Palestine is expected to submit a formal letter requesting United Nations membership Friday, after the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the General Assembly.
Meanwhile, Israel and the United States hope to avoid any such showdown at the U.N. and instead focus on peace talks between the two Middle Eastern countries.
Abbas has received pressure from outsiders to drop the request, but claims he won’t be deterred from seeking what he feels is Palestine’s right. The majority of the world is expected to vote symbolically in favor of Palestinian independence. The territories seeking to be called the state of Palestine reside in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and land captured by Israel in the 1967 war. more >>
“Jesus, Bombs, & Ice Cream” is the name of a variety show that will be performed on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on U.S. soil. While the show will bring together an unusual mix of performances and worldviews, the message organizers want to convey is simple: a peaceful world with more ice cream.
“It’s time to re-imagine the world,” says Christian peace activist Shane Claiborne. “Find a way to interrupt injustice and to build the kind of world we are proud to pass on to our kids – a world with fewer bombs and more ice cream.”
Claiborne has teamed up with Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, to produce the anti-violence themed 90-minute variety show to be performed at a Philadelphia music venue, World Cafe Live. more >>
The first new church in Iraq since the 2003 conflict has opened its doors late last week, with the church’s leader calling for interfaith cooperation to ensure peace and stability in their war-wracked country.
Archbishop Louis Sako, speaking during an inauguration ceremony to a gathering of both Christians and Muslims inside Mar Bulos, or Saint Paul's Church, said during Thursday's event, "Isolation is a slow death, so we have hope for a joint life as Christians and Muslims, to have a righteous country, and a city full of security, stability and dignity."
Sako's call for security and stability speaks directly to the sharp rise in the number of Christians who have fled Iraq seeking to escape the threats and attacks of terrorist group Al-Qaida. The number of Christians living in Iraq has shrunk from approximately 1.2 million in 2003 to about 400,000, according to the Agence France-Presse (AFP). more >>
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday that there is no evidence that top leaders in the Pakistani government knew where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was hiding.
Clinton's surprise visit to Islamabad came amid high tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan following the discovery of bin Laden close to the city's capital. It is the first high-level visit to Pakistan since the U.S. killing of bin Laden.
She said U.S. and Pakistani relations have "reached a turning point" but said there was more work to be done in the fight against terrorist group al-Qaida. more >>
Leading Ecumenicals from around the world have asked for forgiveness for Christianity’s history of being complicit in violence, injustice, racism and discrimination.
At the conclusion of the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC) nearly 1,000 delegates pledged to work closer with other faiths to establish peace in global communities.
Delegates expressed their regret at the complicity of Christians in violence: “We realise that Christians have often been complicit in systems of violence, injustice, militarism, racism, casteism, intolerance and discrimination,” they said. “We ask God to forgive us our sins, and to transform us as agents of righteousness and advocates of just peace.” more >>
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress for almost an hour today, calling for a fully demilitarized Palestinian state. Netanyahu was interrupted by applause 56 times from the bipartisan body, 26 of which were standing ovations.
Netanyahu began his speech by saying, “Israel has no better friend than America. And America has no better friend than Israel.” Every U.S. President since Richard Nixon has tried to reach a peace agreement with Palestine and Israel, all with little or no lasting results.
The address was in large part in response to President Obama’s comment last week suggesting the borders between Israel and Palestine revert back to the 1967 borders, which Netanyahu called, “indefensible” in his remarks. The Israeli prime minister was in obvious disagreement with Obama over terms for a future Palestinian state. more >>