Category Archives: d-tolerance

Religion: a barrier or a way to peace? What makes it one or the other?

The relation of religion to the culture of war has always been complex, with a struggle inside each religion between the support of state violence, on the one hand, and insistence on non-violence, on the other hand. An overview is provided by Elise Boulding (2000), in her book Cultures of Peace: The Hidden Side of History:

“Every religion then contains two cultures: the culture of violence and war and the culture of peaceableness. The holy war culture calls for mobilization against evil and is easily politicized. The culture of the peaceable garden relies on a sense of the oneness of humankind, often taking the form f intentional communities based on peaceful and cooperative lifeways, sanctuaries for the nonviolent . .”

“The Holy War Culture

The holy war culture is a male warrior culture headed by a patriarchal warrior-god. It demands the subjection of women and other aliens to men, the proto-patriarchs, and to God (or the gods). We see it in the ancient Babylonian epics, in the Iliad, in the Bhagavad Gita, in the Hebrew scriptures used by Jews and Christians, and in the Koran . . ”

“The Peaceable Garden Culture . .

Judaism. Practical utopian-pacifist activism is well-exemplified in that form of Zionism represented by Martin Buber. He saw a Jewish national community in Palestine as a opportunity to create a model political community embodying the highest spiritual values of Judaism while practicing a nonviolent reconciling relationship with Arab brothers and sisters as co-tillers of the same soil . . ”

“Islam. Sufism is the best-known pacifist tradition in Islam, and while the special service of the Sufi is to be a silent witness to God, the Sufi play a special role within the polity, standing over against bureaucracy and formalism . . ”

“Christianity. Mystical and contemplative traditions in Christianity, as in Islam are themselves a source of peace witness, with monks and nuns considered role models for peace in the larger community and prayer interpreted as a form of social action. Turning to the Christian activist tradition, we find the Anabaptists and a strong social action wing of Catholicism . . Their later descendents include Quakers, Mennonites, and Brethren, now known as the historic peace churches.”

Although not mentioned by Boulding, the same can be said for Buddhism which advocates peace in some countries while making war against people of other religions in others such as Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

Here are the CPNN articles about this question.

Israel/Palestine, is the situation like South Africa?

We have previously reprinted remarks by Nobel Peace Laureate and Bishop Desmond Tutu comparing the Israeli occupation of Palestine to the South African Apartheid regime prior to the election of Nelson Mandela as President.

Now, we reprint an analysis of the “Jewish Nation-State Law” which may be considered as the official establishment of Israeli Apartheid.

The Israeli parliament passed the “Jewish Nation-State Law” in the early hours of Thursday morning [July 19, 2018], defining Israel as the exclusive nation-state of the Jewish people and demoting the official status of Arabic.

Almost immediately, Palestinian politicians and rights groups began speaking of the legislation in the starkest of terms. PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat said the law “turns a ‘de-facto’ Apartheid regime into a ‘de-jure’ reality for all of historic Palestine.

Hassan Jabareen, head of the Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, said the law “features key elements of apartheid” and that by passing it, Israel has “made discrimination a constitutional value and has professed its commitment to favoring Jewish supremacy as the bedrock of its institutions.”

According to Adalah attorney Fady Khoury, the legislation entrenches the identity of the State of Israel as a state for the Jewish people, turning them into the sovereign while excluding the Palestinian population from the same definition of sovereignty.

“The law itself does not mention the word democracy even once,” Khoury explained. “Psychologically, it will have a huge impact on Israelis when they are called to determine what it or isn’t democratic.”

+972 Magazine spoke with Khoury to better understand the apartheid comparison, and why the law is so problematic in general.

[The following interview has been edited for length and flow.]

People are calling this the ‘apartheid law.’ Why?

“Apartheid in South Africa was a process. It was a system that took years to develop and was built on the work of academics and theologians who had to create justifications for white supremacy. It was system of hierarchy, in which there is one group with all the power and another without any power.

“In Israel, the new law explicitly defines the Jewish people as the only group with the only right to self-determination, while negating the rights of the indigenous people. This creates a system of hierarchy and supremacy. We do not live in a time in which explicit calls for supremacy are legitimate as they were in South Africa, but we are reaching the same result through different language.

“The analogy between Israel and South Africa is not only about separate communities or roads, it is about a state of mind. It is about the idea of ranking different groups. It is the idea of a regime of supremacy that serves the interests of one group, even if it comes at the expense of the most basic rights of another. We don’t have to keep looking for policies that resemble Jim Crow — that mindset exists not only in the periphery of Israeli politics but also in the mainstream.”

The original wording of the bill included a clause that allowed for communities to be segregated along religious or ‘national’ lines. What does the final version say about segregation?

“The previous version of the bill included a clause that allowed the state to authorize new communities based on religion or nationality. It was based on the principle of ‘separate but equal,’ which was couched in the idea that doing so would be good for everybody — Jews or Palestinians. The language was changed since it was too close to the kind of blatant segregation we have seen in the U.S. They rewrote the clause so that the state would ‘promote Jewish settlement.’ This creates a whole different kind of paradigm for segregation, one of “separate but unequal.”

“Think about it this way: imagine if the United States passed legislation that promoted ‘white settlement’ — we would cringe. But after 70 years of a Jewish and democratic state, the idea of Jewish settlement has become so mundane that it does not seem problematic. In that sense, the change is cosmetic. But what the right wants to achieve is the same: Judaizing the country while incentivizing building communities for Jewish citizens only.”

What are the potential effects this law could have on the legal system?

“This is a law that will determine the state’s constitutional identity. Up until now, it was the role of the Supreme Court to interpret what the phrase ‘Jewish and democratic’ really meant. Now we have a law that grants the state’s Jewish identity constitutional status.”

“[The law] will be foundational. It becomes a source of interpretation of the laws and the legal system. The ramifications are not going to be limited to a few areas: they are going to affect the legal system at the root, especially if the right continues to appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court, which will use this new constitutional norm to interpret the law.”

Is the new law an acceleration of a process that has been taking place here recently, or does it enshrine a discriminatory regime that has always existed here?

“I think we are seeing an escalation that did not begin with the new Basic Law, but rather is a result of the contradiction between the fundamental identities of the state as Jewish and democratic. What we are seeing now is Jewish identity encroaching more and more on the social and political life of Israel’s citizens, while the ‘democratic’ identity of the state is experiencing a regression.”

Here are the CPNN articles on this subject:

Are we making progress against racism?

Here is the opinion of Reverend Buddy Aaron Larrier received by CPNN February 3, 2018:

The derogatory statements made by President Donald Trump with reference to Haiti and African countries, should be offensive to ALL PEOPLE of goodwill who are aware of their own history and should be an awakening for dark skin people of African descent. Likewise, for Caucasians who are aware of Africa’s history prior to the 15th century (1492) and the formation of the United States of America (USA).

Therefore, as a contribution to Black History Month 2018 I am writing this open letter to address two points; firstly, as an appeal and secondly as a recommendation to the leaders of black people’s led countries of the world, particularly to the Heads of CARICOM Governments. My appeal is: please do not be reactive to the unfortunate statement made by Mr. Donald Trump, but be strategically proactive. I make this appeal because of my vision in 1977 for the 21st century. At the time I had a spiritual, consciousness awakening, which subsequently led me to becoming a student of Racism and a human rights and social justice advocate. In the vision I saw the end of Racism – yes, of White Supremacy. My mission is to assist in its eradication.

In this regard, I have noted with interest that Donald Trump’s statements were made as Haiti took the Chair of CARICOM. It was made also on the eve of the 1st anniversary of his Presidency and the 10th anniversary of the first black President of the United States. The successful presidency of Barack Obama haunts President Donald Trump and other Americans White Supremacists as their worst nightmare. However, the fact is; there has never been a President of the USA who did not subscribe to the institutional system of White Supremacy (Racism). Therefore, I am confident to say that it was necessary for “a Donald Trump” to be elected during this period of transition from lies to truth, so as to reveal to the world that “the Emperor is naked”. President Trump’s statements would be unbecoming of any President of any country; but being holder of the highest office of the world’s most powerful country, his remarks has illuminated the issue of Racism. Whereby, he has dishonoured and disgraced that high office. Nevertheless, he must be congratulated for awakening those persons who were still asleep or had their heads buried to the issue of white supremacy.

While processing the depth of President Trump’s remarks, I was motivated or inspired to pay special attention to the sentencing hearing of Mr. Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing young girls who trusted him. His guilty plea came at a time when changes are taking place, as many influential men who manipulated and violated the rights of women are being publicly disgraced. Human rights advocates are very pleased about this development. I can therefore say with confidence that the timing of President Trump’s abusive remarks is not coincidental. His Racist remarks compare equally to the sexual abuses as stated by the over 150 victims who gave evidence against Mr. Nassar, in particular that of Ms. Rochael Denhollander who started his downfall. Her commanding statement should be studied as a text for exposing the complicity within the wicked system of inferiority and superiority. If we were to substitute the words ‘sexual abuse of children’ and replace them with Racism, we will appreciate the depth of Trump’s remarks. It is clear to see for those paying attention that all around the world African consciousness is being awakened, likewise so is the female consciousness as explained by the Hon. Justin Tuudeau, Prime Minister of Canada at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in January.

By sentencing Larry Nassar to 175 years for his evil deeds of abusing hundreds, a strong message is therefore sent, not only to the USA, but to ALL nations of the world that the woman, who is mother of humankind demands that her humanity and dignity be respected and guaranteed. The black woman who put a racial perspective into Mr. Nassar’s hearing has sent notice that the awakening of African consciousness will also be putting White Supremacy on trial for its evil deeds of abusing the human rights of millions. It is therefore not coincidental that the oldest person in the known world today is a black woman from the Caribbean, where the worst atrocities were committed against the black man and woman – parents of humankind.

Therefore, my recommendation is that an appropriate response to President Trump’s statements should be a resolution to the United Nations that would have an impact on the world and would address the issue of both Racism and Sexism at the core. The historic event which took place on October 12, 1492 started a chain of encounters with different ethnic groups that gave persons like President Trump the authority and confidence to make derogatory statements about blacks and other non-white people and women because of Slavery and Colonialism. It was the nation of Haiti that led the way forward towards ending Slavery and starting the process of repairing the damage. For more than two decades CARICOM has been lobbied to recognize October 12, as a day for truth, justice, peace, healing and reconciliation. It is good that the date has now been proclaimed as ‘Caribbean Holocaust Day’. Therefore, it is appropriate and timely that Haiti as Chair of CARICOM should lead the initiative for a Resolution to be submitted to the United Nations General Assembly on behalf of CARICOM for October 12 to be proclaimed/designated as the International Day for Reparations.

The reason for this recommendation is twofold. Firstly, it is predicated on the history following October 12, 1492 when Columbus made landfall in the Caribbean. Secondly, a proposal on October 12 has been before world leaders, the Governments of Barbados and CARICOM for many years. Barbados played a significant role during the British Empire building process, which makes Barbados the best nation to submit the resolution to the UN on behalf of CARICOM. Barbados is the only colony of colonial Briton where the colonizers and the colonized arrived together. It is the first English colony that went to war with its colonial masters after the execution of Charles 1 in 1649. The wording of the Barbados Peace Charter of 1652 influenced the wording of the constitution of the United States in 1787. Barbados was also a leading trans-shipment point for sending enslaved persons to other Caribbean and North America colonies of England. Barbados led the Caribbean delegation to the UN World Conference against Racism in Durban in 2001. It hosted the first Afrikan and Afrikan descendants World Conference against Racism in October 2002 as a follow-up to the Durban conference. In addition, Barbados has lead responsibility for the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).

Finally, in the hearing of Larry Nassar the question was asked, why did it took so long for him to be exposed when many in authority were aware of his deeds. That same question is relevant for racism and reparatory justice. There are many changes taking place worldwide that are lessons to be learnt by people of colour and the year 2018 is highlighting some of these changes necessary for repairing the damage of the past 500 plus years and the search for truth, justice, peace, healing and reconciliation.

I am firmly of the opinion that should the UN designate October 12 as International Day for Reparations as we advance into the UN declared International Decade for People of African Descent, it would usher in the spirit of genuine truth, justice, peace, healing and reconciliation, which would bring to an end a significant part of my vision and mission for which I have been lobbying since 1977. God’s promise might be slow, but it surely comes on time.

Here are the CPNN articles on this subject:

The understanding of indigenous peoples, Can it help us cultivate a culture of peace?

Here are CPNN articles pertaining to this question:

USA/Ecuador: Film festival to present story of roots, nature

Cherán. 5 years of self-government in an indigenous community in Mexico

United Nations: Experts call for efforts to save indigenous languages

President Creates Ministry of Indigenous People in Chile

Bachelet crea Ministerio de Pueblos Indígenas en Chile

First Native American Woman Becomes Federal Judge

A school for peace inaugurated in the Maya world in the Guatemalan highlands

Inauguran una escuela por la paz en el mundo maya del altiplano guatemalteco

Participants in the Pan-African Forum Recommend the Valorization of African Culture

Participantes ao Fórum Pan-africano recomendam valorização da cultura africana

Wilfredo Camacho: Professor of Andean Culture [Bolivia”>

Wilfredo Camacho: Profesor de Culturas Andinas [Bolivia”>

Green Light for Indigenous Intercultural University Amawtay Wasi of Ecuador

Kari-Oca II Declaration: Indigenous Peoples at Rio +20 reject the Green Economy and REDD

Rosalina Tuyuc Velasquez: Constructing an Inclusive Guatemala

Rosalina Tuyuc Velásquez: Trabaja en la construcción de una Guatemala incluyente.

World Social Forum in Belem, Brazil

The White Tree of Peace

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

Tolerance & Solidarity .

From its beginning, CPNN has devoted special attention to youth initiatives and their support (See CPNN bulletins beginning in 2005, as listed at the bottom of this page).

A proposal to provide funding to youth peace initiatives, The Youth for Culture of Peace Report was mentioned in the high-level report of the Alliance of Civilizations that was presented to the United Nations on 13 November 2006, as its first recommendation of for its activities in relation to youth.

The Global Youth Solidarity Fund formulated by the report is proposed in the form of a Global Youth Alliance:

“A Global Youth Alliance should be established as a mechanism through which youth can contribute to the implementation of all of the recommendations set forth in this report (not just those under the ‘youth’ theme).”

“Supported by a Global Youth Solidarity Fund, this initiative could begin with the convening and mobilization of various youth networks and associations to promote dialogue, alliance and a culture of peace. These organizations have already begun working together to organize meetings that would provide the opportunity for young people of diverse backgrounds to set an agenda for action which they can then present to global leaders to win their support and assistance. In addition, a survey has been conducted a survey has been conducted identifying 468 youth organizations from 125 countries that could be engaged as implementing partners.”

The high-level report of the Alliance of Civilizations is available on the Internet at

The proposal was accepted and became the basis for the Youth Solidarity Fund which is still functioning as of 2019. Many of the following CPNN articles have followed its development over the 12 years from 2006 to 2019.

CPNN articles concerning youth peace initiatives

Chad: Women’s Ministry salutes community peace initiatives

Call for applications: Youth Solidarity Fund

Youth and Peacebuilding: Executive Summary

‘Young people care about peace’: UN Youth Envoy delivers key message to Security Council

Youth, Peace, Security Agenda Starting to Make Difference for Young People in Conflict Zones, But Much Work Remains, Advocates Tell Security Council

IPB Youth Network Conference – Transform! Towards a Culture of Peace – Sept 20-22

PAYNCoP Gabon Identifies Youth Organizations on Culture of Peace

2019 SVNP Annual Conference: Youth and Peacebuilding in Africa

“Youth, Peace and Security: Perspectives for Dialogues in Northeast Asia” Regional Workshop

PAYNCoP Gabon learns about the culture of peace

PAYNCoP Gabon Advocates for Youth Involvement in Peace and Security Issues

Europe: Call for participants – International Youth Camp “Dialogue”

PAYNCOP Gabon Presents its Roadmap to the President of the National Assembly

Panafrican Youth Network for the Culture of Peace Gabon : The work begins

United Nations: Young People Discuss Change at CSW62 Youth Dialogue

United Nations: ‘Global clarion call’ for youth to shape efforts to forge peace in the most dangerous combat zones

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

March For Our Lives wins International Children’s Peace Prize 2018

Sustainable Peace in West Africa: International Youth Conference Opens on November 15

Mauritania: Creation of the Youth Movement for Employment

Adopting Resolution 2419 (2018), Security Council Calls for Increasing Role of Youth in Negotiating, Implementing Peace Agreements

Young people: actors for peace and national reconciliation in Mali

Youth Dialogue at CSW62 presents policy recommendations for inclusion of young women and girls living in rural areas

Youth Solidarity Fund 2017 Edition: Project Outcomes and Capacity Building Workshop

Government of Italy and UNICEF join efforts to promote positive peace for Libyan youth

Caritas Jordan hosts Youth World Peace Forum

Dominican Republic: Mayor praises successful congress for peace in Southern region

The Gambia: African youth calls for intergenerational bridges

Gambia: La jeunesse africaine appelle à la construction de ponts intergénérationnels

Côte d’Ivoire: Preservation of the peace in Port-Bouët: Communal youth give their recipes

Côte d’Ivoire: Préservation de la paix à Port-Bouët : La jeunesse communale donne ses recettes

Mexico: Colima will host the Meeting of Youth Peace Leaders

2015-16 Recipients of UN Youth Solidarity Fund, Africa and Middle-East

Call for Proposals: Grant for Innovation in Conflict Transformation 2013

Call for projects by United Nations Alliance of Civilizations

Dialogue of Civilizations: ‘It’s time for action,’ say the Youth

Dialogue des civilisations : le temps de passer à l’action, selon les jeunes

International Youth Meeting for the Culture of Peace

Rencontre Internationale de Jeune pour la Culture de Paix

Important Peace Iniatives of Alliance of Civilizations

International Youth Forum in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

In the City of Santos, Young People from Nine Countries Talk about Peace

Advocating for UPEACE at the UN

Youth for Culture of Peace Report 2006

CPNN bulletins concerning youth peace initiatives

A Global Youth Movement?

Youth Take the Lead for the International Day of Peace, October 2017

Youth training in Budapest, November 2012

Youth Team at Santiago de Compostela, January 2011

Youth Team for Final Decade Report on Culture of Peace Decade, January 2010

Second edition of Youth Solidarity Fund, July 2009

First awards of Youth Solidarity Fund, July 2008

Application process for Youth Solidarity Fund, April 2008

Establishment of Global Youth Solidarity Fund, January 2008

Youth Teams in Arab Region, February 2007

Youth Advocacy Team, November 2006

Completion of youth organization survey, September 2006

Launch of survey of youth organizations, July 2006

Continuing work of the Youth Advocacy Team, February 2006

UN General Assembly debate recognizes Youth Advocacy Team, October 2005

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

. . . Tolerance & Solidarity . . .

In view of the leadership being taken by youth for the fightback in the United States, Colombia (and elsewhere), we need to be prepared to listen to them and accept their leadership in the coming times.

Here are some recent articles in CPNN on youth leadership and solidarity:

Kashmiri students run out of essentials, money; Khalsa Aid, J&K Students Assn extend help

Berlin: Hundreds of thousands march against racism

The People of Mexico Give the World an Example of Solidarity

Global Survey on Youth, Peace and Security

Georgia: Training Report: “Education for Peace – Developing Competences for Peace Education in the Youth Field”

GLOBAL YOUTH RISING: Empowering passionate activists and peace workers from around the world– JULY 2016

UN Security Council adopts resolution on Youth, Peace and Security

For articles prior to 2015, click here.

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

. . . Tolerance & Solidarity . . .

Here is a blog by Mazin Qumsiyeh that responds to this question.

1- Palestine is the Western part of the Fertile Crescent: an area that includes Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. In this Fertile Crescent the first human agriculture developed. Here the first domestication of animals (e.g. goats, donkeys, camels) and plants (e.g. wheat, barley, chickpeas, lentils, olives) happened.

2- This is also where civilization began including development of the first alphabet (by Phoenician Canaanites) and the first laws. It was where we first developed sciences like astronomy, engineering, and mathematics

3- The original inhabitants of the Western part of the Fertile Crescent were called Canaanites and the original language was called Aramaic which Jesus spoke (he was born in the country called then Palestine and thus he was Palestinian)

4- The old Aramaic language gave rise to derived languages including Syriac, Arabic, and Hebrew and this language group is called Semetic languages

5- Arabic alphabet evolved in Southern Canaan (today’s Jordan and Palestine) while the Latin alphabet evolved in Northern Canaan (Phoenicia, present day Lebanon and Syria). The Alphabet used in Europe today came from our part of the world.

6- The people of Southern Canaan including Palestine endured many invasions of armies with nearly 15 times that local people were ruled by kings or emperors (Persian, Roman, Umayyad, Abbasid, Israelite etc).

7- Local religious ideas evolved over the ages from Cananitic Pagan ideas to monotheistic ideas to Christianity (first century), Rabbinical Judaism (3rd century), Islam (7th Century).,

8- Palestine was always multi-cultural, multi-religious society despite attempts to homogenize it in certain periods (e.g. the Crusaders killed and exiled Jews, Muslims, and Christians of other sects).

9- Jews of today, like Christians and Muslims of today come from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds. They are thus genetically (biologically) heterogeneous.

10- Before the wave of European Jewish immigration, Palestinians were of various religions: about 85% Muslim, 10% Christian, 5% Jewish and others. For hundreds of years Palestinians of various religions lived in relative harmony.

11- Zionism is a political idea that spread among a minority of European Jews who adapted to the European notions of ethnocentric nationalism and thus claims Jews of today should gather in Palestine and create a Jewish state because of discrimination in Europe. Socialist Jews and other Jews believed in fighting for equal rights. Zionists thought that anti-Jewish feelings in Europe serves their interests and thus even collaborated with racists. There was a transfer agreement between the third Reich and the Zionist movement. Zionists also lobbied Western governments not to take in European Jewish refugees so that they all go to Palestine.

12- Zionism started in the mid 19th century with formation of the “Jewish Colonization Association” and became an international movement in 1897 at the first World Zionist Congress. To achieve its goals, its leaders advocated transferring the native non-Jewish Palestinians.

13- The United States and other Western countries under influence of a Zionist lobby pushed for the creation of a “Jewish state” of Israel in Palestine despite the wishes of the native people.

14- Between 1947-1949, 530 Palestinian villages and towns were completely destroyed and their people made refugees. This process of forcing Palestinians out of their land continued in other forms since the founding of Israel in May 1948. Today 70% of the 11 million Palestinians in the world are refugees or displaced people.

15- Current day Israel has a set of discriminatory laws that fit the descriptions given in the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. Every month, the Israeli Knesset takes on more such racist laws.

16- In 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank (including the old city of Jerusalem) and Gaza strip. Together these two areas are 22% of historic Palestine. Israel began immediately to build Jewish colonial settlements in these Palestinian lands. Contrary to International law, there are now over 200 settlements on our lands housing over 0.5 million Jewish colonial settlers.

17- Israel has built walls around the remaining Palestinian enclaves (ghettos, people warehouses, cantons, reservations) and isolated them from each other and from the rest of Palestine. These walls separate Palestinians from their lands, from other Palestinians, from schools, from hospitals etc. As an example, the Bethlehem district houses 180,000 natives, some 50,000 of us living there are refugees from 1948 period. All of us are restricted now to develop and live on only 13% of the original Bethlehem district size. 87% of the district is now under control of Israeli settlements, military bases, closed military zones etc. The Bethlehem people are isolated behind a wall and even Jerusalem (6 km away) is off-limits to us.

18- Colonialism involves violence. Over 80 massacres were committed against native Palestinians. Over 60,000 Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli forces and settlers. This is ten times more than the number of Israeli civilians (most colonial settlers) killed by Palestinians. Palestinians resisted colonialism over the past 130 years mostly by using non-violent popular resistance something not widely discussed in the Western countries because of attempts to vilify the victims.

19- Palestinians and other Arab countries in conflict with Zionism have been “unreasonably reasonable” as one diplomat described it. We accept all elements of International law` and all UN (United Nations) resolutions on the issue. Israel by contrast, violated over 60 UN Security Council resolutions and over 200 UN General Assembly Resolutions. Without the USA using its veto power to shield Israel from International law at the UN SC, the number would have been doubled.

20- We Palestinians demand and are struggling for our right to return and to self-determination. We call for a democratic pluralistic state for people of all religions in our historic homeland of Palestine. We call for equality and justice. People in Europe and around the world can support us by using education, by coming to visit us, and by Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions (BDS). This is a collective human struggle similar to what happened in challenging apartheid in South Africa.

There are` many books and references available to document each point.

* * * * * * * * * *

Related discussion may be found under the following questions:

How are the Palestinians responding to the latest attacks?

Presenting the Palestinian Side of the Conflict, Does this promote a culture of peace?

Israel/Palestine, is the situation like South Africa?, Would a Truth and Reconciliation Commission help?

This question applies to the following CPNN articles:

Australia: Antony Loewenstein wins the 2019 Jerusalem (Al Quds) Peace Prize

Manifesto on diversity: the Land of Canaan

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

UN Chief Proposes Armed Peacekeeping Force to Protect Palestinians

BDS Victory: Irish Senate Approves Bill Boycotting Israeli Settlement Goods

ICC judges order outreach to victims of war crimes in Palestine

Flotilla bringing needed medical supplies to Gaza

Uri Avnery (Israel’s peace movement Gush Shalom) on Israel’s Days of Shame

The carnage against Gaza civilian protesters

Amnesty International: Israeli forces must end the use of excessive force in response to “Great March of Return” protests

Gaza Children Cinema – Update March 2018

Great March of Return: A New Defiance Campaign

Eyeless in Gaza

Photos: #FreeAhedTamimi and #FreePalestine in Brussels, Berlin, Athens, Amsterdam, London, Jaipur, Manchester, Naples, Milan, Dortmund

Israel/OPT: Palestinian child activist Ahed Tamimi sentenced to 8 months in prison

Ahed Tamimi and the Pathology of the Israeli Mind

14th Annual Israeli Apartheid Weeks of actions

International Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Israelis ‘Blacklists’ 20 pro-BDS Groups Banned from Entry, Including Nobel Winners AFSC

Ahed Tamimi: The Mandela of Palestine?

The Elders applaud Palestinian reconciliation; renew call for end to blockade of Gaza

USA: Israel-Palestine statement by the Mennonites takes a ‘third way’

Gandhi Peace Award to Omar Barghouti and Ralph Nader

The Inside Story on Our UN Report Calling Israel an Apartheid State

Confessions of a Megalomaniac by Uri Avnery of Gush Shalom (Israel)

The Elders welcome Paris Mideast peace conference, urge all P5 states to show leadership

200 legal scholars back right to boycott Israel

International Women’s Boat to Gaza

Women’s Boat to Gaza’ set to arrive in Gaza within hours amid fears of Israeli hijacking

Film review: Disturbing the Peace

Freedom Flotilla will sail until the blockade of Gaza is permanently and fully lifted

The Elders welcome Paris conference as step towards two-state solution for Israel-Palestine

US: ​United Methodist Kairos Response Welcomes Pension Fund Exclusion and Divestment of Israeli Banks

Join the Palestine Museum of Natural History: Why doing so is so important

2015 Black Solidarity Statement with Palestine

Palestine: Breaking the Silence Tour in Hebron

Letter of appreciation to the Palestinian Youth Orchestra

Gaza prepares to welcome Freedom Flotilla III

Sanctions against Israel: Round up from 2014

Le Centre de la paix organise une séance de soutien psychologique pour les enfants de Gaza

The Peace Centre organized a counseling session for Gaza's children

Despite crackdown, Palestinians organize for long-term peace

The Elders support Palestinian move to sign international treaties

Presbyterian General Assembly Votes 310-303 to Divest from Israeli Occupation

Anti-Apartheid Archbishop Tutu Calls Presbyterians to Back Divestment From Israeli Occupation

One Democratic State gaining momentum – Bethlehem Declaration

Worcester Palestinian Friendship (WPF)

Appeal: Welcome to Palestine 2012

L’appel de 'Bienvenue en Palestine 2012'

Towards a Culture of Peace and Recognition: Palestine is a UNESCO Member State

Vers une culture de Paix et Reconnaissance: La Palestine est un membre de l’UNESCO

Edward Said lecture

Students for a Free Palestine

How can different faiths work together for understanding and harmony?

. . . Tolerance & Solidarity . . .

Asian church leaders call for greater interfaith cooperation

Muslim World League, Patriarchate of Moscow sign cooperation deal

Geneva: Conference on ‘Promoting Peace Together’ Promoting Human Fraternity and Harmonious Co-existence through Dialogue

Fourth edition of living together in Togo

Pope hopes his Arabian trip will help Islam-Christian relations

Pakistan: Interfaith Christmas Celebration

Panel on education and peace at UN in Geneva draws faith and secular sectors together

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

Europe’s Religious Leaders to discuss the role of multi-religious cooperation in social cohesion

Burkina Faso: Inter-religious dialogue for peace: “It is the diversity of religions that gives meaning to religion”

Brazil: Londrina to hold meeting for peace and religious tolerance

Taiwan: The sixth Buddhist-Christian talk in progress

Burkina Faso: A forum talks about peace

Historic peacebuilding program launches in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Qatar: DICID chief highlights role in spreading peace

Spain: Melilla Unesco Center will host the presentation ‘Islam: Culture of peace and non-violence’

Jewish, Christian, Muslim Leaders Feast Together for Interfaith Ramadan Break-Fast in Istanbul

Burkina Faso: Dialogue of religions and cultures: prospects for the Ouagadougou symposium

Burkina Faso: Dialogue des religions et des cultures: tenants et aboutissants du symposium de Ouagadougou

Vatican: PCID and WCC to draw up document on Education for Peace

Niger: Niamey opens a forum on the culture of peace through religious dialogue in the subregion

Niger: Ouverture à Niamey d’un forum sur la culture de la paix par le dialogue religieux dans la sous-région

Muslim Council of Elders, Anglican Church meeting ends on high note in Abu Dhabi

There’s a Place in India Where Religions Coexist Beautifully and Gender Equality Is Unmatched

Beating the drum for peace: A chat with the general secretary of the South Sudan Council of Churches

A Year-long Project for “Living Together – REVE” in Niger

Un an du “Projet Revalorisation du Vivre Ensemble – REVE” au Niger

Lebanese dialogue aims to strengthen unity in diversity

For articles prior to 2015, click here

English bulletin December 1, 2015


The refugee crisis in Europe has revealed the deep contradictions in the culture of war. As stated by the Nobel Peace Prize winners in their recent meeting in Barcelona: “The refugee and migration crisis does not exist in isolation. It is a symptom of the broader problems that confront humanity that include . . . the consequences of militarism, extreme nationalism and the use of force and proxy wars by global powers in pursuit of strategic, financial and ideological interests”

In his remarks on the crisis, Nobel Prize winner Kofi Annan says that Europe should consider the refugees as a potential resource rather than a liability. Taking this into consideration, at CPNN we look this month at the many initiatives around the world that welcome and integrate refugees into their societies.

In France, 15 civil society and international organizations are currently working to welcome and integrate refugees, which includes a network of 570 associations in the “Fédération nationale des associations d’accueil et de réadaptation sociale” (National Federation of Associations for Reception and Social Integration).

In Spain, the non-governmental Commission for Refugee Aid (CEAR) has the commitment of organizations and institutions in solidarity with refugees that form part of its Assembly: political parties, trade unions, religious groups and NGOs and prominent personalities in the field of defense and the human rights of asylum seekers. The School for the Culture of Peace in Barcelona is presently developing a map of cities with good practices in this regard.

Latin America has long been a leader in receiving refugees, with excellent legislation in many of its countries. The fundamental principles were adopted last December in Brasilia, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the 1984 Cartagena Declaration on Refugees. The action plan commits Latin American and Caribbean governments to approach the problem from a humanitarian point of view. Examples of this effort include the implementation of programs such as Quality Asylum, and Borders with Solidarity and Security, which address the needs of people who live, cross or return to border areas. With regard to the current crisis, some 6,000 Syrians have been received thus far in Brasilia, Buenos Aires and Montevideo.

In the United States Republican governors have opposed the reception of refugees from Syria, but in response, Cities United For Immigration Action, a coalition of nearly 100 cities and counties is leading the effort to promote and execute immigration reforms nationwide. The initiative includes a letter from 18 mayors of the most important cities, including New York, Chicago and Baltimore, saying among other things that “The global refugee crisis brings with it a responsibility and opportunity to welcome those seeking exile from tyranny and oppression.”

For example, the city of New Haven expressly invited a Syrian family that had been rejected by the Republican governor of Indiana, and the family was welcomed by the Democratic governor of Connecticut: “I assured them that not only was I welcoming them, but I was proud that they’ve come to the US and come to Connecticut.”

The American humorist and movie director Michael Moore summed up the struggle in an open letter to the Republican governor of his state of Michigan: “I just wanted to let you know that, contrary to your declaration of denying Syrian refugees a home in our state of Michigan, I myself am going to defy your ban and will offer MY home in Traverse City, Michigan, to those very Syrian refugees you’ve decided to keep out. I will contact the State Department to let them know I am happy to provide a safe haven to any Syrian refugee couple approved by the Obama administration’s vetting procedures in which I have full faith and trust. . . I’m asking anyone who can, anyone who has spare rooms in their homes or an empty apartment, cottage, or whatever, to make it available for Syrian and Iraqi refugees . . . THIS is what we want the “American way” to be from now on. No more war, or interfering in other people’s lives, no more turning our backs on the messes that we’ve created.”

And finally, we salute the 50 cities of ICORN (The International Cities of Refuge Network). Each ICORN member is a city of refuge and provides temporary shelter through residencies for persecuted writers and artists. The residency is typically for two years. According to ICORN, these “writers and artists represent a rich resource for the entire network of cities. They bring new impulses to the cultural life of each city; they contribute to enhancing knowledge about different cultures in your city and enrich our debate, our insight and our understanding.”

In the long run, the refugees can enrich our debate, our insight and our understanding that we must move from the present culture of war to a global culture of peace.



The Barcelona Declaration – Refugees: Meeting the Challenge to Our Humanity



International dialogue on gender equality in the media to be held in Geneva


USA Exclusive: Air Force Whistleblowers Risk Prosecution to Warn Drone War Kills Civilians, Fuels Terror


Nearly 100 Home-based Workers from 24 Countries Gather in Delhi to Adopt Historic Delhi Declaration on Workers’ Rights


food sovereignty
We are the solution: African women organize for land and seed sovereignty


New Cities of Peace


Angola to host biennial on culture of peace in Africa


USA: Restorative Practices in Schools

The refugee crisis, Who is responsible?


As a response to this question, CPNN readers are encouraged to read the full text of the analysis of the refugee crisis in Europe by Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, in a speech on October 9, 2015.

Here are a few excerpts from his speech:

* * * * * *

The refugee crisis is a by-product of at least three broader trends:

First and foremost, it is the result of the breakdown of the authoritarian state order in the Middle East and Africa after the destruction of authoritarian states in Iraq and Libya, as well as the Arab Spring.

What we are witnessing today is not just a series of civil wars, but also a geopolitical struggle to redefine the balance of powers in the Middle East.

Second, the inability of the Security Council to find a compromise that can resolve the crisis in Syria has undermined its own authority and perpetuated the conflict.

Finally, the growing migratory flows are also compounded by demographic growth in countries in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa that are unable to generate sufficient employment for young people.

The populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East have multiplied by four since 1950 . On current trends, both will double again their 2000 populations by 2050.

This underlying trend is exacerbating political instability in the Middle East and Africa and fuelling migration.

Europe sees the massive influx of refugees and migrants from the Middle East and Africa as a threat.

In reality, it is an endorsement of the European project, an opportunity, but also a challenge that will require decisive action.

Europe is a symbol of freedom, prosperity and justice that attracts immigrants. At a time when the EU is not popular within its own borders, Europeans should reflect on the significance of their popularity abroad.

But migrants should not be regarded merely as beneficiaries of Europe’s bounty: they also represent an opportunity for Europe itself.

By definition, immigrants are entrepreneurial people. After all, they have taken huge risks to seek a better life for themselves and their families.

It should not, therefore, come as a surprise that they are over-represented amongst entrepreneurs. In fact, more than 40 per cent of the Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant .

I am certain that many of the wealthy philanthropists in this room, like Mr. Arton himself, are immigrants or children of immigrants.

Moreover, immigrants can help to compensate for the ageing population of many European countries, and can therefore help sustain their welfare states into the future.

* * * * * *

The historic refugee crisis Europe is facing today is so hard to solve because it is not a one-off, humanitarian phenomenon.

It is, in fact, a by-product and symptom of much deeper political problems that beset regional and global order.

It will therefore require concerted action not just in and by Europe, but amongst the regional powers of the Middle East, and the global powers of the Security Council.

Like climate change, it is one of those issues that epitomise our era of globalisation, when crises in one part of the world can no longer be isolated or ignored by the rest.

Once again, international cooperation and dialogue will be the key to finding solutions.

According to an African proverb, if you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.

We have a long way to go; we can only do so if we go together.

This question applies to the following CPNN articles:

Milan, Italy: Anti-racism protesters denounce Italy’s right-wing government

Italy: Mayors of Florence, Palermo and Naples “Rebelled” against a Tough Anti-Immigrant Law

France: Culture for Peace Award to The Artists in Exile Workshop

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

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

UNESCO recognizes Cortes de Baza for Dialogue and Coexistence

Nobel Women’s Initiative: Standing with Rohingya Women, Spotlighting Survivors for World Refugee Day

The Coming Wave of Climate Displacement

France / Refugees. Resumption of Trial of Martine Landry, Member of Amnesty International France and Anafé Unfairly Pursued for “Crime of Solidarity”

Germany: The dead refugees lament! Action September 5

Barcelona demonstration calls for the reception of refugees

Una multitud clama en Barcelona por la acogida de refugiados

From the “jungle” to the theater, refugees replay their exile to Europe

De la “jungle” au théâtre, des réfugiés rejouent leur exil vers l’Europe

The international Society Culture of Peace: Solidarity concerts in Athens and Mytilini / Lesbos

Greece: Union pushes for access to education for all refugee children

The Elders hail Germany’s engagement on refugee and migration issues

USA: Refugee Orchestra Project Showcases Refugees” Impact through Music on World Refugee Day

Grecia: Un sindicato nacional ejerce presión en favor del acceso a la educación para todos los niños refugiados

Grèce: Un syndicat national exerce des pressions afin de garantir l’accès à l’éducation de tous les enfants réfugiés

MOAS & EMERGENCY NGO partner up to provide rescue and medical care to migrants in the Mediterranean

Hundreds join refugee solidarity rally in Madrid, slamming NATO invasions

Latin America heeds the cries of refugees

The International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN)

USA: Indiana Said No; New Haven Said Yes To Refugees

France: Comment venir en aide aux réfugiés ?

France: How to help the refugees?

Michael Moore (USA): My home is open for Syrian refugees

Spain: The Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid

UNHCR welcomes first arrivals of Syrian refugees in Canada

The Barcelona Declaration – Refugees: Meeting the Challenge to Our Humanity

USA: 18 mayors join forces to commend Obama administration, and call on them to accept more refugees amid Syrian crisis

2015 MacBride Prize to Lampedusa (Italy) and Gangjeon Village, Jeju Island (S. Korea)

Is dropping more bombs on Syria way to solve refugee crisis?