Tag: victims


  • PEACEFUL POLITICS COMES FROM PEACEFUL PEOPLE: A HARD AND HOPEFUL LOOK AT OURSELVES AND OTHERS

    From the explosion of Osama Bin Laden into our consciousness on that terrible day in 2001, all the way to his death, feels like a frame of existence, a distinct period of our history and fate as an American community. There have been many deadly wars since then that America has participated in or supported. As an American Jew and a veteran peacebuilder in the Middle East, I also feel like this decade has been a whirlwind of violence, from Iraq to Lebanon to Gaza, and now to Arab countries in which I had worked, especially Syria where I put my heart and soul.

    Every war, every massive act of violence, always makes me reflect anew on the origins and nature of human violence, and on its opposites, empathy, compassion, and love. We humans have made so many efforts through the millennia to create one political arrangement after another in …

  • Unite, Confuse, and Inspire: Creating a More Inclusive Atmosphere in Israel

    Reflecting on 2010, it’s clear that racism in Israel has reared its ugly head. A recent poll published by the Israel Democracy Institute found that only 51 percent of Israelis support equal rights between Jews and Arabs, while 53 percent think the state should encourage Arabs to emigrate from the country. Thepoll also established that Jewish Israelis find the idea of living next to an Arab more troubling than any other minority, and that in the event of war, 33 percent of Israelis support the idea of putting Arabs into internment camps.

    In the last few months, these findings were given concrete expression in a number of incidents. These include:

    A religious ruling signed and endorsed by 50 state-appointed rabbis forbidding Jews from renting or selling apartments to non-Jews. “Racism originated in the Torah,” said Rabbi Yosef Scheinen, head of the Yeshiva in Ashdod and one of the endorsers …

  • Why Afghanistan Matters: by Sophia Rose Shafi

    Why Afghanistan Matters

    by Sophia Rose Shafi

    As a parent of a child who is half-Afghan, I am reminded daily of how lucky she is to have shelter, good health, and ample food and clothing. Most Afghan children are not so lucky. 14% of children die before reaching their first birthday. One in five children die before they reach the age of five years old. Afghanistan also has the third highest infant mortality rate in the world, after Angola and Sierra Leone.

    Life is also dismal for adults. Only 22% of Afghans have access to safe water. Life expectancy is 44 years old (44.04 for men, 44.21 for women). The maternal death rate hovers at around 50%. And 87% of females are victims of domestic violence.

    History has not been kind to Afghans, especially over the past thirty years of unending war. Most know the story well – Soviet invasion, …

  • Child Abuse by the Thousands in Ireland Raises New Questions about the Roots of Conflict

    The revelations about massive abuse over decades at Catholic religious schools in Ireland continues to call attention to the Church’s need for massive reform of its approach to children and their protection. But this is not a uniquely Catholic problem, and it goes deeper than that in terms of our whole approach to political and military conflicts facing humanity. Too often as we confront the conflicts facing humanity we look for political, economic, security, ethnic and religious roots of conflict. But in one study examining a thousand children who suffered child abuse, over half of those who were followed through to the age of thirty two were arrested for one crime or another. For those who have been victimized or who have witnessed it, just leading a normal life can become a challenge every day, to keep your head straight, to keep yourself from exploding, to keep yourself from being …

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