Fears and suspicions about weapons of mass destruction have fueled tensions in the Middle East for decades, and a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East has been on the United Nations (UN) agenda since 1974. Last December, an unprecedented assembly of current and former members of the Israeli parliament and local and international peace and human rights activists met in Haifa, Israel, to call for a zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and for a world free of nuclear weapons. Jackie Cabasso (Executive Director of the Western States Legal Foundation and a lifetime member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom) attended the December 2013 Haifa conference and a May 2014 meeting on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty at UN headquarters, and will discuss these efforts. (Co-sponsored by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Peninsula branch – contact person: Lois Salo, email@example.com, 650-493-8872.)
In 2004 the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that the barrier Israel was building in the West Bank violated numerous tenets of international law. Yet construction of the wall continued to the present. What did the decision actually say, and what are the implications of that decision? How do US institutions act in view of this decision? What do those reactions say about US institutions and about the future of international law as a tool for creating a better world?
Michael provided an excellent overview of the history of the area since the mid-19th century, as well as much information about the ruling by the International Court of Justice. He, personally, has not given up on a two-state solution which may eventually evolve into a “one-state” solution with some unusual safe-guards for all the people.
Michael Batchelder is a member of Jewish Voice for Peace, a group that supports peace activists in Palestine and Israel and works in broad coalition with other Jewish, Arab-American, faith-based, peace and social justice organizations.
In this talk, Paul George uses as a framework George Orwell’s famous themes of “war is peace”, “freedom is slavery”, and “ignorance is strength”, as a way of examining modern-day America, which translates to endless war, the national security state, and propaganda (along with lousy journalism).
Paul George has been a peace activist and grassroots organizer for nearly forty years. He is the Director of Peninsula Peace and Justice Center (www.peaceandjustice.org) in Palo Alto, CA.
Gilda Bettencourtof the Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) will provide this program. She has been involved for the past 8 years, with people from around the globe who are working to protect vulnerable communities through nonviolent peacekeeping. Nonviolent Peaceforce teams are currently working in the Philippines , South Sudan, and the South Caucasus region. And have also had projects in Sri Lanka and Guatemala.
She provided a very powerful presentation regarding NP’s work in South Sudan – one of the poorest nations on the planet – as many struggle to keep it on track to a better future and not relapse into war. By demonstrating the usefulness of unarmed peacekeeping, Nonviolent Peaceforce offers humanity a different way to respond to conflict while concentrating on protecting civilians and reducing violence.
The Non-violent Peaceforce is also making a difference in the Philippines as you can see in this video.