Today marks both the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the State of Israel, and the culmination of six-weeks’ worth of Land Day protests along the Gaza separation fence. In light of the recent uptick in violence throughout the occupied territories; Peace Direct’s Scarlett Kassimatis and Oscar Lester examine the violent narrative surrounding the Great March of Return, which yesterday claimed the lives of 59 Palestinian civilians.
As we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr., Peace Direct and the Alliance for Peacebuilding are launching a new effort to lift up and support local peacebuilding in the United States. Our new U.S. section of Peace Direct’s global online website, Peace Insight, is an interactive map that includes information about groups working for peace across the U.S.
For International Day of Peace 2016 we are running a campaign asking you to share your #messageofhope and stories of peace. In a world where violence and war dominate headlines we want to draw attention to the everyday acts of peaceful change, and show there are many reasons to hope. Over the last few weeks, you have been sharing your own stories and messages of hope and peace with us. Here are some of them.
Despite more than one year of armed conflict, thousands of deaths and even more people displaced by violence, Yemen remains strikingly absent in reports of conflicts raging around the world. Ahead of an upcoming US arms deal, Peace Direct joined 44 other organisations in signing a letter to Senators urging them to reject the planned $1.15 billion foreign military sale to Saudi Arabia.
Across the United States, our news channels are plagued with stories of gun violence and recent killings have opened up another tense debate around racial tensions, police officers and the use of force. Communities in the U.S. need support to tackle these challenges now more than ever, and we should take a moment to evaluate what is going on in our own backyards and work together to find solutions.