Introduction to the Universal Peace Federation
Middle East Peace Initiative
Following a Global Peace Festival held throughout the previous day at Imperial College in London, a meeting in the House of Commons discussed the Middle East Peace Initiative, a major project of the Universal Peace Federation. It was chaired by Dave Anderson MP, who had recently returned from a fact-finding tour of the region and met with local politicians and religious leaders.
In a session in the House of Commons, Committee Room 9 on Wednesday October 24th two MPs, Dave Anderson and David Borrow and Hanif Adeel, the Parliamentary Advisor to Khalid Mahmood MP, spoke about their experience on the 24-29th August 2007 MEPI Fact Finding Visit. The meeting was chaired at first by Khalid Mahmood MP and then by Brian Iddon MP.
Participants attending a Middle East Peace Initiative fact-finding tour this afternoon met with the Fatah Palestinian Legislative Council member for Bethlehem, Dr. Emil Jarjoui, and travelled with him to the West Bank under the escort of a Palestinian police car. They visited the partially constructed Al-Feneiq recreation centre which, with UN support and volunteers from Europe, is being built alongside the Dehaeshi refugee camp just outside Bethlehem.
A number of distinguished Israeli speakers addressed a conference held by the Middle East Peace Initiative at the Renaissance Hotel in Tel Aviv. These included Knesset member General Dani Yatom, Dr. Shlomo Ben Ami, former Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister, Channel 10 News Commentator, Zvi Yehezkeli and Ms. Shapira Avital, Foreign Relations Officer of the Israeli Trade Union Movement. Former Israel Defence Minister Amir Peretz, who is also the Chairman of the Histradut Labour Federation, joined the MEPI conference delegates over lunch.
Participants in a ‘Middle East Peace Initiative’ event currently being held in Jerusalem took time out today to visit Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus.
Although an obvious tourist attraction for any visitor to the Holy Land, the first impression was or a rather run-down township daubed with a fair share of graffiti written in Arabic but with no sub-titles.
Former Bishop of Jerusalem, Rt. Rev. Riah Abu El Assal, today welcomed European delegates to the Holy Land at the start of a five-day Middle East Peace Initiative event. He added that it was good that participants could gain a first hand understanding of a conflict that is central to world peace.
On June 22nd, 2007, the European MEPI group arrived in Jerusalem. The group consisted of a former Deputy Prime Minister, a Supreme Court Judge, current politicians, a Rabbi and various media representatives from around Europe. Also present was a MEPI delegation from America, in which participated an official from the White House, a State Senator, a former Congressman, Christian Pastors and a number of peace activists. Together these groups were to visit sites in the Holy Land, and engage in talks and discussions on how to further peace in this conflict-torn region.