Category Archives: TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY

Niamey: The 2nd ECOWAS forum on education for the culture of peace

. TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY .

An article by Souleymane Yahaya forr Le Sahel (Translation by CPNN)

The work of the 2nd ECOWAS forum on peace education through intra- and inter-religious dialogue began yesterday morning [November 14] in Niamey. For two days, the participants will seek mechanisms for dialogue between the religious communities of ECOWAS in order to cultivate the spirit of tolerance and peaceful coexistence.

This 2nd edition of the forum co-organized by the Republic of Niger and ECOWAS is sponsored by the Archbishop of Niamey, Monsignor Djalwana Laurent Lompo, Emir of Kano, His Highness Lamido Sanusi II and Mogho Naba Baongho, King of Mossis . It is the Prime Minister, Head of Government Mr. Brigi Rafini who presided over the official opening of the works.

In his welcome, the Governor of Niamey, Mr. Hassane Issaka Karanta thanked the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for the confidence placed once again in Niger, and in the city of Niamey in particular, to host the work of the forum. He affirmed that, thanks to the daily work of the regional committee of intra and inter religious dialogue and the efforts of the regional religious and administrative authorities, the different religious communities of Niamey live in perfect symbiosis. The Governor of Niamey added that our African states must “focus their efforts on this important segment of our population that is youth. Niger, like other ECOWAS countries, has a young population that is increasingly exposed to extremism of all kinds.

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(Click here for the original French version of this article)

Question related to this article:
 
How can different faiths work together for understanding and harmony?

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The Commissioner for Education, Science and Culture of ECOWAS has shown, in figures, the worrying development of violent extremism in four countries of the sub-region. For Mr. Leopoldo Amado, the presence of the Emir of Kano, as well as that of the Archbishop of Niamey and the Representative of Mogho Naba, at this work, shows the will of the peoples of the Community to live together for peace, tolerance and development of the entire region. Indeed, the contribution of religious leaders and actors to peace is decisive for West Africa, which is facing the rise of religious radicalism and intolerance which are, alas, threats to this region and its region. stability. “ECOWAS is committed to producing solutions to the issues of terrorism and conflict in the region through a number of legal and practical commitments,” said the Commissioner for Education, Science and Culture. ECOWAS, Mr. Leopoldo Amado.

In their interventions, the Archbishop of Niamey, Monsignor Djalwana Laurent Lompo, the Amir of Kano, His Highness Lamido Sanusi II and the Mogho Naba of Burkina Faso, Chief Baongho, King of the Mossis, have all underlined the importance of youth in intra and inter religious dialogue in our states. These sponsors of the 2nd ECOWAS forum on peace education through intra- and inter-religious dialogue, have strongly reaffirmed their common desire, on behalf of their respective communities, to work more for the promotion of living together. They finally called on young people to refrain from any kind of obscurantism, religious or other.

The organization of this forum materializes the commitment of ECOWAS which is part of preventive actions against radicalism and conflicts through a dynamic of search for peace and fight against the sources of terrorism. The end of the official ceremony was sanctioned by a photo of Prime Minister Brigi Rafini with young people from all ECOWAS countries attending the forum.

France: Call for Demonstration on December 18, International Migrants’ Day

. . TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY . .

An article from Mouvement de la Paix (translation by CPNN)

Mouvement de la Paix supports the appeal launched by dozens of associations for a demonstration on 18 December for International Migrants Day.

Appeal text: Freedom and Equal Rights!

We, Undocumented and Migrant Collective, Trade Unions, Associations and March in Solidarity call for demonstrations and gatherings throughout the country on December 18 on the occasion of International Migrants Day.

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(Click here for the original French version of this article)

Question for this article

The refugee crisis, Who is responsible?

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We will march all together against the rise of nationalism, racism and fascism that is spreading throughout Europe and around the world.

We will walk in torchlight in memory of the tens of thousands of women, men and children who have died on the migration routes and national borders and against the anti-migration policies of the governments of the richest countries on the planet and their accomplices.

We will walk to end the deaths, to support the freedom of movement and to close the detention centers.

We will walk against the promotion of immigration in order to provide cheap labor, for the regularization of undocumented migrants and for equal rights.

We will march for France’s ratification of the “International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families” adopted by the UN on 18 December 1990, which aims to ensure equal treatment between French and immigrant workers.

It is the general increase in poverty and the questioning of the social security caused by the austerity policies of our governments that nourish the feelings of malaise and alienation in the population. We need to struggle together to ensure a better and egalitarian society.

The Elders challenge leaders to confront migration lies and make UN deal a success

. . TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY . .

An article by The Elders

The Elders today [December 11] welcomed the signing of the United Nations Global Compact for Migration in Marrakesh as a means of strengthening nation states’ ability to manage migratory flows by emphasising coordination and solidarity.


UNSG António Guterres and Special Representative of the SG for International Migration Louise Arbour in Marrakesh in December 2018. (UN Photo/Mark Garten)

They noted that migration pressures are set to be exacerbated by the impact of climate change and conflict, making it all the more imperative that a robust international framework is put in place that can prioritise order, respect for human rights and equal burden-sharing between host countries.
 
They congratulated UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and Louise Arbour, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Migration, for their careful stewardship of the Compact process and the inclusive and respectful way the negotiations have been handled.

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Question for this article

The refugee crisis, Who is responsible?

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Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders, said:
 
“This Global Compact offers a way to manage migration that recognises the realities of our globalised world and respects the human rights of people on the move. As we celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, political leaders now need to show equal clarity of vision and purpose to implement the Compact.”
 
The Elders noted that the Compact is a non-binding, voluntary process rather than an attack on national sovereignty. They urged party leaders and parliamentarians in countries where the Compact is still under debate to reflect this in their interventions.
 
Recognising that migration is a contentious and sensitive topic in many countries, The Elders called on politicians, media and civil society to conduct their deliberations in a level-headed manner that is cognisant of global realities while sensitive to local opinion and specificities.
 
Ban Ki-moon, Deputy Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General, said:
 
“As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I was proud to launch the process to develop the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration in 2016. Today, I am encouraged by the result of the Marrakesh summit. I hope leaders will now act in the long-term interests of their people by implementing the Compact to protect the rights of migrants worldwide.”

For media inquiries, please contact William French, Head of Communications at The Elders (+44 7795 693 903) or email: media@theElders.org

“Peace through dialogue: Our destiny” is theme of Mindanao Week of Peace 2018

. TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY .

An article by Carolyn O. Arguillas from Minda News

“Peace through Dialogue: Our Destiny” is this year’s Mindanao Week of Peace (MWOP)  theme.

Held every last Thursday of November until the first Wednesday of December, this year’s celebration from November 29 to December 5 is the 20th Mindanao-wide week of peace that the Bishops-Ulama Forum (now Conference) initiated in 1999, inspired by the annual week of peace in Zamboanga City that the Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) organized.


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The BUC was born three years earlier, on November 29, 1996.

In their joint statement, the BUC convenors — Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla for the Catholics; Aleem Caboali Cali of the Ulama League of the Philippines, for the Muslims; and Bishop Emeritus Hilario Gomez, Jr. of the United Church of Christ of the Philippines (UCCP) for the Protestants — said dialogue is important because as social beings, “humans are destined to associate in order to survive and to grow in humaneness.”

“It is a natural need and therefore a task,” they said, adding that it is necessary to “be present in person with respect, to speak with sincerity, to listen with interest, to be open to all ideas and to seek the truth,” describing it as “the art of humane dialogue.”

The Joint Statement said underpinning dialogue is “the awareness of being a believer in the Oneness of God Who as Creator brings humans to unity and peace, to integrity and solidarity.”

In a separate message, Mindanao’s lone Cardinal, Orlando Quevedo, OMI, newly-retired Archbishop of Cotabato and prsently Apostolic Administor Sede Vacante of the Archdiocese of Cotabato said dialogue is not mere intellectual discussion but “listening humbly and respectfully to ‘the other,’ listening not only with one’s ears, but most importantly listening with one’s heart” as this transforms hostility and suspicion into understanding and trust.

He said this was the internal process that the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front developed through long years of patient dialogue for peace.

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Questions for this article:

How can different faiths work together for understanding and harmony?

Can peace be achieved in Mindanao?

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Since 1999

MindaNews tracked down the MWOP themes across two decade, and found a number of them recurring.

1999: Healing the Past, Building the Future

2000: Mindanaoans Journeying Together Towards a Culture of Peace.

2001: Peace: Sharing the Vision of Unity and Hope
2002: Peace through Reconciliation: Mindanaoans seeking a Common Ground

2003: Healing through Forgiveness: Key to Total Human Development

2004: A Reconciled Family, Agent of Reconciliation

2005: Millennium Development Goals: Women and Youth as Partners in Peace Building

2006: In the Name of the Almighty, God of Harmony, Care for the Earth
2007: Building Bridges of Peace with our Peace Officers
2008: Integrity of Mind and Heart a way to Reconciliation and Peace!

2009: Think Mindanao, Feel Mindanao, Bring Peace to Mindanao

2010: Responsive and Responsible Governance: Key to Peace, Development and Sustainability
2011: Common Word between us and you: Love of God, Love of Neighbor

2012: Love of God and Love of Neighbor, A Challenge for Mindanao

2013: Dialogue and Hope: Key to Peace

2014: We pray for long-lasting peace in Mindanao. Give, Share, Live and Proclaim Peace

2015: Mindanaons’ Aspiration for Peace

2016: Healing for Personal and Social Transformation

2017: Owning Mindanao History for Peace and Development

2018: Peace through dialogue: Our destiny

Then President Joseph Estrada issued Proclamation 207 on November 5, 1999, declaring November 25 to December 1, 1999, “and every year thereafter” as the Mindanao Week of Peace, “to provide a venue for the expression in various forms of the peace aspirations of the people of Mindanao and for convergence of peace initiatives.”

The Proclamation said all concerned government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned and controlled corporations and members of the private sector and civil society based in Mindanao “are enjoined and encouraged to engage in relevant and meaningful activities in celebration” of the MWOP in coordination with the BUF (now BUC).

It also said the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) in partnership with the secretariat of the BUC Secretariat, “shall provide all the necessary help to ensure a successful coordination of all undertakings during the said week of peace.”

In March 2000, four months after issuing Proclamation 207, Estrada waged an “all-out war” against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), displacing nearly a million residents, some of whom returned home only after Estrada was ousted in January 2001.

On November 3, 2000, Estrada issued Proclamation 408, amending Proclamation 207 by resetting the date of the MWOP to the last Thursday of November until the first Wednesday of December of every year thereafter.

The following year, on November 26, 2001,  President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who assumed the Presidency in January that year following the impeachment of Estrada, issued Proclamation 127 which was practically a reiteration of Proclamation 207.

Arroyo’s Proclamation declared the last Thursday of November up to the first Wednesday of December of every year thereafter as the Mindanao Week of Peace. 

Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations: “# Commit2Dialogue: Partnerships for Prevention and Sustaining Peace”

. . TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY . .

Special to CPNN by Myrian Castello

I was privileged to participate in the Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations: “# Commit2Dialogue: Partnerships for Prevention and Sustaining Peace.”

There were two days of discussion between plenary sessions and breakout sessions with themes that included dialogue between religions and cultures, digital diplomacy, women’s inclusion in peace processes, youth and Global Citizenship Education.


Photo by Myrian Castello

The Forum also featured the Youth Event: #UNAOCyouth with young people who shared their projects and voices.

The first plenary session highlighted diversity in wealth and resources, the need for humanity to co-exist, to give people access and share ideas and the need for more women and young people in decision-making.

The youth representative, Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, posted on her twitter about the need for the UN to trust in young people, and for young people to trust in the UN.

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(Click here for the Portuguese version.)

Question for this article

Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

What is the United Nations doing for a culture of peace?

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Some young people shared the desire and need for more participation of young people in the round tables and spaces like this one. Others expressed the need for more actions, not just talk.

The plenary session “Words matter” highlighted the role of the media and the narratives that we count on.

At the Global Citizenship Education roundtable we discussed the different roles we have and the need to prepare young people and unite them. We also disussed the opportunity that exists in the reform of the system of exchange and in the development of the Sustainable Development Goals – We need to find the gaps and work for the ones that are left behind.

It was announced that Mr. Miguel Ángel will be the next High Representative of UNAOC. His first words were “Peace, prevention, stability and respect.”

In the final session Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser expressed his thanks and how the Forum was a platform for sharing ideas, engaging with current and future partners and commitment to the agenda to prevent and sustain peace. He reiterated the importance of making room for community leaders, youth groups and women as participants.

In this forum it was possible to talk about important issues despite living in an era of polarization. lt gave us the opportunity to strengthen and partner with people working for the promotion of peace.

I leave with questions: With all that has been talked about and learned, how can we all be part of the solution? How can we see ourselves beyond titles and share our resources and talents to bring people together to find solutions and act to promote and cultivate peace?

Artist’s Portraits Show Migrant Caravan’s Hope, Joy: ‘These Are Regular People’

. . TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY . .

An article from 12 News Online

A third-generation Mexican-American artist hopes to show fellow Americans a more personal view of individuals in the migrant caravan making their way to the United States from Central America.
“These are regular people,” said Scarlett Baily, a Mexico City visual artist who talked to some of the 5,000 or so people in the caravan while they rested in Mexico recently. As she considered how to help, she said she “decided to go draw portraits.”


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“It was hilarious, delightful, and the joy and courage of this crew is truly contagious,” Baily told HuffPost. 

President Donald Trump has been claiming the caravan is an invasion, filled with terrorists, gang members and drug dealers. But Baily’s drawings show the worn but hopeful faces of people in the midst of an epic trek from poverty and violence in their home countries to the U.S., where many aim to apply for asylum

Trump, whose campaigning ahead of last week’s elections relied on fear of the migrants, ordered more than 7,000 active-duty troops to the border to deter asylum-seekers. He has been silent on the topic on social media  since the election. 

Their story “felt too mythical to be real,” Baily said via email, and she “had to meet these people.” 

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Question for this article

The refugee crisis, Who is responsible?

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“I think the bravest people on this journey are the mothers and children,” Baily said. News coverage, she added, “paints a very different picture of what I saw in my time spent at the camp.”

“Images of desperation, exhaustion, and suffering dominate a lot of the reports, when the reality is, there is actually a lot of joy,” she said. “This journey they are on is indeed hard-core. But imagine the conditions that someone leaves behind. I think there is a certain sense of freedom that comes with this decision.”

Mexico City officials turned a stadium into a camp where the migrants could pause on their journey, and “offered them every type of city service,” according to The New York Times. Doctors and dentists provided free checkups.

The caravan departed on Saturday morning to continue the walk north.

Baily said 25-year-old Jean Carlos told her he’s from Choloma, Honduras, worked in a bodega, goes to church every Sunday, loves to drive, and one day hopes to own a Mazda. He’s heading to Canada with cans of tuna in his pocket. 

Two young girls, Lincy and Nataly, are traveling with their mother, father, and 1-month old brother, who was born in Honduras just before they left. Lincy told Baily that she hates brushing her hair. Nataly loves to draw.

The family told Baily that traveling has been hard, but “so many families on the caravan together have created a great support system.”

Baily also spoke with a barber named Osman, whose friends call him the “Talento Catracho,” or the local Honduran talent. He told her he’s walking “because he wants to be able to support himself with his craft, without fearing the mafia system taking over Honduras.”

“Sitting with someone to do their portrait is a very personal exchange,” Baily said. The mood of most of those she talked to, she added, is dominated by hope. 

“My hope is that the caricatures provide a nice memory for people who left everything behind, a moment to feel celebrated, rooted for, and an alternative to what we see in mass media,” Baily said. “Perhaps these portraits may swap fear of migrants for a collective empathy.”  

[Click here to see more of Baily’s drawings of people in the caravan.]

Berlin: Hundreds of thousands march against racism

. . TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY . .

Excerpts from the twitter acount of #unteilbar

Media accounts of the massive demonstration in Berlin against racism such as the report by Agence France Press cannot be reproduced here without permission. Hence, we print here excerpts from the twitter account of the event organizers, #Unteilbar.


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Hundreds of thousands of Germans march united against racism and the far-right. I fully agree, we must build bridges not walls! #unteilbar #IamEuropean

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators have marched through Berlin in protest against the far right, racism, and xenophobia. Organisers said 242,000 people across Germany took part in the rally, making it one of the biggest in recent years.

Say it loud, say it clearly, we are all #indivisible! Inspiring images from Berlin, 242k citizens united against the rise of far right. Absolutely amazing to see that broad mobilisations against xenophobia is possible and is happening! Thank you Berlin! #Unteilbar

242,00 people from all over the world shining their lights for an open and free society. #unteilbar

It was an incredible experience to see 240 k people on the streets of Berlin protesting peacefully against racism. Thanks for giving me a opportunity to speak about human rights to all of you. #unteilbar

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Question for this article

Is there a renewed movement of solidarity by the new generation?

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I was at the #unteilbar demo today with my parents and grandparents to show that racism, homophobia and the other shit going on won’t be tolerated.

Priya Basil yesterday at #Unteilbar: „be realistic, demand the impossible“

Bigger than the inauguration of Donald Trump. #unteilbar

Nearly a quarter million people took to the streets of Berlin on Sunday to face down the rise of far-right populism in Germany & Europe. #Unteilbar

Attending yesterdays #unteilbar protest in Berlin was quite impressive. So many people of so many races, colors, genders and whatever were celebrating peacefully together. After weeks of dark news of racism its a spark of hope. I am proud to live in this city.

It’s been 242,00 people in Berlin today that demonstrated for togetherness and solidarity. what a time to be alive #unteilbar

Because @dwnews is a serious news channel and the first reports about the amount of protesters were hard to believe as it is not normal for Germany to have protests with this amount of people. I was there and I am very proud of each single protester. Thank you to all! #unteilbar

Berlin, auf dich ist Verlass! Wir sind unglaublich viele bei #unteilbar #b1310 [Berlin, you can rely on it! We are unbelievably many at #unteilbar # b1310]

As hundreds of thousands of people took to the street of #Berlin demonstrating against racism and calling for solidarity against the rise of the far-right across Germany and Europe we commit our pledge: We are many, we are #unteilbar and change is coming!

Loving the fact that the #unteilbar demonstration passes by underneath my window. Fly, my lovelies, fly! #berlin

People on the streets of London against fascism and sexism #StopDFLA
People on the streets of Berlin against racism and the far-right #unteilbar
People on the streets of Paris against climate change #MarchePourLeClimat
Something’s stirring in Europe.

(Thank you to Kiki Chauvin, the CPNN reporter for this article.)

Algeria: Ooredoo hosts the 32nd Arab Scout Camp

. . TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY . .

An article by Mouloud Ahmed in Algerie Patriotique (translated by CPNN)

The telecommunications company Ooredoo is hosting the 32nd edition of the Arab Scout Camp, which is held in Algiers from August 25 to September 5, 2018 under the slogan “The Arab Dream”.

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(Click here for the original French version of this article.)

Question for this article

Two movements: scouting and culture of peace, Are they related?

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Placed under the patronage of His Excellency the President of the Republic, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, this pan-Arab demonstration, organized by the Algerian Muslim Scouts (SMA), gathers more than 1200 participants representing about twenty Arab countries.

The camp, hosted by Algeria for the third time, aims to promote living together, the culture of peace and solidarity and fraternity between peoples. A rich program has been planned by the Organizing Committee for the benefit of the participants, including cultural and educational activities, sightseeing tours, water activities, entertainment games and thematic conferences.

By hosting this 32nd Arab Scout Camp, Ooredoo confirms its status as a civil organization resolutely involved in supporting events that contribute to the influence of Algeria.

UNESCO recognizes Cortes de Baza (Spain) for Dialogue and Coexistence

. . TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY . .

An article from Granada Hoy (reproduced without commerical purpose)

On August 20, in the cultural week prior to the festivities of Cortes de Baza, Cortes de Baza received recognition as the first Municipality for Dialogue and Coexistence in Andalusia. This appointment arises after the full agreement of the City Council on July 27, where Cortes assumed the institutionalization of the Culture of Peace in the municipality.


Neighbors from Cortes pose next to the title that recognizes them as a Municipality for Dialogue and Coexistence.

The agreement concerns the joint project of the Unesco Center of Andalusia and the Institute of Peace and Conflict of the University of Granada (IPAZ) where the municipality assumes the provisions of resolution A/RES/67/104 (2015) of the General Assembly of the United Nations on the Promotion of Dialogue, Understanding and Cooperation among Religions and Cultures for Peace.

The agreement stipulates that diversity and plurality is an asset and that minorities, whether ethnic, linguistic, cultural or religious, should be recognized, with the aim of eliminating any form of racism, discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance, in addition to look for the resolution of possible conflicts in a peaceful way.

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(Click here for the original Spanish version of this article)

Question for this article

The refugee crisis, Who is responsible?

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The agreement supports measures that promote tolerance, solidarity and coexistence with refugees, immigrants and displaced persons, as well as their social integration among other measures. It is the latter, a measure of special importance in recent days, where the arrival of people from other territories to our country is generating numerous debates on how to deal with this problem.

Under these premises and with the creation of the Intercultural Dialogue Table, organized on July 13, Cortes de Baza becomes the first Andalusian town with the recognition of Municipality for Dialogue and Coexistence.

The process of this recognition is carried out through the unequivocal demonstration that the locality assumes the aforementioned principles, through a municipal agreement as is also the case of the Altiplano municipality, where it was approved by unanimity of all political groups, and the creation of an Intercultural Dialogue Board, under the verification, advice and support of technicians and researchers from both the Unesco Andalusia Center and the IPAZ. It should be pointed out that the involvement of the City Council of Cortes de Baza as well as the teaching staff of the Colegio Santos Médicos in the locality has been fundamental.

The Intercultural Dialogue Board of Cortes de Baza is composed of people of different nationalities from Russia, Belgium, Romania, Colombia, Mexico, England, Dominican Republic, among others, as well as religious minorities such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims or Orthodox Christians.

It should also be mentioned that of the 16 members that make up this Board, all but three are women, giving it a feminist and integrative vocation. This plurality is appreciated in a small municipality such as Cortes de Baza, which has a population of less than 2,000 residents.

Uri Avnery, leader of the Israeli peace movement Gush Shalom, 1923-2018

. . TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY . .

An article by Rabbi Michael Lerner in Tikkun

Tikkun grieves and mourns the passing of the founder and leader of Israel’s peace movement, Gush Shalom, Uri Avnery.

Until the last moment he continued on the way he had traveled all his life. On Saturday, two weeks ago, he collapsed in his home when he was about to leave for the Rabin Square and attend a demonstration against the “Nation State Law”, a few hours after he wrote a sharp article against that law.

For several decades, Avnery was a columnist for Tikkun magazine, sharing his wisdom and insights with our Tikkun readers. When I met with him in Tel Aviv I found him to be a wise and passionate and sensitive human being, capable to seeing the humanity of the people who criticized him and capable of seeing the faults of his allies in both Israel and Palestine.

Avnery devoted himself entirely to the struggle to achieve peace between the state of Israel and the Palestinian people in their independent state, as well as between Israel and the Arab and Muslim World (See his article on on Israel’s Days of Shame). He did not get to the end of the road, did not live to see peace come about. We – the activists and supporters of Tikkun magazine, as well as the members of Gush Shalom as well as very many other people who were directly and indirectly influenced by him – will continue his mission and honor his memory.

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Questions for this article:

Presenting the Palestinian side of the Middle East, Is it important for a culture of peace?

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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On the day of the passing of Uri Avnery, the most right wing government in the history of Israel is engaged in negotiations with Hamas. Ironically, the same kind of demagogic accusations which were hurled at Uri Avnery throughout his life are now made against right-wing extremist Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

In the history of the State of Israel, Uri Avnery will be inscribed  as a far-seeing visionary who pointed to a way which others failed to see. As Adam Keller, Avnery’s closest ally in Gush Shalom,  put it in a statement, some of whose words I’ve copied in this note, “It is the fate and future of the State of Israel to reach peace with its neighbors and to integrate into the geographical and political region in which it is located. As Avnery’s greatest opponents will ultimately have to follow in his footsteps – because the State of Israel has no other real choice.”

We in the Tikkun community and in our interfaith and secular-humanist-welcoming Network of Spirirtual Progressives, salute all those in Gush Shalom, in the remnants of the Israeli peace movement (tens of  thousands of whom demonstrated against the new “Nation State Law” which Avnery was on his way to protest), and to Jews and people of all faiths who continue to support those of us who insist that the path to safety and security for the Jewish people and for Israel is a path of generosity, repentance, open-hearted reconcialition, and justice for the Palestinian people and a deep respect for the humanity that continues to emerge in all people on this planet despite the forces of violence and repression that are temporarily in ascendency. It is in maintaining that vision that we can best honor the memory of this amazing and wonderful human being whose passing from our world we grieve today.