All posts by CPNN Coordinator

About CPNN Coordinator

Dr David Adams is the coordinator of the Culture of Peace News Network. He retired in 2001 from UNESCO where he was the Director of the Unit for the International Year for the Culture of Peace, proclaimed for the Year 2000 by the United Nations General Assembly.

World Court Condemns Israeli Apartheid

. . HUMAN RIGHTS . .

A press survey by CPNN

Human Rights Watch: The following quote can be attributed to Tirana Hassan, Human Rights Watch Executive Director:

In a historic ruling the International Court of Justice has found multiple and serious international law violations by Israel towards Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including, for the first time, finding Israel responsible for apartheid. The court has placed responsibility with all states and the United Nations to end these violations of international law. The ruling should be yet another wake up call for the United States to end its egregious policy of defending Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and prompt a thorough reassessment in other countries as well.


Judges for the International Court of Justice rise before delivering a non-binding ruling on Israeli rule in the West Bank and East Jerusalem at the ICJ in The Hague on July 19, 2024. (Nick Gammon/AFP)

Amnesty International: Responding to the historic advisory opinion delivered today by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legality of Israel’s policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and the consequences of Israel’s conduct for other states and the UN, Erika Guevara Rosas, Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Research, Advocacy, Policy and Campaigns, said . . .

“The international community, and in particular Israel’s allies, must now take unequivocal action to ensure Israel ends its unlawful occupation, starting with the immediate halting of the expansion of Israeli settlements and reversing the annexation of Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and dismantling its brutal system of apartheid against Palestinians. Ending the occupation is crucial in order to stop the recurrent pattern of human rights violations across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. 

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Question related to this article:

Israel/Palestine, is the situation like South Africa?

How can a culture of peace be established in the Middle East?

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“Israel must withdraw its forces from all parts of the occupied territories, including the Gaza Strip and remove all settlers from the West Bank, including from the illegally annexed East Jerusalem. Israel must also relinquish control over all aspects of Palestinians’ lives, as well as ceding control of borders, natural resources, air space and territorial waters of the occupied territory. This means lifting the illegal blockade of Gaza and allowing Palestinians to travel freely between Gaza and the West Bank.” 

The Times of Israel quoted the ICJ ruling extensively and reported the reactions of Israeli political leaders:

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, numerous cabinet ministers as well as settler leaders roundly denounced the ruling, with some calling for the immediate formal annexation of the West Bank in response. . . . Members of left-wing opposition parties insisted, however, that Israeli policy was at fault, with Labor MK Gilad Kariv stating that the government’s “de facto annexation” of the West Bank, “theft of land” and refusal to conduct negotiations with the Palestinians meant that it would by definition be unable to preserve “Israel’s status as an accepted democratic country.”

As reported by Reuters, the official response of the United States was negative:

“The U.S. criticized “the breadth” of the top U.N. court’s opinion that Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories is illegal, with Washington saying it would complicate efforts to resolve the conflict.”

The Guardian says that the ICJ decision will have a profound impact:

“Thorough, detailed and all encompassing, the international court of justice’s advisory ruling on the illegality of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory and settlement building represents a stark refutation of Israel’s claims, and will have a profound impact for years to come. . . . While numerous UN reports and resolutions in the general assembly have made the same point, the ICJ ruling, by virtue of being made in reference to treaty and individual laws, represents a judgment that will be hard to ignore. . . . While non-binding, the ruling will provide ample ammunition for government lawyers already actively examining future sanctions against those linked to Israeli settlement.

The mention of sanctions by the Guardian brings to mind the important historical precedent that sanctions were of critical importance in the victory over apartheid in South Africa.

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When Nothing Else Works to End Israeli Genocide of Gaza, Urge Governments to Use UN General Assembly Res 377 “Uniting For Peace” for Peace in Palestine

. . HUMAN RIGHTS . .

An article from World Beyond War

The crime of genocide is happening. The intentional destruction of a people, in whole or in part, is genocide. The law is meant to be used to prevent it, not just review it after the fact.

We sent over half a million emails  to key governments urging them to invoke the genocide convention at the International Court of Justice. South Africa did so, charging Israel with genocide. Nicaragua, Mexico, Libya, and Colombia formally filed declarations of intervention in support of the case. Several other nations said they would do so as well. The court has ordered Israel to cease its genocidal acts, and the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has requested arrest warrants. And still the United Nations Security Council does not act, and in fact allows its members to provide Israel with the weaponry needed to continue the crime.

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Question related to this article:

How can war crimes be documented, stopped, punished and prevented?

How can a culture of peace be established in the Middle East?

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United Nations General Assembly Resolution 377 (Uniting For Peace) allows the General Assembly to act when the Security Council fails. The General Assembly should NOT escalate the war or deploy armed troops. It should convene an emergency session and use “Uniting For Peace” to impose an arms embargo and targeted sanctions on the Israeli government, suspend the Israeli government from the United Nations, and send to Palestine unarmed peacekeepers   (who have repeatedly  shown their superiority to armed peacekeepers).

The General Assembly has already voted overwhelmingly for a ceasefire, but not for the actions above.

Emails sent on the form here will go simultaneously to the governments of South Africa, Nicaragua, Brazil, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Egypt, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Turkey, Mexico, Pakistan, Spain, Libya, China, Russia, Algeria, Ecuador, Guyana, Japan, France, Malta, Mozambique, Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Switzerland, Canada.

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Campaign Nonviolence Action Days 2024 – Calls-To-Action

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

An article from Pace e Bene

From Sept 21 to Oct 2, 2024, (Int’l Day of Peace to Int’l Day of Nonviolence), join tens of thousands of people in creatively building a culture of peace rooted in active nonviolence. Last year, people held over 5,000 actions, events, and marches across the USA and in 20 countries. Over 60,000 people participated in these events. 


In 2024, join us in advancing peace and nonviolence, and addressing the entwined issues of violence, war, poverty, racism, and environmental destruction. 

We welcome your ideas for actions. We also invite you to participate in our calls-to-action that work on specific aspects of a culture of nonviolence. Offer a teach-in on nonviolence. Call for ceasefires. Organize labor strike solidarity. Train in how to interrupt racial harassment. Connect the issues of climate and militarism. There’s something for everyone in these Campaign Nonviolence calls-to-action!

You can organize in several ways:

° Organize your own action to build a culture of peace and active nonviolence, free from war, poverty, racism, and environmental destruction. Just tell us the details and we’ll add you to the Action Days list. 

° Sign-up for one or more of our specific calls-to-action. The actions have been chosen to connect the dots between the issues and explore the many forms of nonviolence including education, constructive programs, healing work, direct action, and protests. You can join actions on Sept 21st (Int’l Day of Peace) and Oct 2nd (Int’l Day of Nonviolence). You can also choose a call-to-action that can be done any time between those dates. You pick a date that works best for you and your group, while still feeling the solidarity of others taking action in similar ways. 

Spread the word! Grow the movement by reaching out to local groups and inviting them to join in. The Campaign Nonviolence Action Days are designed to bring together the many issues, movements, and efforts working to end violence and build a world that works for all of us.

Questions? Contact Rivera Sun: rivera(at)paceebene.org

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Question related to this article:

How can the peace movement become stronger and more effective?

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International Day of Peace: Build A Culture of Peace

° From Ukraine to Gaza, Sudan to Colombia, the need for peace is urgent and widespread. On September 21st, the International Day of Peace, take action to call for ceasefires, educate the community about peace, and honor the peacemakers on the local and global levels.  More info.

International Day of Nonviolence: Nonviolence Teach-Ins

° October 2nd is Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday and the International Day of Nonviolence. On this day, connect with as many children and adults as possible to discuss, learn about, and explore nonviolence. Use our tools and resources to host creative teach-ins. Do a Facebook live or Instagram post on the subject of nonviolence. Or put up informational posters around town. Or interrupt classes or meetings with a 5-minute speech on nonviolence. Or sidewalk chalk nonviolence principles in public places. More info.

Ending Violence: Train To Interrupt Violence & Harassment

° Train your community in bystander intervention, de-escalation, and anti-harassment skills. Prepare people to be able to stop incidents of violence and harassment at work, on public transit, in the home, at the store, or in the streets. As we approach the 2024 elections, you could also help poll workers and poll watchers prepare to de-escalate potential violence at the polls. More info.

Ending Poverty: Mutual Aid & Labor Strike Solidarity

° Organize a group to participate in mutual aid and/or labor strike solidarity, i.e. hold a bake sale for a strike fund, go to a picket line, join a boycott of a business where the workers are striking, or other ways of supporting a strike. More info.

Environment: Peace & Planet Solidarity

° Use our Peace & Planet Solidarity Toolkit to take action on the ways the climate crisis and militarism connect, or how war damages the environment. You will also find creative ideas for organizing peace and planet events with children.  More info.

° Divest From Violence—Move the Money Out of Weapons & Fossil Fuels: Take action to stop money from going into industries that manufacture war, weapons, nukes, and fossil fuels. Plan an action at a bank, public office, or university. Challenge them to reinvest in peace and planet. More info.

Racial Justice: Host a Racial Healing Circle and/or Train To Interrupt Harassment

° Help your community address racism that impacts Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian-American, Arab-American, and Jewish individuals. Host a Racial Healing Circle that allows personal stories to be shared and heard. Train your community in practical ways to intervene when someone is being targeted by hate. Your actions can focus on the issues your area is struggling with, such as welcoming migrants or addressing both antisemitism and Islamophobia. More info.

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The Elders: A message from Ernesto Zedillo, Former President of Mexico

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION .

A message from The Elders

Dear friends,

The Elders is an organisation profoundly committed to international law and diplomacy. We believe that the challenges facing humanity, from cruel and protracted conflicts to the climate and nature crisis, pandemics and the threat posed by nuclear weapons, can only be overcome by nations working together.

This is why we believe in a strong multilateral system, underpinned by an unshakeable will to uphold the rule of law, where power is balanced by responsibility and decisions are taken on a long-term and strategic basis.

This is the message we took last month to the headquarters of the United Nations in New York, for a series of public and private meetings with the Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly, the members of the Security Council and other senior leaders.

The Elders’ delegation – our Chair Mary Robinson, Deputy Chair Ban Ki-moon and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, and myself – emphasised in all our meetings that as the UN approaches its 80th anniversary, it is needed more than ever but is also facing unprecedented threats from a growing trend of unilateralism and impunity.

Ban Ki-moon highlighted the devastating human cost of the failure of leadership at a public debate of the UN Security Council on the plight of children in armed conflict. Speaking alongside the Special Representative of the Secretary-General who presented the annual report of the Secretary-General on the scale of the crisis, Ban Ki-moon deplored the increase in the number of children killed and maimed in conflicts worldwide over the past year, from Gaza and Israel to Ukraine, Sudan to Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Yemen, to name but a few.

He confronted the Security Council with a painful truth: it is patently ineffective, and failing to perform its most fundamental function of upholding peace and security, and protecting innocent lives.  

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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Even when the Council does reach agreement, as it did when passing Resolution 2735 on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on 10 June, significant challenges remain in pressuring the conflict parties to implement the resolution in full. To secure a lasting ceasefire, the release of Israeli hostages and Palestinian political prisoners, and the safe and effective distribution of aid throughout Gaza as the resolution requires, all Council members must act in good faith and with persistence, in line with the values of the UN Charter.

The sentiments of Ban Ki-moon’s speech were echoed across all our conversations in New York, including with representatives from China, Russia, Ukraine and Iran, and the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine.

We also raised and discussed specific proposals on how the UN and member states could be more effective. These included: engagement on finding political pathways to resolve specific conflicts, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; strengthening the effectiveness and representation of the Security Council and the role of the General Assembly; using the UN Charter to its fullest; and strengthening the role of women leaders in peace-building.

The current failure of the UN Security Council members with veto power to honour their responsibility not only deepens the misery of innocent civilians but damages unfairly the effectiveness and reputation of the entire UN system.

All Council members, and indeed all UN member states, have a degree of culpability for the current difficulties encountered by the UN organisation but the greatest responsibility lies with the five Permanent Members of the Security Council. For this reason, in our conversation with the President of the General Assembly and a number of ambassadors, we emphasised the need for the General Assembly to be more proactive in advocating the regulation of the veto power to limit its abuse by the P5.

The Security Council, and in particular the veto power, must evolve if the UN system is to prove itself fit for purpose in the 21st century. We were encouraged by some of the innovative reform proposals we heard, and we hope that the Summit of the Future in September will be an opportunity to sow the seeds for lasting, positive change in the years ahead.

With thanks as always for your ongoing support,

Ernesto Zedillo

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The Summit of the Future

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An article by Jeffry Sachs* in the Transcend Media Service

The world’s geopolitical system is not delivering what we want or need.  Sustainable development is our declared goal, meaning economic prosperity, social justice, environmental sustainability, and peace.  Yet our reality is continued poverty amidst plenty, widening inequalities, deepening environmental crises, and war.  To get back on track, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has wisely called for a Summit of the Future (SOTF)  at the United Nations on September 22-23, a call that has been endorsed by the 193 UN Member states.

The core idea of the Summit of the Future is that humanity is facing a set of unprecedented challenges that can only be solved through global cooperation.  The crisis of human-induced climate change (especially the warming of the planet) cannot be solved by any one country alone.  Nor can the crises of wars (such as in Ukraine and Gaza) or the geopolitical tensions (between the US and China) be settled by one or two countries alone.  Each country, even the major powers including the US, China, Russia, India, and others are part of a complex global structure of power, economics, and politics that requires truly global solutions.

The Summit will revolve around 5 core topics, all of them related to multilateralism, meaning the system by which nations co-exist with the rest of the world.  These topics are: (1) the goal of sustainable development; (2) the goal of peace; (3) the control of new technologies such as artificial intelligence; (4) the empowerment of young people and future generations; and (5) reform of the UN architecture.

The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), which I direct on behalf of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, has issued a statement summarizing the view of leading academics around the world about the reform of the multilateral system.  The SDSN statement on the SOTF  is Chapter 1 of the SDSN’s 2024 Sustainable Development Report.

On the goal of sustainable development, the core challenge is global finance.  Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – including the fight against poverty, hunger, disease, and environmental degradation – requires sizable public investments.  The main priority public investment areas including education, health care, zero-carbon energy, sustainable agriculture, urban infrastructure, and digital infrastructure.  The problem is that the poorer half of the world — the low-income countries and lower-middle-income countries – lack the access to financing they need to achieve the SDGs.  The most urgent reform of the global system these countries need is access to long-term, low-cost financing.

On the goal of peace, the core challenge today is great-power competition.  The US is in competition with Russia and China.  The US aims for primacy in Europe over Russia, and primacy in Asia over China.  Russia and China resist the US.  The result is war (in Ukraine) or risk of war (in East Asia).  We need a stronger UN-led system in which great-power competition is governed and restrained by the UN Charter rather than by militarism and power politics.  More generally, we are past the era when any single country can or should aspire to primacy or hegemony.  The major powers should live in peace and mutual respect under the UN Charter, without threatening each other’s security.

On the goal of technology, the main challenge is to ensure transparent and responsible governance of the new advanced technologies, including biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and geo-engineering.  Such powerful technologies cannot continue to be managed in secrecy by the militaries and powerful corporations.  They need to be governed by honesty, transparency, and responsibility to the public.

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Question for this article:

Despite the vested interests of companies and governments, Can we make progress toward sustainable development?

Sustainable Development Summits of States, What are the results?

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On the goal of youth and future generations, the major challenge is to ensure that every child can achieve his or her potential through a high-quality education.  Education is essential for a decent job and a life of dignity.  Yet hundreds of millions of children, especially in the poor countries, are either out of school or in sub-standard schools that are not teaching the skills needed for the 21st century.   Without a quality education, these children will face a lifetime of poverty and under-employment or unemployment.  We need a new global financial arrangement to ensure that every child, even in the poorest countries, is given the opportunity for a decent education.

On the goal of reforming the UN system, the key is to give more power to UN institutions and to make them more representative.  The UN today depends too much on a few powerful countries, most on notably the US.  When the US doesn’t pay its dues to the UN, for example, the whole UN system is weakened.  We need to strengthen the UN system by ensuring that it is properly and reliably financed through a new system of international taxes – for example, on CO2 emissions, shipping, aviation, and financial transactions – rather than the contributions of individual governments.

We also should make the UN institutions more representative of the world of 2024 rather than the world of 1945, when the UN was established.  India, for example, should become a permanent member of the UN Security Council.  India is the world’s most populous country, the third largest economy, and a nuclear power as well.  In 1945, India was still a British colony, and so was not given its proper place in the UN system at that time.

Another core recommendation of the SDSN is to introduce a UN Parliamentary Assembly as a new chamber alongside the UN General Assembly (UNGA).  The UNGA gives each member state one vote, with the power of that vote in the hands of the executive branch of each government.  A UN Parliament would represent the peoples of the world rather than the governments.

Most importantly, the Summit of the Future is an invitation to intensive global brainstorming on how to make our deeply interconnected world fit for sustainable development in the 21st century.  It is a great challenge that should be welcomed and joined by people all over the world.  A great debate will open in September and then continue for years to come.
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* The author, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, is Director of Columbia’s Center for Sustainable Development and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He has served as Special Adviser to three UN Secretaries-General [Kofi Annan (2001-7), Ban Ki-moon (2008-16), and currently serves as an SDG Advocate under Secretary-General António Guterres. His books include The End of Poverty, Common Wealth, The Age of Sustainable Development, Building the New American Economy, and most recently, A New Foreign Policy: Beyond American Exceptionalism. Sachs was also an advisor to the last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, as well as to the first president of the Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin.

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‘It’s Time To Give Peace Another Chance’: Thousands Gather for Israeli-Palestinian Peace Conference in Tel Aviv

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY .

An article from Portside

Two hundred and sixty-eight days into Israel’s war with Hamas, thousands of Israelis queued at the entrance Tel Aviv’s Menora Mivtachim Arena on Monday night, waiting to enter an event called “It’s Time: The Great Peace Conference.” The rally was organized by a confederation of some 50 organizations and individuals from Israel’s left and pro-peace camp, with a message that revolved around the arena’s LED screens: “It’s time to reach a deal. To stop the war. To make peace.”


Thousands of attendees shine their lights in solidarity at ‘The Great Peace Conference’ in Tel Aviv, Israel, Monday, July 1. (Haaretz)

The attendees represented a mixture of organizations, from Peace Now and Breaking the Silence to the anti-judicial overhaul protest groups. Some wore shirts reading “Bring them home now,” a call for a deal to return the hostages to Israel; others depicted watermelons, a stand-in for the Palestinian flag, which Israel’s police largely prohibit waving. A group of high schoolers in hijabs toted iced coffees, and a man in red and yellow Buddhist monk robes climbed over the barriers into the orchestra section to greet friends.

The speaker lineup was similarly diverse. It featured Israelis who lost family to Hamas’ onslaught in southern Israel and Palestinians who lost family to Israeli air strikes in Gaza. A woman in a Jewish headscarf recited a prayer for mothers beside her friend, an observant Muslim, who repeated it in Arabic.

Screens on either side of the stage provided English, Arabic and Hebrew subtitles for the speakers, and sign language interpreters translated the Hebrew and Arabic as it was spoken. In one video presented to the crowd, former generals and security officials endorsed peace as the only viable path to safety; in another, Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem gave their blessing to the event.

“Our mutual goal here is many different organizations and movement is to build together a peace camp in Israel,” Alon-Lee Green, co-director of Standing Together, one of the groups that organized the conference, told Haaretz. “I’m not even saying to rebuild. I’m talking about building from this from the beginning – a peace camp that is grounded in reality. And in reality, millions of Palestinians are living under violent military control.

“Millions of Jews are living with no safety, not just in the south and the north; it is unsafe for people to imagine that they’ll keep living on this land. And in this reality, we also need to recognize the hegemony, and the hegemony is of the Israeli government, the Israeli military, and we must be able to look at it and to face it. So what we’re trying to do is to build a new camp in the Israeli society, a peace camp that is equal for Palestinians and Jews, and a peace camp that is courageous enough to not do the mistakes of the ones of the 90s and the beginning of the 2000s.”

Maoz Inon, whose parents were killed in the Hamas-led massacre on October 7, was one of the key organizers of the rally. “On my journey, I learned that hope isn’t something you lose, or something you find, or something that you wait for until it finds you. Hope is something you make,” he told the crowd.

Rula Hardal, a Palestinian from Peki’in who now lives in Ramallah, presented a dire forecast: She said that she and the Jewish activists she shared the stage with may have different opinions on particular issues, but they have a commonality. “We all share the same space between the Jordan River and the sea, that we, Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs, call a homeland,” she said “But this homeland is bleeding. Spirits of vengeance and bloodshed hover over it, and if we don’t stop it now, we’ll all be on the way to collective suicide.”

The event also made room for up-and-coming leadership, bringing young activists to the stage. One was Yanal Jabarin, a journalist from Jerusalem, who recounted his harrowing experience in January at a right-wing rally calling for the resettlement of Gaza.

He told Haaretz that this event is something of an antidote to the messaging coming from the far-right government. “In this show of force we have here, the thousands of people who came here, it doesn’t matter what your opinion is on ‘the day after,’ or whether you believe in two states or one, we just have to say that there’s a side that stands against all of this fascism and all of this racism and messages about transferring the Palestinian people anywhere.”

Another young leader was Josh Drill, an expat from New Jersey who found his way to activism after serving as an IDF officer in Hebron. “The amount of injustice and suffering from so many sides, and from so many different perspectives, really pushed me to understand that I’m going to be a part of this peace movement that’s going to change the reality on the ground,” he told Haaretz.

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Question related to this article:

How can a culture of peace be established in the Middle East?

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“We cannot accept this cycle of bloodshed, we cannot accept the current reality. It’s just not livable for anyone. And I think that the clear understanding that the Israelis and Palestinians are here to stay, no one is going anywhere. We need to understand how we can live amongst ourselves as Israelis, and also Israelis and Palestinians. Because if we don’t, the cycle of bloodshed will just continue and more lives will be lost.”

Elana Kaminka spoke of her son, Yannai, who was killed by Hamas terrorists on October 7 while protecting his soldiers as a platoon commander at the Zikim Base. “We have three more children, and the way that things are going now, and that people want to continue living in a consistent state of war, isn’t acceptable to us,” she said backstage. “We lost one son, we understand the pain that that involves. And for my other three children, I don’t accept that there’s no other option, that there’s no other alternative. I refuse to accept that, and I don’t accept it for Palestinians, and I don’t accept it for Israelis, we all deserve a better future.”

In speeches and private discussions, particular themes and messages reemerged. Both Israelis and Palestinians have a claim to the land, and must find ways to live with each other upon it; there must be a sea change in Israeli and Palestinian society’s perception of peace, security, self-determination and the other; enough of our parents, children and friends have died to this cycle of violence.

“War isn’t a law of nature – it is a human choice,” said Prof. Yuval Noah Harari n his keynote speech. “And at any moment, it is possible to make a different choice, and start to make peace. True, we have tried to make peace in the past, and we weren’t good at it. So what? We haven’t been that good at making war, either, which doesn’t prevent us from making another one, and another one. All these wars have led us to the abyss. It’s time to give peace another chance.”

Despite the roaring cheers of the crowd, something felt a bit empty. It is not the stadium, whose seats were almost fully booked, but perhaps the fact that it was in a stadium, an enclosed room, in the first place. The participants had all bought tickets; they were a choir being preached to. “It’s an event for us, to make us feel good,” one girl told another in the stairwell. “To make us feel like we’re on the right side.”

When asked about this, Jabarin said that it seems the organizers had already considered this aspect. “It’s going to be livestreamed and there’s a lot of media here, so any message spoken here will make its way to people around the world, not just in Israel, so it’ll have an impact.” And, he added, although the audience belongs mostly to the left, Israel’s left has long been fractured – something that has cost it elections.

“There’s a broad spectrum of people [here], between Balad voters for the most left-wing Palestinian, [Israeli leftist party] Hadash, even the National Unity Party and Benny Gantz. There’s a big chance that we have something in common, this whole audience. So it’s important for us to work together as a united community on ‘the day after’ and not argue over petty things, because that’s what we’ve been arguing over for 70 years. Now is the time, because we see that the other side is already organized. It knows what it wants. We also need to know what we want, and we need to work together.”

After about three hours of speakers and musical guests, the attendees started to make their ways out of the arena. Ibrahim Abu Ahmad, one of the hosts of the Third Narrative podcast, lingered to talk to friends. “I think it was sort of a support group to all of us to know that we’re not alone,” he said of the conference, which he described as beautiful and moving. “But maybe the next step will be to be in the masses, to not just say it in a closed auditorium, but to go and call it out on the streets to the entire country.”

He added that in the 1990s, about two thirds of both the Israeli and Palestinian populations believed in peace – but that fraction is down to less than a third. “We need to continue and push it more and more and more,” he said.

“I always say that these people didn’t vanish, they didn’t all die, they didn’t disappear. They lost hope. And if they lost hope, they can regain hope, and new people can also gain hope. And that happened right after the First Intifada, when everybody thought that there was never going to be peace out of nowhere. Somehow, we started to talk about peace. So we can do that again,” Abu Ahmad said.

“But maybe this time, not to let the extremists take control because back then they did everything they can to prevent peace. And unfortunately, they succeeded. We saw the worst terror attacks at the time in the 90s during Oslo and you know, one radical Israeli killed the Israeli prime minister. Peace died, then we can’t let that happen again.”

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English bulletin July 1, 2024

GLOBAL OUTCRY AGAINST GAZA GENOCIDE

The global outcry against the Gaza genocide, that began last November, continues to develop around the world.

As we reported last month, the youth of the world are taking the lead at their universities. This month, we publish photos from university mobilizations in 36 countries. The motivation of the participants is expressed in a valedictorian speech given at the University of Toledo, Ohio: ““We are the generation that must address these issues at home. We must ask why we have sent around 320 billion dollars in foreign aid to a state convicted of war crimes, countless violations of international law and who are on trial for genocide while Americans are dying due to lack of access to health care” A similar statement from a young Arab-American activist was published last month by CPNN: “In their dedication to speaking out for the protection of human life, their commitment to non-violence, and their courage to act regardless of legal reprimand, thousands across the globe have found hope and regained a battle cry against the Palestinian genocide that continues to unfold. Through attending the George Washington University encampment, I have seen firsthand the nature of these spaces of protest — their spirit, their power, and their peace.”

The global scope of the mobilization is shown by the tour conducted by Palestinian Mazin Qumsiyeh and his wife Jessie to Australia and New Zealand last month. They held 212 events, including speaking at lectures, workshops, rallies, informal gatherings, radio interviews, and media appearances. They reached a total of 22,000 individuals and collected more than 3,400 emails to add to their contacts. Furthermore, they initiated over 20 potential joint projects.

Of special importance are the mobilizations for peace within Israel itself. “Standing Together brought together hundreds of people at a rally in Haifa on December 16 and another 1,000 people at a rally in Tel Aviv on December 28. In January, we held our first anti-war march, in which a coalition of more than 30 peace movements and organizations mobilized thousands of people. The latest and largest demonstrations to date occurred in early May, featuring Palestinian and Jewish speakers and thousands of people marching in Tel Aviv under the slogan “Stop the war, bring back the hostages.”

In May, in response to far-right attempts to block aid convoys heading to Gaza; “Standing Together announced the formation of the Humanitarian Guard, an initiative to bring together peace activists from across Israel to act as a physical barrier between extremist settlers and the trucks, document what was happening, and force the police to intervene. . To date, more than 900 people have signed up to volunteer for this initiative. Every day, dozens of people flock from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to the checkpoint.”

As we have reported previously, women are at the forefront of the mobilizations for peace between Israel and Palestine. And indeed, last month, Nava Hefetz, a female rabbi and activist for peace and human rights, and Ghadir Hani, a Palestinian Israeli, were both in Jerusalem to organize “humanitarian guards.” And Reem Alhajajra, co-founder of Women of the Sun, a Palestinian association campaigns alongside Women Wage Peace on the Israeli side for justice and peace.

As CPNN published in March, 31 Israeli human rights organizations issued a joint statement, including the following: “We call for the immediate release of all hostages and an end to the bombardment of civilians in Israel and in Gaza. Humanitarian aid must be allowed to reach civilian populations, medical facilities and places of refuge must not be harmed, and vital resources such as water and electricity must not be cut off. The killing of additional civilians will not bring back those who were lost. Indiscriminate destruction and a siege harming innocents will not bring relief, justice, or calm.”

Based in the United States, the American Friends Service Committee, has published “6 ways you can support Palestinians in Gaza.” These are:

1) Contact your member of Congress and call for an immediate cease-fire. 
2) Help bring attention to what’s happening in Gaza.  
3) Learn more about Gaza and lift up Palestinian voices. 
4) Hold corporations accountable for their role in violating the rights of Palestinians in Gaza. 
5) Join us in working to dismantle Israeli apartheid. 
6) Make a gift. 

At the same time as these developments in the global consciousness of activists continue to develop, the efforts of national and international authorities to stop the genocide also continue.

After previous attempts were blocked by the American veto, on June 10, the UN Security Council finally adopted a resolution calling for a cease-fire in Gaza. Israel rejected it, saying “Israel will not engage in meaningless and endless negotiations which can be exploited by Hamas as a means to stall for time.”

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has recommended arrest warrants  against two top Israeli  officials, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and three prominent Hamas leaders. Richard Falk, former UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Palestine, called it “the first truly historic move since (the court’s) establishment in 2002.”

The UN General Assembly convened on May 10 for an emergency special session on the Gaza crisis and overwhelmingly passed a resolution which upgrades Palestine’s rights at the world body as an Observer State, without offering full membership. It urged the Security Council to give “favourable consideration” to Palestine’s request.

Of special importance is the growing opposition to the genocide in the United States, because, as argued by the prestigious Center for Constitutional Rights, the Biden administration, far from a neutral spectator, is actively supporting the genocide through military, economic and diplomatic assistance. They filed suit in the US court system to stop the complicity, and although the judge rejected it on technical grounds as “outside the court’s limited jurisdiction,” in his ruling he urged Biden and his administration officials to scrutinize “the results of their unflagging support” for the Israeli government’s assault on Gaza. In his ruling he stated that testimony shows that the ongoing military siege in Gaza is intended to eradicate a whole people and therefore plausibly falls within the international prohibition against genocide.”

According to the most recent American polls, a majority of Democrats (56%) and a slight plurality of Independents (36%) say they believe Israel is committing genocide in Gaza. This poses a serious threat to Biden’s election campaign.

One is reminded of the movement against the war in Vietnam in the 1960’s, that initially developed on college campuses, and later was taken up by the rest of the country in the United States and around the world. Although Vietnam suffered enormously, the movement was able to force a halt in the escalation of the war, and eventually Vietnam was able to expel the invaders and to survive.

TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY



Gaza protests at universities around the world

HUMAN RIGHTS



Bringing the Palestinian Message to Australia and New Zealand

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



News from the Culture of Peace Foundation in Nigeria

WOMEN’S EQUALITY



These Israeli and Palestinian women who do not want to decide between Israel and Palestine

  

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY



Advances by the anti-war left in Israel: Interview with Uri Weltmann

EDUCATION FOR PEACE



Mexico: UAA inaugurates the CONEICC 2024 Meeting “Communicating for a culture of peace”

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION



Speech by Alba Barusell i Ortuño, President of Mayors for Peace European Chapter

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION



2024 Theme for the International Day of Peace: Cultivating a Culture of Peace

How can peace be promoted by radio?

Perhaps the most successful of all the national culture of peace programs undertaken by UNESCO during the 1990’s was the radio services for non-formal education and information for the women of El Salvador. The radio programs provided non-formal education, information and counselling on different problems that women face in their daily lives, including contributing to the elimination of the various forms of discrimination and violence suffered by poor women. The initiative played a major role in assuring a transition to peace in that country following its bitter civil war.

The initiative received a comprehensive evaluation, from which the following quotations are taken.

Broadcasts took place on six national radio stations with an estimated audience of more than one million listeners and 15 stations with regional coverage operating in ail provinces with an average of about 300,000 listeners each.

In addition to the reception via individual radios, in many market places loud speakers were set up which constantly transmit radio programmes, including “Buenos Tiempos Mujer”, to the visitors of the market place.

The radio programs were accompanied by education campaigns that reached 14,000 women. Evaluation surveys found that twelve per cent of the persons interviewed listen continuously to the radio-shows 47 per cent occasionally, and 42 per cent never. Thus, it can be concluded, that the radio­ shows and the education campaigns complement each other for the majority of participants.

Most women talked about the contents of the seminars with friends and neighbours, and to some extent also with their husbands. The subjects which provoked most discussions were “equal rights”, followed by “self-esteem” for the women and “better treatment of women” for the men, issues which were rarely dealt with by mass media before.

Ninety-three per cent of men and 89 per cent of women interviewed confirmed that they had learnt something in the campaigns which helped them to change for better in their private life. The issues mentioned were in the order of importance: defending rights, better communication in family relations, increasing self-awareness, division of labour in the household, and self-esteem.

According to the conclusion of the evaluation, the project contributed to make the concepts of culture of peace and of gender equality accepted or at least tolerated in large parts of the society.

Here are the CPNN articles that touch on this subject:

South Kanem, Chad: the ADM promotes the culture of peace and peaceful cohabitation

Celebrating Radio Day in Haiti

World Radio Day: Celebrating radio as a tool for feminist peace

Cameroon: A radio station for the protection of the Waza biosphere reserve

Peace promotion in the Sahel: The best award-winning radio productions

Colombia’s rural radio stations are a key to peace

Mexico: Zacatecan Radio and Television System to introduce “the culture of peace” as a transversal theme

Making Waves: Local radio transforming perceptions of gender-based violence in Africa

The European Union gives voice to peace in Colombia with community radio

Cameroon: Community radio in the service of peace education

Why radio is proving the best medium to promote Colombia’s peace process

In Nepal, Woman Radio Host Makes Big Splash over Airwaves

South Kanem, Chad: the ADM promotes the culture of peace and peaceful cohabitation

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . . .

An article by Djidda Mahamat Oumar in Alwihda Info (translation by CPNN)

The Association “Développement du Mondo” (ADM) launched a campaign yesterday Wednesday June 26, 2024, an ambitious initiative aimed at combating intercommunity conflicts in the Kanem-Sud department.

During the event, the ADM distributed solar-powered radios to around fifteen local listening clubs.

This initiative, led by the President of the Association, Ali Younous Ali, aims to provide communities with easy and regular access to educational and awareness programs on conflict management and prevention.

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

Questions related to this article:

Can a culture of peace be achieved in Africa through local indigenous training and participation?

How can peace be promoted by radio?

“Our goal is to promote a culture of peace and peaceful cohabitation through effective communication and community education,” said Ali Younous Ali, during the launching ceremony. The solar radios will play a crucial role in allowing members of the listening clubs to stay informed, and participate in constructive discussions on conflict resolution.

This action is part of a broader strategy of the ADM, aimed at strengthening social cohesion and encouraging peaceful dialogue between the different communities in the region. The beneficiaries of these radios expressed their gratitude for this valuable support, emphasizing the importance of having communication tools to promote peace and mutual understanding.

“These radio stations will allow us to stay connected and informed on best practices for conflict management,” said a member of a local listening club. The ADM reiterates its commitment to continue its efforts to promote peace and stability in South Kanem, in close collaboration with local communities and international partners.

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Australian MPs react to Julian Assange’s release

. . HUMAN RIGHTS . .

An article of Yahoo News Australia

Julian Assange has walked free from prison after the WikiLeaks founder reached an agreement with the US Department of Justice, ending a years long legal saga that centred on the release of hundreds of thousands of classified State Department cables, a development that has been welcomed across the Australian parliament.


Kristinn Hrafnsson, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, addresses supporters Julian Assange outside Australia House on April 10, 2024 in London, England. (Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images) Photo reproduced by Common Dreams

According to court documents filed on Monday, Mr Assange is expected to plead guilty to a single felony of conspiring to unlawfully obtain and disseminate classified information, a violation under the US Espionage Act.

The plea deal will spare him further time in prison in the UK where he was reportedly suffering health issues and living in solitary confinement.

Having left prison on Monday after he was granted bail by the UK High Court, Mr Assange then boarded a private jet at Stansted Airport joined by UK High Commissioner Stephen Smith and left the country en route to Bangkok.

The 52-year-old is expected to front a US Federal Court on Wednesday in Saipan, a self-governing US territory located in the western Pacific, about 2400km east of the Philippines.

After being sentenced to the 62 months he has already spent in prison, he is expected to return to Australia.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has previously raised Mr Assange’s case in talks with US president Joe Biden. Mr Albanese told parliament in February he hoped that a resolution to the case could be found.

In a short statement released on Tuesday morning, an Australian government spokesman confirmed Mr Assange’s legal proceedings scheduled in the US.

“The Australian government continues to provide consular assistance to Mr Assange,” the spokesman said.

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Question related to this article:

Julian Assange, Is he a hero for the culture of peace?

Is Internet freedom a basic human right?

(continued from left column)

“Prime Minister Albanese has been clear – Mr Assange’s case has dragged on for too long and there is nothing to be gained by his continued incarceration.”

Coalition frontbencher and Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce on Tuesday thanked those who had supported Mr Assange’s release, including members of a self-funded parliamentary delegation to lobby US Congress for his freedom.

“There were so many people who were part of this process, and what it showed was people from both sides of politics, for different reasons, arrived at the same place,” Mr Joyce said on Tuesday morning.

But Mr Joyce warned there were still further steps to be taken before Mr Assange’s freedom was assured.

“In a 1500m race, you don’t stop and start waving at the crowd with 2½ laps (to go). Wait to the end of the race and then the race is over,” he said.

Greens senator David Shoebridge also welcomed Mr Assange’s release and remarked that he was “looking forward to welcoming Julian back home”.

“Let’s be clear, Julian Assange should never have been charged with espionage in the first place or had to make this deal. (He) has spent years in jail for the crime of showing the world the horrors of the US war in Iraq and the complicity of governments like Australia and that is why he has been punished.”

With Mr Assange en route to Australia, a statement released by WikiLeaks thanked those who had lent their support to co-ordinated efforts to free him.

“This is the result of a global campaign that spanned grassroots organisers, press freedom campaigners, legislators and leaders from across the political spectrum, all the way to the United Nations,” a WikiLeaks statement read.

“This created the space for a long period of negotiations with the US Department of Justice, leading to a deal that has not yet been formally finalised.

“Julian’s freedom is our freedom”.

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