As President Barack Obama's efforts towards a two-state solution in Israel/Palestine continue, religious leaders in the region and in the USA are urging him to press forward toward a lasting peace in the Middle East.
A wide range of events will form the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel, 4-10 June. Churches and related organizations in over 20 countries are taking part. The week is about prayer, education and action to end to the 60-year conflict.
The Church of Scotland’s General Assembly, meeting in Edinburgh this week, today decided to continue selling goods from illegally occupied territories at its hotel centre in Tiberias in northern Israel - to the dismay of many in the Church.
The Israeli Tourism Ministry is using its “Experience Israel” advertising campaign to attract tourists to the country. But the ministry has totally wiped Palestine off the map by removing any reference to Palestinian territories, say critics.
Pope Benedict XVI has spoken out in favour of Palestinian sovereignty in an address in Bethlehem during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He also called for reconstruction and reconciliation in the midst of years of strife and conflict.
Resisting pressure from both Israeli hard-liners and those antagonistic to the Israeli state, the visiting Pope Benedict XVI has come out in support of a genuine Palestinian homeland and has equally condemned anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.
Although the Vatican is emphasising that Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the Holy Land in May 2009 is a pilgrimage, Jerusalem Lutheran Bishop Munib Younan said the political aspect of the visit can not be ignored, and can help promote justice and peace.
Investigators from the United Nations have begun a week-long meeting in Geneva today (4 May 2009), in preparation for a fact-finding mission to investigate recent events and military incursions in the Gaza Strip and Israel.
Like many Palestinians living in occupied territory, the Nassars have endured harassment, threats and attacks from nearby settlers, says Emma Halgren. But their response, and that of others, has challenged the cycle of hatred and violence.