Updates-A Story of Realistic Hope

Spotlight on the Men’s Story Project

By David Hart

Recently, I learned of the work of the Men’s Story Project. I want to share with all of you why this group’s groundbreaking efforts give me hope in hard times. 

They use the power of candid, personal storytelling to address one of the most challenging issues of our time. As I grew up, I found that many of my fellow males had a very different perspective on violence than I had in my heart from an early age. As I studied peace and conflict seriously for years, it became increasingly clear that at the center of so much of the violence in our world is a narrow view of masculinity that doesn’t allow men to have access to a full range of human emotions. 

The Men’s Story Project expands our view of what is possible and by so doing they are part of a quiet and enormously impactful revolution. This is a gift - a transformational gift - from the feminist movement, and embodies one of the core truths of nonviolence. When you free an oppressor from the burden of that role, you claim your power and transform them as well. 

The Men’s Story Project challenges us to deepen our understanding of nonviolence and our approach to both our work and to each other. 

Please see the powerful Ted Talk below featuring the Men’s Story Project and their visionary founder and director, Dr. Josie Lehrer. 

To donate to support this vital work, please visit: https://www.mensstoryproject.org

Many more inspirational stories at: https://www.youtube.com/MensStoryProject

Mondoweiss article on Jonathan Kuttab's new book

On our recent webinar celebrating the launch of Beyond the Two-State Solution, we were pleased to hear from Robert Herbst. He has just published a piece about Jonathan Kuttab's new book on Mondoweiss. Please read an excerpt here and read the powerful full article at the link below. 

 


If the Two State solution is dead – no longer viable – is there, or could there be, sufficient Palestinian support for a One State solution that guarantees equal rights, dignity, and resources to both peoples?  How would we mobilize public opinion around it, there, here, and around the world?  What would the end game be?  What might it look like?  How do we get there? 

Jonathan Kuttab is a Palestinian-American human rights lawyer in Palestine, Israel, and the United States. He has now delivered a book devoted to those questions and how we might start to answer them. Born in West Jerusalem to a family who moved to the United States after the Six Day War, he is the co-founder of Al-Haq, the Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence.  In “Beyond the Two State Solution”, published by Nonviolence International, he offers a vision of a single state that might respect the national aspirations of both peoples. 

The book – a booklet really, numbering 100 pages in large-font – is a quick and easy read. Without implying any moral symmetry between the claims of the Zionist and Palestinian national movements, Kuttab quickly describes how those movements developed and how their respective narratives generally accorded no place for the other and take us through the expulsion of most Palestinians from their homeland, the 1967 War and occupation.  He characterizes the Two State Solution as a compromise between the two national movements, which soon became “the only game in town” — only to die at the hands of Israel, whose officials and settlers changed the facts on the ground, choosing dominion over all the land between the River and the Sea rather than creating conditions for a viable Palestinian state.

If you would like a copy of the booklet, click the links below!

EPUB

Mobi

Print


  • Robert Herbst is a human rights lawyer in New York City and a member of the Westchester, New York chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace. He has been speaking and writing on Israel-Palestine since Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014. Before moving to Westchester, Bob served on the Board and Executive Committee of Congregation Bnai Jeshurun on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and as Chair of its Social Action Committee.

Read the full article on the Mondoweiss.

Desmond Tutu, a Nobel peace laureate, calls on US to enforce our laws

One of our time's greatest advocates for active nonviolence just called on the US to follow our laws on nuclear proliferation. He notes Israel's role as a major proliferator of nuclear weapons and reminds us of the clear violation of US law that has persisted over many administrations. Please read an excerpt here and read the powerful full article at the link below. 


This farce should end. The US government should uphold its laws and cut off funding to Israel because of its acquisition and proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The incoming Biden administration should forthrightly acknowledge Israel as a leading state sponsor of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East and properly implement US law. Other governments – in particular South Africa’s – should insist on the rule of law and for meaningful disarmament, and immediately urge the US government in the strongest possible terms to act.

Apartheid was horrible in South Africa and it’s horrible when Israel practises its own form of apartheid against the Palestinians, with checkpoints and a system of oppressive policies. Indeed another US statute, the Leahy law, prohibits US military aid to governments that systematically violate human rights.

It’s quite possible that one of the reasons that Israel’s version of apartheid has outlived South Africa’s is that Israel has managed to maintain its oppressive system using not just the guns of soldiers, but also by keeping this nuclear gun pointed at the heads of millions. The solution for this is not for Palestinians and other Arabs to try to attain such weapons. The solution is peace, justice and disarmament.

South Africa learned that it could only have real peace and justice by having truth that would lead to reconciliation. But none of those will come unless truth is faced squarely – and there are few truths more critical to face than a nuclear weapons arsenal in the hands of an apartheid government.

 

  • Desmond Tutu, a Nobel peace laureate, is a former archbishop of Cape Town and, from 1996 to 2003, was chair of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Read the full article on the Guardian

Testimonials - Nonviolence International

These are challenging times. Many of us are finding it increasingly difficult to find reasons to be hopeful. 

This is the time that Nonviolence International was made for. We work to build a global culture of nonviolence and to build hope in troubled times. We do this through our database of powerful Nonviolent Tactics, our inspirational Training Archive in partnership with Rutgers University, and our work as a backbone organization of the global nonviolent movement. 

Now we are adding to those valuable resources by launching our new YouTube channel: Youtube.com/Nonviolence which includes this short video about the power of inspiration and mentorship.

Please check it out and if you were impacted by NVI, Mubarak Awad, or any of our amazing partners, please let us know. We'd like to tell your story so that others can join us in celebrating this work. 



A few years ago we were told that computer algorithms would serve us. Now we have learned that we serve them. So, we are compelled to ask you to “please like and subscribe” to our new YouTube channel so that others will be introduced to the work you already support. 

 

 

Beyond The Two-State Solution, by Jonathan Kuttab, Book Launch Webinar

Beyond The Two-State Solution, by Jonathan Kuttab, is a short introduction to the current crisis in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. To get the book, please visit: https://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/beyond2states

If you want to help, please fill out this simple Google Form. https://forms.gle/ijtLN3JZXG4zgfgx6

Zionism and Palestinian Nationalism have been at loggerheads for over a century. Some thought the two-state solution would resolve the conflict between them. Jonathan explains that the two-state solution (that he supported) is no longer viable. He suggests that any solution be predicated on the basic existential needs of the two parties, needs he lays out in exceptional detail. He formulates a way forward for a 1-state solution that challenges both Zionism and Palestinian Nationalism. This book invites readers to begin a new conversation based on reality: two peoples will need to live together in some sort of unified state. It is balanced and accessible to neophytes and to experts alike.

We are just starting to roll out the short book, Beyond The Two-State Solution, by Jonathan Kuttab, and already we are thrilled with the overwhelmingly positive response we are getting. These days many of us are looking for hope in hard times. Jonathan gives us just that.

Time Stamps:

Jonathan Kuttab's powerful opening - 8:05

Lynn Gottlieb - 18:15

Robert Herbst - 22:15

Azmera Hammouri-Davis - 30:20

Meg Wilder - 44:00

Woojin Shin - 50:40

Jonathan's closing - 1:24:00

PANELISTS:

Jonathan Kuttab is co-founder of Nonviolence International and a co-founder of the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq. A well-known international human rights attorney, he has practiced in the US, Palestine, and Israel. He serves on the Board of Bethlehem Bible College and is President of the Board of Holy Land Trust. He is co-founder and board member of the Just Peace Advocates. He was the head of the Legal Committee negotiating the Cairo Agreement of 1994 between Israel and the PLO.

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, one of the first women to become a rabbi in Jewish history, is a “visionary” Jewish educator, feminist, community organizer, peace activist, writer, klezmer dancer, percussionist, visual and ceremonial artist, and master storyteller. She writes on the cover of Jonathan’s book, “some are trapped by the past. This book opens the gate to the future.

Robert Herbst is a human rights lawyer in New York City and a member of the Westchester, New York chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace. He has been speaking and writing on Israel-Palestine since Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014. Before moving to Westchester, Bob served on the Board and Executive Committee of Congregation Bnai Jeshurun on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and as Chair of its Social Action Committee.

Azmera Hammouri-Davis is a Black-Palestinian professional poet, speaker, prayer warrior, educator and producer from Keaau, Hawaii with a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University. She prays, performs, teaches and collaborates alongside faith-based activists, creatives and grassroots organizers across the world to #breaktheboxes of domination and oppression. In 2019, Harvard's Religion and Public Life program sponsored her to promote cultural identity and english literacy in Ramallah, Palestine where she connected with her Hammouri family in Al Quds and Al Khalil. She currently is the lead facilitator for a growing network of Black Christians for Palestine through Friends of Sabeel North America Palestinian Ecumenical Organization, a Teaching Fellow at Harvard Graduate School of Education, Africana Spirituality Advisor at Tufts University Chaplaincy, and founder of Break The Boxes Incorporated

 

Michael Beer's Op-Ed Calling for an End to the Conflict in Western Sahara

NVI is proud to announce Michael Beer and Mohamed Brahim's (of The Sahrawi Association, USA) important piece on Common Dreams. Recently, Morocco broke a 29 year cease-fire with the Polisario of Western Sahara by entering the buffer zone, attacking the nonviolent protesters, and re-opened the illegal border trade route.

In their op-ed, Michael and Mohamed criticize the US's role in the Moroccan-Western Sahara conflict and call on the US government, the Biden/Harris administration, corporations, and civil society to take actions:

"Sadly, the U.S. government has provided vast economic and military support to the Moroccan government. Last year Morocco purchased $10.3 billion in weapons from the US, totalling more than Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia and UAE combined. 

There is much a Biden/Harris administration can do to help Morocco end its occupation of Western Sahara. The US government, corporations and civil society should:

  • Halt arms sales to Morocco; 
  • Ban any purchase of stolen resources (e.g. phosphates) from Western Sahara and sanction any company that does so;
  • Support and enforce a UN administered referendum;
  • Work with Europeans and Africans to limit economic cooperation that supports the occupation;
  • Build multi-lateral pressure to resolve this conflict nonviolently. 

The world has known how to nonviolently resolve this issue since 1963, when the United Nations called for a referendum on its future status. Morocco has refused to cooperate. We must act swiftly to prevent war and further conflict, end the occupation, and allow Sahrawis to make their decision on union with Morocco or independence. 

There is potentially bi-partisan support for this approach. Senator Inhofe (R-OK) and Senator Leahy have spoken out strongly for the rights of the Sahrawi for self-determination. However, we also need Democrats and other Republicans to stand up and speak up for international law and to condemn attacks on nonviolent protesters and the occupation. Their silence is deafening."

Here is the full article.


The op-ed is part of NVI's ongoing support for nonviolence and peaceful resolution in Western Sahara. We issued a press release calling for actions and cooperation among the people of Western Sahara, Morocco, multinational corporations, the United States, and all countries.

"Nonviolence International calls on the people of Western Sahara and their Moroccan allies to maintain a nonviolent discipline and to work for their political objectives without intentionally harming Moroccans.

NVI calls on the United States and all countries to implement an arms embargo on both sides and pressure the parties to resolve the conflict nonviolently.

NVI calls on multinational corporations to refrain from buying or obtaining Western Sahara natural resources until a UN administered referendum is held.

We also call upon the people of Morocco to pressure their government to allow a referendum so that stability can be brought to the entire Mahgreb. The current conflict threatens to develop into a greater conflict between Algeria and Morocco, when the goal should be cooperation and coexistence."

Nonviolence International's Giving Tuesday!

As we approach Thanksgiving and Giving Tuesday in this very difficult year, we want celebrate the inspirational work that is done by Nonviolence International (NVI) and our partner organizations. 

We at Nonviolence International ask that you make a generous donation to support our partner's work and invest in nonviolence. By doing so, you help put your deeply held values into effective action. Below, is some history about our organization and what we do to achieve our vital mission. 

About NVI

Nonviolence International was founded by Palestinian activist and teacher, Mubarak Awad, in 1989. Since then NVI has established a proud legacy of creative, constructive nonviolent activism. Still, we recognize the challenges of this moment require us to do even more.

We are convinced that this is the moment that NVI was built for. Our Board of Directors is coming together like never before to ensure that we maximize our impact on our beautiful and broken world. At this moment, the world needs us to do much better and we are committed to rise to the challenges before us and substantially expand both our impact and reach. 

Currently, NVI is focused on providing powerful tools to activists around the world. We do this primarily through our Database of Nonviolent Tactics and our Archive of Nonviolent Training materials. 

Furthermore, we are proud to serve as a backbone organization of the global diverse nonviolent movement through our fiscal sponsorship of leadership groups around the world. We are excited to raise up our impressive partners and their inspirational work at this critical time. Here is our list of partners.

To learn more about our partners and To Donate Click Here

Nonviolence International is not like other organizations. These are not normal times and this is not a normal group. NVI has a rare and precious mix of activist passion, intellectual depth, and personal warmth. Just what the world needs now. 

We ask for your donations to expand our capacity, help us build momentum, and to inspire other people to join you in giving. 

Growing Our Supporter Base

Finally, we ask - who do you know who we should know? Please connect us with a handful of new potential supporters and consider if you might become one of our growing team of Major Donor Solicitors. We will provide you with all the support and guidance you need to fulfill this vital role. Our hope is to have 20 people who each take an average of 5 prospects and stay in touch with them throughout the year. By doing this we can transform NVI from a proud, small group of leaders doing good work into an even more significant force for good, able to have a real impact on our troubled world. 

To Contact Us Click Here to be part of our Major Donor Solicitor Group

If you are not yet ready to join us as a Major Donor solicitor, maybe you would consider becoming an Ambassador for Nonviolence International. We are establishing a group of leaders - starting with our Board of Directors - who will reach out to people they know about the importance of our work. We will tell stories of creative nonviolence and its impact on the world. We will urge others to get involved at whatever level feels right to them. 

To Contact Us Click Here to be part of our Ambassador Group


The study and use of nonviolence sadly remains in its infancy. As a people, we have spent far too much time and too many resources studying how to make war. NVI is convinced that if we put a small fraction of that effort into studying nonviolence, we will find it to be even more powerful than previously understood. The transformational potential of nonviolence is truly the only hope for our people and our planet. 

Together we are going to build NVI into an organization with the power to achieve our vital mission. We ask you to join us in this much-needed effort. 


Again, we appreciate your time and consideration, and here are the links that were attached above:

To Donate to NVI

To Donate to Our Fiscally-Sponsored Partners

To Contact Us 

 

 

Democracy Defense II: Global Activists’ Advice for US Transition

Presenters from around the world include:

  • Rafif Jouejati (Syria) moderator, 
  • Patricio Zamorano (Chile)
  • Shunleiyi Thinzar (Myanmar), 
  • Muhammed Bah (Gambia), 
  • Ivan Marovic (Serbia)

This is offered as part of Nonviolence International's webinar series: We Are All Part of One Another.

Time Stamps: 

Kelly Quinn - NVI Welcome

Rafif Jouejati - Host - 2:05

Patricio Zamorano - 7:00

Shunleiyi Thinzar - 18:45

Muhammed Bah - 31:45

Ivan Marovic - 45:05

Question and Answer / Discussion - 56:30

PANELISTS

Patricio Zamorano is an academic, political scientist, journalist, and television and radio commentator on United States foreign and domestic policy. He is an experienced international consultant in academic development and political affairs, democracy, governance, and hemispheric relations between Latin America and the United States. He is also a specialist in strategic communication, social media management, and online content development. He has experience as an adjunct professor, speaker, and consultant at various universities and institutions in the Americas

Thinzar Shunlei Yi is a youth advocate and activist based in Yangon. She is highly passionate about democracy and human rights, youth engagement and local governance. Over 2012-16, Thinzar co-organised and led nation-wide and regional youth forums in Myanmar, as well as the National Youth Development Policy process. The first woman coordinator of National Youth Congress (NYC) and a two-term president of Yangon Youth Network, Thinzar is currently an advocacy lead at Asian Youth Peace Network (AYPN). She also works with Action Committee for Democracy Development (ACDD) as an Advocacy Coordinator. Thinzar received the US State Department’s “Emerging Young Leaders Award” in 2016, and the "Women of the Future South East Asia" award in 2019. She also sits on advisory boards of Plan International Myanmar, Women Voice and Leadership Program, Purple Feminists Group, and is one of the Obama Foundation’s inaugural selected #ObamaLeaders for Asia Pacific. She co-founded the "Under 30 Dialogue" TV show with Mizzima TV, and serves as the show’s weekly host, discussing political issues with prominent youth leaders.

Muhammed Bah (MS) Assistant Editor Foroyaa Newspaper a Human Right independent newspaper. He is an Award Winning Journalist and Board Member of  Activista-The Gambia. National Coordinator Hopes of Tomorrow (HOT) a youth led movement that educates and advocates for youth and women political participation and Human and civil right advocacy. He is the 2nd Vice President Young Journalist Association-The Gambia (YJAG). He was a key coordinator on the Gambia Has Decided movement that defended the will of the people in 2016 when the former president refused to concede defeat after the elections.

Ivan Marovic is an organizer, software developer and social innovator from Belgrade, Serbia. He was a student organizer and one of the leaders of Otpor, a resistance movement which played a critical role in the downfall of Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. After a brief time in politics, it was time to grow up and move to more serious things, so Ivan started developing video games like A Force More Powerful and People Power, and platforms for local organizing like Moba. He successfully stayed out of politics for two decades, the time he spent advising activists and organizers around the world on strategies for citizen self organizing and movement building. Ivan holds a BSC in Process Engineering from Belgrade University and MA in international relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

HOST:

Rafif Jouejati is an incoming board member of Nonviolence International. She is the co-founder and director of the Foundation to Restore Equality and Education in Syria (FREE Syria), and the principal architect of the Syrian Freedom Charter project, which surveyed more than 50,000 Syrians on democratic aspirations and political transition. She is also a founding member of the Syrian Women’s Political Network, a member of the Board of Directors of The Day After, and President of the Board of Directors of Baytna. Rafif is the CEO of a company that helps client organizations evolve to higher levels of capacity and maturity through business development, targeted training, and strategic communication. 


Through these timely webinars, Nonviolence International will educate, inspire, and build a strong community as we work for a better world. We celebrate the visionary work of these passionate leaders and look forward to sharing the inspiration with all of you.

Over the coming months, we will be hosting an impressive range of nonviolent activists, thinkers, and leaders. We hope that you will make our new webinar series a regular part of your schedule. Each episode you will hear a powerful story of how people are using creative nonviolence in these difficult days. 

We look forward to an interactive and inspirational webinar series.

Nonviolence International Calls for Peaceful Resolution In Western Sahara

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 19, 2020

Mubarak Awad, President, +1 202 244 0951

Jonathan Kuttab, Co-founder +1 202 244 0951

Nonviolence International Calls for Peaceful Resolution In Western Sahara


(Washington, D.C.) Nonviolence International (NVI) calls on Morocco and Western Sahara to refrain from war. This week, Morocco attacked nonviolent civilians in the demilitarized zone of Gueruerat, breaking a 29-year cease-fire with the Polisario of Western Sahara. The Moroccan-Western Sahara conflict can only be resolved nonviolently through an UN-administered referendum.

NVI and the UN take no position on the issue of whether the outcome for Western Sahara should be independence or union with Morocco. Whether or not Western Sahara becomes independent, it will always be interdependent with Morocco (and other neighbors), economically, socially, and environmentally.

NVI founder, Mubarak Awad, visited Western Sahara in 2015 and explains that the occupation of Palestine is similar to that of Western Sahara in many ways. He said “I found myself at home with the Sahrawi people who are nonviolently struggling for self-determination. We understood the many checkpoints, the settlements full of immigrants, the surveillance, the imprisonment, the intimidation, the imposed poverty, the theft of resources, and the experience of torture and imprisonment. But we also understood the Sahrawi smiles, the strong role of women, the deep joy of community, the anger at the threats to our identity and culture, and the desire to live in peace with our neighbors whether they be Israelis or Moroccans.”

Nonviolence International calls on the people of Western Sahara and their Moroccan allies to maintain a nonviolent discipline and to work for their political objectives without intentionally harming Moroccans.

NVI calls on the United States and all countries to implement an arms embargo on both sides and pressure the parties to resolve the conflict nonviolently.

NVI calls on multinational corporations to refrain from buying or obtaining Western Sahara natural resources until an UN-administered referendum is held.

We also call upon the people of Morocco to pressure their government to allow a referendum so that stability can be brought to the entire Mahgreb.  The current conflict threatens to develop into a greater conflict between Algeria and Morocco when the goal should be cooperation and coexistence.

Our Exciting YouTube Channel Update

By David Hart

These are challenging times. Many of us are finding it increasingly difficult to find reasons to be hopeful. 

This is the time that Nonviolence International was made for. We work to build a global culture of nonviolence and to build hope in troubled times. We do this through our database of powerful Nonviolent Tactics, our inspirational Training Archive in partnership with Rutgers University, and our work as a backbone organization of the global nonviolent movement. 

Now we are adding to those valuable resources by launching our new YouTube channel: Youtube.com/Nonviolence and our new series of videos putting a Spotlight on Nonviolence. 


We hope you will find inspiration in this series. But, as you know, we don’t just hope for a better world, we at NVI work for it everyday. We need your help to maximize the impact of this work. Please let us know what you think, who you’d like to see Kelly interview, and ideas you might have on how to further enhance this new initiative. 

A few years ago we were told that computer algorithms would serve us. Now we have learned that we serve them. So, we are compelled to ask you to “please like and subscribe” to our new YouTube channel so that others will be introduced to the work you already support. 


I want to introduce you to our wonderful intern, Kelly Quinn, who is leading this effort. Kelly will be spotlighting a wide range of activists and scholars to learn what gives them hope in hard times.

Kelly Quinn is a New York native currently living in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a Master’s Candidate at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. Her concentration is Behavioral, Social & Health Education Sciences. She is interested in digital health and human rights, with plans to one day earn her PhD and teach at the university level.

Kelly has been an artist since childhood. She is interested in a variety of mediums and has found her joy in mixed media. She describes her current work as “saturated, eclectic, and exploring the beauty of the female form.” She completed a two year Meisner technique acting program at NYC’s William Esper Studio in 2015. She has a passion for communicating and facilitating conversations with people from all walks of life!

When she is not studying or painting she can be found hiking with her dog, Dakota, in Georgia’s gorgeous mountains, reading, cross-training, and spending time with friends (high priority if they too have pups). Fun fact: She was a professional bartender in NYC for nearly 8 years and is a cocktail encyclopedia. 


If you want to check out Kelly’s awesome art, please visit: https://kellyannquinn.com/

You can even link from that site to her first gallery representation where you can purchase one of her pieces before they go up in price BIG time. 

 

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