By UK News Group (Originally in English)
On November 27, Golden Year 3 (2006) a long conflict between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples came to a much-anticipated end. The new Palestine government announced that its leaders would resume peace talks with the Israelis, who were also offering goodwill gestures to the Palestinians. Saeb Erakat, chief negotiator of the ceasefire between Israel and Palestine declared, “The Palestinians are ready for final peace!” To honor this significant event, Supreme Master Ching Hai declared November 27 as Israel and Palestine Peace Memorial Day and asked our Association members worldwide to celebrate. (Please refer to News #177.)
Our beloved Master also wrote a personal letter to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and chief negotiator Saeb Erakat, congratulating them on their newly opened path to peace: “It was with great joy that we heard of the agreement with Israel and that the Palestine state is ready to negotiate a final peace deal.” Master further commended the statesmen's actions, saying, “Such a noble vision is a rare but much-needed example for all world leaders in our global family and truly represents an answer to the prayers of those in many nations for peace in the Middle East. Surely this will become one of the best examples for nations worldwide in establishing a clear foundation for world peace.”
Since its initial declaration, the peace process has been steadily advancing, with many more meetings and gestures of goodwill as well as active support from the international community. Over 120 Palestinian and Israeli organizations are now working together towards a goal of unity and peace. One such organization is the Israeli-Palestinian Combatants for Peace, whose members go out and provide lectures and education to schools and universities, bringing students the message of harmonious relations through non-violent means.
Parents’ Circle-Families Forum is another group of Palestinians and Israelis who have experienced the loss of a family member. They frequently meet and exchange sympathy, support and friendship. Mr Ali Abu Awad, a spokesperson for Parents’ Circle Family Forum, said that his goal in life is to see Palestinian children live in freedom and independence. His wish was that coming generations would help change the present situation. The Deputy Mayor of Bethlehem, George Sa’adeh, also a member of the Parents Circle, said, “From wars everybody loses, but from peace everybody will gain. We want to build a safe and secure future for all of us here.” Forum members are also helping sponsor “Offering Reconciliation,” an internationally touring art exhibit that displays the work of 135 prominent Palestinian and Israeli artists united in the name of peace. Each participating artist in the exhibit was given a white ceramic bowl to create with it his or her hope for reconciliation in the Middle East.
Exactly one year after the Peace Memorial Day was proclaimed, a key peace conference commenced on November 27 in Annapolis, Maryland, USA, with delegates from 50 countries attending. United States President George W. Bush stated, “We have come together this week because we share a common goal: two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security…. Tonight, I re-state my personal commitment on behalf of the United States to all those in the Middle East who wish to live in freedom and peace. We stand with you at the Annapolis Conference and beyond…. We offer a more hopeful vision of a Middle East growing in freedom, dignity and prosperity. In accordance with the agreement, Palestine and Israel will immediately launch peace talks, and the United States will mediate the discussions, with the goal of creating lasting peace by the end of 2008.”
In advance of the international peace conference, Pope Benedict XVI asked thousands who were gathered in St. Peters Square to pray for a just and lasting peace in the Holy Land of Palestine. His Holiness urged all Catholics to take part, saying, “I ask you to join the Day of Prayer declared today by the Bishops’ Council of the United States for peace.”
May Heaven bless the Israelis and Palestinians with everlasting peace, love and harmony!
To view this special Peace Memorial Day program on Supreme Master Television, please visit: http://video.Godsdirectcontact.net/magazine/EE439-440.php