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August 29, 2016 / 25 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘peace’

Egyptian Foreign Minister Visits Israel, Pledges Commitment To Regional Peace

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

JERUSALEM – In the latest sign of improved ties between Israel and Egypt, an Egyptian foreign minister made an official visit to Israel for the first time in nine years on Sunday.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry was in Jerusalem for meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The two leaders discussed the recently reached reconciliation deal between Turkey and Israel, agreements regarding natural gas in the Mediterranean Sea, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and other issues.

Two weeks ago, Shoukry met with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. He confirmed on Sunday that the earlier meeting was linked to an Egyptian effort to mediate in the peace process.

At the start of the meeting, Netanyahu noted that nearly four decades have passed since Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty. During a press conference he described Israel’s relationships with Egypt and Jordan as “the cornerstone of stability in the region” and “critical assets for our countries.”

He added that he was ready and willing to take up an offer by Egypt to take a leadership role in peace talks. He cited the track records of both Egypt and Jordan as an example for the PA to follow.

“Today I call again on the Palestinians to follow the greatest example of Egypt and Jordan and join us for direct negotiations,” he said. “This is the only way we can address all the outstanding problems between us, and turn the vision of peace based on two states for two peoples into a reality.”

Shoukry said “the situation of the Middle East is becoming ever more volatile and dangerous, particularly as the phenomenon of terrorism continues to grow and proliferate, representing an existential threat to the peoples of the region and the world at large. No person, group or people are exempt; none are immune from this threat.”

Addressing Netanyahu, the Egyptian minister said that “ever since the cessation of negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides in April 2014, the situation on the ground has been in constant deterioration, be it on the humanitarian, economic, or security level…. The current state of affairs unfortunately is neither stable nor sustainable…. I would like to assure that Egypt’s commitment to supporting a just, comprehensive and sustainable resolution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and to supporting peace and security in the Middle East is a steadfast and unwavering commitment, and that the Egyptian leadership is serious in its determination to provide all possible forms of support in order to achieve this goal.”

The Israeli-Egyptian relationship has long been a “cold” one, and the latter years of the Hosni Mubarak regime saw few meaningful diplomatic interactions. Israel did intermittently look to Cairo to help ease tensions with the Palestinians, but there was little if any public interaction between officials of the two countries.

Under the Muslim Brotherhood government that followed Mubarak’s departure in 2011, relations deteriorated further, due largely to the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideological opposition to Israel and its close affiliation with Hamas. The terrorist group, which had seized control of Gaza from Abbas’s PA by force in 2007, was originally established as a Palestinian branch of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, on a platform sworn to Israel’s destruction.

But under the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt has moved ahead with a significant, if low-key, security relationship with Israel, especially focused on the Sinai peninsula, where Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-affiliated terrorists are operating.

Israeli officials have also praised Egypt for cracking down on Hamas’s smuggling tunnels between Gaza and the Sinai, and Netanyahu and el-Sisi speak by phone frequently. (In public forums like the UN Human Rights Council, Egypt continues to criticize Israel harshly.)

Sunday’s meeting was held at el-Sisi’s behest.

There has been a push in recent months by the so-called Mideast Quartet and the French government to restart the peace process. A recent report by the Quartet – comprised of the U.S., Russia, European Union and United Nations – was panned by both the Israelis and Palestinians.

It pointed to Israel’s continued expansion of settlements in disputed territory and the PA’s inability to control the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The statement also scolded both sides for violence and incitement.

Despite international efforts, including a concerted push in recent years by Secretary of State John Kerry, both sides have rebuffed external pressure to resume talks, each accusing the other of responsibility for the stall.

“Evidently, certain parties of the international community insist on trying to avoid their own legal and moral responsibilities to implement international law and conventions,” PLO secretary-general Saeb Erekat told the Palestinian news agency Ma’an after the report was published.

Netanyahu has repeatedly said he wants to advance peace in the region. Following a meeting in Rome with Kerry and other foreign representatives two weeks ago, he reiterated his position.

“The world and the Middle East are in turmoil and my policy is to create centers of stability in this unstable and stormy region,” he said at the time.

He added that Israel wants to work in cooperation with neighboring Arab countries, as well as Greece, Cyprus, Russia, Turkey, and the United States, referring to “a clear strategy, to create centers of stability in the stormy Middle East.”

(CNSNews)

Genevieve Belmaker

After 9 Years Egypt Foreign Minister Meeting Netanyahu to ‘Promote Peace Process’

Sunday, July 10th, 2016

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry arrives in Israel Sunday to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu, the first visit of an Egyptian FM in nine years. The PM told his cabinet meeting Sunday that he would meet with the visitor twice, once in the afternoon and once in the evening. Shoukry met with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas two weeks ago.

According to Egyptian diplomats speaking to Ma’an, Shoukry’s visit will focus on Egyptian proposals to kickstart the peace process once again, as well as the French peace initiative. The man behind today’s visit, according to Netanyahu, was his special emissary, attorney Yitzhak Molcho, the chief negotiator on behalf of Netanyahu in the Israeli negotiating team.

According to a statement released by Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid, the Shoukry visit is the next step in a process begun by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who a few months ago called on all the parties in Israel to unite around the peace process with the Palestinians and on Arab countries to also enlist to promote the peace.

Since he has managed to expand his ruling coalition from 61 to 67 members, Netanyahu has been speaking freely about his desire for a regional political move, a topic he raised in his meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry two weeks ago, in Rome.

David Israel

Rabbinical Congress for Peace Wants Netanyahu to Suspend Everybody’s Basic Rights

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

Following a special meeting of the Administrative Committee of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace, the rabbis issued a call to the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government to declare a state of emergency in Israel. They issued a statement saying “there are times when a nation is confronted with war and terrorist insurgence that threaten the security and lives of its citizens. In such cases, international law acknowledges the curtailment of certain basic rights as a proactive response.”

The Rabbinical Congress for Peace (RCP), is a group of some 1,200 past and present Torah leaders from the United States, Canada and Israel, affiliated with the Zionist, Haredi and Chabad movements. In their Tuesday meeting, they lamented the fact that the past year has seen innocent Israelis being stabbed, shot and killed by their enemies, with little or no effective response from the Israeli government.

Relying on the Shulkhan Arukh, Orakh Haim 329, as well as on international law, the rabbis declared that the sanctity of life takes precedence over all else, to the extent that one is not only permitted but is obligated to desecrate Shabbat to pick up arms to repel the enemy.

Therefore, the Rabbis called on the Israeli government to “impose a complete, three-month-long closure on all towns and villages from which terrorists have come to kill Jews, as well as impose economic sanctions.”

Also, since the Israeli media justify and support (overtly or by insinuation) terrorist activity, making it the equivalent of a “fifth column” in Israel, the government should “temporarily impose a complete censorship on radio and TV for several months.” The Rabbis have “no doubt that without the support of the Israeli leftist-controlled media, terrorist activity would substantially decrease.”

The Rabbis reiterated their call to the government to “unequivocally declare the annulment of the Oslo agreements, a copy of which should be publicly torn up in the Knesset.”

In addition, “the government should also allow unlimited construction in all parts of Israel. Hesitating on these obvious measures is tantamount to the encouragement of terrorism by the government itself.”

The Rabbis declared that they are “crying out and beseeching the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, government ministers and members of the Knesset to recognize that this is ‘a time of trouble for Yaakov!’ (sic) The Torah’s prediction of the grievous consequences of transferring Israeli territory to its enemies is being actualized before our very eyes.”

Finally, the rabbis told Netanyahu: “Come to your senses and heed the instruction of the Torah, and stop the further shedding of innocent blood, which continues unabated.”

David Israel

Holocaust Author and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel Dead at 87

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel who in 1986 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, is dead, according to a Saturday announcement by Yad Vashem. He was 87 years old. Wiesel died in his New York home. He was survived by his wife, his son and two grandchildren.

Wiesel was born in in Sighet, Transylvania (Romania), in the Carpathian Mountains, on September 30, 1928. Wiesel’s mother, Sarah, was the daughter of a Vizhnitz Hasid who spent time in jail for helping Polish Jews enter the country illegally. Wiesel’s father, Shlomo, encouraged him to learn Hebrew and to read literature, while his mother encouraged him to study the Torah. Wiesel had three siblings – older sisters Beatrice and Hilda, and younger sister Tzipora. Beatrice and Hilda survived the war and were reunited with Wiesel at a French orphanage. They eventually emigrated to North America, with Beatrice moving to Canada. Tzipora, Shlomo, and Sarah did not survive the Holocaust.

In 1944, the German army deported the Jewish community in Sighet to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Wiesel and his father were sent to the work camp Buna, a subcamp of Auschwitz III-Monowitz. He managed to remain with his father for more than eight months as they were shuffled among three concentration camps in the final days of the war.

On January 28, 1945, just a few weeks after the two were marched to Buchenwald, Wiesel’s father was beaten by an SS guard as he was suffering from dysentery, starvation, and exhaustion. He was also beaten by other inmates for his food. He was later sent to the crematorium, only weeks before the camp was liberated by the US Third Army on April 11.

For ten years after the war, Wiesel refused to write about or discuss his experiences during the Holocaust. However, a meeting with the French author François Mauriac, the 1952 Nobel Laureate in Literature, and a discussion he had with the Lubavitcher Rebbe were turning points for him. His first memoir, in Yiddish, titled, And the World Remained Silent, was published in Buenos Aires. He rewrote a new version of the manuscript in French, which was published as La Nuit, and translated into English as Night. Wiesel had trouble finding a publisher and the book initially sold only a few copies.

In 1960 Hill & Wang agreed to pay a $100 pro-forma advance and published it in the United States in September that year as Night. The book sold only 1,046 copies, but attracted interest from reviewers, leading to television interviews with Wiesel and meetings with literary figures such as Saul Bellow. “The English translation came out in 1960, and the first printing was 3,000 copies,” Wiesel said in an interview. “And it took three years to sell them. Now, I get 100 letters a month from children about the book. And there are many, many millions of copies in print.”

Night has been translated into 30 languages. By 1997 the book was selling 300,000 copies annually in the United States alone. By March 2006, about six million copies were sold in the United States. On January 16, 2006, Oprah Winfrey chose the work for her book club. One million extra paperback and 150,000 hardcover copies were printed carrying the “Oprah’s Book Club” logo, with a new translation by Wiesel’s wife, Marion, and a new preface by Wiesel. On February 12, 2006, the new translation of Night was No. 1 on The New York Times bestseller list for paperback non-fiction and the original translation placed third.

Wiesel and his wife started the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. He served as chairman for the Presidential Commission on the Holocaust (later renamed US Holocaust Memorial Council) from 1978 to 1986, spearheading the building of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, during which he pleaded for US intervention in Yugoslavia after a visit there in 1992.

Wiesel and his wife invested their life savings, and the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity invested nearly all of its assets (approximately $15.2 million) through Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, an experience that caused Wiesel deep pain.

JNi.Media

Peace And Love And their Murderous Consequences

Friday, July 1st, 2016

Among the pile of books on my night table, there are always a few volumes about war.

It should be obvious to any clear-thinking person that war is the final arbiter of all great conflicts. Those who speak of negotiated peace speak of fiction.

The great world wars have made this world what it is, and there are numerous lessons to be learned militarily in terms of the present war with radical Islam. Thus I draw your attention to two very fine books: The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman and A World at Arms by Gerhard L. Weinberg.

Tuchman’s volume is about World War I and Weinberg’s is about World War II. Tuchman is a riveting historian who can tell a great story and make history come alive. Weinberg is more academic; his book has thousands of footnotes. But he does detail. Oh boy, does he do detail.

An interesting – and timely and intensely important – theme crops up in both books: Pacifists, peace movements, and their murderous aftermath.

Tuchman points out that the peace movements in France and England that preceded World War I immobilized both countries’ heavy industries to such an extent that when war finally did break out, France and England were at least sixteen months behind the Germans in heavy production.

You see, the peace movements advocated a policy of appeasement: Give the Germans what they want and they won’t go to war.

As if.

Tuchman also points out that France and England were tragically behind Germany even in small manufacturing, so that when their soldiers marched to the Western front, they did not have proper winter uniforms, and thousands of troops froze to death.

It is true that millions of soldiers died on the Western front from the new technology of machine guns and from generals impaled on outmoded military doctrine. But on a deeper level, millions were slaughtered because of the peace movements that self-righteously refused to recognize reality and confront evil.

You would think that lessons had been learned from World War I. You would think that the pacifists, appeasers, and so-called peace activists would have lost all credibility, but truth has a funny way of getting buried in the avalanche of Big Lies.

And, I suppose, the word “peace” has an almost narcotic effect on people. They hear the word often enough and they get, well, kind of stupid.

The messages of the peace movements before World War II were almost a carbon copy of the nonsense spewed before World War I – except that communications had improved greatly. Newspapers like The New York Times wielded immense power. And of course the Times, astonishingly dim then as now, saw no reason to get involved in foreign conflicts.

The peace movements in America, France, and England were utterly infiltrated by the ruthless agents of Hitler and Stalin. And in a replay of the Kaiser’s attitude, Hitler absolutely adored the peace movements. He kept a close eye on them, smiling the whole time. He understood they were his best allies. As long as those fools kept up their blather, he would be able to swallow countries whole.

Once again, the pacifists and peaceniks advocated appeasement. Just give Herr Hitler what he wants and surely he won’t go to war.

Rule #1 of Peace Movements: They cannot imagine or confront evil.

Rule #2 of Peace Movements: They do not care about history.

Rule #3 of Peace Movements: They are always secretly financed and penetrated by the enemy.

Weinberg points out that by the time Great Britain declared war on Germany, both it and America were two full years behind Germany in armament production. Once again, the peace camps had made sure the great democracies were at their weakest when they were fighting for their lives.

Thus another world war dragged on for more years than should have been necessary, and millions of lives were lost that could have been saved had evil been confronted at an earlier stage.

It’s not a great leap to the Vietnam War. Because of the peace movement at home, we betrayed our allies, and the North Vietnamese slaughtered hundreds of thousands of their political enemies.

After that, the Khmer Rouge were emboldened to commit genocide in Cambodia, murdering a million men, women, and children, mostly by suffocation with plastic bags. These barbarians knew that America would not interfere, not after Vietnam. Not after the peace movement colonized the Democrat party.

The postmodern peace movement is on the march again, denying the murderous nature of radical Islam and pretending that guns are the problem. For Obama-style peaceniks, radical Islam does not exist – not even linguistically. Radicalized Muslims are merely unemployed youth. Give them jobs and their yearning for jihad will disappear.

This deeply paternalistic and racist view denies the immutability of Koranic teachings and the power of a belief system that has held sway over millions of pious Muslims since the seventh century.

So the next time you see the crowd at a peace demonstration, cloaked in all their moral vanity, keep in mind that they are precisely the sort of people who enable mass murder and genocide.

Robert J. Avrech

“If we don’t get East Jerusalem, we’ll make sure there is no peace in the region”

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Originally posted to the author’s website, Elder of Ziyon}

Here is the Wikipedia definition of extortion:

Extortion is a criminal offense of obtaining money, property, or services from an institution, through coercion. It is sometimes euphemistically referred to as a “protection racket” since the racketeers often phrase their demands as payment for “protection” from (real or hypothetical) threats from unspecified other parties. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime groups. The actual obtainment of money or property is not required to commit the offense. Making a threat of violence which refers to a requirement of a payment of money or property to halt future violence is sufficient to commit the offense.

Now explain how this does not fit that definition:

In response to EU support for French initiative to pressure Israel to make yet more concessions for “peace,” Mahmoud Abbas is planning to make a speech sometime within the next 48 hours.

His spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said, “We welcome this European stance and call for the US administration to support these efforts that lead to real peace, and to exert pressure on the Israeli government to bow to the international will and the international consensus and international legitimacy and the Arab peace initiative. The only way to stability and peace in the region is a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem. Without it, the region and the world will remain in a state of imbalance and instability.”

This is a threat, and a threat that has been made countless times before. It is a Mafia-style protection racket being employed daily to every nation on the planet. “Do what we say and no one gets hurt.”

If you follow the logic through, it means that the Palestinians say that if they don’t get what they demand, even if that demand – Jerusalem – has no basis in history or international law, they will make sure that the world will suffer the consequences.

There isn’t an iota of evidence that a Palestinian state with Jerusalem will result in less Middle East bloodshed than a Palestinian state without Jerusalem. Jerusalem is an arbitrary demand – one of many that Abbas has made, including “return” and prisoners being released and no Jews allowed on their holiest spot. It has nothing to do with statehood, nothing to do with peace, nothing to do with stability.

It has everything to do with erasing the Jewish connection to the land.

The world is being extorted, yet the world is happy to accede to the blackmail that is being practiced openly every day by the “President of the State of Palestine.”

Why isn’t the world outraged at being threatened every day by a two-bit, terror supporting, Holocaust denying criminal?

Because the only ones that have to pay the extortion price is Israel and the Jewish people.

Elder of Ziyon

Helen Mirren Meets Arab and Jewish Students Seeking Peace through the Performing Arts

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Dame Helen Mirren (Woman in Gold, Trumbo, The Queen, The Madness of King George) last Thursday met with Arab and Jewish theatre students at The Billy Crystal Program for Peace through the Performing Arts, at the Department of Theatre Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

At the university’s Garage Theatre, Dame Helen heard from Arab and Jewish students in the Department of Theater Studies what it’s like to act in both Arabic and Hebrew. They then gave a live performance in both languages. She also visited the Theatre Archive and Museum, where artist-teacher Emanuella Amichai, an award-winning choreographer and performance director, introduced her work Place-Identity, with Israeli-Arab student Elham Mahamid, which was performed last year as part of the closing event of the Jerusalem Art Festival.

Dame Helen Mirren holds one of the 10,000 reels of film at the Hebrew University’s Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive. Also pictured: Hebrew University President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson (L) and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Prof. Dror Wahrman. / Courtesy the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, photo by Dor Kedmi

Dame Helen Mirren holds one of the 10,000 reels of film at the Hebrew University’s Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive. Also pictured: Hebrew University President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson (L) and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Prof. Dror Wahrman. / Courtesy the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, photo by Dor Kedmi

At the Hebrew University’s Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive, Dame Helen took a selfie with a picture of her good friend Billy Crystal. At the recent memorial service for Muhammad Ali, Crystal described the origins of The Program for Peace through the Performing Arts:

“[Ali] was an honorary chairman for a dinner in a very important event where I was being honored by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem… The most famous Muslim man in the world, honoring his Jewish friend. And, because he was there, we raised a great deal of money, and I was able to use it to endow the University in Jerusalem with something that I told him about. And it was something that he loved the theory of, and it thrives to this day. It’s called ‘Peace through the Performing Arts.’ It’s a theater group where [Jewish and Arab] actors, writers and directors all work together in peace, creating original works of art. And that doesn’t happen without him.”

The Billy Crystal Program for Peace through the Performing Arts is dedicated to promoting a humanistic society based on dialogic relations and peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs in Israel. Theater artists and students, both Jews and Arabs, participate in a wide range of laboratory classes, workshops, master classes and special projects and performances. This unique program functions as a social and cultural bridge encouraging understanding and identifying with the “other” through collaborative theatre work.

Dame Helen was welcomed at the Hebrew University by its President, Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson; the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Prof. Dror Wahrman; Chair of the Department of Theatre Studies and Director of the Billy Crystal Program, Dr. Jeanette Malkin; Department Advisor, Dr. Olga Levitan; and Artistic Director of the Bilingual Workshop, Dr. Josef Sprinzak.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/helen-mirren-meets-arab-and-jewish-students-seeking-peace-through-the-performing-arts/2016/06/27/

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