Peace grows from within…not through attacks and provocations…

Peace… salaam… shalom… We have marked Remembrance Day this week in Canada… I spent the morning of 11 Nov. 2012 with my spiritual community at Southminster-Steinhauer United Church (click here) and was moved by the reflection shared by Rev. Dr. Nancy Steeves (click here). The title for this posting is an attempt at re-stating her reflection. On that afternoon, I practised yoga with others and we sent our shared collective energy into the world in support of…peace…

This morning, on CKUA (independent and original radio broadcasting from Alberta and available on-line – click here), I heard this news report:  3 Israelis had been killed in southern Israel; 15 Palestinians had been ‘reported’ to have been killed in Israeli-occupied Gaza. The definite nature of the first part of the statement compared with the tentative nature of the second statement irked me. I perceive that this hesitation characterizes Canadian society’s positioning on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On the one hand, I’m disappointed by this qualification (i.e., that 15 Palestinians may have been killed versus 3 Israelis definitely being killed). However, I’m also encouraged that not only were Israeli deaths reported (and I am deeply saddened by this news) but also Palestinian deaths were reported (and I’m deeply saddened by this news)… in our Canadian media. This is a hopeful shift in Canadian news discourse, because in the past and still in mainstream media, news that is supportive of the Israeli government tends to dominate. Here is an article by Simon Tisdall with The Guardian in the United Kingdom (click here).

My heart is wrenched as I think of my Israeli and Palestinian friends and acquaintances including members of Other Voice (click here) – Israelis and Palestinians supporting hope and non-violent actions. See my posting from 30 June 2011 here.

Eric Yellin & Ronni Keidar.Other Voice. Gaza in background – 26 Jan. 2011 – Photo: A. Farr

Life in Sderot means living with red-code warnings of rocket attacks from some parts of Gazan society. Click here for a youtube video recorded on… 11 Nov. 2012. Life in Gaza also means living in fear. Click here for a video from an Australian news agency.

Below I have pasted a news release from the Israeli Peace Blog – Gush Shalom (click here). I received the release in my Inbox yesterday. The author is Uri Avnery, a past member of the Israeli government’s Knesset (or parliament – the legislative part of the government) and peace activist. See his blog – click here.

“Press Release 11/14/2012

Netanyahu and Barak have decided to deliberately violate a cease-fire which had just been stabilized.At the price of great and ongoing suffering on both sides of the border, the government’s aim  had been accomplished: social issues will be removed from the public agenda and the [Israeli] election campaign.“Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak have decided – for the second time in a row the State of Israel will conduct general elections under the shadow of war in the Gaza Strip. The cease-fire which already started to stabilize has been broken deliberately and shattered to pieces. The inhabitants of the communities of southern Israel, who just started to breathe freely, are sent right back to air raid alarms and to running to shelters” said  former Knesset Member Uri Avnery of Gush Shalom.

“At the price of great suffering on both sides of the border, the government’s aim has been accomplished: the social issues, which threatened to assume prominence in these elections, have been pushed aside and removed from the agenda  of the elections campaign. Forgotten, too, is the brave attempt of Mahmoud Abbas to address the Israeli public opinion. In the coming weeks, the headlines will be filled with constant war and death, destruction and bloodshed. When it ends at last, it will be revealed that no goal has been achieved and that the problems remain the same, or perhaps exacerbated. “

Adam Keller, Gush Shalom +972-54-2340749

For assistance:

What to do?? If we sit back without questioning the hesitations in Canadian and global political discussions, we let the provocations continue. Click here for a video posted today. Or, we can start naming peace in this moment, in each action we take here at home… I invite you to forward this posting to a friend, to an acquaintance… Engage someone in conversation… and make peace… shalom… salaam…

Cello Player in a round-about. Sderot, Israel – 26 Jan. 2011 – Photo: Sherry Ann

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