Meditation Focus #22
FOSTERING PEACE BETWEEN ISRAEL AND PALESTINE
Web posted on October 6 for the week beginning Sunday October 8
What follows is the 22nd Meditation Focus suggested by the Global Meditation Focus Group for the week beginning Sunday October 8, and is an extension of our last Complementary Meditation Focus.
FOSTERING PEACE BETWEEN ISRAEL AND PALESTINE
2. Meditation times
3. More information on this week's Focus
On September 28, Israel's right-wing opposition leader, Ariel Sharon, went accompanied by a very large security detachment into the disputed area of Jerusalem by the al-Aqsa mosque, Islam's third holiest site, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary or Haram al-Sharif, and to Jews as the Temple Mount. This area, annexed by Israel in 1967, is the epicenter of Palestinian sovereignty claims
on Jerusalem. In an angry response to Sharon's provocative move, bloody rioting has swept across the Palestinian territories, involving clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli security forces, leaving 70 people dead and 1,900 injured, mostly Palestinians.
The US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, held talks on the Middle East crisis in Egypt on Thursday with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak boycotted the meeting after tough, inconclusive talks in Paris on Wednesday that resulted in a ceasefire but no significant breakthrough in the Middle East Peace process. Arafat gave three conditions for ending the riots and for continuing the peace process: a ceasefire from Israel, the retreat of Israeli forces from the Palestinian autonomous zones and the mosques in Jerusalem, and the establishment of an international commission of inquiry into troops'
conduct during the riots in Israel. Barak rejected the last condition, out of fears that such a commission would be biased against Israel.
Please dedicate your meditations and prayers, under the guidance of Spirit, to the emergence of peace, love, and understanding within the hearts of every Israeli and Palestian, so that a peaceful settlement can be negotiated that would be acceptable to both parties and honour the religious diversity and autonomy of these peoples. May the light of Spirit clear the energy fields of the sacred sites and surrounding areas of Jerusalem and beyond, and dissolve any wish to incense feelings and provoke war. May Peace, Love and Harmony prevail in this area of the world, for the highest good of all.
2. MEDITATION TIMES
i) Global Meditation Day: Sunday at 16:00 Universal Time (GMT) or at noon
local time. Suggested duration: 30 minutes with a special Earth Healing
Focus in the last few minutes.
ii) Golden Moment of At-Onement: Daily, at the top of any hour, or whenever
it better suits you.
These times below are currently corresponding to 16:00 Universal Time/GMT:
Honolulu 06:00 -- Los Angeles 09:00 -- Denver & San Salvador 10:00 --
Mexico City, Houston & Chicago 11:00 -- New York, Toronto, Montreal,
Asuncion & Santiago 12:00 -- Rio de Janeiro & Montevideo 13:00 -- Reykjavik
& Casablanca 16:00 -- London, Algiers & Lagos 17:00 -- Geneva, Rome,
Berlin, Paris, Johannesburg & Madrid 18:00 -- Athens, Helsinki, Jerusalem,
Nairobi & Istanbul 19:00 -- Moscow & Baghdad 20:00 -- Tehran 20:30 --
Islamabad 21:00 -- Calcutta & New Delhi 21:30 -- Dhaka 22:00 -- Rangoon
22:30 -- Hanoi, Bangkok & Jakarta 23:00 -- Hong Kong, Perth, Beijing &
Kuala Lumpur 00:00+ -- Seoul & Tokyo 01:00+ -- Brisbane, Canberra &
Melbourne 02:00+ -- Wellington 04:00+
(+ means the place is one day ahead of Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time)
3. MORE INFORMATION ON THIS WEEK'S FOCUS
This section is for those who wish to understand in more detail the situation of this week's Meditation Focus. For those who wish to read on, we would encourage you to view the following information from a positive perspective, and not allow the details to tinge the positive vision you
wish to hold in meditation. Since what we focus on grows, the more positive our mindset, the more successful we will be in manifesting a vision of healing. We provide the details below because we recognise that the knowledge of what needs healing can assist us to stucture our awareness to maximise our healing effect.
To review the Complementary Meditation Focus material we had prepared last week on "The Violent Uprising in the Palestinian Territories", please visit http://www.aei.ca/~cep/ComplementFocus.htm
Although security forces on both sides are now trying to implement this ceasefire and limit the casualties, the clashes continues as extremist elements now seem to have the upper hand in the Palestinian territories and the Palestinian Authorities seem to no longer be able to control the situation in this new intifada. Violent protests have also erupted in other Muslim communities around the world as there is mounting anger in the Arab world over the number of Palestinian deaths and wounded. With the peace process being stalled, the political leaders on both sides facing growing opposition over the concessions made during the recent Camp David peace negotiations and time running out to achieve bold breakthroughs that will address the very central issue of who will control the holy sites of both religious communities and which have been the lightning rod for the latest bloodshed, either Arafat and Barak make another effort in earnest to secure a reasonably satisfying compromise that would cement the extremely positive progress made in Camp David, leading up to the official birth of the new state of Palestine and a worldwide celebration of a true Middle East peace, or both communities will have to wait for uncertain future circumstances that would allow peace to flourish between these two peoples sharing the same land and so much history together.
Here are the latest developments and various perspectives on this crisis:
Heated passions boil over in Palestinians' 'day of rage'
(Friday October 6)
NABLUS, West Bank (CNN) -- A Palestinian "day of rage" exploded on Friday across the West Bank and Gaza, adding six more Palestinians to the rising toll of people killed in more than a week of clashes with Israeli security forces. Violence also erupted at the bitterly contested east Jerusalem shrine at the center of the latest round of conflict -- and at the heart of the problems stalling the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Extremist groups gain standing
Friday's violence came as a verbal pledge from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to do what they could to stop the violence faded into memory. The two leaders met on Wednesday in Paris, but could not come out of the meeting with a formal agreement.
Israeli forces pulled tanks and troops away from direct confrontation lines in the West Bank and Gaza on Thursday, and for a while it appeared the move had eased tensions. But the gunfight in Netzarim left another man dead and tempers flaring. As the casualty toll continued to climb, Wedeman said, the credibility of more extreme Palestinian groups -- opposed to the peace process -- was also rising. Many Palestinians I talked to this morning indicated that as far as the peace process is concerned, they had enough and it looks like they are considering other options," he said.
Analysis: Barak's hopes fade
(Thursday, 5 October, 2000)
A week of bloodshed has transformed the situation in the Middle East and radically altered the priorities of the peacemakers. The urgent task now is to end the cycle of violence. Even then it will be extremely hard to resume the talks which began at the Camp David summit in July on the core issues of an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement.
With only three weeks left before the return of the Israeli parliament from its summer recess, Prime Minister Ehud Barak has precious little time to reach an agreement. With no agreement, his minority agreement seems doomed to fall.
Analysis: Arafat on the edge
(Friday, 6 October, 2000)
Yasser Arafat finds himself caught between a rock and at least three very hard places. As the violence between Palestinians and Israelis continues, he finds his room for manoeuvre shrinking.
The decision by the right-wing Israeli leader Ariel Sharon to make his controversial visit to the sacred Islamic Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), situated on the Jewish Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, may not have displeased the Palestinian leader. Mr Sharon's action had the effect of uniting all factions of the Palestinians (including opponents of the peace process and Arafat's critics) against a common enemy. It also deflected attention away from the stalemate in the talks with the Israeli government.
But as time goes on there is a growing sense that matters are increasingly beyond the Palestinian leader's control - on the ground in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well as on the diplomatic stage.
A growing number of Palestinians believe that Mr Arafat should have been tougher and had made fewer compromises in the secret negotiations with Israel that set the basis for the peace process.
Then they would not have found themselves as they are today - angered and frustrated at the failure of that process to furnish the promised economic and social benefits, and at the continued Israeli military presence on Palestinian land. In other words at least some of the anger being unleashed on the streets is directed at the past failures of the Palestinian leadership itself.
In Paris, It's Another Mideast Square One (Time Magazine - Oct 4, 2000)
Even if the violence has amplified Arafat's argument that his people's fierce religious passions preclude him from compromising on his demand for sovereignty over Jerusalem's Islamic holy sites, he ultimately shares Barak's interest in restoring calm. After all, the violence shifts the center of gravity in Palestinian politics toward Hamas and other hard-line factions that are now openly challenging not only the peace process but Arafat's right to lead. Already, whatever wiggle room the Palestinian leader may have had to find compromise on Jerusalem may have been narrowed, with the entire Arab world - including such traditional U.S. allies such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt - lashing out at Israel and reaffirming demands for Palestinian sovereignty. Barak, meanwhile, remains imperiled by the possibility of losing his parliamentary majority at any time, with the alienation of Israeli-Arab voters after the killing of at least nine Israeli-Arab protesters diminishing his prospects of being reelected.
After almost a week of bloodletting, both Barak and Arafat have even less room for maneuvering than they did at Camp David, which means it could be a year or more before prospects for a breakthrough reemerge. Until then, both leaders, assisted by whoever's in charge in Washington, may have to work to maintain something less than peace, the absence of war.
No turning back (Thursday October 5, 2000)
Shimon Peres, former prime minister of Israel and winner of Israel's Nobel Peace Prize, urges a return to the negotiating table Special report: Israel and the Middle East
Despite differences in our religions, and the intense controversy over the control of holy sites, territorial compromises need to be made even in the absence of religious concessions. Time must be allowed to take its course. We must put into effect all that has been agreed upon and reach an accord on everything that can be conceded. (We have already reached many important agreements - in Camp David territorial partition, marking of borders, the future of the settlements, defence arrangements and even an independent Palestinian state). Moreover, negotiations must continue on points still being debated (including the Temple Mount). After all, no side can impose a solution unacceptable to the other. And if no mutual agreement is found today, we must wait whatever time it takes to reach one.
Barak, Arafat agree to cease-fire, but talks fail to produce agreement
Anti-Israel anger around the world
FULL COVERAGE AT http://dailynews.yahoo.com/fc/World/Middle_East_Peace_Process/
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