peace movements


  • The Arab Spring Awakens in Palestine

    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.

  • “PEACEFUL, PEACEFUL”: The Arab World Sweeps Ahead in Global Social Change

    Peaceful, Peaceful

     

    “Peaceful, Peaceful”

    These two words, the clarion call of millions of Arabs yearning to be free, are the two most important words in recent political history. There is a new form of pan-Arabism. It is a contagion, it is nonviolent, it is neither religious nor anti-religious, it is not mean-spirited but inviting to authorities and adversaries. It is the kind of chant and gesture that directly welcomes police and officials to join. In short, we have seen the spirit of Gandhi and King, and especially Ghaffer Khan, come alive in the Middle East.

    If the contagion continues I am hoping that it becomes the pre-eminent form of social change and protest that sweeps aside paranoia and passivity. All the way from the streets of Pakistan to the airwaves of America, from Zawahiri and the Salafists to Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party, it is time for the …

  • Imagining Peace: The Practical Advantages of an Israeli/Palestinian Final Settlement

    Recent sputterings of a peace process between Israel and Palestine, the termination of Israel’s settlement building freeze causing a demise of said peace process — again — has produced a loud, global yawn. What else is new in this endless conflict? Negotiations cannot succeed without a vision, and there is no widely shared vision of peace among these people that could truly spur their politicians forward.

    The hardest part of building peace for the future is freeing oneself from the wounds of the past that create brutal behavior in the present. One way forward may be to suspend skepticism for just a moment, to free the mind to build a world of practical possibilities should peace be achieved. Armed with this imaginative exercise it might become easier to lobby for practical ways forward.

    Let’s imagine the following: official creation of a state of Palestine on the West Bank and Gaza

  • Israel and Palestine Transforming the Rhetoric

    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 …

  • Why the US Needs Global Citizens

    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.  …

  • For one Palestinian Citizen of Israel, peace begins within

    Meet our friend, Hanan, a fabulous new peacemaker, a cool mother,  a deeply progressive and courageous Muslim woman, one of a legion that we are discovering around the world. This is the hope of the Middle East.

     

    For one Israeli Arab woman, peace begins within
    By Karin Kloosterman

    hanan-gaffaly-coexistence-story

    Real peacemakers are often the quiet ones, like Hanan Gaffaly – who works at the NGO Kids Creating Peace and volunteers for Sulhita, an NGO that brings together Palestinian and Israeli youth. Thousands of peacemakers like Gaffaly are not high profile activists like Ghandi and Martin Luther King were. They work from deep within, starting with themselves and their communities, and move on to take small, bold steps to influence the ‘big picture.’

    ISRAEL21c first met Gaffaly, a 34-year-old Israeli Arab woman from the city of Jaffa near Tel Aviv, while at a San Francisco-based United Religions Initiative conference. At the annual

  • The Lonely Man of Peace: An In-depth Interview

    Folks, many of you may have seen this, but we have friends in the world who cannot directly access the Jerusalem Post piece. So here it is. Lauren is an amazing interviewer. She interviewed me for nine hours, longest interview of my life:

    The lonely man of peace

    lonelymanofpeace

    By LAUREN GELFOND FELDINGER

    21/01/2010

    This week, Orthodox American rabbi Marc Gopin saw his coexistence work in Syria bear fruit. What turns a Soloveitchik disciple into an unofficial diplomat to the Arab…Somewhere between the shtetls of Eastern Europe and sites across the Levant, Rabbi Dr. Marc Gopin, 52, has found his calling.

    Heading the George Mason University Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution in Arlington, Virginia, he is not waiting for a peace treaty to cause change. Gopin gets on a plane and heads for trouble spots wherever he can find openings. He meets with sheikhs, heads of state …

  • Islam’s new kartinis

    “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 …

  • Renouncing Islamism: To the brink and back again

    This is one of the more profound investigations of London jihadis and ex-jihadis who are evolving in very modern directions. The relationship of European racism to the jihadi phenomenon, as well as the hard realities created by corrupted jihadi behavior in the Middle East are also analyzed. All in all, it shows a dynamic universe that is dramatically changing, and that demands much more creative and emphathetic responses from non-Muslims.

    An excerpt from the Johann Hari article “Renouncing Islamism: To the brink and back again,” first published in at The Independent:

    MaajidNawaz

    Ever since the 7/7 suicide bombings, carried out by young Englishmen against London, the British have been squinting at this minority of the minority and trying to figure out how we incubated a very English jihadism.

    But every attempt I have made up to now to get into their heads – including talking to Islamists

  • Sheikh Qaradawi and the Concept of Jihad

    I am not a fan of Sheikh Qaradawi. I think his response to violence in the name of Islam was extremely disappointing in the first decade of the twenty-first century, and I have not seen him as helpful to a peaceful and just settlement of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict nor toward the development of a more tolerant form of Islam. He has consistently refused so far many overtures from a variety of Jewish rabbis to engage him. Put bluntly, he only seems to have rejected suicide terrorism as illegitimate when thousands of Muslims were dying at the hands of other  Muslims. In other words, he found his moral compass on jihad when it was affecting his own group.

    That having been said, the fact is there are many parallels in the Jewish world to rabbinic leaders who refuse to engage Christians and whose Halakhic interpretations are entirely intolerant. They too will …

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