Archive for the ‘“Women Wage Peace”’ category

A tribute to mothers everywhere

May 13, 2018

By MICHEL NOLAN | MNolan@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
PUBLISHED: May 13, 2018 at 5:00 am | UPDATED: May 13, 2018 at 5:01 am

Source: A tribute to mothers everywhere

{Spend some quality time with your Mom today. She won’t be around forever. – LS}

Today is for Mom.

Somehow, though, it doesn’t seem right to give her just a day. Doughnuts have a day;  popcorn has a day — there’s even a National Leave the Office Early Day.

Mom deserves more — a lot more.

Not only did she bring us into this world, she took us to doctor appointments, dance classes, soccer and softball practice. She dried our tears and made us eat our veggies.

A mother’s love heals hearts and scraped knees – makes everything better.

Mothers are resilient – they learn to “roll with the blow.”

Some mothers are dynamos. They have full-time jobs, chair a PTA committee, belong to the church choir and still have time to write their congressman.

Mothers try to please us.

They make our favorite tacos and help us with those messy exploding volcanoes for science class. My mother even helped me create a map of Russia, using gumdrops.

Mothers are incredibly strong.

I remember interviewing a mother who lost her 8-year-old twin sons in a car crash. She prayed for peace and coped with the loss, learning the healing power of miracles.

She dealt with the tragedy by creating a coping mechanism.

She prayed a lot and wrote a book, becoming an inspirational speaker on turning grief into peace.

Some moms keep on giving.

For several years I’ve interviewed a mother whose adopted 3-year-old daughter was in the county’s foster system. The young girl and her parents are a happy family, and just before her 10th birthday her mother asked her what she wanted for her special day.

The gift she wanted was to give to others. She is acutely aware of the needs of foster children. With her mother’s help, the young girl began an annual shoe drive to help less fortunate people and provide toys for children at Christmas.

Enter the nonprofit Bonnes Meres Auxiliary of the Children’s Fund.

French for “Good Mothers,” Bonnes Meres each April has a birthday party – with gifts – for all the 6,000 children in San Bernardino County’s foster care system.

Toys and other gifts are presented to the guests of honor by their social workers on each child’s birthday. For some, it is the only gift they will receive.

These kids, many of whom live in group homes or in non-relative care, are not acknowledged on their birthdays. The goal of the birthday party is to make each child feel unique and special, igniting the inner light of the child – like a birthday candle.

Some moms are Blue Stars.

Blue Star Moms honor their sons and daughters serving in harms way with Hometown Hero Banners. The banners proudly wave in communities throughout the country.

This time of year, there are plenty of cards and flowers, but the most important gift we can give our mothers is a hug and let her know we love her.

Years ago, a reader in Bloomington sent a thought for us to remember on Mother’s Day, and every day:

“Love your mother. Don’t forget to tell her how much you love her. One mother is all we have. And when she is gone, there is no one but her memory. That’s all that’s left – and a broken heart.”

I know this to be true.

And here’s a thought for the day, one of my favorite passages from Erma Bombeck’s “When God Created Mothers,” a quote I have shared before:

“The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. ‘It’s too soft,’ she sighed. ‘But Tough!’ said God excitedly. ‘You can imagine what this mother can do or endure.’

‘Can it think?’

‘Not only can it think, it can reason and compromise,’ said the Creator.

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek.

‘There’s a leak,’ she pronounced. ‘I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model.’

‘It’s not a leak,’ said the Lord. ‘It’s a tear.’

‘What’s it for?’

‘It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness and pride.’

‘You are a genius,’ said the angel.

Somberly, God said, ‘I didn’t put it there.’”

 

Nikki Haley responds to Palestinian officials: ‘I will not shut up’

February 21, 2018

Nikki Haley addressed the U.N. Security Council during a speech Tuesday, during which she responded to an earlier speech from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, as well as comments made last month by Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian negotiator. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

by Melissa Quinn | Feb 20, 2018, 2:31 PM Washington Examiner

Source Link: Nikki Haley responds to Palestinian officials: ‘I will not shut up’

{A tough response from a strong woman, especially if you consider a woman’s position in a Muslim society. – LS}

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley issued a sharp response to Palestinians leaders and its top negotiator Tuesday, saying she “will not shut up” after the official made derogatory comments about Haley last month.

Haley addressed the U.N. Security Council during a speech Tuesday, during which she responded to an earlier speech from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, as well as comments made last month by Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian negotiator.

Erekat said Haley “needs to shut up and realize the Palestinian leadership is not the problem.”

“We welcome you as the leader of the Palestinian people here today,” Haley said of Abbas. “But I will decline the advice I was recently given by your top negotiator, Saeb Erekat. I will not shut up. Rather, I will respectfully speak some hard truths.

“The Palestinian leadership has a choice to make between two different paths. There is the path of absolutist demands, hateful rhetoric, and incitement to violence. That path has led, and will continue to lead, to nothing but hardship for the Palestinian people.”

Haley then reminded the Palestinians of the “path of negotiation and compromise,” which she said has proved to be successful for Egypt and Jordan.

“That path remains open to the Palestinian leadership, if only it is courageous enough to take it,” she said.

The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. went on to criticize the body for “elevating the tensions and grievances” between the Israelis and Palestinians, and said the U.N. should focus on other issues facing the Middle East, such as the threat of the Islamic State and Hezbollah.

“These immense security and humanitarian challenges throughout the region should occupy more of our attention, rather than having us sit here, month after month, and use the most democratic country in the Middle East as a scapegoat for the region’s problems. But here we go again,” Haley said.

Haley also reiterated the Trump administration will move forward with its decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, despite opposition from the Palestinians.

“You don’t have to like that decision. You don’t have to praise it. You don’t even have to accept this,” she said. “But know this: That decision will not change.”

Abbas addressed the U.N. Security Council earlier Tuesday and called for an international Middle East peace conference to be held later this year. He did not remain in the chamber to listen to Haley’s speech.

Palestinian Normalization — With Hamas, Not Israel

October 11, 2017

Palestinian Normalization — With Hamas, Not Israel, Gatestone InstituteBassam Tawil, October 11, 2017

The most widespread conspiracy theory, which has been floating around for decades and can be heard in almost every coffee shop on the streets of Cairo, Amman, Ramallah and Beirut, is that Zionist Jews, together with American capitalists and imperialists, have a secret plan to take control over the Arab and Islamic countries and their resources.

How exactly are the “Zionists and imperialists” trying to “undermine” the Palestinian “national project”? And what, precisely, is this project? Is it the project of Hamas and many other Palestinians that seeks the destruction of Israel?

The corrupt Arab and Palestinian leaders spread such rumors to divert attention from problems at home, such as corruption and dictatorship. These leaders want their people too busy hating Jews and Westerners to demand reform, democracy and transparency from their leaders. Those valuables, of course, are what Arab and Palestinian leaders still refuse to offer their people.

Why do many Palestinians prefer peace with Hamas? Because they identify with Hamas’s dream of destroying Israel and killing Jews. It may be an unpleasant a truth, but that is the bottom line.

When Palestinian women took part in a march with Israeli women for peace this week, they were condemned in the harshest terms by many other Palestinians, who called for their punishment. The Palestinian women who participated in the October 8 event, organized by a group called Women Wage Peace, have been denounced by many of their own people as “traitors” and “whores.”

Conversely, when Palestinian Authority (PA) officials held “reconciliation” talks with Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip and Egypt during the same period, many Palestinians praised them as “heroes” and “brave.”

Judging from the reactions of many Palestinians, especially on social media, they prefer peace with Hamas rather than with Israel.

The thousands of Palestinian women who participated in the march with Israeli women are being accused of promoting “normalization” with Israel. This, in the eyes of their critics, is an abhorrent and despicable act, tantamount to “high treason” — an offense punishable by death.

Palestinian and Israeli women from the “Women Wage Peace” group participate in an event on September 30, 2017. (Image source: Women Wage Peace/Facebook)

Prior to the women’s march, Palestinian activists waged an online bid to stop the Palestinian women from taking part in the “shameful” event. It was a vicious campaign that lasted for several days and that accused the Palestinian women of treason for promoting “normalization” with the “Israeli enemy.” One group, The Women’s Campaign for Boycotting Israeli Merchandise, said in a statement that the planned march was “hurtful to Palestinian and Arab and international efforts to boycott and isolate Israel.” The group pointed out that the march coincided with a “Zionist-imperialist onslaught to undermine the Palestinian national project.”

Exactly which “Zionist-imperialist” conspiracy these protesters are referring to remains unclear.

Such rhetoric, however, reflects the mindset in the Arab and Islamic world. The most widespread conspiracy theory, which has been floating around for decades and can be heard in almost every coffee shop on the streets of Cairo, Amman, Ramallah and Beirut, is that Zionist Jews, together with American capitalists and imperialists, have a secret plan to take control over the Arab and Islamic countries and their resources.

What does a peaceful march of Israeli and Palestinian women have to do with Zionism and imperialism? How exactly are the “Zionists and imperialists” trying to “undermine” the Palestinian “national project”?

And what, precisely, is this project? Is it the project of Hamas and many other Palestinians that seeks the destruction of Israel? Is it the project that still talks about a phased plan to destroy Israel by demanding a Palestinian state next to Israel so that it would be used in the future as a launching pad to eliminate Israel?

Palestinian and Arab leaders have long advanced anti-Israel, anti-Jewish and anti-Western conspiracy theories. Why do these leaders do so? For one purpose: distraction.

The corrupt Arab and Palestinian leaders spread such rumors to divert attention from problems at home, such as corruption and dictatorship. These leaders want their people too busy hating Jews and Westerners to demand reform, democracy and transparency from their leaders. Those valuables, of course, are what Arab and Palestinian leaders still refuse to offer their people.

Back to the controversial women’s march.

The abusive comments hurled against the Palestinian women who took part in the march are frankly embarrassing to read. Even the PLO committee that permitted the participation of the Palestinian women in the march is being pilloried by many Palestinians, with some calling for holding the PLO officials involved accountable.

The verbal abuse is reminiscent of the experience of teenage Palestinian girls who recently participated in a summer camp with Israeli girls in the US. The Palestinian girls endured a massive smear campaign for attending the summer camp, which was organized by Creativity for Peace, an organization in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Like the women from the march, the teenage girls were also cursed on social media and dubbed as “sluts” and “traitors.” The abuse reached the parents of the Palestinian girls, for allowing their daughters to commit the sin of dancing and mixing with Israeli (Jewish) girls. The girls, like the women, were also accused of promoting “normalization” with Israel.

Sadly, only a handful of Palestinians have thus far dared to come out in defense of the summer camp girls or the women who participated in the October 8 march.

While many Palestinians may be opposed to the brutal and senseless attacks on the girls and women, they are terrified of voicing their views in public. No one wants to get targeted by the abusers, especially if some of these people are affiliated with terror groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Palestinians have an unfortunate habit of allowing thugs and terrorists to intimidate them, control the discourse and set the agenda. This is certainly not new. Most Palestinians prefer to sit on the fence instead of speaking their minds. This is what happens when you live under ruthless dictatorships such as the Palestinian Authority and Hamas that suppress freedom of expression.

Yet this most recent exhibit has an ironic twist. Just as the women were shamed publicly for taking part in an event with Jewish women, many Palestinians were celebrating the “reconciliation” between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip took to the streets to express their jubilation over the “accord,” and when the PA Prime Minister and his delegation arrived in the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, scenes of kissing and hugging were easy to spot.

What does all this teach us?

First, that many Palestinians continue to consider any form of contact with Jews and “normalization” with the “Zionist entity” an act of treason.

Second, that Palestinians do not hesitate to designate their own women as prostitutes and traitors for engaging in the most basic activities with Jews. Such disrespect for women is not, by the way, something that should surprise us about conservative Arab and Islamic societies.

Third, that for many Palestinians, the priority remains making peace with Hamas and not Israel. Why do they prefer peace with Hamas? Because they identify with Hamas’s dream of destroying Israel and killing Jews. It may be an unpleasant a truth, but that is the bottom line.

Bassam Tawil is a Muslim based in the Middle East.