AMIN) 12/19/2014
Again, the peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis has been grinded into halt and each party blames the other for this unfortunate failure. Israeli officials repeat continuously that there is no Palestinian peace partner and accuse Abbas and his authority of flexing their diplomatic muscles in an attempt to isolate Israel internationally and making unilateral steps; i.e. avoiding negotiations and seeking individual and/or collective recognition of the state of Palestine. However, it would be outlandish to imagine that the Palestinians would succeed in this approach (if it is true) without a minimum international understanding of the Palestinian narrative. In order to fully comprehend this state of affairs, it is crucial to make an assessment of the positions and announcements of each party.
Since he began his tenure as president of the Palestinian Authority in 2005, Mahmoud Abbas renounced violence and announced repeatedly his vision: a peaceful resolution of the conflict that would eventually lead to a Palestinian independent state. His vision complies perfectly with widely accepted and supported two-state solution based on relevant international and UN resolutions.
The path Abbas opted to take was not an easy one especially that it came in the aftermath of the second Intifada with massive amount of causalities and damage in the Palestinian infrastructure, society and lives. Notwithstanding the Palestinian domestic conditions were not ready for such approach, Abbas stated it clearly and irked many of his companions and political rivals as well.
Abbas said “We don't want to use force. We don't want to use weapons. We want to use diplomacy. We want to use politics. We want to use negotiations. We want to use peaceful resistance. That's it.” Better still, Abbas dared to criticize home-made rockets launched from the Gaza Strip. His criticism was neither to please Israel nor to satisfy Americans, but rather came out of his deep conscious and belief in a peaceful resolution of this conflict. more.. e-mail Israel – America’s torture consultant
Jamal Kanj, Redress 12/20/2014
"...the reported CIA torture techniques had striking resemblance to what I personally heard from many Palestinian prisoners who were once held in Israeli dungeons."
I watched painfully former Vice-President Dick Cheney on NBC television’s “Meet the Press” programme trying to defend and redefine his role in the “authorised” CIA torture. Whenever he was asked about a specific torture case, Cheney always referred back to the “tortured” Americans who lost their lives in 9/11.
While the jury is still out on the real operatives behind 9/11, there is no doubt that more than 3,000 citizens lost their lives in one of the most heinous crimes of the 21st century. And Cheney is hiding behind those Americans to justify one of the most disgraceful and sadistic abuses and complete disregard for human dignity in US history. America was duped into believing that torture saved life, when in fact America lost its humanity.
When asked how he could explain the report’s findings that “25 per cent of the [tortured] detainees turned out to be innocent”ť, the former vice-president retorted: ‘I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective… It worked now for 13 years.’”
Not surprisingly, this is coming from an ungrateful person who is living on someone else’s borrowed heart. Larry King once asked him what he thought of his heart donor. He callously responded: “I don’t spend time wondering who had it, what they’d done, what kind of person.”
How could such a person be capable of caring or wondering about the life of other Americans – he exploits their suffering to advance his partners’ business in the oil and military-industrial complex? more.. e-mail
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