Convivencia Alliance Launch

New Middle East peace initiative seeks to harness spirit of Spanish Golden Age.

A new initiative to help bring a just peace in the Middle East was launched in London yesterday, invoking the periods of mutual co-existence enjoyed by the three Abrahamic faiths in medieval Spain and the Ottoman Empire.
Convivencia is a cross-faith, international initiative for a just peace in the Middle East that seeks to substitute the current militarised ‘solutions’ based on racist oppression, brute force, denial of rights and colonial dispossession with an approach predicated on shared values and commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The conveners were Professor Haim Bresheeth and David Cannon of Jewish Network for Palestine (JNP), Massoud Shadjareh of the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) and myself.
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Jewish Network for Palestine: Convivencia

The Jewish Network for Palestine recently invited me to give a short presentation on ‘Convivencia’ or coexistence at their 2021 annual meeting.

Convivencia simply means ‘coexistence’. It is an academic hypothesis, first proposed by the Spanish philologist Américo Castro, regarding the coexistence of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish communities during the period of Spanish history from the Muslim Umayyad conquest of Hispania in the early eighth century until the expulsion of the Jews in 1492.

By extension the term can describe the contemporary religious and cultural interaction and exchange fostered by such proximity as a way to challenge the various forms of ethno-supremacism and exclusive religious nationalisms emerging in different parts of the world. 

One Democratic State in Palestine/Israel – It’s Time: Jeff Halper

At the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) UK annual conference held at Amnesty International in May, Jeff Halper gave a presentation entitled “One Democratic State in Palestine/Israel- It’s time”. With the “Two-State” solution increasingly regarded as dead, the case for one democratic state with equal rights for Israeli Jews and Palestinians is gaining traction. The slides below summarise Jeff Halper’s presentation and basis for resolving the conflict peacefully and based on international law.

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Jahalin Bedouin

Angela Godfrey-Goldstein, director of Jahalin Solidarity campaigns for the Bedouin community of Al Khan Alahmar in the Wadi Kelt region. Overlooked by the illegal Israeli colony of Kfar Adumim and facing a demolition order as well as occasional settler attacks, the 35 families seek to live and prosper on their historic lands they have lived on as refugees since 1952. Their school is made of mud and rubber tyres. Find out more about how you can support the Jahalin Bedouin here www.jahalin.org

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