Sunday, 31 January 2010

Public Remarks Ignore Palestinian Nonviolence Movement’s Roots

Filed under: Media and Conflict,Middle East,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 06:14 PDT

Remarks made by Bono , New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof and President Barack Obama stating they hoped Palestinians would find their Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) or Gandhi completely ignore Palestinian nonviolent resistance to brutal oppression.

The presumption that the Palestinian struggle is mainly violent is disturbing. And the dismissal of the people who have sacrificed time, money and even their lives to fight injustice with nonviolence is callous.

Although Palestinian nonviolent resistance dates back to the early 1900′s, the image of armed and violent Palestinians still prevails. In the 1970′s and 80′s, Palestinian refugees from camps in foreign countries, seeing no resolution after decades of displacement, chose armed struggle and more recent suicide bombings in Israel reinforced the perception.

Several factors have hindered a single, iconic figure from emerging or a cohesive civil disobedience movement from blooming despite its continued use by different sectors of Palestinian society.

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Saturday, 30 January 2010

Veterans for Peace salute Howard Zinn

Filed under: Peaceworkers in the news — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 20:15 PDT

The death of a loved one or someone significant in our life often leaves us saying, “There weren’t many like him,” or “she’ll really leave a hole in this world.” In the case of Dr. Howard Zinn, there was no one else like him and his passing will leave a hole we can only hope will be filled some day…

As a renowned historian, he made no attempt to appear objective, indeed he thought it impossible. In an opening section of “A People’s History of the United States,” he said he preferred “to tell the story of the discovery of America from the viewpoint of the Arawaks, of the Constitution from the standpoint of the slaves…the Gilded Age as seen by southern farmers.”

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Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Abstract: Lessons UNlearned

Filed under: Africa files,Books, reports, sites, blogs — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 23:07 PDT

The will and the capacity of the United Nations (UN) and Member States to deal with natural resource fuelled conflicts is weak. In eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), civilians die on a daily basis because of a war that is stoked by the international trade in minerals. The conflict’s economic dimension and the identity of those fuelling it have been known for many years; yet increased awareness of the problem has not triggered effective action. When the UN Security Council passes resolutions concerning DRC – on targeted sanctions for example – Council members and other governments decline to implement them. Global Witness believes that these failings on the DRC reflect the lack of a coherent and committed international approach to tackling natural resource fuelled conflicts.

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Peace Is Impossible When Half the Population Is Excluded from Negotiations: Afghanistan’s Women Activists

Filed under: Books, reports, sites, blogs,gender,Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 23:03 PDT

In the lead-up to the 28 January London Conference on Afghanistan hosted by the UK Government, Afghan women human rights defenders today released strong, specific recommendations on security, development and governance priorities for their country.

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Monday, 25 January 2010

Israel dismantling roadblocks, but Palestinians still can’t move

Filed under: Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 15:42 PDT

Israel claims to have eased Palestinian movement in the West Bank, but the Palestinians insist that more roadblocks have been appearing throughout the area. It turns out both Israel and the Palestinians are telling the truth, Haaretz has learned.

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Avatar’s story is being played out in real life

Filed under: Africa files,Business, Human Rights, Environment,Film, video, audio,Humanitarian work,Southeast Asia — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 15:38 PDT

Following the film ‘Avatar’’s win at the Golden Globes, tribal people have claimed that the film tells the real story of their lives today.

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Google Lawyer Predicts China Conflict Resolution in Weeks

Filed under: Human Rights,Media and Conflict — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 12:48 PDT

Google has remained curiously optimistic regarding China’s reaction to their insistence that the Nation discontinue intense Internet censorship. China has budged little in the week’s since a g-mail hacking on Chinese human rights activists inspired Google C.E.O.s to take a stand against government policy. Today, Google’s head lawyer, David Drummond predicted that the company’s dispute with the Chinese government should be resolved in a matter of weeks.

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The Long-Term Effects of Short-Term Emotions

Filed under: Dispute resolution and negotiation — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 12:46 PDT

The heat of the moment is a powerful, dangerous thing. We all know this. If we’re happy, we may be overly generous. Maybe we leave a big tip, or buy a boat. If we’re irritated, we may snap. Maybe we rifle off that nasty e-mail to the boss, or punch someone. And for that fleeting second, we feel great. But the regret—and the consequences of that decision—may last years, a whole career, or even a lifetime.

At least the regret will serve us well, right? Lesson learned—maybe.

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Saturday, 23 January 2010

Overcome Resistance With the Right Questions

Filed under: Dispute resolution and negotiation — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 19:10 PDT

Managers meet resistance every day. The way they handle it often is counterproductive…

The typical manager’s default response when somebody keeps saying no is to keep selling the idea. The manager trots out more evidence to support the idea and describes the payoffs for the other person. And the person keeps saying no.

There’s a better way.

Asking a series of easily answered questions will help the other person rethink his assumptions and open up possibilities for agreement. The idea was first proposed by Socrates in classical Athens some 2,400 years ago. The Socratic Method has helped opposing parties reach agreement ever since, though in today’s more confrontational world it’s greatly underused.

Asking a question like “Why do you say that?” can help you learn the reason why the other person isn’t cooperating. The reason might surprise you.

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Israel set to challenge Goldstone Gaza report

Filed under: International Law: War,Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 18:09 PDT

Israel was set to submit its rebuttal on Thursday to a United Nations reports accusing it of having committed war crimes in Gaza last winter. Though the Israeli response has been kept under wraps, it is expected to list the essential flaws in the report and explain why the report is biased against Israel and tainted with many problems.

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USA | Legislation Introduced to Remove Private Military Contractors From Wars

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 18:08 PDT

The use of private contractors has surged under the Obama administration. Private military contractors now account for between 22% and 30% of the total U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Military contractors are often paid 4 to 5 times what the U.S. pays its own military, which dramatically increases the cost of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Removing military contractors from the wars would save needed monetary resources. The changes would also shift responsibility for the wars back to the military and ensure greater oversight over military operations.

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Not all settlers and Palestinians want each other to disappear

Filed under: Middle East,Peaceworkers in the news — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 18:01 PDT

In a Palestinian village somewhere between Hebron and Bethlehem, it was so cold and misty one day last month that you could barely see more than a meter away. It was as if the fog served as camouflage, a hiding place behind which a few dozen settlers and Palestinians were concealed. They had crowded together in the hall of a local school, ostensibly to talk about joint prayers for rain – which came even without the prayers – but in essence to talk about themselves. This time, for a change, within earshot of the other side.

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Imposing Middle East Peace

Filed under: Books, reports, sites, blogs,Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 18:00 PDT

The continued expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank seems to have finally locked in the permanence of Israel’s colonial project. Outside intervention may offer the last hope for a reversal of the settlement enterprise and the achievement of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, writes Henry Siegman . Since the US is no longer the likely agent of that intervention, it is up to the Europeans and to the Palestinians themselves to fashion the path to self-determination in the occupied territories.

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Gaza war: Palestinians battle bitterly over Palestinian forces’ conduct

Filed under: International Law: War,Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 17:24 PDT

Jerusalem – On this day [January 19] last year, a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel took effect after three brutal weeks of fighting that left close to 1,500 people dead. And while today, the guns are largely quiet, the truth of what happened in that devastating war is still being bitterly fought over – not between Palestinians and Israelis, but among Palestinians themselves.

That point was clear this week as 11 Palestinian human rights groups came together to demand that Palestinian leaders – both of Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank – investigate accusations of Palestinian violations outlined in the Goldstone Report.

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˜Pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby seeks to “shake up the status quo”

Filed under: Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 17:23 PDT

The dovish lobbying group J Street is setting up regional chapters in several dozen areas of the United States — including three to cover New Jersey.

The self-described “pro-Israel, pro-peace” group announced its regional organizing campaign in a Jan. 7 press release.

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Interfaith mission finds signs of hope, tension

Filed under: Middle East,Peaceworkers in the news,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 17:23 PDT

On an interfaith mission to Israel, a local rabbi said her commitment to fostering peace in the region was tested in ways she and the other Americans on the trip had not anticipated.

Rabbi Amy Small of Congregation Beth Hatikvah in Summit was one of three rabbis who took part in a peacemaking trip to Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank led by the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative.

The 15 delegates, all from the United States, included two high-ranking Catholic clergy, a Greek Orthodox priest, four Islamic leaders, and ministers from four different Protestant denominations.

The trip, held Dec. 16-23, included moments of intimate bonding among the Muslims, Christians, and Jews, “who often live in their own worlds,” Small noted last week, back in her synagogue office.

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Your Palestinian Gandhis Exist … in Graves and Prisons | Calling Bono

Filed under: Middle East,Nonviolence,Peaceworkers in the news — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 17:03 PDT

Dear Bono,

In your recent column in the New York Times, “Ten for the Next Ten,” you wrote: “I’ll place my hopes on the possibility — however remote at the moment — that…people in places filled with rage and despair, places like the Palestinian territories, will in the days ahead find among them their Gandhi, their King, their Aung San Suu Kyi.”

Your hope has already been fulfilled in the Palestinian territories.

Unfortunately, these Palestinian Gandhis and Kings are being killed and imprisoned.

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Friday, 22 January 2010

Study Points to Disease as Main Killer in Darfur

Filed under: Africa files — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 22:15 PDT

With violence in Darfur in an extended lull, a new study assessing dozens of mortality estimates for the six years of fighting there has concluded that about 300,000 people died, but that disease, rather than violence, killed at least 80 percent of them…

The new study was done by researchers at the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters at the Catholic University of Louvain in Brussels, paid for by the State Department and the British Department for International Development, and published Friday by the medical journal The Lancet.

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UN sends a strong message to U.S. about the state of its indigenous people

Filed under: Books, reports, sites, blogs,Human Rights,Humanitarian work,Indigenous Peoples — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 21:43 PDT

The United Nation’s first report on The State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples [.pdf], released on January 14, 2010, contains figures and an assessment that are both shocking and illuminating, even to those who are familiar with indigenous rights issues. The report evaluates the state of indigenous populations in specific countries and situations, in both the developed and developing world.

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What We Owe Haiti

Filed under: Humanitarian work — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 16:43 PDT

Beneath the rubble of crumbled buildings in Port-au-Prince lies a disconcerting reality. Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, owes large sums of money to wealthy countries and international financial institutions.

This past June, debt relief advocates cheered when two-thirds of Haiti’s external debt was canceled. However, Haiti still owes $641 million, much of it to the International Monetary Fund and Inter-American Development Bank.

And the debt burden keeps growing. As I write, the International Monetary Fund has just announced an emergency $100 million loan to Haiti to aid in recovery. While Haiti clearly needs urgent assistance, it should come in the form of grants, not loans.

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