Sunday, October 23, 2016

White House Fails Badly On Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict

Published on Alternet (

White House Fails Badly On Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict

By Sandy Tolan [1] / TomDispatch [2]

October 18, 2016

   Washington has finally thrown in the towel on its long, tortured efforts to establish peace between Israel and the Palestinians. You won’t find any acknowledgement of this in the official record. Formally, the U.S. still supports a two-state solution to the conflict. But the Obama administration’s recent 10-year, $38-billion [3] pledge to renew Israel’s arsenal of weaponry, while still ostensibly pursuing “peace,” makes clear just how bankrupt that policy is.

   For two decades, Israeli leaders and their neoconservative backers in this country, hell-bent on building and expanding settlements on Palestinian land, have worked to undermine America’s stated efforts -- and paid no price. Now, with that record[4] weapons package, the U.S. has made it all too clear that they won’t have to. Ever.

    The military alliance between the United States and Israel has long been at odds with the stated intentions of successive administrations in Washington to foster peace in the Holy Land. One White House after another has preferred the “solution” of having it both ways: supporting a two-state solution while richly rewarding, with lethal weaponry, an incorrigible client state that was working as fast as it could to undermine just such a solution. 

   This ongoing duality seemed at its most surreal in the last few weeks.  First, President Obama announced the new military deal, with its promised delivery of fighter jets and other hardware, citing the “unshakable [5]” American military alliance with Israel.  The following week, at the United Nations, he declared, “Israel must recognize that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land.” Next, he flew to Israel for the funeral of Shimon Peres, and in a tribute to the Nobel Prize-winning former Israeli president, spoke of [6] a man who grasped that “the Jewish people weren’t born to rule another people” and brought up the “unfinished business” of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. (Peres is remembered [7] quite differently by Palestinians as anearly pioneer [8] of settlement building and the author of the brutal Operation Grapes of Wrath [9] assaults on Lebanon in 1996.) Not long after the funeral, the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brazenly approved a new settlement deep in the West Bank, prompting the State Department to “strongly condemn [10]” the action as “deeply troubling.” 

   Such scolding words, however, shrivel into nothingness in the face of a single number: 38 billion.  With its latest promise of military aid, the United States has essentially sanctioned Israel’s impunity, its endless colonization of Palestinian land, its military occupation of the West Bank, and its periodic attacks by F-16 fighter jets and Apache helicopters using Hellfire missiles on the civilians of Gaza. 

   Yes, Hamas’s crude and occasionally deadly rockets [11] sometimes help provoke Israeli fire, and human rights investigations have found that both sides [12] have committed war crimes.  But Israel’s explosive power [13] in the 2014 Gaza war, fueled in large part by American military aid and political support, exceeded that of Hamas by an estimated 1,500-to-1.  By one estimate, all of Hamas’s rockets, measured in explosive power, were equal to [14] 12 of the one-ton bombs Israel dropped on Gaza.  And it loosed hundreds of those, and fired tens of thousands of shells, rockets and mortars.  In the process, nearly 250 times [15] more Palestinian civilians died than civilians in Israel.

   Now, with Gaza severed from the West Bank, and Palestinians facing new waves of settlers amid a half-century-long military occupation, the U.S. has chosen not to apply pressure to its out-of-control ally, but instead to resupply its armed forces in a massive way.  This means that we’ve finally arrived at something of a historic (if hardly noticed) moment.  After all these decades, the two-state solution, critically flawed as it was [16], should now officially be declared dead -- and consider the United States an accomplice in its murder.  In other words, the Obama administration has handed Israel’s leaders and the neoconservatives who have long championed this path the victory they’ve sought for more than two decades. 

The Chaos Kids

   Twenty years ago, the pro-Israel hard right in America designed the core strategy that helped lead to this American capitulation.  In 1996, a task force led by neocons Richard Perle (future chairman of the Defense Policy Board [17]), David Wurmser (future senior Middle East adviser [18] to Vice President Dick Cheney), Douglas Feith (future undersecretary of defense [19]), and others issued a policy paper [20] aimed at incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" advocated that Israel walk away from its embrace of the Oslo peace process and Oslo’s focus on territorial concessions.  The paper’s essential ingredients included weakening Israel’s neighbors via regime change in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and “roll back” in Syria and Iran. The authors’ recommendations turned out to be anything but a wish list, given that a number of them would soon hold influential positions [21] in the administration of George W. Bush.

  As journalist Jim Lobe wrote [22] in 2007:

   “[T]he task force, which was chaired by Perle, argued that regime change in Iraq -- of which Feith was among the most ardent advocates within the Pentagon -- would enable Israel and the U.S. to decisively shift the balance of power in the region so that Israel could make a ‘clean break’ from the Oslo process (or any framework that would require it to give up ‘land for peace’) and, in so doing, ‘secure the realm’ against Palestinian territorial claims.”

  In other words, as early as 1996, these neocons were already imagining what would become the disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003.  You could argue, of course, that neither the neocons nor Netanyahu could have foreseen the chaos that would follow, with Iraq nearly cracking open and Syria essentially collapsing into horrific civil war and violence, civilians stranded under relentless bombing, and the biggest refugee crisis [23] since World War II gripping Europe and the world.  But you would, at least in some sense, be wrong, for certain of the neocon advocates of regime change imagined chaos as an essential part of the process from early on.  

   "One can only hope that we turn the region into a caldron, and faster, please,"wrote [24] Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute in the National Review during the buildup to the invasion of Iraq.  (In 1985, as a consultant to the National Security Council and to Oliver North, Ledeen had helped broker the illegal arms-for-hostages deal with Iran by setting up meetings between weapons dealers and Israel.) “The war won't end in Baghdad,” Ledeen laterwrote [25], in the Wall Street Journal.  "We must also topple terror states in Tehran and Damascus."   

   The neocons got so much more than they bargained for in Iraq, and so much less than they wanted in Syria and Iran.  Their recent attempts -- with Netanyahu as their chief spokesman -- to block the Obama administration’s Iran nuclear deal, for example, went down in flames.  Still, it’s stunning to think just how much their strategy of regime change and chaos helped transform our world and the Greater Middle East for the worse, and to be reminded that its ultimate goal, at least in those early days, was in large part to keep Israel from having to pursue a peace deal with the Palestinians.  Of course, there were other benefits the neocons imagined back then as part of their historic attempt to redraw [26] the map of the Middle East. Controlling some of the vast oil reserves of that region was one of them, but of course that didn’t exactly turn out to be a “mission accomplished” moment either. Only the Israeli part of the plan seemed to succeed as once imagined.

 So here we are 20 years later.  All around the Holy Land, states are collapsing or at least their foundations are crumbling, and Israel’s actions make clear that it isn’t about to help improve the situation in any way. It visibly intends to pursue a policy of colonization [27], permanent human rights violations [28], and absolute rule over the Palestinians. These are facts on the ground that former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Netanyahu, the Israeli right wing, and those American neocon visionaries fought so hard to establish. A succession of leaders in Washington -- at least those who weren’t designing this policy themselves -- have been played for fools.
In the two-plus decades since the 1993 Oslo Agreement [29], which some believed would put Israel and the Palestinians on the path to peace, and that “Clean Break” document which was written to undermine it, the West Bank settler population has grown from 109,000 to nearly 400,000 [30] (an estimated 15% of whom are American).  The would-be capital of a Palestinian state, East Jerusalem, is now surrounded by 17 Jewish settlements [31].  Palestinians nominally control a mere 18% [32] of the West Bank (also known as Area A [33]), or 4% of the entire land base of Israel/Palestine.

   The Palestinians’ would-be homeland is now checkered [34] with military bases, settlements [33], settler-only roads, and hundreds of checkpoints and barriers -- all in a West Bank the size of Delaware, our second-smallest state. An estimated40% [35] of adult male Palestinians, and thousands of children, have seen the insides of Israeli jails and prisons; many of them languish there without charges [36]

   Israel has, in essence, created a Jim Crow-like [37] separate and unequal reality there: a one-state “solution” that it alone controls.  The United States has done almost nothing [38] about this (other than carefully couched, periodic [39] State Department words of complaint), while its ally marched forward unchecked.  Not since James Baker was secretary of state under the first President Bush before -- notably enough -- the signing of the Oslo accords has any U.S. leader threatened  [40]to withhold funds unless Israel stops building settlements on Palestinian land.  The phrase “friends don’t let friends drive drunk” no longer applies in U.S.-Israeli relations.  Rather, what we hear are regular pledges of “absolute, total, unvarnished commitment to Israel’s security.” Those were, in fact, the words of Vice President Joe Biden during a 2010 visit to Israel -- a pledge offered, as it turned out, only a few hours before the Netanyahu government announced the construction of 1,600 new apartments [41]in East Jerusalem.

  “Unvarnished commitment” in 2016 means that $38 billion for what Obama called “the world’s most advanced weapons technology.”  That includes 33 of Lockheed [42]’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets, at $200 million per jet [43], part of a troubled [44] $1.5 trillion [45] weapons system subsidized by U.S. taxpayers. Other deadly hardware headed for Israel: cargo planes, F-15 fighter jets, battle tanks [46], armored personnel carriers, a new class of warships whose guided missiles would undoubtedly be aimed directly at Gaza [47], and more of Lockheed’s Hellfire missiles.  If recent history [48] is any indication, you would need to add fresh supplies of bombs, grenades, torpedoes, rocket launchers, mortars, howitzers, machine guns, shotguns, pistols, and bayonets.  As part of the agreement, U.S. arms manufacturers [49] will soon supply 100% of that weaponry, while Israeli weapons manufacturers will be phased out of U.S. military aid.  “It’s a win-win for Israeli security and the U.S. economy,” a White House aide cheerily told [50] the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz.

The Clinton (Trump) White House and Israel

  Current policy, if that’s the right word, could perhaps be summed up as weapons, weapons, and more weapons, while Washington otherwise washed its hands of what was always known as “the peace process” (despite that fig leaf still in place).  Today, functionally, there’s no such process left.  And that’s unlikely to change under either a President Clinton or a President Trump.  If anything, it may get worse.

   During the Democratic primary campaign, for instance, Hillary Clinton promised to invite Netanyahu to the White House “during my first month in office” in order to “reaffirm” Washington’s “unbreakable bond with Israel.”  In a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which labels itself [51] “America’s pro-Israel lobby,” she was virtually silent on the Israeli settlement issue, except to promise to protect Israel against its own violations of international law [52].  She attacked Trump[53] from the right, denouncing his once-expressed wish to remain “neutral” on the issue of Israel and Palestine.
In the 1990s, as first lady, Clinton had stirred controversy by uttering the word “Palestine” and kissing [54] Yasser Arafat’s widow, Suha, on the cheek.  Now she fully embraces those who believe Israel can do no wrong, including Hollywood mogul Haim Saban[55], who has donated at least $6.4 million [56] to her campaign, and millions more to the Clinton Foundation and the Democratic National Committee.  Saban, an Israeli-American whose billions came largely from the Mighty Morphin [57] Power Rangers franchise, describes himself as “a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel.”

   Last year, he convened a “secret” Las Vegas meeting with fellow billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the bankroller of a panoply of Republican candidates and a huge supporter of Israel’s settlement project. Their aim: to shut down [58], if not criminalize [59], the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS [60].  That boycott movement targets cultural institutions and businesses including those that profit [61] from the occupation of the West Bank.  Its approach is akin to the movement to impose sanctions on South Africa during the apartheid era.

  With Saban’s millions destined for her campaign war chest, Clinton wrote to her benefactor [62] to express her “alarm” over BDS, “seeking your thoughts and recommendations” to “work together to counter BDS.”  Yet it’s a nonviolent movement that aims to confront Israel’s human rights abuses through direct economic and political pressure, not guns or terror attacks.  Would Clinton prefer suicide bombers and rockets?  Never mind that the relatively modest movement has been endorsed by an assortment of international trade unions [63]scholarly associations [64]church groups [65], the Jewish Voice for Peace [66], and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu [67].  At the root of BDS, Clinton has hinted darkly, is anti-Semitism. “At a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise across the world,” she wrote Saban, “we need to repudiate forceful efforts to malign and undermine Israel and the Jewish people.”

  As for Trump, some Palestinians were encouraged by his statement [68] to MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough that he might “be sort of a neutral guy” on the issue.  He told [69] the AP:  “I have a real question as to whether or not both sides want to make it. A lot will have to do with Israel and whether or not Israel wants to make the deal -- whether or not Israel’s willing to sacrifice certain things.”  Yet Trump subsequently fell in line with Republican orthodoxy, pledging among other things to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, a litmus test for supporters of the hard right in Israel, and a virtual guarantee that East Jerusalem, at the center of the Palestinian dream of statehood, will remain in Israel’s hands.

  In the short term, then, the prospect for an American-brokered just peace may be as bleak as it’s ever been -- even though U.S. officials know full well that a just solution to the conflict would remove a primary recruiting tool for jihadists.  For the next four to eight years, American leadership will, by all indications, shore up the status quo, which means combining all that weaponry and de facto acquiescence in Israel’s land grabs with, perhaps, the occasional hand-wringing State Department statement.

“With Patience, Change Will Come”

  However, like Jim Crow, like South African apartheid, the status quo of this moment simply can’t last forever.  Eventually, the future of the region will not be left to the self-proclaimed “honest brokers” of Washington who lecture Palestinians on the proper forms of nonviolence, while offering no genuine alternatives to surrender.  Given the long history of Palestinian resistance, it is foolhardy to expect such a surrender now and particularly unwise to slander a movement of nonviolent resistance -- especially given what we know about the kinds of resistance that are possible.

   Whether by peaceful resistance or other means, the status quo will change, in part simply because it must: a structure this twisted cannot stand on its own forever. Already AIPAC’s monumental attempts to scuttle the Iran deal have led to humiliating defeat[70] and that’s just a taste of what, sooner or later, the future could hold.  After all, young Americans [71], including young Jews, are increasingly opposed to Israel’s domination of Palestinian lands, and increasingly supportive of the boycott movement.  In addition, the balance of power in the region is shifting.  We can’t know how Russia, China, Turkey, and Iran will operate there in the years to come, but amid the ongoing chaos, U.S. influence will undoubtedly diminish over time.  As a member of a prominent Gaza family said to me many years ago: “Does Israel think America will always protect them, always give them arms, and that they will always be the biggest power in the Middle East?  Do they really expect they can maintain this hold on us forever?”

  A popular Arab folk ballad, El Helwa Di, promises a penniless child who has placed her life in God’s hands: “With patience, change will come. All will be better.”

  Perhaps it will prove useful, in the end, to abandon the illusions of the now-terminal two-state solution, at least as envisioned in the Oslo process.  In the language of those accords, after all, the words “freedom” and “independence” never appear, while “security” is mentioned 12 times.

In a regime of growing confinement, the Israelis have steadily undermined Palestinian sovereignty, aided and abetted by an American acquiescence in Israel’s ongoing settlement project. Now, at least, there is an opportunity to lay the foundations for some newer kind of solution grounded in human rights, freedom of movement, complete cessation of settlement building, and equal access to land, water, and places of worship.  It will have to be based on a new reality, which Israel and the United States have had such a hand in creating.  Think of it as the one-state solution.

 Sandy Tolan is author of The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East. He is associate professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. He is at work on a new book, Operation Mozart, about music and life in Palestine. He blogs at



[72] on White House Fails Badly On Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Baltimore Activist Alert October 23 - 25, 2016

Baltimore Activist Alert October 23 - 25, 2016

"I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours.
The initiative to stop it must be ours." -Martin Luther King Jr.

Friends, this list and other email documents which I send out are done under the auspices of the Baltimore Nonviolence Center.  Go to  If you appreciate this information and would like to make a donation, send contributions to BNC, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218.  Max Obuszewski can be reached at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski [at]

1] Books, buttons and stickers
2] Web site for info on federal legislation
3] Join Nonviolent Resistance lists  
4] Two friends are looking to buy a house in Baltimore
5] Pray for the election – Oct. 23
6] Partner Violence – Oct. 23
7] Take Back Democracy March 2016 – Oct. 23
8] Baltimore Green Forum – Oct. 23
9] Pentagon Vigil – Oct. 24
10] Marc Steiner on WEAA – Oct. 24 – Oct. 28
11] Syria on the Brink? – Oct. 24
12] Coping with the Refugee Crisis and Violent Conflict – Oct. 24
13] Green the Church Summit – Oct. 25 – 26
14] Human Rights Documentation Toolkit – Oct. 25
15] Peace vigil in Philadelphia – Oct. 25
16] Move the Money Forum – Oct. 25
17] Protest drone research at JHU Oct. 25
18] Prayer Walk – Oct. 25
19] State of Black leadership – Oct. 25
20] Support farmworkers – Oct. 25
1] – Buttons, bumperstickers and books are available.  “God Bless the Whole World, No Exceptions” stickers are in stock. Call Max at 410-323-1607.

2] – To obtain information how your federal legislators voted on particular bills, go to  Congressional toll-free numbers are 888-818-6641, 888-355-3588 or 800-426-8073. The White House Comment Email is accessible at

3] – THE ORGANIZING LIST will be the primary decision-making mechanism of the National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR].  It will be augmented by conference calls and possibly in-person meetings as needed.  It will consist of 1 or 2 representatives from each local, regional, or national organization (not coalitions) that wishes to actively work to carry out the NCNR campaign of facilitating and organizing nonviolent resistance to the war in Iraq.

To join the ORGANIZING List, please send your name, group affiliation, city and email address to mobuszewski at  Different local chapters of a national organization are encouraged to subscribe.  

THE NOTICES LIST will include only notices of NCNR actions and related information and is open to any interested person to subscribe.  It will be moderated to maintain focus & will include periodic notices about getting involved in NCNR national organizing.  To join the NOTICES List, send an email message to You will get a confirmation message once subscribed.  If you have problems, please write to the list manager at

4] – Janice and Max are looking to buy a house in Baltimore.  Let Max know if you have any leads—410-323-1607 or mobuszewski at Verizon dot net.

5] – The American elections this year are different from others, Let us pray on Sun., Oct. 23.  Contact Rev. Dr. Mankekolo Mahlangu-Ngcobo for details --

6] – Usually, the Baltimore Ethical Society, 306 W. Franklin St., Suite 102, Baltimore 21201-4661, meets on Sundays, and generally there is a speaker and discussion from 10:30 AM to noon.  On Sun., Oct. 23, the topic is “Intimate Partner Violence in our Community” with Faith Savill who works for House of Ruth Maryland in Community Relations. She coordinates volunteers for all of its programs, as well as much of their outreach in the community. As a member of the development team, she also helps with event logistics and coordinates the annual holiday Adopt A Family program. Faith completed two Americorps terms in Baltimore, serving with My Sister’s Place Women’s Center and Project PLASE. She loves to talk about volunteerism and how you can support your community! October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The House of Ruth Maryland leads the fight to end violence against women and their children by confronting the attitudes, behaviors and systems that perpetuate it, and by providing victims with the services necessary to rebuild their lives safely and free of fear. Their vision is that one day, every woman in Maryland will be safe in her own home. Come and increase your awareness of the problem of intimate partner violence and learn how you can help women in need. Visit House of Ruth on the web at www.hruth.orgCall 410-581-2322 or email

7] – Consider joining the Take Back Democracy March 2016, starting at 2 Lincoln Memorial Circle NW, WDC 20037, on Sun., Oct. 23 from 11 AM to 5 PM.  Democracy must be demanded! This is a nationwide event that anyone from any political party or leaning can get behind. The primary goal is to demand a government truly of, by and for the people. RSVP at

8] – The BALTIMORE GREEN FORUM, a monthly environmental education and discussion forum, takes place on Sun., Oct. 23.  The presentation and Q&A goes from 4:00 to 5:15 PM, followed by announcements & networking from 5:15 to 5:45 PM.  Finally there will be a Roundtable Discussion from 5:45 to 6:30 PM.  The forum is at 1105 Providence Road, Towson 21286. Go to  The topic for discussion is Community Solar – Solar Is for Everyone with Gary Skulnik, the founder of a new social enterprise called Neighborhood Sun ( and a leader in developing the clean energy market on the East Coast. As President of Clean Currents, he started the movement for clean power in Maryland and the region. Gary is an active public speaker on sustainability, clean energy, B-Corps, social enterprises and many other topics.

Thanks to a new community solar law in Maryland, everybody can go solar! Community solar allows you to sign up for solar power for your home, business or organization without installing any equipment on your roof. It’s clean energy from a local project in your neighborhood. Come to this presentation and learn how you, your business, and your neighbors can join together to build a local clean energy solar project that will let you save money and help the environment.

The Baltimore Green Forum seeks to educate and stimulate dialogue about what humans can do to make modern civilization more sustainable, including adjusting to finite resource limits and preserving biodiversity and a healthy environment. We do this through 8 monthly meetings a year. The topics are far ranging. They vary from local to planetary and from philosophical to scientific to very practical.

  BGF is open to the public and is free of charge, but donations to Maryland Presbyterian Church are collected during the meeting to thank the church for their generous gift of the space to us. Email or call Sam Hopkins at 410 554-0006.  Go to

9] – There is a weekly Pentagon Peace Vigil from 7 to 8 AM on Mondays, since 1987, outside the Pentagon Metro stop.  The next vigil is Oct., 24, and it is sponsored by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker.  Email or call 202-882-9649.  The vigil will be outside the Pentagon's south Metro entrance and in the designated "protest zone" behind bicycle fences across from the entrance to the Metro.  By Metro, take Yellow Line and get out at the "Pentagon" stop. Do not go to the Pentagon City stop! Go up south escalators and turn left and walk across to protest area. By car from D.C. area, take 395 South and get off at Exit 8A-Pentagon South Parking. Take slight right onto S. Rotary Rd. at end of ramp and right on S. Fern St. Then take left onto Army Navy Dr. You can "pay to park" on Army Navy Dr.,  and there is meter parking one block on right on Eads St. Payment for both of these spots begin at 8 AM.  No cameras are allowed on Pentagon grounds. Restrooms are located inside Marriott Residence Inn on corner of S. Fern and Army Navy Dr. 

10] – The Marc Steiner Show airs Monday through Friday fr6m 10 AM to noon on WEAA 88.9 FM, The Voice of the Community, or online at   The call-in number is 410-319-8888, and comments can also be sent by email to All shows are also available as podcasts at

11] – SYRIA: ON THE BRINK (?) will be discussed at George Mason University, Library Reading Room 2001, Arlington, VA, on Mon., Oct. 24 at 3 PM. For the past five and a half years, analysis on Syria focused on the political, military, and humanitarian aspects of the conflict. This panel will examine its discursive and traumatic dimensions, with an eye to the history of the conflict and the many facets of the current geopolitical escalation.  The panel discussion is sponsored by Middle East and Islamic Studies Program, Global Interdisciplinary Studies, Arab Studies Institute, University Life Global Affairs, AVACGIS Center for Global Islamic Studies, Schar School of Policy and Government, Department of History. Email
12] –  Coping with the Refugee Crisis and Violent Conflict: Bold Ideas for the Next US President and UN Secretary-General will take place on Mon., Oct. 24 from 4:30 to 6 PM at the Stimson Center, 1211 CONNECTICUT AVE. NW, 8TH FL, WDC 20036.  This is part of United Nations Day, hosted by the Stimson Center and the Center for American Progress.  RSVP at

Mandated to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war” and to seek a “life in larger freedom”, the United Nations has helped the world succeed in halving extreme global poverty, slowing the spread of nuclear weapons, and managing many long-standing conflicts. Yet, hardly anybody with an insight into global politics or economics would use the words “just” or “secure” to describe the world today. From Syria and Ukraine to Afghanistan, Iraq, and sub-Saharan Africa, rising violence has erased human rights, increased mass atrocities, and reversed the global decline in political violence seen since the end of the Cold War. These deadly conflicts have further fueled more than 60 million displaced persons, creating the largest refugee crisis since World War II. Despite noteworthy efforts to contain these conflicts and the attendant refugee outflow — including President Obama’s September 20 Leaders’ Summit on the Global Refugee Crisis at U.N. Headquarters, mounting evidence suggests that the United Nations and international community are losing the battle against several of the most pressing security and justice challenges of our time. The panel discussion will bring together leading policy analysts and former senior international and U.S. officials for a moderated discussion on how the next U.S. President and U.N. Secretary-General, with the support of countries and global civil society, can better cope with the current refugee crisis and the underlying violent conditions that sustain it. 

13] – GREEN THE CHURCH Summit is in to engages congregations in the fight against climate change, and helps churches serve as centers of climate resilience. This year, the summit starts Tues., Oct. 25 from 9 AM through 7 PM, and continues on Wed., Oct. 26 from 9 AM to 4 PM at Gwynn Oak United Methodist Church, 5020 Gwynn Oak Ave., Baltimore 21207.  The Green the Church Summit taps into the power and purpose of the African American church community and explores and expands the role of churches as centers for environmental, social and economic resilience. This summit elevates and supports three core pillars: amplifying green theology, promoting sustainable practice and building power for change. Powerful, inspiring sermons and keynotes from faith leaders driving green initiatives from within their churches will anchor a powerful two days of engagement. Breakout sessions feature education for religious leaders, advocates, social justice ministries and church facility and operations decision makers. The suggested registration donation is $50. Register at

14] – The Human Rights Documentation Toolkit Launch Event is at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1200 New York Ave. NW, WDC, on Tues., Oct. 25 from 2 to 5 PM.  Join the Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG), on behalf of the Human Rights Documentation (HRD) Toolkit Consortium, as a new tool for human rights documenters is launched. The two panel discussions will feature practitioners documenting human rights abuses in South Sudan, Syria, the Balkans, North Korea, Turkey, Guatemala, and Kenya. The HRD Toolkit is a multidisciplinary, interactive online portal providing human rights documenters with a searchable library of existing documentation resources and tools, practices, and ongoing support from other documentation stakeholders. This virtual toolkit will address the need for a single compilation of resources and information to enable better coordination between documenters.  RSVP

15] – Each Tuesday from 4:30 - 5:30 PM, the Catholic Peace Fellowship-Philadelphia for peace in Afghanistan and Iraq gathers at the Suburban Station, 16th St. & JFK Blvd., at the entrance to Tracks 3 and 4 on the mezzanine.  The next vigil is Oct. 25.  Call 215-426-0364.

16] --- JOIN Get Money Out at a Democracy Action Forum on Tues., Oct. 25 at 5 PM at the Owen Brown Interfaith Center, 7246 Cradlerock Way, Columbia, MD 21045.  All major reforms begin with the people, and we are part of a large, growing national democracy movement. Get Money Out and dozens of other citizen-led organizations are squarely addressing why Americans are so disaffected with our national politics: wealthy special interests exerting undue influence and blatant efforts to disenfranchise millions of voters. This event will give us a clear picture of several paths forward. Rep. Chris Van Hollen will lead off the forum to highlight current Congressional and State legislative efforts to counter Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United.  Constitutional Law Professor and State Senator Jamie Raskin will report on the increasing support for the 28th Amendment which would eliminate corporate personhood, reform the current system of unlimited money corrupting elections and policy, and strengthen voting rights.  Rep. John Sarbanes will discuss his small donor financing proposal to empower citizens, and 2014 candidate for Maryland governor Heather Mizeur will moderate a panel discussion, with audience participation, on the We the People Package to outlaw Super Pacs, replace the broken FEC and other reforms advancing in Congress.  

(Get Money Out does not endorse candidates and this is NOT a campaign event so leave your checkbook at home!)  Email

17] – Vigil to say "No Drone Research at JHU" each Tuesday at 33rd & North Charles Sts. join this ongoing vigil on Oct. 25  from 5:30 to 6:30  PM. Call Max at 410-323-1607.

18] – On Tues., Oct. 25 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at St. Ann’s Parish, 2201 Greenmount Ave., join the October Prayer Walk with Bishop Denis Madden. He invites all Baltimore Catholics to join him in these prayer walks. This is a critical time for Baltimore as violence continues to rise and the neighborhood around St. Ann’s parish truly needs our support and prayer.  Contact Chuck Michaels at 443-846-5207 (cell).

19] – The UMCP Chapter of NAACP Presents State of Black Leadership: The Movement, Not The Moment in the Colony Ballroom, Adele H. Stamp Student Union, 3972 Campus Drive, College Park, on Tues., Oct. 25 at 6 PM.  The State of Black Leadership is a panel series held every fall where a pre-selected panel of prominent University of Maryland faculty, staff and students, as well as local and national community leaders, join together in a discussion addressing issues that affect the Black community. This year the UMCP NAACP Chapter is welcoming Baltimore City's States Attorney, Marilyn J. Mosby as the keynote speaker. She will address "The Movement Not The Moment." In choosing this theme, they hope to address many of the key issues occurring within the Black community. Guests are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to the College Park food bank, or $1 to donate toward an annual scholarship award.

20] – Support the farmworkers on Tues., Oct. 25 at 7:30 PM at Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse, 30 W. North Ave., Baltimore 21201. Hear about BEHIND THE BRAIDS: BOYCOTTING WENDY'S WITH THE COALITION OF IMMOKALEE WORKERS.  Join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) in amplifying the farmworker-led call for the national boycott of Wendy’s! Tens of thousands of national allies are committed to boycotting Wendy’s until the fast-food giant joins the Fair Food Program, a unique partnership between farmworkers, farmers and 14 corporate retailers, including McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Wal-Mart, that is rooting out abuse and sexual harassment in fields from Florida to North Carolina to Maryland. Rather than support an industry setting new standards for human rights, Wendy's took its tomato purchases to Mexico, where workers continue to confront wage theft, sexual harassment, child labor, and even slavery without access to protections. And recently, Wendy’s has published an empty Code of Conduct for its suppliers that lacks the two most essential elements of the Fair Food Program: worker participation and verifiable enforcement mechanisms for standards.

This regional tour is part of the “Behind the Braids” series of six truth tours revealing the ugly reality of farmworker exploitation behind Wendy’s façade of corporate social responsibility and spreading the word about the national Wendy’s Boycott. Call 443-602-7585.  Go to  

To be continued.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at]

Go to "The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had
all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs