President Barack Obama addressed the U.N. General Assembly in New York Wednesday morning, saying that there is no short cut to peace in the Middle East.
"I am convinced that there is no short cut to the end of a conflict that has endured for decades," said Obama. "Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the U.N. If it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now.
"Ultimately, it is Israelis and Palestinians – not us – who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them: on borders and security; on refugees and Jerusalem.” more >>
As Palestinians officially kick off their bid for statehood recognition by the United Nations, a Jewish interest group is calling on President Barack Obama to stand firm with Israel and reverse his so-called “anti-Israel” stance.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said his group is determined to submit an application to the U.N. for recognition as a state, with the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem included as territories.
"It is our legitimate right to demand the full membership of the state of Palestine in the U.N.," Abbas said last Friday when announcing the Palestinian Authority's intentions. more >>
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 >>