Gershon Baskin: Create 'Ministries of Peace' in Every Country - I am writing from Tokyo, where I am attending a summit meeting of the "Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace." The aim of this global alliance is to foster the creation of governmental departments or ministries for peace throughout the world. This is the third Global Summit. In the years since its creation only Nepal has actually moved forward with the establishment of a Ministry of Peace. There are about 20 countries being represented at the summit including a representative from Palestine. In the US Legislation for a Ministry of Peace has been tabled in the House of Representatives with 64 Members of Congress sponsoring the legislation.
Jenny Löwenstein: Civil Society and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Beneath the Hideous Veneer of 'Security' - On January 26th 1976 the United Nations Security Council debated a resolution (S11940) introduced by Jordan, Syria and Egypt that included all the crucial wording of UNSC resolution 242. It accepted the right of all states in the region to exist within secure and recognized borders while re-emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force. This resolution added for the first time, however, what was missing from 242: recognition of Palestinian national rights. The phrase "all states" was taken to include a new Palestinian state in the occupied territories.
Ramzy Baroud: David and Goliath, Palestinian Artists spread Hope - When one commits to the life of an active citizen, spending their hours days and years reading and writing about current events, it becomes a daily struggle to overcome the cynicism that chases after you with the despairing headlines marking each newspaper or magazine. Rare is it when someone or something comes along to revive the feelings of courage, tenacity and wilfulness of the young and hopeful activist.
Ibrahim Barzak: Haidar Abdel Shafi, a former Palestinian negotiator, leading nationalist and physician, died Sept. 25 in the Gaza Strip. He was 88. Mr. Abdel Shafi died at his home in Gaza City of stomach cancer, his son Khaled said. + Jordan Times
Sami Abdel-Shafi: Divided and Voiceless - Prior to the establishment of the Palestinian national authority in 1994, I used to travel as a Palestinian using an Israeli travel document in which my citizenship was stated as "undefined". More than three months after Hamas's violent takeover of Gaza, and the persisting division between the internationally recognised, Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority (PA) based in the West Bank and Hamas's deposed government in Gaza, I feel as though my entire being is undefined.
Majda Halabi: Rare Opportunity for Peace - Last month, Jordan's Foreign Minister Abdul Ilah Khatib and his Egyptian counterpart, Ahmed Abul Gheit, presented to our prime minister and political leaders the details of the Arab initiative ratified in Saudi Arabia. The initiative, which was rejected by former premier Ariel Sharon, who was busy with the disengagement at the time, is back on the international stage, and constitutes a rare window of opportunity.
Gideon Levy: The Children of 5767 - It was a pretty quiet year, relatively speaking. Only 457 Palestinians and 10 Israelis were killed, according to the B'Tselem human rights organization, including the victims of Qassam rockets.
Uri Avnery: So what about Iran - A RESPECTED American paper posted a scoop this week: Vice-President Dick Cheney, the King of Hawks, has thought up a Machiavellian scheme for an attack on Iran. Its main point: Israel will start by bombing an Iranian nuclear installation, Iran will respond by launching missiles at Israel, and this will serve as a pretext for an American attack on Iran.
Caelum Moffat: Reason sacrified for political gain - The situation between Israel and Palestine currently resembles the structure of an exceedingly long and drawn out TV series which although moving at snails pace, still manages to keep the audience intrigued and transfixed on every episode. The last series of the saga ended with the events in Gaza in June, leaving everyone on tenterhooks. However, in a popular TV series, one is forced to wait in suspense for the next series and then has to bypass the initial episodes until progress is seen to materialize. The same is applicable with the Israel / Palestine saga. Everyone is still agonizingly waiting for something of substance to happen after many episodes of innuendos, hints and promises. The November Peace Summit is believed and hoped to be the turning point in the series.
Miftah: Today, September 29 marks seven years since the outbreak of the Aqsa Intifada.
Kathleen und Bill Christison: See no Evil, The teflon alliance with Israel - Two recent offhand comments, both widely publicized, have seriously undermined whatever progress might have been made in exposing the fact that the Iraq war was initiated at least in large part to guarantee Israel's safety and regional dominance in the Middle East. In late August, Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as Colin Powell's chief of staff when he was secretary of state, told Gareth Porter of Inter Press Service that, when Israel first got wind of U.S. planning for a war against Iraq, a wide range of Israelis, including political and intelligence officials, began warning against such a war. "Israelis were telling us Iraq is not the enemy -- Iran is the enemy," Wilkerson said. Israeli warnings against an attack on Iraq were "pervasive" in Israeli communications with the administration during early 2002, according to Wilkerson.
Health Situation in the plaestinian occupied territories