Meditation Focus #24

CREATING THE RIGHT CONDITIONS FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Web posted on October 20 for the week beginning Sunday October 22



Hello

What follows is the 24th Meditation Focus suggested by the Global Meditation Focus Group for the week beginning Sunday October 22, 2000.

CREATING THE RIGHT CONDITIONS FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

1. Summary
2. Meditation times
3. More information on this week's Focus
4. Other related meditations recommended




1. SUMMARY

After another week of feverish diplomatic efforts to bring an end to the new cycle of violence that erupted 3 weeks ago in the Middle East with potential worldwide consequences, the violent clashes still continue with many more deaths and wounded, mostly Palestinians, and Israel now threatens to take stronger actions to quell the protests against its use of extreme and often lethal riot-control methods. The pent-up emotions and frustrations accumulated over decades of occupation of the Palestian land by the Israeli armed forces have exploded into a groundswell of rage which is in stark contrast with the peaceful atmosphere that was prevailing just a month ago when the Israeli and Palestinian leaders were apparently so close to signing a historic peace agreement.

Unfortunately, the hopes of a final peace settlement have been dashed because the negotiators failed
to make the final concessions that would have prevented the current crisis. Faced with so much anger, the Israelis have resorted to harsh punitive methods while the Palestinians, mostly young men and children, face the incoming fire of the Israeli soldiers as they throw rocks against these same soldiers. Amidst all this violence, voices in the West, including the U.N. Human Rights Forum in Geneva and the Human Rights Watch organization, are now denouncing the use of excessive lethal force by security and police forces in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip and an Arab Summit scheduled this weekend is also likely to lead to the further condemnation of Israel by the Arab world.

Please dedicate your meditations and prayers, under the guidance of Spirit, to a peaceful resolution of this conflict, based on true justice, mutual respect and tolerance for the cultural and religious differences in this area of the world. May forgiveness, love and peace prevail in Israel and Palestine, for the highest good of all.

Those interested may also want to review once again the suggestions made last week in connection with the Greath Pyramid, especially in the context of the Arab summit to be held in Cairo this weekend, and posted at http://www.aei.ca/~cep/MeditationFocus22.htm




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, Jerusalem & Madrid 18:00 -- Athens, Helsinki, Nairobi, Baghdad & Istanbul 19:00 -- Tehran 19:30 -- Moscow 20:00 -- 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 structure our awareness to maximise our healing effect.

From: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20001020/wl/mideast_leadall_dc_212.html

Ten Palestinians Die As Mideast Ceasefire Fails (Friday October 20)

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Ten Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli soldiers on Friday in a fresh explosion of violence in the West Bank that appeared to doom a cease-fire brokered by President Clinton. Israeli government spokesman Nachman Shai told a news conference the Palestinians had not met the deadline for ending violence and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak wanted a time-out from the Middle East peace process for a complete reassessment.

Five of the dead were shot in gunbattles in the city of Nablus, a day after Israeli troops backed by helicopter gunships fought a seven-hour confrontation with Palestinian gunmen in the same area, triggered by a Jewish settlers' hike. Friday's death toll was the heaviest in two weeks and came on the eve of an Arab summit in Cairo called to support the Palestinians and pile international pressure on Israel. Israeli and Palestinian leaders accused each other of failing to implement the Sharm el-Sheikh agreement, forged by Clinton, in good faith.

CLIP

At least 118 people have died in three weeks of violence, all but eight of them Arabs. Israeli officials said they expected the Palestinians to keep the violence going during the two-day Cairo Arab summit to maximize international sympathy.

CLIP

The Palestinian cabinet issued a statement after a special meeting in Gaza on Thursday night saying ``the Palestinian people will continue defending its brave, popular Intifada (uprising)...until victory is achieved.'' Egypt's Foreign Minister Amr Moussa told reporters at a news conference ahead of the Arab summit that peace talks with Israel were unlikely to resume soon.

Arab leaders are expected to take a joint stand against what Arabs see as Israel's failure to honor peace deals with the Palestinians and regard as its excessive use of force to quell protests that erupted on September 28. Arab leftist and hardline Islamic groups meeting in Beirut urged the Arab leaders to sever diplomatic relations with Israel and use their ``oil weapon'' to support the Palestinian uprising.


From: http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/israel/

Israel/Palestinian Authority: Abuses During Violent Clashes

Human Rights Watch conducted a fact-finding investigation into the unlawful use of force against civilians by security and police forces in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, from October 4 through October 11. The organization found a pattern of repeated Israeli use of excessive lethal force during clashes between its security forces and Palestinian demonstrators in situations where demonstrators were unarmed and posed no threat of death or serious injury to the security forces or to others. In cases that Human Rights Watch investigated where gunfire by Palestinian security forces or armed protesters was a factor, use of lethal force by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was indiscriminate and not directed at the source of the threat, in violation of international law enforcement standards. In Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, the IDF regularly used rubber bullets and plastic-coated metal bullets as well as live ammunition in an excessive or indiscriminate manner. A particularly egregious example of such unlawful fire is the IDF's use of medium-caliber bullets against unarmed demonstrators in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and in some instances, such as the Netzarim Junction in the Gaza Strip, against medical personnel. These military weapons, which inflict massive trauma when striking flesh, are normally used to penetrate concrete and are not appropriate for crowd control. CLIP


From: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20001019/wl/mideast_rights_dc_2.html

U.N. Human Rights Body Condemns Israel (Thursday October 19)

GENEVA (Reuters) - The main United Nations human rights forum on Thursday endorsed an Arab-Islamic resolution condemning Israel for ``war crimes'' and ``crimes against humanity'' in the occupied Palestinian territories. The resolution, narrowly adopted at the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, also sets up a five-member international inquiry into the three weeks of bloodshed. U.N. human rights chief Mary Robinson and seven independent U.N. investigators would also make five-day trips to the region, where at least 107 people have been killed in three weeks of violence, all but seven of them Palestinians and Israeli Arabs. Israeli ambassador Yaakov Levy and U.S. envoy Nancy Rubin each took the floor to denounce the resolution as ``one-sided.''

CLIP

Nineteen states voted in favor, 16 against, with 17 abstentions and the Liberian delegation absent. Arab and Islamic states voted in favor of their text, joined by countries including China and Cuba.
The two-page resolution denounces ``widespread, systematic and gross violations of human rights perpetrated by the Israeli occupying power, in particular mass killings, collective punishments, such as demolition of houses and closure of the Palestinian territories, measures which constitute war crimes and flagrant violations of international humanitarian law and crimes against humanity.''


From: http://www0.mercurycenter.com/premium/opinion/columns/cockburn-com.htm

U.S. dictates uneven terms of peace in the Mideast
(Editorial Published Thursday, October 19, 2000, in the San Jose Mercury News)

CLIP

The self-serving mystifications pervading almost all debate in the U.S. has long been a source of amazed derision overseas. Here's how the London Observer put it in an editorial (``True Palestinian State is Essential'') Oct. 15, calling on Europe to break with U.S. patronage of Israel:

``If Palestinians were black, Israel would now be a pariah state subject to economic sanctions led by the United States. Its development and settlement of the West Bank would be seen as a system of apartheid, in which the indigenous population was allowed to live in a tiny fraction of its own country, in self-administered `bantustans,' with `whites' monopolizing the supply of water and electricity. And just as the black population was allowed into South Africa's white areas in disgracefully under-resourced townships, so Israel's treatment of Israeli Arabs -- flagrantly discriminating against them in housing and education spending -- would be recognized as scandalous, too . . . ''

Strong words, but entirely accurate. The Oslo accords froze in place a huge Israeli advantage on the West Bank. They also assigned Arafat the role of salesman of a surrender to his own people, shuttling between the imperious demands of the United States, acting as Israel's negotiator, and his own indignant people. Meanwhile, the Israelis continued, day after day, year after year, rushing up new settlements on the West Bank and encroaching steadily into east Jerusalem. There can never be anything approaching a just settlement so long as this process, condoned by the United States, continues.

CLIP

Press Release No. 00/61 October 19,2000

Twentieth Consecutive Day of Violence as Askar Refugee Camp Comes Under Attack by Israeli Settler Rampage

After the twentieth day of violence, al-Haq reiterates its call for the international community to intervene immediately to stop the grave breaches of international humanitarian law committed by the Israeli Military forces and to implement measures to protect Palestinians living under Israeli Military Occupation in the Palestinian Occupied Territories.

CLIP

According to data collected by al-Haq from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) since the clashes began: The number of ambulances that were shot at by the Israeli military totals 25. The number of injuries amongst the PRCS staff totals 30. The number of ambulances prohibited from passing through Israeli checkpoints is 54. At least one death can be attributed to the Israeli Military denying an ambulance entrance to treat the injured.

CLIP

AL-HAQ, West Bank affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists-Geneva, was established in 1979 by a group of Palestinian lawyers in order to uphold the rule of law and defend Palestinian human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

AL-HAQ, P.O. Box 1413, Ramallah, Palestine. Tel: +972 2 295 4646, Fax: +972 2 295 4903, E-mail: haq@alhaq.org, Website: http://www.alhaq.org.

Read also at this site at http://www.alhaq.org/issue_index.html
An Historical Context of Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Many more news stories at Yahoo!'s Full Coverage: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/fc/World/Middle_East_Peace_Process/




4. Other related meditations recommended

i) Vision of Peace, Justice, Security and Prosperity

The following appeal was sent from a Palestinian Ali <aligaza@hotmail.com> and an Israeli Raanan Hagit <h-raanan@netvision.net.il> who have been working together since the MID-EAST Light Workers Summit, held in 1998, on peace between the Palestinians and Israelis.

They speak of feeling overwhelmed by the challenge and frustrations with the political process but continue to have faith in the basic goodness of the human heart.

They write " We are asking your help to hold the vision of Peace, Justice, Security and Prosperity for our two peoples and the whole Mid-East. Hold the vision of our living together in family harmony as the children of Abraham. If enough around the world can steadily hold this vision - even for a few moments each day - we know tat we can shift the energy here and ultimately have the peace, justice, security and prosperity that we have yearned for so long, for both of our peoples. We deeply appreciate your help in holding this vision and forwarding our appeal to others.

Messages of encouragement are also welcome. Sharing these with our co-workers is sometimes the only thing that stands between us and despair."


ii) "Praying Peace in the Middle East"

Join authors James Twyman, Doreen Virtue and Gregg Braden in a focused meditation to heal the current violence in the Middle East.

The worldwide Prayer Vigil will take place on Saturday, October 21, 2:00 PM, New York, USA Time.

About the Vigil:

Author and Peace Troubadour James Twyman will travel to Jerusalem to help focus a worldwide prayer vigil to heal the conflict in the Middle East on Saturday, October 21. He brings with him a section of "The Cloth of Many Colors," the mile long peace quilt that was presented at the United Nations, the US Capitol and the Pentagon last month.

(For more information on the Cloth go to: http://clothofmanycolors.com/) Gregg Braden and Doreen Virtue will join him on http://worldpuja.org/ for a live meditation at 2:00 PM, New York time. Please pass this message on to everyone you know. In the past, hundreds of thousands or even millions of people have joined this team in prayer while critical peace negotiations were taking place in various parts of the world, often with miraculous results. Together we can extend healing prayers that have the power to shift the recent violence away from destruction and toward a world based upon peace and compassion.




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For more information, please review the material posted by the Global Meditation Focus Group at http://www.aei.ca/~cep/focusgroup.htm


THANK YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE IN PASSING THIS ON TO OTHERS






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