Here are two interviews that I did with Fox News and Russia TV on Tuesday, regarding thousands of Palestinian refugees who attempted to nonviolently cross Israeli borders from the Syrian, Lebanese, and Palestinian border last weekend, resulting in several deaths and dozens injured.
By Kobi Skolnick
This summer serious and even fatal events took place surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but even more significant ones are upon us now. These of course include the renewal of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and the growing nonviolent movement on the ground. Just Vision’s film, Budrus, which is being released in the US and the UK, documents a part of this movement.
Whereas political negotiations represent the current leaders in power, the film represents the struggle of the people on the ground. Leaders on both sides have failed their people again and again. This is the right time for them to listen to those who are raising the option of pragmatic peace based on human interactions. As the official peace talks take place under the eye of the mainstream media, people in the US and the UK who view this film will see the growing …
By Cheryl Duckworth
Perhaps one of the barriers to global citizenship education has been a fear that one must necessarily choose between two identities—being either a citizen of one’ s country or a citizen of the world. In light of the increasingly nationalist and xenophobic dynamic observable in many countries over the past decade, challenging this false choice is urgent. Peace educators and global citizenship educators must make the argument that one can be both a citizen of one’s country and a citizen of the world.
I would even go further to argue that in today’s increasingly interconnected and increasingly armed world, the U.S. needs global citizens more than ever. What is a global citizen and why does her country need her?
A global citizen has a secure and multifaceted identity. What this means is that no one particular aspect of his identity (race, class, religion, gender) dominates the others. …
By Omar Kasrawi
Standing outside a mausoleum in Jerusalem’s Mamilla cemetery, Rawan Dajani bows her head and cups her hands upward in prayer for her ancestor Sheikh Ahmed Dajani. He was buried in Mamilla, the oldest Muslim burial ground in Jerusalem, nearly half a millennium ago.
About 200 meters away, a fenced-off construction zone marks the future site of the Center for Human Dignity – Museum of Tolerance, a project overseen by the California-based Simon Wiesenthal Center.
In Israel, starting a new project inevitably means bumping into history. In this case, the construction that started in 2004 has stirred Muslim anger as it displaces hundreds of Muslim graves dating as far back as the 7th century, including the remains of soldiers and officials of the Muslim ruler Saladin.…
When I was 18 years old, I had been in the United States for about a year–in this very foreign, interestingly different and rigorously individualistic culture as opposed to the social and group oriented pampering I was very much used to back at home, in Turkey. My engineering studies were not so interesting. I was more inclined towards reading philosophical works and engaging in deep theoretical debates about meaning of justice and truth. I changed my major from engineering to philosophy and so my second year in college began with a feeling of emptiness, lack of purpose coupled with loneliness brought by being a young boy away from home equipped with no survival skills such as cooking, doing laundry or taking care of oneself in general.
All of these factors contributed immensely to my introduction to Sufism. I needed a release, perhaps, a peace of mind from all the chaos …
“None but a noble man treats women in an honorable manner. And none but an ignoble treats women disgracefully.”
– The Prophet Muhammad (At-Tirmithy)
Last year, I was approached by MarcGopin.com to write a column focusing on positive incremental change.
While I am always in favor of an optimistic approach, I confess that it is sometimes hard to remain positive. This is especially difficult considering the many challenges women – and especially Muslim women – continue to face in establishing and preserving their rights.
For example, it is true that the tribal practice of honor killing – in which women are slain to restore the “honor” of their families and communities – is not exclusive to Islamic societies and even existed in pre-Islamic times. However, it is also true that the perpetrators of these crimes are often Muslim – and their victims, numbering in the thousands each year, are Muslim …
Tomorrow, from dawn to dusk, I am honored to begin a monthly fast with 80 of the most honorable of Jewish rabbis, and 870 of my fellow beloved Jews, for the sake of the people of Gaza and their liberation from prison. My personal blessings to the Abu Ghazaleh family, to Ibrahim, to Sheikh Bukhari’s children and grand-children. We will all see a better day soon. Click here to learn more about Fast for Gaza.…
Once again, folks, it is Dr. Arthur Waskow who has captured the best of a Jewish spiritual response to days of repentance and self-examination. In the midst of his own pain, he is instructing us all on what self-reflection means, even when you may feel like lashing out at others.
Written from Hahnemann Hospital, September 22/ 4 Tishrei:
During these days between Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur, Jews are called on to reexamine our own actions — our “missings of the mark.” The emphasis is on OUR sins — not those of individuals alone, but of the community — and the sins of ourselves, not of other people, even our enemies. We are also called on not only to confess our misdeeds but CHANGE what we do.
In that light, the Israeli government’s recent behavior flies in the
I met Aryaratne over twenty years ago in Cambridge, had a wonderful dialogue with him about Buddhist and Jewish approaches to compassion. Laurence Simon of Brandeis University, my old colleague and friend, introduced us, and I have been grateful ever since. Here is an honest article about this extraordinary man and his movement, the Sarvodayah Movement.
A.T. Ariyaratne: Leading Sri Lanka’s Largest Civil Society Movement for 50 Years
By Anuradha K. Herath
The meek 77-year-old Ariyaratne, often called the “Gandhi of Sri Lanka,” has become popular for his massive meditation sessions in which hundreds of thousands of people converge to pray for peace. His Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, which Ariyaratne established 51 years ago, is based on Buddhist and Gandhian principles — Sarvodaya in Sanskrit means “awakening of all” and Shramadana “to donate effort.” The organization is the largest civil society movement in the country. By its own estimations, it
By Agatha Glowacki, PhD Candidate, Institute for Conflict Analysis & Resolution (ICAR)
Recent news that HAMAS is forgoing the use of armed resistance, specifically the use of the short-range Qassam rockets that for years have flown into Israel, for what it is calling “cultural resistance” may prove that one of the lessons it learned from the war has been that violence doesn’t work. In a recent article by the New York Times, HAMAS leader Ayman Taha explains this policy move as partly the result of popular pressure by a public that increasingly perceives terrorist tactics—such as rockets—as ineffective. The article quotes, ““What did the rockets do for us? Nothing,” Mona Abdelaziz, a 36-year-old lawyer, said in a typical street interview here.”
But this policychange is more than a tactical move meant to appease its public. Instead, it represents a shrewd strategic calculation by HAMAS to move from a physical battlefield—upon …