The Bishop of Jerusalem, Rt. Rev.  Riah Abu  El Assal and Ran Cohen MK

December 4th - 9th European Middle East Peace Initiative (MEPI) group visit to Israel and Palestinian Territories. This programme seeks to show a range of opinions from both sides of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict and to promote the positive efforts of NGOs who are working for peace in the region.

We visited Bethlehem on December 5th to see the Church of Nativity and then the Bethlehem Peace Centre. Later we walked through, and talked with, residents of the Daehashie Refugee Camp where there was a fundraising craft event for those Palestinians who have a disability.

We spoke with Dr. Emil Jarjoui, the Mayor of Bethlehem, Victor Batarset and the Mayor of Beit Sahour, Mr. Hani Al-Hayek. They expressed the difficulty of living under occupation and the problems of financial sanctions. The Mayor of Beit Sahour told the group that there are now 70% below the poverty line in his municipality.

Olive Tree Hotel in JerusalemJerusalem - 25 May, 2006 - Sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation, a further ‘Middle East Peace Initiative’ fact-finding tour this week visited Israel, Jordan and Palestine. Such trips which have been organised over the past four years in support of efforts for peace in the region, have won the support of many prominent local leaders.

June 26th 2007 - A group of some 25 participants of the current ‘Middle East Peace Initiative’ event being held in Jerusalem were today invited to a meeting at the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament.

A National Union Party spokesman, Aryeh Eldad, was the first of three Israeli parliamentarians to address the delegation. He presented his viewpoint that as a ‘revisionist Zionist’ Jews have the right to live in any part of the land of Israel and on no account should relinquish any land west of the River Jordan.

Training Centre Hadassah HospitalA partnership of Saving Lives and MEPI (Middle East Peace Initiative)

The Holy Land Medical Project is a partnership of the Rotarian Medical Aid Charity, Saving Lives, founded by Dr. Peter Patel and the Universal Peace Federation’s Middle East Peace Initiative. The Holy Land Medical Project aims to involve both communities in planning and working for their health care together. This was well received by the Palestinian Health Ministry and by significant Israeli Doctors some of whom are promoting similar ideas.

For a full report in pdf format click HERE

Tel Aviv - June 2007 - Delegates from Europe and the United States attending a ‘Middle East Peace Initiative’ conference were today given briefings from a variety of experts who had all played significant public roles in key events in the history of the region.  
A professor of Political Sociology at Tel Aviv University, Yoram Peri, explained that there were three circles of a multi-faceted complexity facing the government and people of Israel. The inner circle being Israel- Palestine, the next one Israel's relations with the surrounding Arab states and finally the wider context, formerly of the Cold War but now replaced by the growth of religious fanaticism and its impact on international relations.

Former Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal, who is a founding patron of a collaborative Israeli and Palestinian health care project known as ‘Saving Lives’ today visited Birmingham at the invitation of Dr Peter Patel who chairs the project. He was accompanied by the Head of Policy for Conflict Resolution of Human City Institute, Ingrid Stellmacher, and Robin Marsh of the Universal Peace Federation’s Middle East Peace Initiative.


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