To the extent that the Palestinians avoid military confrontation with Israel, it will be difficult for Israel to find a pretext to deport masses of people. Moral restraint, anticipation of rage of 1.5 million Muslims, and world opinion will not allow unprovoked ethnic cleansing, says Ghassan Michel Rubeiz. Force should not be used to draw borders, displace people and forge national identity.
Palestinian leaders Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Mashal met in Cairo recently to try to resolve their differences. The outcome is not totally clear yet, says commentator Ghassan Michel Rubeiz. But what is certain is that it will take more than handshaking and an embrace for Palestinians to settle their deep divisions.
The UNESCO motto proclaims proudly that it stands for “Building peace in the minds of men and women”. In a world where ethics are sorely wanting and need reconstruction, and where local issues are interlocked with regional ones, Dr Harry Hagopian hopes that Palestine will be seen as contributing toward this lofty ideal and not digressing from it, let alone being coerced to detract from it.
The new statement from the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, the Geneva-based WCC General Secretary, commenting on the Palestinian bid for statehood - as well as the news that 1,100 new housing units will be built in the illegal Gilo settlement - makes interesting reading (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/15457).
Among those with a significant stake in achieving a just-peace for Palestinians and Israelis are the Heads of Christian Churches in Jerusalem. Earlier this month they issued a communiqué, reported in Ekklesia (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/15393), which sets out their perception of the key principles involved in the debate about Palestinian statehood.
Harry Hagopian, Middle East commentator and Ekklesia associate was on BBC Radio 4's Sunday programme this morning, discussing the complex issue of Palestinian statehood in the light of recent developments.