Tag Archives: Americans for Peace Now

Saturday Night Peace Demonstration in Jerusalem!

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

  

Last saturday night thousands of activists  expressed their hope for peace between Israel and Palestine.  Speeches were given and dreams for peace planted in the city of Jerusalem.

Peace now organized the demonstration – the message they sent out was,

 

” Peace is more pro-Israel than continued settlement activity .”

 

 “In the words of former Knesset Member Tzvia Greenfield: “Zionism cannot be subordination and land theft. Zionsim cannot be control over the weak. Judaism is not theft and conquering the weak. That is not Zionism. That is not Jewish.”

 

“This demonstration is an important milestone in our effort for peace. Israelis are increasingly vocal in their desire to see their government pursue policies that will end the occupation and bring about a two-state solution.”

www.peacenow.org

  

This is a very important time in the peace movement and those seeking peace in the middle east need all the support we can give.

So, if you care about peace – contact congress and tell them so!

 

PEACE

 

www.congress.org

 
 Image Courtesy Of Google

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Peace In The Middle East Begins / Special Envoy George Mitchell Ends First Round

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

 

Special envoy for the Middle East, George Mitchell, has ended the first section of renewed peace talks between Israel and Palestine.

 

See Below –  From www.haaretz.com,

 

  • Published 10:49 09.05.10
  • U.S.: First round of Israel-PA proximity talks complete

    U.S. State Dept.: Israel pledged to halt building in East Jerusalem’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, PA vowed to block incitement of any kind.

    By Natasha Mozgovaya, The Associated Press, Barak Ravid and Jack Khoury

    The U.S. State Department announced on Sunday that the first round of indirect peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority has been completed.

    U.S. envoy George Mitchell and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas U.S. envoy George Mitchell and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meeting in Ramallah, May 8, 2010
    Photo by: Reuters

    State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said in a statement that U.S. special envoy George Mitchell has left the Middle East after concluding talks characterized as “serious and wide-ranging.”

    Crowley said both sides have taken some steps to create an atmosphere conducive to successful talks, including an Israeli pledge of no construction in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood of East Jerusalem for two years and a statement by PA President Mahmoud Abbas that he would work against incitement of any sort.

    Mitchell told the parties that progress is important so they can move to direct negotiations resulting in a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    The State Department statement also said that both Israel and the Palestinians would be held “accountable” for actions that “undermine trust” during the course of the proximity talks.

    Mitchell will return to the region next week to continue the talks.

    Earlier on Sunday, the PA responded to U.S. and Israeli calls for eventual direct peace negotiations by reiterating that it would engage only in proximity talks until Israel halted all settlement construction.

    Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat clarified the PA’s stance as he officially announced the start of indirect peace negotiations mediated by Mitchell. The Palestinian Liberation Organization’s executive committee approved the four-month process on Saturday.

    “I can officially declare today that the proximity talks have begun,” Erekat said, after a meeting between Mitchell and Abbas.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, told his cabinet on Sunday that Israel expected the upcoming indirect negotiations to lead to direct talks, declaring: “It is impossible to make peace at a distance.”

    But Erekat told Voice of Palestine radio in response: “If he [Netanyahu] announces a complete halt to settlement building, there will be direct talks.”

     In his remarks to the cabinet on talks with the Palestinians, Netanyahu said no-one should expect that “we will arrive at decisions and agreements on matters that are critical … without sitting together in the same room.”

    Senior U.S. officials have told their Palestinian counterparts that Washington also believes direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians must begin as soon as possible.

    The Obama administration has informed Abbas that it will not unveil mediation proposals or a Middle East peace plan before the start of direct, substantive talks between the two sides on final-status issues, a high-level Israeli official said.

    On Saturday, the PLO Executive Committee announced that it had given the green light to Abbas to begin indirect negotiations with Israel. Abbas also met with Mitchell to discuss the manner in which the so-called proximity talks would be conducted.

    The United States welcomed the PLO’s decision as an important step in the peace process. “It is an important and welcome step,” Crowley said.

    Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said Saturday after a meeting in Ramallah between Abbas and Mitchell that the discussions would be held over the four months allotted to address final-status issues such as borders and security arrangements. “The issues of Jerusalem and the settlements are part of the 1967 borders, so they will be discussed and negotiated,” Erekat said.

    Erekat said that during their meeting, Abbas gave Mitchell a letter outlining the Palestinian Authority’s position on proximity talks and the issues it wants to discuss. Abbas would head the Palestinian negotiating team himself, Erekat said, adding that the Palestinians view the talks as aimed at “The end of the occupation and creation of a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel along the 1967 borders.”

    The talks appear to represent a U.S.-brokered compromise that meets both the Palestinian demand to address the issue of borders, and Israel’s condition to discuss security arrangements. Both Palestinian and Israeli negotiators recognize that the two issues are intimately linked, and that any proposal or statement on either matter is likely to significantly influence any resolution on the other.

    Israel welcomes PLO decision.

    Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomed the decision to resume peace talks, urging that they be held unconditionally and lead swiftly to direct negotiations between the two sides.

    A statement from Netanyahu spokesman Nir Hefetz said the prime minister “welcomes the resumption of peace talks.”

    Quoting Netanyahu, Hefetz added that “Israel’s position was and remains that the talks ought to be conducted without preconditions and should quickly lead to direct negotiations.”

    Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that the U.S. administration expects Israel to do its part in facilitating U.S. efforts to advance the stalled peace process. “An essential condition for improving relations with the U.S. is taking steps that prove Israel is seriously committed to making decisions on the Palestinian issue once they reach the negotiating table,” Barak said at a conference at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot.

    “That will be judged by deeds, not by how much we smile at the White House. A comprehensive peace plan is needed, one that Israel stands behind. I’m not sure that that is possible with the current government,” Barak said.

    “Without an agreement, we will be subject to international isolation, and we will suffer a fate similar to that of Belfast or Bosnia, or a gradual transition from a paradigm of two states for two peoples to one of one state for two peoples, and some people will try to label us as similar to South Africa. That’s why we must act,” Barak said. If both sides are willing to make brave decisions, he said, “it will be possible to get to direct negotiations and a breakthrough toward an agreement.”

    In talks last week with Netanyahu and Barak, Mitchell asked that Israel make confidence-building measures over the next few weeks, both to build up PA institutions and encourage the Palestinians to shift more quickly to direct talks.

    A senior official in Jerusalem said Israel would take such steps in the coming weeks, probably including the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, the removal of additional checkpoints and the transfer of certain West Bank areas to PA security control.

    Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the PLO Executive Committee and veteran peace negotiator, said the Palestinians had received assurances from the U.S. concerning “settlement activities and the necessity to halt them.” He said the Obama administration had also promised to be tough in the event of “any provocations,” and guaranteed that all core issues would be put on the table.

    The PLO decision came despite warnings from the rival Palestinian group Hamas, which said Friday that the move would only legitimize Israel’s occupation, Palestinian media reported.

    “Absurd proximity talks” would only “give the Israeli occupation an umbrella to commit more crimes against the Palestinians,” Hamas reportedly said. “Hamas calls on the PLO to stop selling illusions to the Palestinian people and announce the failure of their gambling on absurd talks.”

    Above from, Haaretz.com

     

    PEACE

     

     

    www.peacenow.org        Americans for Peace Now

     

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    Gazan World Cup Today!!! ( Signs Of Peace )

    ” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

     

    In Gaza today the world cup started to the cheers of over  five thousand people,

     

    FROM World news BBC , below,

    Gaza football ‘World Cup’ opens

     

    Teams line up at start of Gaza 'World Cup'
    The raising of a US flag is an unusual sight in Gaza

    By Jon Donnison
    BBC News, Gaza

    The banging Arab dance music, the blaring Italian National anthem, the reciting of the Koran and the over-excited Bedouin commentator led to quite an atmosphere for the opening of the Gazan Football “World Cup”.

    And that’s before the first game even started.

    “We want to show that Gazans enjoy life like every other people,” says Tamir Qamoud from the United Nations Development Programme, which is organising the event.

    Around 5,000 fans of all ages turned out on a beautiful sunny day for the opening match, Palestine versus Italy.

    Flags from both teams fluttered around the stadium as the game kicked off.

    Italy eventually won 1-0 after scoring through a penalty.

     

    Bedouin commentator at Gaza 'World Cup'
    A very excited Bedouin commentator kept the crowd entertained

    Sixteen teams are taking part in the two week tournament: Palestine, England, Turkey, USA, Italy, Russia, South Africa, Ireland, Egypt, Algeria, Spain, Serbia, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Jordan.

    They are mostly made up from players from the amateur Gaza Football League, alongside foreign workers in Gaza from the respective countries.

    “We want to show the spirit of international cooperation in Gaza,” says Balma Yahia, a UN worker playing in the South African team.

    During the opening ceremony he points out the America team parading around the stadium holding the US flag aloft.

    “Look, how often can you see that in Gaza?”, Mr Yahia asks. “We want to show that ordinary people here can just get along.”

    ‘Loyal fans’

    “Football is strong in Gaza,” says Basil Nasser, a midfielder in the Palestinian team.

    Samar Saleh
    It’s difficult, but I am supporting Italy – I like the way Italy play and I like to support the winners.
     
    Samer Saleh
    Palestinian football fan

     “There are around 20 good clubs in Gaza with loyal fans but it’s difficult for our players to travel and get experience because of the conflict with Israel.”

    Israel and Egypt effectively sealed their borders with Gaza to most Palestinians in 2007 after the Islamist movement Hamas forced its rival Fatah from the territory a year after winning elections.

    Hamas have fired thousands of rockets into Israel over the past decade.

    The health minister in the Hamas-run administration, Basem Naim, was among the dignitaries in the grandstand.

    The movement’s Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh is a former football player.

    For the opening ceremony all the teams were in full national strip.

    “I think you could compare me to the player Roberto Baggio”, said Gian Luca, a midfielder in the Italian team, in reference to the former Italian great, as he tied the laces on his brand new red leather football boots.

     

    Italy v Palestine, first match in Gaza 'World Cup'
    ‘Italy’ won the opening match 1-0 over the ‘Palestine’ team

    Some of the foreign players looked as if their best playing days were perhaps behind them.

    The rather portly Italian left back, apparently no stranger to the tiramisu trolley, was substituted after only 15 minutes, looking a touch flushed.

    But this did not put some Palestinians off supporting the opposition.

    “It’s difficult, but I am going for Italy,” said Samar Saleh, a football fan in her twenties.

    “I like the way Italy play. They are so attractive and I like to support the winners.”

    International hopes

    A Palestinian team has never managed to qualify for the real World Cup, though in 2006 reached a not unrespectable 115th in the Fifa world rankings.

    The political situation meant they only really started trying for the World Cup in 2002, but for the past three tournaments have never made it out of the qualifying stages.

    Under the blockade, it can be very difficult for Palestinian players to leave Gaza to play abroad – and for West Bank and Gaza players to train together.

    Both territories have been occupied by Israel since 1967, although Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and now maintains control of the border, airspace and coast.

    So do Gazans believe they will ever see a Palestinian team in the real World Cup?

    “I want to be optimistic and say yes,” says Samar Saleh, “but it’s really hard to see it happening.”

    Above from   www.bbc.co.uk

    PEACE

     

    www.peacenow.org                      Americans for Peace Now!

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    Middle East Peace Talks ( Indirect) Start Next Week ! Oh Ye, Of Little Faith…

    ” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

     

    FROM www.dailybeast.com , Cheat Sheet, below-

     

    Middle East Peace Talks Back On

    Baby steps in the Middle East peace process: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will resume next week, with U.S. Special Envoy George Mitchell scheduled to mediate the discussions. But don’t expect any breakthroughs: The talks will be indirect, with Mitchell meeting with one party at a time and there are no current plans for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to meet directly. “Ultimately, we want to see the parties in direct negotiations and working out all the difficult issues that they must,” Clinton said.

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) shakes hands with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak after their meeting at the State Department in Washington April 27, 2010. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
     
      
     
     
     NOTE:

    O ye, of little faith

    Meaning –
     
    This is the rebuke levelled at the disciples of Christ, when seeming to doubt his divinity. The phrase is also more widely used to describe any Christian doubter. In a secular setting it may be intended as a humorous jibe when doubting someone’s abilities.
     
     

     

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) shakes hands with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak after their meeting at the State Department in Washington April 27, 2010.

    Photo Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas

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    A Poem/Prayer For Peace – This Year 2010 – World Peace

    ” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog”

    POEM /PRAYER FOR PEACE

    Let’s start again

    in our search for peace

    lets look again for the things that meld us together

    that shine a light on the best parts of our hopes

    the light that shows the way to peace

    all we have to do is keep walking looking knowing our hearts

    and a place will form before us

    soaked with enough peace to encompass this whole world.

    Just start gain.

     World PEACE in 2010

    Graphics from Google

    www.peacenow.org

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