A festival of Bethlehem at Christmas is being celebrated at St James’s Piccadilly, London, from 23 December 2013 through to 5 January 2014, with people joining in on Facebook and Twitter from other parts of these islands… and the world.
As Archbishop Elias Chacour, a Palestinian and citizen of Israel who has struggled tirelessly and nonviolently for a just peace in the land has observed: a settlement in Israel-Palestine, which must offer security and recognition for all people, is not just about politics. It is about disarmed truth, and recognising in each other a wounded brother and sister, not an enemy or a threat.
"Of course Israel has a right to exist... but with Palestine, not at the expense of the Palestinians." That was the message of an ecumenical accompanier speaking today (6th August 2013) at Just Festival in Edinburgh.
As in the case of Palestine, and unless the international community oversteps its most prurient interests and comes together to help Syria emerge from its current violence, we could well end up with a failed state that is not too distant from the Somali experience, says regional expert and observer Dr Harry Hagopian. We could indeed witness the fragmentation of the country, as many Syrians currently claim is slowly, inexorably happening. Yet there is still room for manoeuvre and hope.