Posts Tagged ‘Jordan’

Aboard the Opportunists’ Bandwagon

April 9, 2013

By Zara Zulfiqar
ZoneAsia-Pk

The Syrian opposition bloc has had its eyes on a seat in the Arab League for weeks now, and is likely to push the demand further to the UN and OIC (Organization of Islamic Countries) as the self proclaimed representative of the Syrian people. Since the Arab League distanced itself from Assad, and after failed attempts to reach some mutual political solution, the League asked Assad’s opposition to join the bandwagon. On 27 March 2013, Qatar went another notch ahead by allowing the Syrian opposition to open their embassy.

This weekend events caught pace dramatically. Barack Obama has decided to hold meetings with all the Sunni leaders in the region backing the opposition. These include Turkey, Jordan, Qatar and the UAE. These meetings, to be held over the next few months, starting April 16th, will allow Obama to gauge the varying demands within the opposition and region, and channelize them to gain momentum against Assad’s regime. Disparate political, geographical and religious standpoints have landed these saviors in a critical deadlock. The infighting between the opposition groups has been a major factor for their failure so far. For Obama these meetings will cover more than just dilemma if the Syrian opposition. It will be an opportunity to bring Arab nations on board for the Palestine/Israel issue which is critical to relations between West and Muslim World.

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Catholic bishops criticize Israel on Palestinians

January 18, 2010

By BEN HUBBARD, Associated Press Writer Ben Hubbard

JERUSALEM – A high-level delegation of Roman Catholic bishops criticized Israeli polices in Arab sectors of Jerusalem on Thursday and called for more contacts between ordinary Israelis and Palestinians.


Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal talks to a reporter after a press conference concerning the release of the final communique of the 10th Holy Land Coordination in Jerusalem’s Old City, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010. A high-level delegation of North American and European Catholic bishops has criticized Israeli polices in east Jerusalem and called for greater contact between ordinary Israelis and Palestinians. Concluding their annual Holy Land visit, the group issued a statement saying that violence, insecurity, home demolitions, the route of Israel’s West Bank separation barrier and other policies ‘threaten both a two-state solution and the Christian presence.’ (AP Photo/ Tara Todras-Whitehill)

The group of eight bishops from North America and Europe said violence, insecurity, the route of Israel’s West Bank separation barrier, home demolitions and other policies threaten peace prospects and endanger the dwindling Christian presence in the Holy Land.

The issue of Jerusalem – home to holy sites for Jews, Christians and Muslims – remains the most flammable in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Palestinians claim the city’s eastern sector as the capital of their future state. Israel, which captured east Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war, insists the city will never be divided.

In a statement issued at the end of their annual visit, the bishops called for the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

“For us, this is not merely about politics; it is an issue of basic human rights,” the statement said.

During their visit, the bishops visited Christian institutions in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, talked with Palestinians about their lives and listened to presentations from Israeli and Palestinian experts. It was unclear if they met with ordinary Jewish Israelis.

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev disputed the group’s criticisms of Israel’s east Jerusalem policies.

“Only since reuniting Jerusalem in 1967 have the holy places of all faiths been protected under law and freedom of religion has prevailed,” he said.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, the bishops spoke of watching Palestinian children cross Israeli checkpoints to return from school and the humiliation Palestinians say they feel at such places. Israel says the crossings are necessary to prevent attacks.

Bishop Gerald Kicanas, vice president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the human rights situation for Palestinians in the Holy Land has gotten worse during the 20 years that he has been visiting the region.

Kicanas, also the bishop of Tucson, Arizona, said Israeli and Palestinian youth lack opportunities to meet each other.

“Unless they find a way to engage one another, to meet one another as ordinary human beings, the situation will remain grave,” he said.