The nature of the state includes its defense of national borders. Hundreds of years ago, city-states defended themselves with fortifications and armed guards, but now the cities have open borders and it is only the state that limits the movement of people. Historically, it can be seen as one of the aspects of the culture of war.
Civil society organizations often work to reduce the barriers with those in neighboring states. Here are examples from Cyprus, Hispaniola (Haiti and Dominican Republic), Northern Europe (Norway and Russia), Central America (Guatemala and Belize) and the Great Lakes region of Africa, among others.
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.
For articles about peace initiatives carried out by organizations of several different religions working together, click here .
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.)
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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.
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 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 CPNN articles pertaining to this question:
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 http://www.unaoc.org/repository/HLG_Report.pdf.
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.
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:
For articles prior to 2015, click here.
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.
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Related discussion may be found under the following questions:
This question applies to the following CPNN articles: