I just published this essay in the Common Ground News Service:
Non-cooperation can bring a revolution to the Holy Land
by Marc Gopin
26 March 2009
WASHINGTON, DC – It is time for a mass movement of nonviolent non-cooperation and resistance amongst Palestinians-because everything else has failed. I have hopes that the Obama Administration will be the best yet in moving the parties toward resolution, but in my heart I have always felt that there is one path to peace that has never been adopted, and that is the path of nonviolent non-cooperation – but with love – the way of Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
This is something that a number of Palestinians within Israel and Palestine have tried through nonviolent marches, protests, and food boycotts, but it has never received full backing because it only works when it is adopted as the only means of resistance.
This article just appeared in Today’s Zaman and in Zaman which is Turkey’s preeminent journal. As you can see this has been part of my ongoing efforts to introduce and encourage far more intermediaries in the Middle Eastern conflict who can be effective, trustworthy and more even handed that Western intervention. This is meant also to encourage the United States, Hilary Clinton, and others to follow the lead of where the most moderate voices of the Islamic world are going. This is also a development of my work in Syria which has encouraged cultural revival that is peace-oriented, practical and visionary at once.
Turkey’s return to glory
For reasons of history, culture and geography, there is a surprising opportunity for Turkey to assume a position of central global leadership in the 21st century and thereby further all of its legitimate national interests.
This is shocking considering the
Al Jazeera English interviewed me the other day on American intervention so far in Gaza. Here is the story:
The United States is set to pledge $900m for the Palestinians at a donors’ conference in Egypt, but only a third of that will go towards reconstruction in the Gaza Strip and none of the money will go to Hamas, who rule the territory.
Robert Wood, a spokesman for the US state department, said the US would pledge $300m at Monday’s conference on reconstructing Gaza, to meet “urgent” humanitarian needs in the territory after Israel’s military onslaught in December.
Wood said the $300m would be funnelled through the UN and other organisations.
“Hamas is not getting any of this money,” Wood told reporters in the Egyptian coastal resort of Sharm el-Sheik, where Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, arrived on Sunday on the first leg of a week-long trip to
Gershon Baskin’s provocative title is absolutely right, it does not appear to matter anymore which coalition will rule Israel next. The fact is that Olmert had a bigger mandate than Livni or Netanyahu to pursue the peace process, freeze the settlements, and uphold all the commitments Israel made in Annapolis. And he failed at all of them, and instead unleashed a horrifying set of wars in Lebanon and Gaza that have left Palestinians utterly shell shocked. So why not add fuel to the fire with a Lieberman-inclusive government that traumatizes the rest of the Palestinian people who have resided in Israel since 1948, who never left the land, and who have been isolated by everyone ever since, despite their absolutely peaceful resistance to injustice? Despite the fact that by a vast majority of 75% the Arabs of Israel would support a democratic constitution for Israel that also kept it a …
The results of the elections are not as clear as they might seem. The victory of the Right is not so unambiguous.
Central to the election campaign was the personal competition between the two contenders for the Prime Minister’s office: Livni and Netanyahu (or, as they call themselves, as if they were still at kindergarten, Tzipi and Bibi.)
Contrary to all expectations and all polls, Livni beat Netanyahu. Several factors were involved in this. Among others: the masses of the Left were terrified by the possibility of Netanyahu winning, and flocked to Livni’s camp in order to “Stop Bibi!” Also, Livni – who was never identified with feminism – remembered at the last
As usual, Josh Landis is brief, brilliant and right on target. The Obama White House should study every word. It is time for a diplomatic revolution if they want to save themselves a massive upheaval in the Middle East in the next few years. Listening to where the Arab world really is at is going to be the key to a successful American intervention in the region. The rage and shock that has spread across the Arab world could lead to a new regional confrontation with Israel. But if Obama coordinates a systematic engagement with all regional powers and players, including Syria and Turkey, in addition to a new kind of engagement and negotiation with outside powers such as Russia and China, we may see an emerging consensus on both what Israel must do, what Iran must do, and what Hamas must do, in order to step back from …
Hamas has signalled in public and in private for quite a while that they are ready for a long term armistice with Israel, but it appears that this information is being ignored. Recent comments, reported by the conservative Jerusalem Post, are the most explicit yet.
Three Hamas leaders interviewed by AP said they would accept statehood in just the West Bank and Gaza and would give up their “resistance” against Israel if that were achieved.Three Hamas leaders interviewed by AP said they would accept statehood in just the West Bank and Gaza and would give up their “resistance” against Israel if that were achieved.
“We accept a state in the ’67 borders,” said Hamad. “We are not talking about the destruction of Israel.”
This is not about whether Hamas is a good organization. In fact, they are they enemy for Israel, but if they are willing to negotiate, or …
At first I was shocked when I read the story of the Gazan peace doctor who has been working with Israelis for years, whose daughters were decapitated and cut to pieces in front of him, from an Israeli shell aimed without care or caution at Hamas.
But then I went through a second stage of reaction when I was warmed by how amazing a reception he received in Israel. His surviving wounded daughter was operated on to save her eye as he was surrounded by sobbing Israeli Jewish colleagues. Here are excerpts from the story:
“I dedicated my life really for peace, for medicine,” said Dr. Abuelaish, who does joint research projects with Israeli physicians and for years has worked as something of a one-man force to bring injured and ailing Gazans for treatment in Israel.
“The Israeli Defense Forces does not target innocents or civilians, and during the operation
Rabbi Froman, who we have written about before, is determined to convince the Israeli leadership to speak to Hamas. The pressure to do so is mounting, even now in the capital of Israel’s only real ally, the United States. It is especially mounting due to the slaughter of civilians in Gaza, and the war crimes that are likely to be exposed in detail by the Western media’s entry now into Gaza. But Rabbi Froman always has one idee fixe, namely, that religious people need to lead the way into the conversation with Hamas, an odious idea for government people in general. Rabbi Froman is one of the most courageous and controversial peacemakers in Israel. Notice how he empathically engages his Jewish listeners. What one cannot see here is how he does exactly the same thing as he engages his Arab audiences. This combination is a rare gift and goes …
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Blessed Are the Peacemakers is a new series in marcgopin.com that will feature writing by or about significant peacemakers who are confronting the conflicts facing humanity with courage, creativity, and passion.
The essay below is written by Hind Kabawat, the foremost peacemaker of Syria and my partner of five years in Middle Eastern peacemaking:
WHAT THE MIDDLE EAST NEEDS IS THE “AUDACITY OF HOPE”
For the last five years or so, I have been actively working with Jewish colleagues in the US and elsewhere to help broker a lasting reconciliation between Israel and its Arab neighbours. But in the wake of the carnage in Gaza, it is impossibly difficult to be optimistic about the future of the …