Archive for the ‘PeaceWorks Foundation’ Category

An article in today’s Haaretz reveals a recent trend in the Israeli Army: Palestinian Leadership has been addressing Israeli soldiers and officers “to inform soldiers and officers of the nature of recent changes in the West Bank, and of the complexity of their mission when operating within the Palestinian populace.”  This unique cooperation between the Israeli army and Palestinian official is unprecedented and completely amazing! This story shows that even in the most unlikely of places, peace can flourish.

“Spotted by Daniel Lubetzky, redacted by Adeena Schlussel”

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Dennis Ross, the Special Assistant to the President and friend of OneVoice, addressed AIPAC at their Florida Summit this week.  In his remarks, Mr. Ross spoke about the dangers of Iran and the effect that the Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act has had on Iran’s relationship with the world.  Mr. Ross concluded his speech by reiterating the need for peace, and the specific importance of moderates remaining engaged in a proactive peace process.

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Check out Ezzeldeen Masri’s vision for Palestine in 2018.  I hope that his vision for peace and cooperation continue to spread beyond OneVoice and inspire widespread change that the nations need at this time.

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Adeena Schlussel on behalf of Daniel Lubetzky

Darya Shaikh and John Lyndon, OneVoice executives, published a poignant op-ed in the Huffington post.  Darya and John make the crucial point that peace talks on their own will not suffice in reaching a resolution for peace.  Without a newfound commitment to peace and a willingness to compromise, the talks will be empty and futile.  As OneVoice depicts in its “Imagine 2018” campaign, there are two very different possibilities for the future, and these talks may have the power to set the Mideast on the more favorable track.  It all depends on the commitment of the leaders.

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by Adeena Schlussel on behalf of Daniel Lubetzky

Check out this great PBS piece featuring PeaceWorks and Daniel’s efforts to end the Mideast conflict with OneVoice! Thank you Fred De Sam Lazaro for showing how entrepreneurship can enhance relations between Israelis and Palestinians (as well as in other conflict regions) while being lucrative as well.  With the persistence of others who share Daniel’s unyielding passion and belief that economic cooperation can lead to peace, we hope to see a decrease in Mideast tensions soon.

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by Adeena Schlussel on behalf of Daniel Lubetzky

The Geneva Initiative has launched a new campaign in partnership with USAID which broadcasts messages from Palestinian leadership for the Israeli public.  The short clips featuring different Palestinian leaders all vary but pivot around one shared message- that there is a Palestinian partner for a peace and the opportunity to reach an agreement should not be missed.  To date, figures in the campaign include Cheif Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erakat, Secretary-General of the PLO Executive Committee Yasser Abed Rabbo, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki, Memer of the Fatah Central Committee Jibril Rajoub, and Former Member of the Negotiating Team and PA Minister Sufyan Abu Zaidah.  Each message begins with “shalom” and ends with uniform, powerful promise: “I am your partner.  Are you mine?”  To watch the first three clips, click on the following image:

clip_image001

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By Adeena Schlussel on behalf of Daniel Lubetzky

Tom Friedman discusses an appropriately complex documentary, “Precious Life” in this article and then compares its meaning to the appropriately complex reality of the Mideast conflict.  Friedman’s point is not to condone Israel’s behavior unilaterally, rather to encourage her opponents to give constructive criticism, which comes from a place of understanding- a place that “Precious Life” depicts very nicely, according to Friedman.

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Further to this post by Adeena regarding the rising attacks against the Mosque being erected in downtown NYC, let me provide some more background to the thousands of people that are attacking this project without taking the time to do a little bit of research about it.

I received this video post by Pat Condell from my sister, attacking the project.

Here was my response to my sister:

The mosque near Ground Zero is being opened by a dear friend and member of the PeaceWorks Foundation’s Honorary Board, and a remarkable human being who our Dad would have loved as much as he loved Rabbi Scheinberg [our Orthodox Rabbi in San Antonio, TX, who we all admire for his deep humility, warmth, and respect of others]. He is a humanist and a pluralist, a tolerant sweet man, and the role model of what we should want EVERY religious leader – Muslim or otherwise – to be like.  Please forward back to Oren and anyone else who shared this with you.

To briefly expound on this note, let me respond to some of the assertions made by Mr. Condell.

He attacks the religion of Islam as an ocean of hatred, violence and intolerance.  But intolerance and hatred are sadly not exclusive to Islam. All major religions have their regrettable elements of excess.

Incidentally just a couple days ago I saw a fantastic movie – Goya’s Ghosts – starring another PeaceWorks Foundation Honorary Board member, Natalie Portman, as a woman who is jailed, raped, and oppressed by the Spanish Inquisition.

There is no question that there are monstrous people who I call "pseudo-Islamic terrorists" who usurp a religion that can be about love and respect, and hijack it to advocate extremism and hatred.  But they do not represent the Islam that many of my friends follow, a religion of humility and striving to be better human beings. 

The real challenge is who is going to win – the tolerant and progressive leaders of Islam, or the regressive ones?

It is up to us to uphold the tolerant and enlightened and respectful leaders who dedicate their lives to peace – as is the case with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.  Demonizing and isolating and chastising them is not a way to strengthen the moderate voices within Islamic countries!!!

Pat Condell writes about how Islam divides people into us vs. them, but he seems to miss the irony in that this is precisely what he does in his video posting by trying to portray all of Islam as intolerant. 

It is true that diversity and tolerance are critical to a functioning democracy.  But sermons like the one by Pat Condell are just as offensive to this notion as intolerant Muslims.

Contrast that to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Mr. Condell clearly has never met him.  But more disturbing, he hasn’t even taken the time to research the Cordoba Initiative.  The initiative was conceived by Imam Feisal almost a decade ago to celebrate the CO-EXISTENCE and DIVERSITY that characterized Cordoba during its golden age.  Condell claims that the Cordoba Initiative was named that way to emphasize the conquest of Christianity by Islam.  He should have started by doing some research!

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by Adeena Schlussel on behalf of Daniel Lubetzky

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a OneVoice board member has become the subject of accusation in a fierce debate about constructing a proposed mosque nearby to Ground Zero that he is actively spearheading.  Opponents feel that building a mosque in close proximity to the location of the 9/11 attacks would be disrespectful or even threatening.  The Daily News, Wall Street Journal and New York Magazine and other news sources all feature articles depicting the criticisms that come from a population that is otherwise known as one of the most tolerant around the world.

Rick Lazio challenges Cuomo over legality of Ground Zero mosque funding, cites ‘security questions’

BY Lore Croghan
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Originally Published:Wednesday, July 7th 2010, 1:58 PM
Updated: Thursday, July 8th 2010, 2:21 AM

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio challenged his Democratic opponent Wednesday to explore the legality of the funding behind a proposed mosque near Ground Zero.

"New Yorkers have a right to feel safe and be safe," Lazio told reporters in lower Manhattan. "There are serious security questions about the appropriateness of this mosque."

Lazio demanded Attorney General Andrew Cuomo figure out where the backers of the Cordoba House expect to get $100 million to build it.

"Anyone who has evidence of wrongdoing should send it to us, and we will review it," Cuomo replied in a statement.

In a letter he sent to Cuomo, Lazio cited press accounts that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who’s spearheading the mosque’s construction, is a "key figure" in an organization that funded the flotilla that sought to break Israel‘s Gazablockade.

Debra Burlingame, whose brother Charles was a pilot on the plane terrorists crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11, said the imam has written about his hopes of bringing strict Islamic law to the United States.

"He means to use the Ground Zero location of the mosque to ‘leverage’ people to Islam," said Burlingame, the co-founder of 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America.

Organizers behind Cordoba House have said they have peaceful intentions and the mosque is just one part of a larger community center that will be open to everyone.

The center would be located on Park Place, about two blocks from the World Trade Center site.

 

 

 

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Poll: Majority of New Yorkers Oppose Ground Zero Mosque

Cordoba Initiative

More than 50% of New York City voters oppose a plan by a Muslim group to build a mosque and cultural center just blocks away from Ground Zero, according to a poll released Thursday by Quinnipiac University.

“New York enjoys a reputation as one of the most tolerant places in America, but…opponents suggest that the mosque would dishonor the memory of the [9/11] attack’s victims,” said Maurice Carroll, the director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

According to the poll, 52% of New Yorkers oppose the plan to build the mosque and cultural center, known as the Cordoba House, compared to 31% who are in favor of it and 17% who are undecided.

The poll of more than 1,000 registered voters across the city found that support for the $100 million project appeared to be strongest in Manhattan, where 46% of poll respondents said they were in favor of it, compared to 36% who said they were opposed.

Elsewhere across the five boroughs, the project appears to face staunch opposition, especially in Staten Island and Brooklyn, where as The Journal’s Sumathi Reddy reports, local chapters of the Muslim American Society want to build mosques in Sheepshead Bay and Midland Beach.

In Staten Island 73% of respondents said they were against the Cordoba House proposal, compared to 14% who said they supported it. In Brooklyn and the Bronx, 57% of respondents said they opposed the mosque and cultural center, while in Queens opposition stood at 52%.

The poll found that whites, Hispanics, Jews and Catholics appeared to be more likely to be opposed to bringing the mosque and cultural center near Ground Zero. Blacks and protestants– while still largely against the plan–revealed more divided opinions, the poll reported.

Despite the opposition, 44% of New Yorkers said they had a generally favorable opinion of Islam, compared to 28% who have an unfavorable view of the religion and 28% who didn’t know. A majority of those indicating favorable opinions tended to support the plan for Cordoba House, the poll reported, while those with an unfavorable opinion of Islam were almost unanimously against it.

In May, the project, which is being spearheaded by the American Society for Muslim Advancement, received the support of Lower Manhattan’s Community Board 1. Yet as Metropolis previously reported, board officials said they only voted on the proposal for the cultural center, not the mosque, which has generated some controversy.

Objections aside, the biggest obstacle to the 13-story project appears to be history. Later this month, the Landmarks Preservation Commission will decide whether the building currently on the site is architecturally significant enough to merit protected status. That in and of itself would not derail the mosque and cultural center, but it will make it unlikely that the building could be demolished to build the proposed projects.

 

 

New York Magazine

 

The Ground Zero Mosque Is Now a Campaign Issue

7/7/10 at 2:10 PM

 

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio, languishing far behind Democratic front-runner Andrew Cuomo, needs something to shake up the race. How about anti-Islamic sentiment? Yes, that will do. A few days after a poll showed that a majority of New Yorkers oppose the building of a mosque and community center two blocks from ground zero, Lazio has released a letter calling on Cuomo (who supports the mosque) as attorney general to investigate certain issues the media has raised about the mosque’s leader, including his refusal to label Hamas a terrorist organization and his membership in an organization that donated money to the Palestinian aid flotillas — neither of which are illegal, but sure, why not?

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by Adeena Schlussel on behalf of Daniel Lubetzky

In a recent story, an Israeli TV channel featured OneVoice’s campaign for Israel-Palestine to host the 2018 world cup.  As the story articulates, this ambition may seem just like a fantasy, but according to the philosophy of the OneVoice campaign, there is no reason why Israelis and Palestinians cannot partner to host the world cup in eight years.  The challenge remains for this fantasy to become a reality.  Watch this movie and radio interview with OneVoice’s Tal Harris.

דמיינו: ישראל והרשות יארחו את המונדיאל ב-2018

לרובכם זה ודאי נשמע כמו תסריט דמיוני, אבל בארגון "קול אחד" מאמינים שאין סיבה שישראל והרשות הפלסטינית לא ישתפו פעולה ויארחו יחד את המונדיאל בעוד 8 שנים. "לשם כך צריך לפתור את הסכסוך, והכדורגל הוא כלי מצוין לכך" – אומר יו"ר הארגון טל הריס, שהפיץ סרטון בניסיון לקדם את החזון. האם הדמיון יהפוך למציאות?

חדשות 2 | פורסם 23/06/10 13:33

 

נסו לדמיין את התסריט הבא: שנת 2018, נבחרות הכדורגל הטובות בעולם עושות את דרכן לשטחי ישראל והרשות הפלסטינית שמארחות את המונדיאל – יחדיו. בארגון "קול אחד" מאמינים שהתסריט הזה יכול להפוך למציאות.

"סרטון שמופץ בימים אלה ברשת מציג שחקני כדורגל שמתחרים על תואר האלופה ליד גדר ההפרדה. את הסרטון הפיק ארגון "קול אחד" (One Voice) שפועל לפיתרון הסכסוך הישראלי-פלסטיני.

"כחלק מחגיגת המונדיאל ניסינו לדמיין איך תיראה שנת 2018 בסכסוך הישראלי פלסטיני", הסביר טל הריס, יו"ר הארגון לחדשות 2 באינטרנט. "לשם כך צריך לפתור את הסכסוך, והכדורגל הוא כלי מצוין לכך".

משיחות עם אנשים בשני צדי הסכסוך ראינו שהדמיון חורג מכל מציאות שאנחנו מכירים, ואם דרום אפריקה שסועת הקרבות הפנימיים והמתח הבין גזעי יכולה לארח אירוע כדורגל כזה, אין סיבה שישראל והרשות הפלסטינית לא יעשו דבר דומה", הוסיף הריס.

"אם לא נקדם את העתיד אחרת – הוא לא יהיה אחרת"

אם הסרטון מזכיר לכם את הפרסומת השנויה במחלוקת של חברת סלולר ששודרה עד לא מזמן בישראל, הריס מבהיר שאין שום רצון להעביר מסר פוליטי. "אם לא נקדם את העתיד אחרת הוא לא יהיה אחרת", אמר. "אנחנו לא חושבים ששלום כולל חייב להיות במדינה אחת, אלא דווקא בשני עמים שחיים זה לצד זה, ורצוי שיהיה גבול ביניהן".

דמיינו: מונדיאל ישראלי-פלסטיני (צילום: חדשות 2)

מונדיאל משותף בישראל?

"כמו במדינות רבות באירופה, נותר לנו רק לפתור את הסכסוך וזה יהיה אפשרי", אמר הריס. "בקרוב נקדם עצומה לשרת התרבות והספורט לימור לבנת, כדי לקדם את ההרשמה למונדיאל ב-2026, כי פספסנו את ההרשמה לזה של 2018".

את הקליפ יצר איתן הלר עבור התנועה "קול אחד", שפעילה מאז 2004 ופועלת בקמפוסים ברחבי הארץ במטרה לקדם פיתרון של שתי מדינות לשני עמים. "אנחנו רוצים לגרום לאנשים לדמיין את הפיתרון ולהבין את המחיר שנדרש כדי להגיע אליו", סיכם הריס. "אני מאמין שזה אפשרי".

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