Common Grounds

  • Can we afford not to have reconciliation?

    Can we afford not to have reconciliation? May 02, 2017 12:40

    Source: HuffPost


    By Safi Kaskas, Contributor

    Co-author of “The Qur’an, A Contemporary Understanding, with References to the Bible”

    Published 05/01/2017


    We live in dangerous times in which the world’s Christians and Muslims are being pitted against each other.

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  • Jordan king tells Arab summit no peace in region without Palestinian state

    Jordan king tells Arab summit no peace in region without Palestinian state March 29, 2017 18:53

    Source: The Times of Israel, March 29, 2017, 4:54 pm 




    Leaders of 21 nations expected to reaffirm 2002 peace plan offering normalization with Israel after deal with Ramallah

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  • Audiocast - No More Taking Sides

    No More Taking Sides November 18, 2014 14:48

    Robi Damelin lost her son David to a Palestinian sniper. Ali Abu Awwad lost his older brother Yousef to an Israeli soldier.


    No More Taking Sides  - Radio podcast

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  • Need for a coalition for peace

    Need for a coalition for peace November 28, 2014 10:48

    By: Daoud Kuttab


    After 51 horrible days, the people of Gaza, Israel and the world breathed a sigh of relief when a ceasefire agreement was announced by the Palestinian president on August 26.

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  • Co-existence is still the guiding star

    Peacemaker November 28, 2014 10:48

    By: Yifat Kariv


    Yifat Kariv is a member of Knesset with the Yesh Atid party. She heads parliamentary committees on Holocaust survivors, promotion of teens in Israel, young adult leadership and Israel-India relations. She lives in Hod Hasharon and is the mother of four children.

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  • Videocast - When a Jewish Kibbutz Neighbors an Arab Village

    Meizer and Mezer November 18, 2014 14:53

    An VideoCast hostd by Krista Tippett


    The relationship between Arabs and Jews in Israel has been strained by failed peace agreements, suicide bombings, and the construction of a separation wall — all which have fostered fear and anger on both sides - video

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  • Hope

    Lets get viral November 18, 2014 15:00

    By: Victoria Safford


    "Our mission is to plant ourselves at the gates of Hope — not the prudent gates of Optimism, which are somewhat narrower; nor the stalwart, boring gates of Common Sense; nor the strident gates of Self-Righteousness, which creak on shrill and angry hinges (people cannot hear us there; they cannot pass through); nor the cheerful, flimsy garden gate of “Everything is gonna be all right.”

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  • It’s time for Jews to wake up and face Israel’s human rights violations

    It’s time for Jews to wake up and face Israel’s human rights violations November 28, 2014 10:48

    By: Shaiya Rothberg


    Shaiya Rothberg lives in Jerusalem and teaches Bible, Jewish Thought and Kabbalah at the Conservative Yeshiva. Shaiya holds a PhD from Hebrew University in Jewish Thought and a B.A. in Jewish Philosophy and Talmud from Bar-Ilan. He made aliyah in 1988 and served as a soldier and officer in the I.D.F. from 1990-1993. The opinions in his blog are his own and do not represent any institution

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  • Full Disclosure, My True Colors

    March 22, 2016 15:37

    Abraham A. van Kempen, Editor


    It gives me much pleasure to introduce YOU to our first newsletter. YOU are part of a cadre of people around the world connected to the Israelis and the Palestinians, their quest to peacefully coexist, sooner than later. YOU could be the director or a representative or a member of one of 1,000+ Israeli-Palestinian organizations. YOU could be one of all living Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. YOU could be a known blogger or columnist or newspaper editor or reporter. Some of YOU are television and radio personalities. YOU are also academicians, renowned authors and intellectuals. And over 600 of YOU are members of the diplomatic corps, primarily in New York and Geneva but also in every major capital in the world. And just about all of YOU are peace activists. I feel honored yet humbled being in YOUR Company. YOU are part – a critical path – of our start.

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  • Lost and forgotten: Palestinians and the Unsustainable Refugee Crisis

    July 20, 2016 13:08


    By:          Anant Mishra and Aayush Mohanty


    Anant Mishra is a former Youth Representative to the United Nations. He has served extensively in United Nations General Assembly, the Security Council along with the Economic and Social Council. He is also a visiting faculty for numerous universities and delivers lectures on political economics and foreign policies.


    Aayush Mohanty is a post graduate student at the Nelson Mandela Centre for Conflict Analysis and Peace building at Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi, India.




    Over one and a half million are currently residing in the 58 recognized Palestine refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank. Those, relocated in the aforementioned refugee camps are living in and around the city and towns of neighbouring nations. These refugees live without any social or economic support, signifying the level of polarization of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Since the First Arab-Israeli War of 1948, these Palestinians have become outcomes of marginalization and failed politics, religion, and conflicts of ideology in the Middle East.


    The issue which began from a political conflict, soon became a militant one, displacing over 750,000 Palestinians in the first war of 1948 which continued till the end of the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Decades later, the Arab-Israeli conflict escalated resulting in millions getting displaced. It is imperative for policy makers to resolve this conflict which specifically involves refugee situations and their extent of vulnerability.  Many international development agencies such as the United Nations (UN) have addressed key issues such as the rights of the refugees, eradication of poverty, followed by sanitation and health education in refugee camps, they have failed immensely on the political and humanitarian front. Policy leaders must address the grave issue of violation of rights of Palestinian refugees through open door diplomacy and innovation, including but not limited to inviting key government actors in resolving the conflict politically and identifying key challenges to Palestinian refugee situation in the Middle East.

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