INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR PEACE STUDIES AND GLOBAL PHILOSOPHY
Director, Dr. ThomasDaffern B.A. (Hons) D.Sc. (Hon) Ph.D.;
Treasurer: Jenny Wheatcroft (B.A.) International Secretary: Ruth Kempe
Media Office: Nicola Hague
REPORT BACK ON 2008 LAUNCH MEETINGS IN ISRAEL AND PALESTINE:
In August 2008, the launch meeting for the TRCME went as planned. Dr. Thomas Daffern and colleagues from the UK arrived in Israel for the initial meetings taking place in Bethlehem, Palestine, and East Jerusalem, on Thursday August 7th followed by a second meeting taking place in Galilee, on Monday August 11th, in Israel. This latter meeting became a series of staged meetings on several days taking place across Israel, in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Rishon-le-Tsion, Safed etc.
The meetings primarily addressed the philosophical, spiritual, scientific, intellectual and academic dimensions of the challenges of peacemaking in the Middle Eastern context, in a long term and holistic perspective. Whilst political leaders are addressing the practical aspects of a two state solution to the problem of relations between Israel and Palestine, the work of the TRCME is to address the metaphysical, spiritual and philosophical aspects of the situation, covering issues such as recognition, sophiaphobia. religion, psychodynamics, social-therapy, transpersonal peace theory etc.
The launch of the TRCME included a number of filmed interviews with various thinkers, theologians, artists, educators and religious figures from across the region, which will in due course by shown on the broadband television station, www.holisticchannel.org.uk
The launch meeting was open to all whom have the long term interests of peacemaking in Israel and Palestine and throughout the Middle East, and particularly in finding a solution to the philosophical, cultural and religious aspects of the conflict. It was held in both Israel and Palestine to make it possible for participants to come both from both sides of the dispute.
The Bethlehem meeting was hosted by the Wiam centre, the Palestinian Centre for Conflict Resolution, based in Bethlehem, whose work combines the traditional Arab form of mediation, called Sulha, with Western models of conflict resolution.
See their website at: http://alaslah.org/aboutus/ Bethlehem is a sacred town for Christians, Jews and Muslims and important to the Palestinian state which is hoping to be born as a major cultural and economic centre. The second half of the meeting took place in various locations throughout Israel.
After the meetings were concluded, Thomas Daffern journeyed on to Greece, and visited Greece (Athens, Mycenae, Epidavros), Serbia (Belgrade), Slovenia (Ljubljana) and Italy (Venice). A meeting was organised in Ljubljana to report back on the work of the TRCM to a gathering of Slovenian intellectuals, artists and scientists.
As a result of conversations in Greece and the Balkans on the journey back, IIPSGP Director also has devised a further emergency proposal to work in tandem to that of the TRCME, namely a new body, the EUROPEAN UNION MEDIATION SERVICE which has been devised as a result of the events this Summer in the Caucuses which broke out exactly during the TRCME. Whilst appreciating the EU’s ongoing mediation efforts over Georgia, it occurred to IIPSGP that what we Europeans need is a permanent, fully funded, well resourced, mediation service which can deal with all such on-going crises affecting our borders, not just the Caucuses (e.g. Ukraine, FYROM / .Macedonia, Israel/Palestine, Cyprus). Further details on this parallel proposal available from IIPSGP..
LONG TERMS AIMS OF TRCME
The longer term aim of the work of the TRCME involves the following:
Resolving the ongoing war and conflict In Iraq and restoring order, prosperity, freedom, security and well-being to the long suffering people of Iraq
Afghanistan: how to stop the fighting and restore order, prosperity and justice throughout the country ?
Palestine: how to provide a decent quality of life for all Palestinians in their own autonomous country ?
Israel: how to secure the long term future of Israel living in peace and prosperity with her neighbors, free of all terrorist attacks ?
Lebanon: how to ensure the long term stability and prosperity of the country, living in peace internally and externally ?
Chechnya and the Caucuses region: how to resolve non-violently the civil wars and conflicts in the region ?
How to protect minority rights and the rights of religious and ethnic minorities throughout the Middle East region, from whatever background ?
It will provide a forum for discussion for all parties to come up with non-violent solutions to the problems of the region. It will address primarily the intellectual, moral, ethical and philosophical dilemmas which are preventing the discovery of non-violent solutions to the crises of the region. It is an interfaith, academic and philosophical initiative premised on the possibility of cultural harmony and coexistence, but open to the wider community. This launch meeting took place in Israel and Palestine in August 2008 and the intention of the TRCME is to hold future annual meetings in other Middle Eastern countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and other Middle Eastern countries. Leading thinkers and intellectuals and visionaries will be interviewed in ach country in turn, and their views as to how peace can be best advanced in the entire region will be recorded as testimony to the Commission.
With the peace process in the Middle East having stalled for too long, having moved so far, it was the hope of the TRCME to encourage a healthy debate between both Israeli and Palestinian peace thinkers, activists and spiritual leaders, so as to vision together a long future for both Israel and Palestine, and one which will be beyond the threat or fear of violence.
All those who have thought for the long term peace and ecological sustainability of The Middle East environment, who love and care for this magical and mysterious heartland of the world, and who have the protection of its people and its sacred places at heart, and / or who have specific news of peace and environmental issues and campaigns in their part of the world, were invited to attend or send representatives. The meetings were convened by Dr. Thomas C. Daffern, Director of the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy, and Convener of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Britain and Ireland (on whose work the new TRCME is being modeled).
The project is simultaneously modest and ambitious: its purpose is to help effect an intellectual and spiritual reformation of humanity, at its spiritual heartlands, in which all faiths can live together in peace, humility, love and non-violence.
ASSOCIATES OF THE TRCME
Those who were unable to attend the first TRCME event, may therefore watch on the internet the results of this 2008 launch. Friends may also help the ongoing work of the TRCME by registering as an Associate of the work of the TRCME. This involves a commitment to any or all of the following:
By prayers for peace directed to this ongoing project – whatever your faith background, or spiritual perspective, they are welcome !
By submitting documentation, reports, dvd’s, evidence in writing or on tape, concerned with good practice and creative work for peace, non-violence, and conflict resolution throughout the Middle East, and especially concerning Palestine and Israel – please submit by post or email to IIPSGP headquarters in Wales.
By submitting any academic or philosophical or theological writings which address the search for peace, justice and spiritual and intellectual harmony in the Middle East, especially between rival religious and intellectual systems and cultures (e.g. Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Bahaism, Shii’sm, Sunnism, Catholicism, Orthodoxy, secularism, scientism, nationalism, Paganism, Marxism etc.)
By volunteering time and energy to support the administrative and networking needed for this project
We ask for your ongoing support and prayers for the success of this initiative, and to circulate and disseminate this call throughout all men and women of good will, with peace at their hearts, who wish to see a peaceful, just and compassionate solution to the outstanding problems of the Middle East region, in which all parties can feel they have “won”, without humiliation or abasement.
We at IIPSGP firmly believe that with spiritual support and help, a lasting solution to the problems of the region can and will be accomplished, and that non-violence is the only way to ensure the lasting peace and prosperity of the region.
We ask therefore that all groups currently engaging in jihad or violent struggle against “occupation forces” return to the work of the greater jihad, and that those allied forces currently in the region work towards returning to their own countries as soon as possible. The region must be left to sort out its own geopolitical issues, with genuine support and aid from the international community.
We pray that peace and non-violence, reason and sanity, love and goodwill, replace the fear, terror and grief that have affected this beautiful part of the world for far too long.
NEXT PHASE OF TRMCE WORK:
The next phase of the TRCME’s work is to:
Appoint Commissioners to assist the process of convening the work of the TRCME on an annual and all year-round basis (eminent persons appointed from within the community of peace scholars)
Choose the venues for the 2009 meetings (can be any Middle Eastern country – probably Israel/Palestine/Egypt)
Invite Associates of the TRCME to get involved with the work as Volunteers
Publicise and circulate news of the work of the TRCME, and encourage persons both within the region of the Middle East, and those persons living elsewhere who are interested in the work, to obtain and read the book on the work of the TRCME, which sets out its in intellectual position (on www.lulu.com/iipsgp)
Those who attended to give talks and make presentations in various places (e.g. in UK, Israel, Palestine, Europe, Americas, Middle East) etc.
Secure adequate funding to ensure the TRCME is able to achieve its long term goals by applying to appropriate bodies (concrete suggestions and ideas welcome).
Work in close association with the project to launch a European Union Mediation Service (EUMS) and lobby European Union officials, governmental officials, and the governments of neighbouring European, Mediterranean, Middle East and Atlantic sates to implement the proposal.
Help to heal the trauma and crises arising from the conflict in Gaza in January 2009, and to convert the temporary ceasefire into a permanent peace
Work with Palestinian intellectuals, leaders, spiritual teachers and educators, to get across the idea that strategic non-violence is the best and only solution to the stalemate of the non-recognition of their state, and the violence and the occupation of their land by Israeli military forces
Work with both Christian and Islamic and Secular Palestinian intellectuals to develop a non-violent independence Palestinian programme, guaranteeing that in return for adopting non-violence as the sole strategic method of political struggle, the international community will in return press Israel to cooperate in the establishment of a formally independent Palestinian state covering both Gaza and the West Bank
Work with Israeli intellectuals, policy experts, educators, activists, to secure that in return for a policy of non-violence being adopted by the Palestinians, Israel will likewise renounce violence and work with Palestinians to help them create a viable state, posing no military or strategic threats to their neighbour.
Work to secure a permanent peace treaty in Afghanistan to end the fighting between Taliban and NATO forces, in which all parties can assist the rebuilding of that war-torn country, along democratic, moderate Islamic lines
Work to assist Iraq rebuild their shattered country after the final withdrawal of all Western military forces and to support all those who speak out for peace in Iraq and the reconciliation of Sunni and Shiia, religious and secular elements of Iraqi society.
If you wish to attend the TRCME meetings in 2009, or to send a representative, or if you can help with the administrative work involved in developing the TRCME, please complete the following Associate Response Form and mail (or email) it to the International Institute Of Peace Studies And Global Philosophy.
THE TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR BRITAIN AND IRELAND (TRCBI) is meeting this Summer on
Saturday, July 25th, 2009, at Belfast, Northern Ireland
Meeting venue is: Quaker Meeting House, Frederick Street off York Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Meeting time is: 11-5 pm, Saturday 25 July, 2009.
This meeting is open freely to all whom have the long term interests of peacemaking in Britain and Ireland, and particularly the final ending of the longtime of troubles, at heart. It is being held in Belfast to make it possible for participants to come both from both parts of Ireland as well as through the British Isles. With the peace process in Ireland having moved so far, it is the hope of this symposium to encourage a healthy debate between both Irish and British peace thinkers, activists and spiritual leaders, so as to vision together a long term peaceful future for both Britain and Ireland. It follows on as the third annual meeting of the TRCBI, after meetings in Anglesey (2006) and Dublin (2007). This is the first time the TRCBI has come to Belfast, which was the epicenter of much of the conflict in the “time of troubles”. We invite representatives of those who participated, or took part in the conflict, from whichever perspective, to come forward and share their testimony, and hopefully explain how the path of peace and non-violent political conflict resolution is, in the long run, more effective than the path of violence ever could be.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Britain and Ireland (TRCBI) will examine testimony concerning all aspects of the conflict in Ireland, and allow persons who have perpetrated acts of cruelty and injustice to come forward and apologise to those whom they have wronged, whether in Britain or in Ireland, and also to empower those working for peace and reconciliation to come forward and tell their own stories. We are inviting a representative of the Northern Ireland government to attend the meeting and give examples of their ongoing practice for reconciliation in Northern Ireland. The TRCBI might also examine Britain’s role in the wider world of international relations, and its policies, for example, in the Middle East, or other international conflicts, especially where they relate to British-Irish affairs. We are also concerned about Irish peace keeping troops and their use in sensitive conflicts worldwide. We are keen to hear testimony geared towards renewing Britain and Ireland’s ethical wellbeing as a whole in a time of economic crisis. We are also keen to invite representatives of all the diverse religious and spiritual communities of Ireland and Britain to send representatives to the meeting who are interested in the advancement of interfaith dialogue for peace. Given the Roman Catholic-Protestant disagreements that underlay some aspects of these conflicts, we will be discussing Pope Benedict X1V’s proposal for Protestant-Roman Catholic rapprochement for peace in which he recognises that Luther was simply trying to reform corrupt practices in the Church “with some justification”. Given the recent upsurge of killings in Northern Ireland there is a danger that the fragile peace could yet be jeopardized by those who believe in violence. The eloquent condemnation of those who commit violence by Martin McGuiness as traitors to the whole island of Ireland, and Rev Ian Paisley’s similarly visionary response, and the mass demonstrations for peace across Northern Ireland, give hope that the light of peace and reconciliation has not been dimmed or list form the hearts of the people of Ireland. But there is still much work to do…
Chairing the meeting is Dr. Thomas Daffern, a Governor of the Saor Ollscoil na h’Eireann (Free University of Ireland) and Director of the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy. If you are able to attend, or send a representative, either to submit evidence or a statement or simply to listen, please contact us in advance at: TRCIB, IIPSGP, Rhos y Gallt, Llanerfyl, Nr. Welshpool, Powys, Wales, SY21 OER, Tel/Fax. 01938 820586 (m) 07951 600959. www.educationaid.net email: firstname.lastname@example.org