Category Archives: TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY

Powerful Protest Against Racism Sweeps Germany

. TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY .

An article from Common Dreams ( licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Up to 300,000 people took to the rainy streets of Berlin, Germany on Saturday as nationwide protests against the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. Protests were also taking place in dozens of other cities such as Freiburg, Dresden, Hannover, and Mainz, a sign of growing alarm at growing support for the AfD.


Video of protest

Under the slogan “We are the Firewall” — a reference to the longstanding taboo against collaborating with the far right in German politics — protesters turned the space next to the Bundestag, or national parliament, into a sea of signs, flags, and umbrellas.

“All together against racism,” the crowd in Berlin shouted. Some held posters that said “Heart instead of hate” or “Racism is not an alternative.”

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Question related to this article:
 
Are we making progress against racism?

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The new wave of mobilization against Alternative for Germany (AfD) was ignited by a January report by investigative outlet Correctiv. It revealed that AfD members had discussed the expulsion of immigrants and “non-assimilated citizens” at a meeting with extremists.

The report sent shockwaves across Germany at a time when the AfD was soaring in opinion polls, months ahead of three major regional elections in eastern Germany where their support was strongest.

“We absolutely must not allow the stories that we experienced in 1930 or even back in the 1920s to happen again … We must do everything we can to prevent that,” said Jonas Schmidt, who came from the western port city of Bremen told the Associated Press. “That’s why I’m here.”

Kathrin Zauter, another protester, called the strong attendance “really encouraging.”

“This encourages everyone and shows that we are more — we are many,” she said.

Jakob Springfeld, the spokesman for the NGO Solidarity Network Saxony, said he was shocked that it had taken such a long time for mass demonstrations against the far-right, given the AfD had been successful in many smaller communities already. “But there’s a jolt now. And the fact that the jolt is coming provides hope, I believe.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz praised the protests, writing in a Saturday post on the social media platform X that citizens’ presence at the gatherings is “a strong sign for democracy and our constitution.”

“In small and big cities across the country, citizens are coming together to demonstrate against forgetting, against hate and incitement,” he added.

Decision of the International Court of Justice

. TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY . .

A blog from Mazin Qumsiyeh

Today 26 January 2024 (after 112 days of carnage), the International Court of Justice issued a decision /injunction with six provisional measures (available here ) and will continued deliberation. The six provisional measures requested are an important win for human rights and could be a game changer even as Israel tried to dismiss them and will go on with carnage.


 
Quotes from the court ruling

In light of the foregoing, the Court concludes that, prima facie, it has jurisdiction pursuant to Article IX of the Genocide Convention to entertain the case.  Given the above conclusion, the Court considers that it cannot accede to Israel’s request that the case be removed from the General List…..The Palestinians appear to constitute a distinct “national, ethnical, racial or religious group”, and hence a protected group within the meaning of Article II of the Genocide Convention. The Court observes that, according to United Nations sources, the Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip comprises over 2 million people. Palestinians in the Gaza Strip form a substantial part of the protected group….;.The Court, pursuant to Article 41 of its Statute, has the power to indicate provisional measures….The Court considers that, with regard to the situation described above, Israel must, in accordance with its obligations under the Genocide Convention, in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of Article II of this Convention, in particular: (a) killing members of the group; (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; and (d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group. The Court recalls that these acts fall within the scope of Article II of the Convention when they are committed with the intent to destroy in whole or in part a group as such (see paragraph 44 above). The Court further considers that Israel must ensure with immediate effect that its military forces do not commit any of the above-described acts.

The final six decisions of the ICJ (provisional measureS):

(1) By fifteen votes to two, The State of Israel shall, in accordance with its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of Article II of this Convention, in particular: (a) killing members of the group; (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; and (d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(2) By fifteen votes to two, The State of Israel shall ensure with immediate effect that its military does not commit any acts described in point 1 above;

(3) By sixteen votes to one, The State of Israel shall take all measures within its power to prevent and punish the direct and public incitement to commit genocide in relation to members of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip;

(4) By sixteen votes to one, The State of Israel shall take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to address the adverse conditions of life faced by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip;

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Question related to this article:

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

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(5) By fifteen votes to two, The State of Israel shall take effective measures to prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of evidence related to allegations of acts within the scope of Article II and Article III of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide against members of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip

(6) By fifteen votes to two, The State of Israel shall submit a report to the Court on all measures taken to give effect to this Order within one month as from the date of this Order.

The most reputable court on earth has effectively ruled and with a huge majority that: 1) there is plausible evidence of genocidal acts requiring immediate intervention justifying taking the case, 2) that Palestinians are at grave risk of genocide (warranting 6 injunctions noted above).


The resolution opened with a summary of the conflict from 7 October and the contentions of South Africa and Israel about what transpired since. The decision constitutes a profound undermining of the persistent use of the Jewish holocaust to justify another holocaust and that Israel is above the law having proclaimed itself (falsely as representing Jews). This must be built upon and strengthened in a global popular effort (growing global movement) not only to force compliance of ending the genocide per the ICJ’s order (pending final ruling which might take months). The resolution implicitly but not explicitly stipulates a ceasefire. But the decision orders refraining from killing Palestinian civilians and refraining from causing any physical or psychological harm under article 2 of the convention. The decision demands the immediate provision of basic services and humanitarian aid (food, water, medicine, fuel) denied by the Israeli army since 7 October. 


The resolution was issued closer to consensus, with a vote of 15 to 2 or 16 to 1, which means that there is international consensus on the existence of Israel’s intention to annihilate. The American judge, the French judge, and the German judge voted in favor of the resolution, contrary to the declared position of their countries. This is an indication that may constitute a message from those countries of their unwillingness to risk undermining the international system they established to sustain their influence. The Israeli judge appointed ad hoc for this case, Aharon Barak, contradicted his government’s legal position, which rejects the court’s jurisdiction in this case in the first place, and that it risks undermining the legitimacy of Israel when it exposes it to precautionary measures based on the Genocide Convention. Judge Barak voted in favor of the decision on the items preventing incitement and providing basic services and aid, meaning that he granted legitimacy to the court’s jurisdiction in accordance with the Genocide Convention in principle. The judge who voted against all the provisions of the resolution was the Ugandan judge, Julia Sabotendi, including the two provisions that were supported by the Israeli judge, reminds us of the Ugandan option for the Jewish state (1903) and its current government being occupied.

Israeli occupation army will probably go on with its killing spree and starvation of the people and clearing out a 1 Km wide zone of Palestinian houses while bombing others from the air, sea, and land. Most of the public as you can see from the video above is brainwashed. But it is a moral defeat for the Colonial project and more and more countries and people are not buying the lies and distortions any more. It is time for the 15 million Palestinians scattered around the world to discard aging leaderships, organize better and with help of all people of good will assert and achieve our right to return and self determination in Palestine. 

What we need to do? Keep pushing, keep posting on social media, speak truth to power, , keep protesting/demonstrating (especially against complicit media and politicians), engage in BDS ; For more on what you can do see ongaza.org and What you can do. You can shorten the 112 day carnage and each day an average of 250 civilians are killed (accelerating now because of famine and disease). Even saving one day means saving hundreds of lives and many remaining homes from demolition.

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Gala of solidarity with the Palestinians at the Algiers Opera

. TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY . .

An article from El Watan

The hall of the Algiers Opera Boualem Bessaih, in Ouled Fayet, west of the capital, was packed on the evening of Saturday January 20, for the gala of solidarity with the Palestinians, Salam lel Falastine ( Peace for Palestine). 

 By noon on Thursday, January 18, 2024, all tickets have been sold out. I take my hat off to the Algerian artist who wanted this show to be unique in its kind. I also salute the immense promotional work done by the national press for this event. We were able to bring together 150 artists on stage, supported by sponsors who believed in the project, and by the Ministry of Culture and Arts,” declared Abdelkader Bouazzara, director of the Algiers Opera and organizer of the gala.  


Proceeds from the evening will be donated entirely to the benefit of the Palestinian people.

 
The evening began with the Algerian and Palestinian national anthems performed by the Algiers Opera Symphony Orchestra. The college choir Mamlakatou al tilmidh (The kingdom of children) from Ain Benian (Algiers) then performed Beytouna el Qods (our house el Qods), based on music and words by Mustapha Alouane. Syrian maestro Missak Baghboudarian led the orchestra afterward to play the overture to La forza del destino (The Force of Destiny), an opera composed by Italian Giuseppe Verdi at the request of Russian Tsar Alexander II in 1862 (seven years afterwards, the work was greatly revised by the composer). From another Verdi opera, composed ten years earlier, La traviata, soprano Dina Sirine Khiari masterfully performed the aria Addio del passato (Farewell to the past).

 
“Take your hours out of our time, go away”
 

Covered in a dark burnous, the actor Hassan Kechache declaimed the famous poem by the Palestinian Mahmoud Darwish, Ayahou al maroun bayna el kalimat al abira (You who pass among the fleeting words), criticizing the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands:

“You who pass among passing words. Take your names and leave. Take your hours out of our time, go away. Extort what you want, from the blue of the sky and the sand of memory.  Take the photos you want, to know that you will not know how the stones of our earth build the roof of the sky.”

Led by Nadjib Kateb, the Andalusian Orchestra of the Algiers Opera performed in moual Filistine ya bladi (Palestine ô my country), sung by Lamia Madini, followed, in zidane style, to the tune of Qom tara, Seif el Quds, performed by Sarah Belaslouni, based on a poem by the Syrian Abdel Rahim Al Gamoudi. Hassan Kachach returned to the stage to declaim the lyric poem Ardha falestine (The land of Palestine), by the Algerian Mohamed Badji, then interpreted, in Chaâbi style, by Kosseila Ajrad.

This song was widely popularized by Amar Zahi. Less known, the song Asbaha indi el an boundoukia (I now have a rifle) was then sung by Asma Alla, accompanied by the Algiers Opera Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Lotfi Saïdi. Asbaha indi el an boundoukia is an epic style song performed as a duet in 1969 by Mohamed Abdelwahab and Oum Keltoum to a poem by Nizar Kabbani. The famous theme song of the Egyptian soap opera Raafat Al Haggan, composed by Amar Cherii, was then performed by the Symphony Orchestra conducted again by Missak Baghboudarian. 

“If we are to have another gala for Palestine, we must repeat tonight’s gala in every detail. I am delighted that Algerian, Syrian and Tunisian artists came together to play classical music and Andalusian music with a children’s choir and singers. All the artists said their word for Palestine this evening. We have said our word to the world…,” confided the Syrian maestro.

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

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Question related to this article:

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

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The flower of cities

He explained that the choice of La forza del destino is motivated by adopting a language that is addressed to the whole world, not just for audiences in the Arab region. 

“For Rafaat Al Haggan’s music, we were young when the soap opera was broadcast. We all dreamed of becoming like him,” he said. Directed at the end of the 1980s by Yehia El Alami, Rafaat Al Haggan, this three-season series tells the story of an Egyptian spy who hit the headlines in Israel in the 1950s.

The dancers of the Opera Ballet from Algiers then performed a Palestinian dabke to the famous song by Mohamed Assaf, Ala ahdi ala dini. The stage was then given over to Maria Saïdi and Nourelhouda Ghanoumat to sing Chedou baathkoum ya ahl falestine, a song made famous by an old Palestinian Halima Kessouani, since killed by Israeli soldiers. 

Zahratou al madayine (the flower of cities), the famous song of the Lebanese Fairouz, in homage to El Quds, was then taken up by Nada Rayhane, accompanied by the symphony orchestra and the choir of Algiers and Laghouat. 

Dressed in a red dress covered with a white cape, Manel Gharbi then sang Sayfoun fel youchhar (Let a sword be exhibited) by Fayrouz, a song dating from 1967, the year of the Six Day War, before continuing with Win el malayine (Where are the millions?). Produced during the first Intifada in the Palestinian Territories in 1987, Win el malayine, written and composed by the Libyans Ali Al Kilani and Abdullah Muhammad Mansour, was performed as a trio by the Lebanese Julia Boutros, the Tunisian Sawsan Hammami and the Syrian Amal Arafa.
 

“The artist’s message always reaches the heart”

Manuel Gharbi said, “I am proud to have participated in this gala singing this style for the first time, usually I sing Andalusian. I like this style. We are proud as artists to have participated in this evening of solidarity with the Palestinian people. Algeria has always stood in solidarity with the Palestinians and the Palestinian cause. The fact remains that the solidarity of artists is always important. The artist’s message always reaches the heart. Even if the entries for this evening are symbolic, the fact of coming together and showing solidarity remains important. I hope that the voice of artists reaches everywhere in the world.”  She has just produced a duet with Syrian singer Rasha Rizk, a song in tribute to Palestine, composed by Tarik Benouarka. Manel Gharbi wants the song’s video to be shot in Algeria. 

The evening closed with a cover of the cantata Carmina Burana by German composer Carl Orff, translated into Arabic by Rabah Kadem, and sung by the choir of Algiers and Laghouat. A choir directed by Zouhir Mazari.
 
The conductor Lotfi Saïdi said, “I salute the public who came in force. It is a way of expressing support for the Palestinians.  Proceeds from the evening will be donated entirely to the benefit of the Palestinian people. All the artists and institutions of the Algiers Opera took part in this gala. The artists fight in their own way, with music.”

Soraya Mouloudji, Minister of Culture and Arts, declared, for her part: “These international-level artistic works are all linked to the Palestinian cause. A national cause par excellence for Algeria, as underlined by the President of the Republic. Art does not exist solely for entertainment or joy, history has proven that often art is born out of pain and crisis. This evening, the voice of artists confronted obscurantism and the flagrant violation of human rights from which our Palestinian brothers suffer,” She praised “the great effort” made by Abdelkader Bouazzara, director of the Opera, to organize the show “in a short period of time”. 

“We discussed the possibility of organizing similar galas after two or three months to express our solidarity with the Palestinian people,” she said. 

For his part, Abdelkader Bouazzara announced that other shows will be organized at the Algiers Opera and did not rule out the possibility of a national tour. 

The solidarity gala with Palestine was broadcast live on the Echababia channel (Channel 6) and will be broadcast afterwards on all the channels of the ENTV group (ex-RTA). 

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The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Selects Seven Youth-Led Organizations as Recipients of its Youth Solidarity Fund

. TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY .

A press release from the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations

The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) is pleased to announce the latest recipients of its Youth Solidarity Fund (YSF).

UNAOC received over 600 applications from 86 countries to consider for funding and capacity-building support. Seven youth-led organizations across three continents were selected, following a rigorous evaluation process, to implement projects contributing to the promotion of peaceful societies based on their creative approaches to building peaceful communities through intercultural and interfaith dialogue and their potential to have a positive impact on their respective communities.

The seven recipients join a group of 73 other youth-led organizations that have benefited from YSF. Since it was established in 2008, YSF has contributed to advancing the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2250 by providing opportunities for partnership, capacity-building and financial means to young people to carry out activities that prevent violent conflict, and promote peace and social inclusion.

Further, YSF continues to be one of the leading mechanisms in the UN system that works directly with young people to realize the Sustainable Development Goals and drive positive change in their communities and societies.

All of the selected projects are developed and implemented by young people. While their projects frequently target other young people, they have the potential to impact entire communities by involving religious and political leaders, policymakers, educational institutions, and media entities. UNAOC supports projects that reach out to, and connect, marginalized youth from diverse socioeconomic, cultural, and religious backgrounds to foster broader and transformative engagement of all youth and reduce polarization in their communities.

In addition to seed funding, YSF recipients receive technical support to strengthen the implementation of their projects. Workshops and training sessions to boost their intercultural and peacebuilding competencies are delivered alongside mentorship guidance to bolster
organizational development.

The Youth Solidarity Fund Recipients are:

1. Community Engagement for Peace and Conflict Resolution by Ikon Initiative for Sustainable Development, Sierra Leone

Ikon Initiative for Sustainable Development aims to address the issue of election-related violence in Bombali district, northern Sierra Leone, which often undermines electoral processes and generates unrest, hatred and mistrust among community members. By using intercultural dialogue, sports and drama, the initiative strives to promote peaceful coexistence, create safe spaces for open conversations, foster empathy and equip community members with conflict resolution skills.

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Question related to this article:
 
Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

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2. Amplifying Community Voices for Sustainable Peace in the Rwenzori region by Access Youth Initiative Uganda, Uganda

Access Youth Initiative Uganda aims to focus on strengthening engagement of young people in peacebuilding and preventing violent extremism through their meaningful inclusion in mediation platforms, dialogue sessions, youth camps and sport tournaments. The initiative seeks to develop youth peace champions while integrating intergenerational exchange, community service and mentorship with innovative information and communication technology and sports activities to build resilient relationships and engage in intercultural
conversations for peace.

3. Training of Young People to Promote Peace “NO KUDJI PAZ” by FINSJOR – Young Girls Social Intervention Forum, Guinea-Bissau

FINSJOR aims to increase awareness of young people to promote peacebuilding and conflict resolution in their communities and support the national development process by equipping young people with skills in non-violent communication. Additional activities, such as radio debates, school campaigns and conferences, will explore the root causes and consequences of ethnic tensions in the country.

4. Engaging Youth in Increasing Religious Tolerance Awareness through Online Peace Narrative Campaigns to Safeguard Religious Sites by Yayasan Pemberdayaan Masyarakat Indonesia Cerdas (YPMIC), Indonesia

YPMIC aims to respond to a rise in online radical religious views and vandalism of religious sites involving youth by actively engaging young people in creating and spreading peace narratives online and offline. The project aspires to increase religious tolerance among young people in South Sulawesi region through peace training, religious site visits, digital campaigns, talk shows and exhibitions.

5. Bridging Faiths: Fostering Interreligious Tolerance Among Muslim and Christin Youth in Zomba, Malawi by Zomba Center for Creative Arts (ZOCCA), Malawi

ZOCCA aims to address increased violence and incidents of religious intolerance among young people in Zomba, Malawi through sport, dialogue sessions, interfaith workshops, community service projects and cultural exchange events. These activities intend to promote interreligious dialogue, foster empathy and respect and encourage cooperation among young people from different faith backgrounds.

6. Detect, React, Protect by Youth for Peace, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Youth for Peace aims to address ever-present tensions and hate speech between people of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina by bringing together youth from both sides of the border to work together to foster better understanding among the two nations. Focusing on peace education and freedom of religion and belief, Youth for Peace will strive to create a space for safe interaction, open dialogues and and better relations.

7. Bridging Communities: Promoting Intercultural and Interfaith Dialogue Among African and Egyptian Youth in Egypt – Diverse Voices, United Communities by AlMahrousa for Development and Participation (MDP), Egypt

MDP aims to bring youth from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds together with migrants and their peers in Greater Cairo communities to foster mutual understanding, collaboration and the promotion of the values of peace and inclusivity through youth-led workshops, interfaith and intercultural dialogues and public awareness campaigns. Young leaders from both groups will aim to develop plans of action and community initiatives to counter social polarization and ethnic/religious extremism.

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Artists for peace in Gaza

. TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY . .

A survey by CPNN putting the term “artists for peace in Gaza” in search engines

On a global level, more than 4000 artists came together under the collective Musicians for Palestine, demanding a ceasefire as the war in Israel and Gaza continues. This was published by Euronews on November 23.

In the United Kingdom, on October 17, Artists for Palestine UK published a declaration “accusing governments of “aiding and abetting” Israel’s “war crimes” in Gaza”, stating that “Palestinians face “collective punishment on an unimaginable scale”, and demanding “Governments should “end their military and political support for Israel’s actions”. It was signed by over 4,300 producers, curators, writers, DJs, architects and designers.

Also in the United Kingdom, DJ Magazine published on November 15 an open letter #MusicForACeasefire signed by over 1000 artists.

In the United States, Artists4Ceasefire sent a letter signed by over 300 artists to President Biden saying “We ask that, as President of the United States, you and the US Congress call for an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Gaza and Israel before another life is lost.”

In South Africa, , The Artists’ Collective Project for Peace in Palestine announced on December 1, that “our first event brings together local artists in Cape Town to create a live mural in support of the Palestinian people. The event will be filmed and shared across various social media platforms.”

In France, French artists, including actressers Isabelle Adjani and Emmanuelle Beart, led a silent Paris march of thousands of people on November 19 for peace between Israelis and Palestinians

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Question related to this article:

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

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In Qatar, The Souq Waqif Art Centre in Doha – in a powerful expression of solidarity and a call for peace – will host an exhibition featuring around 26 paintings by Doha-based artists. These works focus on the dire conditions faced by Palestinians in Gaza and advocate for a lasting solution to the ongoing conflicts in the region.

In Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Artists for Peace – Shadow Ban This! continues to hold concerts to raise funds for UAE’s Compassion for Gaza campaign. Dozens of performers, including artists, musicians and poets, have taken part in the events.

In Malaysia, more than 700 artists across acting, theater, music, and visual arts have endorsed a memorandum demanding that ASEAN nations halt economic ties with Israel until Gaza is safe and Palestinians are shielded from military attacks. In addition to launching the memorandum, the SEA Artists, Creatives & Cultural Activists for Peace, Stop Genocide in Gaza, read and diffused 31 monologues by Gazan youth.

In India, Odisha-based sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik creates a sculpture titled Solidarity With Humanity, as a symbolic prayer for peace between Israel and palestine.

In Canada, Artists for a Ceasefire Now published a statement on November 1 pledging support for the Palestinian people in the face of over 75 years of Israeli apartheid, settler colonialism, military occupation, and ethnic cleansing. The signature list numbers more than 2,000 artists.

Even in Israel there are artists opposing the war. The website kveller.com lists several Israeli illustrators and cartoonists who have been finding ways to make meaning and communicate their heartbreak about the lives lost, the hostages and the trauma of war. 

As for Palestine, CPNN has recently carried the story of a young Palestinian artist who paints murals on the rubble of buildings that have been destroyed, “in order to send a strong message that we will remain on our land and never leave it.”

The biographies of Palestinian and Israeli writers and artists who have been killed or wounded in the Gaza conflict are published on an updated web page of PEN America

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Rallies held worldwide as Israeli genocide in Gaza enters 100th day

FREE FLOW OF INFOMATION . .

An article from PressTV Iran with additions as indicated

Pro-Palestinian protesters took to the streets around the world on the “day of action,” calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza as the Israeli aggression reached the 100-day mark.

The global day of action on Saturday saw demonstrations take place in various international capitals, including Washington DC, London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Johannesburg, Abuja, Tokyo, Islamabad, Jakarta, and Kuala Lumpur.


Photo of March in Washington : AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana as published by AP News

Thousands of protesters in one of the largest pro-Palestinian demonstrations to date in the US capital, Washington, called for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and to stop US aid to Israel, as more than three months of Israeli offensive is killing 250 Palestinians per day.

Large crowds waved Palestinian flags and chanted “Ceasefire now,” and “Free Palestine,” while carrying banners and posters that read “End the War in Gaza.” Other signs said the Israeli government is practicing apartheid and charged US President Joe Biden with genocide.

Young protesters were wearing the traditional keffiyeh in solidarity with Palestinians.

(Organizers of the march in Washington said that 400,000 took part.)


Pro-Palestinian activists and supporters wave flags and carry placards during a National March for Palestine in central London on January 13, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

London, meanwhile, saw its seventh National March for Palestine since October 7 as demonstrators called for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and demanded that the British government stop arming the Israeli regime.

(According to a mail received at CPNN from the London-based Stop the War Coalition, in London there were almost half a million protesters demanding an immediate ceasefire, led by the anti-war movement in the UK.)

Little Amal, a giant puppet of a Syrian child refugee, representing refugees and displaced people, joining a group of Palestinian children, attended the demonstration.

“While the British public largely supports a ceasefire in Gaza, the UK’s politicians have continued to fund and support the genocide,” Jeanine Hourani, a member of the Palestine Youth Movement attending the march in London said.
UK ‘complicit’ in Israel’s crimes

Palestine’s ambassador to the UK, Husam Zomlot, also joined the protesters calling for a ceasefire. He slammed the UK government for “complicity” with Israel.

“I stand before you with a broken heart but not a broken spirit,” Zomlot said addressing pro-Palestinian protesters in London as he described Palestine as a “nation of freedom fighters.”

He also congratulated South Africa for bringing a genocide case against Israel at the UN’s International Court of Justice.

The London march was one of several others being held in European cities including Paris, Rome, Milan and Dublin, where thousands also marched along the Irish people to protest Israel’s aggression against Palestinians.

Irish Protesters waved Palestinian flags, denouncing Israel’s genocidal crimes in Gaza, chanting “Free, Free Palestine” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” They held placards critical of the Irish, US governments and Israeli regime.

(As reported by Common Dreams , “In Dublin, organizers of a march that saw more than 100,000 march through city streets called it the largest rally for Palestinian rights in Irish history.”)

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Question related to this article:

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

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Rome hosts new pro-Palestine rally, thousands join demonstration

In Rome, thousands of demonstrators descended on a boulevard near the famous Colosseum, with some carrying signs reading, “Stop Genocide.”

Pro-Palestinian protesters also lauded South Africa for bringing Israel’s brutal military onslaught against Gaza to the International Court of Justice.
Rome photo


Rome hosts a new rally in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

Malaysia

At rallies in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, people gathered at the United States embassy to send a message to Israel’s staunch ally. People carried placards that read “Stop the genocide,” as well as “Bombing children is not self-defense.”

Last month, the Malaysian government announced it would no longer allow Israeli-owned ships to dock in Malaysian ports. It also said any vessel en route to Israel would not be allowed to unload cargo at any Malaysian port.

Thousands of people also gathered outside the US embassy in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, waving Indonesian and Palestinian flags and holding signs that read “Boycott Israel” and “Ceasefire Now.”


Thousands of members from the Muslim community gathered in front of the US Embassy in Jakarta to protest against ‘genocide’ in Palestine and express their support for the Palestinian people.

South Africa protests

Similar protests took place in Johannesburg, South Africa as demonstrators gathered outside the US consulate. The crowd accused the US of complicity in the bombardment of the Palestinian people due to its military support of Israel since the war started.

The protest has been reinforced by South Africa’s case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The court in The Hague began hearings on Thursday over a charge that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza.

South Africa, which filed the lawsuit at the UN court in December, asked judges Thursday to urgently declare that the Tel Aviv regime has breached its responsibilities under international law since October 7, when it launched hostilities in the besieged territory.

The relentless Israeli military aggression has so far killed at least 23,843 people in Palestine, more than 10,000 of whom are children, while 60,317 others have been wounded.

Other European protests

(In Switzerland , an estimated 15,000 held their first national protest in Basel in support of Gazans since several German-speaking cantons introduced a ban on such actions, calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in the region.)

(Protests also took place in Amsterdam, Oslo, Uppsala and Tunis according to the Palestine Chronicle.

Music video: We are all Palestinian

. TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY . .

Received by email from Mistahi Corkill

Greetings,

Here is my new song and music video We are all Palestinian, linked below.

If you find it inspiring please feel free to share with others.

All the best!

Mistahi Corkill

Click here for the video: We are all Palestinian


Frame from the video

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Question related to this article:

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

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Frame from the video


Frame from the video

Nikolai Firjubin, Founder of UNOY Youth Peace Network

. TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY .

On December 11, CPNN was informed that Nikolai Firjubin has passed away by the facebook post that follows from Celine Del Felice:

We are sad to share that one of UNOY’s founders, Nikolai Firjubin, passed away last Friday.

On his 50th birthday, Nikolai had a dream about a general assembly hall filled with young people discussing the major challenges facing humanity. Nikolai gathered together a group of young people with a shared vision and commitment to build a world in which peace, justice, solidarity, human dignity and respect for nature prevail. In September 1989, UNOY was founded.

We are honoured to carry on Nikolai’s vision: a growing, global network of peace powered by youth.

Nikolai, thank you for your dream and belief that young people can “save the world and preserve peace on Earth”

UNOY made important contributions to the culture of peace, including advocacy campaigns in 2005 and again in 2006 at the United Nations during the International Decade for a Culture of Peace.

Here are excerpts from Firjubin’s account of the source of the idea for UNOY back in 1989:

The dream that became UNOY It was a beautiful early morning, that Saturday in July, in Geneva on the eve of my 50th anniversary. A few days before, in flagrant but very joyful violation of the ‘Rules of the Soviet Citizens working abroad’ I became a member of The Ski Club International. That was my first ever personal secret rebellion against the Communist Party and the KGB; an act of free will and for the first time in my life, I felt really free and full of joy… I boarded the train to Martigny, not suspecting that this simple act would radically change my life and make me a happy and an accomplished human being. . . . At the Alpine Club in Champex, I finally celebrated my 50th birthday at a noisy party attended by my very nice and kind fellow trekkers…

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Question related to this article:
 
Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

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The night was very short, and I slept not more than two, maybe three hours. I asked permission from the Leader to spend the day in Champex as we had to climb another mountain before returning back to Geneva. He kindly allowed me to stay for the reason of my birthday. I was very happy as I wanted to reflect on the dream which I had during that short night. In my dream I saw a large hall filled with young people with different ethnic backgrounds and having different skin colors. They were gathered together for some serious purpose. They were listening to an old man, who vaguely looked like a self portrait of Dr. Svetoslav Roerich. I was very surprised that I even remembered my dream – for the first time in my life. The old man said something like: “We brought you here to help save the world and preserve Peace on earth….”

Before taking the bus back to Martigny station, I spent a few hours on a bench of a small island in the middle of Lake Champex, in an attempt to understand the meaning of this dream, until I suddenly got a vision of a United Nations of Juniors (UNOJ) which appeared in my mind.

The week thereafter, I was looking for the address of Dr. Svetoslav Roerich in India. Quite unexpectedly, I was invited for a 5 o’clock tea by my colleague from Moscow who came for a private visit to Geneva. He helped me to contact Dr. Roerich. Soon after, I wrote a letter to Dr. Roerich about my dream and asked for an appointment in Bangalore to talk about it. In his reply he supported my UNOJ vision and agreed to meet me in India.

On the 2nd December, I left Geneva for Bangalore and on December 4th, I met Svetoslav Roerich for the first time in his office in Bangalore. That day, I talked with him for several hours about the dream. Hence, this was the beginning of the beginning of the UNOY. (During the first UNOY meeting in Handel, the Netherlands in May 1989, the youth participants renamed UNOJ ‘United Nations Of Youth’ (UNOY ).

No account of the origin of UNOY could be complete without reference to Maria Kooijman, who co-founded the organization with Firjiubin:

It was April 1989. At that time, I worked for Universal Education and its magazine Educare, promoting holistic and inclusive approaches and methods in education and child rearing. I was approached by Nikolai Firjubin (at that time a UN civil servant/ diplomat) who shared his dream and requested me to assist in organising the 1st International Working Group for the UNOY. The whole staff of Universal Education also became involved. In 6 weeks time, all was arranged and set for the participants to arrive in Handel, the Netherlands at De Weyst, a conference centre based on Ghandian principles. The event became a great success. It was a revealing and overpowering experience to see how youth from around the world bonded together as true friends and took the concept of UNOY utterly serious and as a great challenge.

Guernica stands in solidarity with Gaza

. TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY . .

An article from the Peoples Dispatch (published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-SA) license)

On Friday, December 8, thousands of people from the Basque city of Guernica hit the city center in a stunning display of solidarity with the people of Gaza who are facing Israel’s genocidal attacks. The thousands who assembled at the Pasialeku Market Place in Guernica formed a human mosaic depicting the Palestinian flag and part of Pablo Picasso’s famed anti-war painting, Guernica.


Frame from a video of the event. credit: Gotzon Aranburu / @GotzonAr via Spectee.

In the event organized by the Guernica-Palestine Citizens’ Initiative, citizens, trade unionists, artists, anti-fascist groups, anti-war groups, and activists from left-wing parties, including the United Left (IU), condemned the Israeli bombardment of Palestinian people. The city’s anti-aircraft siren sounded  for a minute, drawing parallels between Guernica’s enduring pain from the bombing it faced during the Spanish Civil War and the ongoing airstrikes faced by the people of  Gaza.

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Question related to this article:

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

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Guernica is a historically significant city in the Basque region of Spain that was bombarded on April 26, 1937, during the Spanish Civil War by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italian air forces in support of their ally, the Spanish military general Francisco Franco. The infamous bombing of the city, which was a stronghold of the Republican forces, was one of the events that paved the way for the Fanco’s capture of northern Spain.

Hundreds of civilians were killed in the bombing which evoked widespread outrage across the world. Renowned artist Pablo Picasso’s landmark painting  ‘Guernica’ was in response to the brutal bombing. It is regarded as an exemplary anti-war painting in modern history.

In its statement on the Palestine solidarity event, the Guernica-Palestine Citizens’ Initiative insisted that the world and history must not accept a new Guernica and that “Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian people. The international community [must] share the suffering of the Palestinian people and stop the massacre.”

On December 10, on the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Basque Federation of the United Left (IU) stated  “What is happening in Gaza is a genocide contrary to ideals envisaged by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

As of December 12, over 18,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli bombardment in Gaza, and around 50,000 people have been wounded. More than 7,500 people are reportedly missing and more than 1.9 million people have been displaced by the relentless airstrikes.

(Thank you to Fatima Zédira for calling our attention to this event.)