View of the Week (7/3/2014): On an Ever Challenging & Complicated World This Week

The 2nd half of the year has begun and it is with a heavy heart as I launch the new Quarter here @ "Outsiders".  Iraq  continue to burn ever more.   It was with amusement as I reviewed dispatches from Iraqi Kurdistan as Barzani formally made moves for independence.   They took over Kirkuk as ISIS (now self-described as the Islamic State) began its' rampage across Iraq.  The UN noted that 2,000 people have died in the month of June.  The Kurds have been independent since 2003--so this is not a surprise at all.   It was amazing that the Kurdish Representative in the United States--Jalal Talebani's Son-- got more airtime that the Iraqi Ambassador during the height of the Iraq War.    As this has been going on, Saudi Arabia announced a deployment of 30,000 Troops to the Iraqi Border as there were reports of Iraqi Troops abandoning their posts.   It is just amazing how a force of 500,000 Troops that the United States spent 25 BIllion Dollars to build has just simply melted away.  

The Israeli-Palestine conflict is also of profound concern.    It was disheartening when 3 Israeli teenagers were killed by Palestinian abductors.   A revenge killing of a 17-year old Palestinian Boy--whose body was subsequently burned-- has  rekindled a cycle of violence that seems to have no end in sight.   I welcomed this from the OneVoice Movement and I made it a point of thanking them by reaching out to them over Twitter as the key admonition from Dr. King resonated ever more:

The OneVoice Newsletter
Dear Mike,

On behalf of the OneVoice Movement and its Israeli, Palestinian, European and American staff, I wish to express our sincerest condolences to the families and friends of all those who were slain without cause.

OneVoice is a movement for and on behalf of the youth of Palestine and Israel, who yearn for the day when they will live side by side in peace and security, with no more fear from reprisal or intolerance. The young Israelis and Palestinians who lost their lives in recent days remind us that their hopes and aspirations can only be fulfilled by ending the occupation and bringing to a quick end the latest cycle of violence and reprisal.

There is only one true path forward, as difficult as it may seem, in these mournful hours…courageous leadership that leads Israelis and Palestinians back from the precipice of more violence to the negotiating table in good faith. We at OneVoice know that the challenges before us are greater than ever before. But as we mourn the loss of these young lives, we rededicate ourselves with conviction and fortitude to their memories so that their young Israeli and Palestinian brothers and sisters face better days and greater comfort in the weeks and months ahead.

Marc Ginsberg
CEO, OneVoice Movement

Statement from the OneVoice Movement

We at the OneVoice Movement are deeply worried and saddened by the recent escalation and violence and the tragic news of young Israelis and Palestinians who have needlessly lost their lives.

We recall the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.”

As the only solution to violence is the end of the occupation and conflict and the realization of the two-state solution, we call upon both parties to refrain from violence, and to return to serious negotiations based on clear references and a timeframe, bringing bloodshed to a permanent end.

Together, we pledge to re-double our efforts; doing everything that we can to ensure that no more lives are lost as part of this tragic conflict.

As the Palestinian boy is about to be buried, dispatches from the Middle East is even more disturbing.  This  from the Middle East Monitor was of profound concern as Palestinian citiznes of Israel gathered at the entrance of the City of Umm al-Fahm to protest against actions by Israel on the Westbank.   Avigdor Lieberman--who wants to be Prime Minister--once again showed his ugly and racist side as he threatened them on his Facebook page.  What is unfortunate is that they seem not to realize that it is their very policies that has contributed to this radicalization that they so despise   This is as rockets from Gaza began hitting Southern Israel and as the Israeli Air Force continuing bombing runs on Gaza. Furthermore, The Israeli Prime Minister has proposed to expand settlements even more which has been repeatedly rejected by the International Community--But Israel repeatedly rejects all such calls.   The one that horrified me even more was calls to kills the Israeli Knesset Member (known as MK's in Israel) Hanin Zoabi for what I view as exercising her free speech right.    It was also quite disturbing to see how Hamas does not seem to have full control over its' various branches as the Hebron Branch has wrecked havoc over previous peace efforts.   

Beyond Iraq and Israel, there is Afghanistan.    There is no President yet.    The Presidential candidates have been noting that there has been wide-spread fraud.    As this political vacuum continues, though, the Taliban has been quite active.  The latest brazen attack as I "went to press" here was an attack on Kabul Airport that struck the Afghan President's Helicopter.   There is no where in Afghanistan right now and as the US and NATO draw down, it will only get worst.   

It is not easy to take heart in Jefferson's admonition as I reflect upon a challenging World including the mess in Ukraine as the fighting continues despite another attempt towards a ceasefire  .   But as America celebrates the 4th of July, this sense of hope must be ever so evident:

Sunrise Inspiration from BestQuotations.com
“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”
Thomas Jefferson

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