Palestine

From Fox Five News today.  See the film clip.

via Clinton Opens New Round of Mideast Peace Talks

WASHINGTON – Marc Gopin from the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University joined us with more.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton formally opened the first direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in nearly two years on Thursday, imploring the parties to ignore the long history of failed negotiations and make needed compromises to forge an agreement.

At a ceremony in the State Department’s ornate Benjamin Franklin room, Clinton said the Obama administration was committed to forging a settlement in a year’s time. But, she stressed that the heavy lifting must be done by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

“We will be an active and sustained partner,” she said. “But we cannot and we will not impose a solution. Only you …

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In Jerusalem’s Mamilla cemetery, Rawan Dajani stands before a mausoleum where her ancestor Sheikh Ahmed Dajani was buried nearly 450 years ago.

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.…

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Chaim Pearlman in court Wednesday.

via ‘Not enough evidence to convict suspected Jewish terrorist Pearlman’ – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News.

Helping Jews move beyond the Holocaust to the Rule of Law

You see this face? This is the face of an angel. I see the face of an angel. This is what I spent most of my life thinking of and dreaming of as the face of an angel. His name means ‘life’ and I grew up feeling that he was preserving the ‘life’ the soul of our people. That is what we were doing in Kollel, the learning halls of perpetual study. I grew up worshiping the Ben Toah, the student of Torah, a young person of study, humility, gentleness, that has  been a prototype of ideal Jewish life going back thousands of years. He has early ancestors in generations of youth going  back to the …

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This is an important piece on what  pragmatically can and should be supported right now to prepare for and achieve Palestinian independence.

WASHINGTON, DC – Almost everything about the second Palestine Investment Conference held in Bethlehem in early June, which I had the honour of attending as a member of President Barack Obama’s official delegation, was encouraging.

The Conference, which was designed to promote private sector development, was held at the elegant and modern Convention Center facility in Bethlehem from 2-3 June. President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed around 2,000 participants including Palestinian and Arab business people from around the world, impressive entrepreneurs from Gaza, and many international institutional representatives and investors. The message, summed up by the Quartet Envoy Tony Blair was simple: Palestine is open for business!

While the first Investment Conference in 2008 focused on large development and public-private partnership initiatives, this Conference focused properly on small to medium-sized

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The Breath of Idols

by mgopin on May 14, 2010 · 5 comments

The dream of the two-state solution isn't over, we've just had our faith in the wrong prophets.

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Professional Development Seminar in Citizen Diplomacy

with Rabbi Dr. Marc Gopin and Palestinian peacebuilder Aziz Abu Sarah


May 27th – June 4th

Based in Jerusalem with day trips to neighboring cities and Holy sites

REGISTER TODAY – LIMITED SPACE
  • Contact: Scott Cooper or Becca Grimm at ‘crdc@gmu.edu‘ or 1-703-993-4473 (USA)

This seminar will be a combination of theory exploration, training, and concrete practice in the field. Based on Dr. Gopin’s most recent theories in To Make the Earth Whole: The Art of Citizen Diplomacy, the course will create space for participants to understand and measure in a new way the dynamics of their own potential impact on war and peace. It explores:

  1. The theory and practice of positive incremental change and citizen diplomacy
  2. A central case study from the Middle East
  3. The philosophical and spiritual ethics, East and West, of decision making in conflict interventions.

Along with

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this article points out a systemic-perspective suggesting the "proximity talks" as a tactical move through which Israeli, Palestinian and American leadership can work within one strategy to reduce the power of the radical elements in their society. While many question the content-value of the "Proximity talks," many neglect the power structure it creates as an opportunity to put pressure on the radical elements within these societies and open the gate to agreement between Israel and Palestine. The concern should be the drift of the moderate elements in these societies toward radical reaction that will block opportunity for change. The inner conflicts within Israel and Palestine are blocking the progress and need to be contained for the establishment of a Palestinian state in near future.

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Youth working to break down stereotypes

by mgopin on March 5, 2010 · 4 comments

confrontation

Since 2003, the organization Kreuzberg Initiative Against Antisemitism has been working to dispel stereotypes and prejudices amongst Muslims against Jews. It is based in the Kreuzberg neighborhood in Berlin which is mainly populated by Muslims—including immigrants of Kurdish, Turkish and Asiatic origin as well as Palestinians—and were there were many manifestations of Muslim anti-Semitism in the past.

The group involves youth who organize and participate in workshops throughout schools and youth centers where they use activities—such as role playing—to raise awareness and break down stereotypes.

Maja, a Muslim of Syrian descent who was born and raised in Berlin, joined the organization after experiencing intolerance within her own Muslim community. She says:

“In my view, there are two sets of problems. On the one hand, Muslims are confronted with prejudices, such as the idea that they are fundamentalists or traditionally backward.  On the other hand, Muslim groups, especially young people, are

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No more taking sides

Listen to a powerful interview on Krista Tippett’s Speaking of Faith program.  In this show, she features Robi Damelin, who lost her son David to a Palestinian sniper, and Ali Abu Awwad, who lost his older brother Yousef to an Israeli soldier. But, instead of clinging to traditional ideologies and turning their pain into more violence, they’ve decided to understand the other side — Israeli and Palestinian — by sharing their pain and their humanity. They tell of a gathering network of survivors who share their grief, their stories of loved ones, and their ideas for lasting peace.

Listen to the full interview and check out other resources here: No More Taking Sides

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Shahab Husseini stars in 'Zero Degree Turn.'

Every Monday night, Iranians by the millions watch the most expensive show ever aired on the Islamic republic’s state-owned television – and the subject would surprise you.

The hour-long state-funded Iranian drama   “Zero Degree Turn,” centers on a love story between an Iranian-Palestinian Muslim man and a French Jewish woman. Over the course of the 22 episodes, the hero saves his love from Nazi detention camps, and Iranian diplomats in France forge passports for the woman and her family to sneak on to airplanes carrying Iranian Jews to their homeland.

The aim of the show, according to many inside and outside the country, is to draw a clear distinction between the government’s views about Judaism — which is accepted across Iranian society — and its stance on Israel — which the leadership denounces every chance it gets.

In creating the show, the director enlisted the help of Iran’s Jewish Association, …

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