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Monday, May 12, 2008

Reason #8 To Fly A Peace Globe ~ Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

There are thirty ongoing violent conflicts waging right now around the globe. The United Nations defines Major Wars as military conflict inflicting 1,000 battlefield deaths per year. Wikipedia expands that definition to include wars that cause destruction and humanitarian crisis of outstanding severity." Ongoing civil wars fueled by racial, ethnic, or religious differences come with a new twist that distinguishes them from wars in previous generations - civilian casualties. During World War I non-combatants made up less than 5% of casualties. Today, the number is a staggering 75% civilians killed or wounded.

Less than thirty days from now we will engage in another BlogBlast For Peace. By my research and estimation, there are at LEAST 30 very good reasons to fly a peace globe. To begin your activism. To increase our awareness of the suffering of others. To talk about peace. To write about peace. To be part of a larger voice for peace. To invoke peace. To pray for peace. To focus on peace.

To wage peace.

Need a reason to fly a globe?
Here's Reason #8

Let me make this simple for you.

Who is fighting?
The State of Israel and the Palestinians
(part of the Israeli - Arab Conflict) since 1967

What are they fighting over?
A piece of land. Literally.

A two-state solution is widely believed by both sides to forge the way to peace. This would involve the creation of an independent Palestine working alongside Israel. Polls indicate granting Palestine control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip acceptable. There's just one problem.

Neither side trusts the other.

Never fear. Help is on the way. Did you know there's a Quartet involved? These international mediators consist of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations. The
Arab League and Egypt are also key mediators/participants. Simple, right? Why can't four powerhouse countries/organizations settle this dispute?

Enter Fatah and Hamas. No, they are not instruments of harmony and peace. They are violent warring factions within the Palestinian sector fighting for political control and

power of the
Palestinian Territories. The tension began not long after the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (pictured above). Hamas is an Islamist militant group considered by Israel and many other countries to be a terrorist organization. The result? The Palestine Civil War.
I call it an ongoing schoolyard brawl. But that's just me.

Hamas won the Palestinian Elections in 2006 and took over the Gaza Strip in 2007 - but are not recognized as leader just yet - the Quartet
threatened to cut funds to the Palestinian Authority if this group came to power. With Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas ruling The Gaza Strip - holding on for dear life and land - there are deep divisions within the Palestinian party itself and just as many ongoing splits and opinions within the Israel people. Did I say trust is an issue? Simplistic? Maybe. But let's not forget this started over a piece of land.

Civilian casualties on both sides have been high. Death toll is unknown.

Peace negotiations were held in November 2007 in
Annapolis, Maryland. Both parties presented a two-state solution to the peace process with these six main areas still to be resolved: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security, borders, and water.

What did I say they were fighting over?
Oh. I forgot. Land.
Not so simple is it?

A peace globe from a mom in Israel from the June 2007 launch.

I wish I had one from Palestine.

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Posted by Mimi Lenox :: 5:01 PM :: 0 comments

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