October 5, 2000

Subject: ISRAELI--PALESTINIAN CONFLICT: "THE EXPLOSION" A detailed and poignant report from an Israeli Peace activist in Jerusalem, with first a proposal by Ed Elkin "Towards a Jerusalem Peace Corps!" + Saddam threatens Israel + Fidel Castro Speech at the U.N. Millennium Summit, a Must-Read!

Hello everyone

As the Middle East Peace process has been salvaged in extremis at a meeting in Paris with Madeleine Albright with Yasser Arafat and Ehud Barak, and a new ceasefire agreed upon, the violence is still continuing although the intensity is said to have been lower Wednesday. You will find below a report worth reading on what has been going on there recently from a Peace activist's perspective.

The potential for a wider conflict with far-reaching repercussions cannot be overstated. Whatever positive vibes and spiritual healing you are able to send there *on a daily basis* will greatly assist in alleviating the tensions created by this conflict...

Despite the chaos and bloodshed, the possibility of a lasting peace and comprehensive resolution of all the contentious issues is still very much alive and should be nurtured by everyone.

That's what we need to focus on!

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000




From: EdElkin@aol.com
Date: Wed, 4 Oct 2000
Subject: ISRAELI--PALESTINIAN CONFLICT: Towards a Jerusalem Peace Corps!
To: RabbiLerner@tikkun.org

FROM: Michael Lerner <RabbiLerner@tikkun.org>
Subject: A message from Israeli Peace activists

I thought you might find this detailed account of what is happening in
Israel informative and useful.

And I'd be interested in your thoughts on how we ought to respond.
Some people are suggesting a special Yizkor ceremony at Yom Kippur services
for the dead Palestinians and Israelis. Others are talking about vigils
calling for a shared Jerusalem. You can see my reactions by going to
www.MSNBC.com or www.Beliefnet.com (under the category "opinion"). I'd be
interested in your thoughts.
Shanah tovah u'me'tukah.
Rabbi Michael Lerner
Editor, TIKKUN Magazine

NOTE: The "message from Israeli Peace activists" follows hereafter but here is first an interesting proposal by Ed Elkin...

DEAR RABBI LERNER:

The Yiskor Ceremony AND the vigils for a shared Jerusalem are both steps in
the right direction.

My understanding is that the 1948 creation of the State of Israel included a
call for Jerusalem to become an "International City" under UN auspices.
SOME FORM OF SPECIAL FORMAT FOR JERUSALEM SEEMS CALLED FOR WHEREIN THE RIGHT
OF PALESTINIANS, ISRAELIS, CHRISTIANS AND EVERYONE ARE RESPECTED AND
DEFENDED.

If the Israeli and Palestinian governments cannot keep the peace, then
Jerusalem must have a special status. Perhaps an international team of
Peace-Keepers including Israelis, Palestinians and peace activists from
many nations, all under special UN supervision, might provide an interim
solution.

The fighting may be the "Evolutionary Driver" that forces us to create
something new and unprecedented. The horror of the warfare and the deaths
should not be in vain.

Bring in the best trained mediators, educators, disarmament experts,
spiritual guides, shamans, grief counselors, therapists, conflict resolution
experts, psychotherapists, etc. from all over the world to focus attention
on bringing peace to this area....

Let a JERUSALEM PEACE CORPS be established whose mission is the establishment
of a viable Peace in Jerusalem and between the Israeli & Palestinian Peoples.
At this special time at the start of the 21st Century, let us move towards
that century of peace, called for by Robert Muller, former Assistant
Secretary General of the United Nations and Chancellor Emeritus of the
University of Peace in Costa Rica.

In fact, I'd recommend that the entire peace process be accomplished with the
cooperation and guidance of the University of Peace. nominating Robert Muller
to head up the program, and including but not limited to the resources of the
State of the World Forum (formerly the Gorbachev Foundation), the New
Civilization Network, the Global Peoples Assembly, Income Builders
International, and the Earth Rainbow Network.

It is time for the Global Community to mount the most powerful force for
peace ever assembled to resolve the most intractable threat to peace in world
history.

I encourage you and those I'm cc-ing to share these ideas with your networks.

May Peace Prevail on Earth.

Aloha & Blessings,

Ed Jor-El Elkin, Ph.D.
Evolutionary Agent
v
EarthNet Institute
http://www.eni.edu/page90.html


THE EXPLOSION -- A message from Israeli Peace Activists

Adam Keller & Beate Zilversmidt

Tel-Aviv, October 3

We knew that it would come; in a way we saw it coming, and still - it took
us by surprise. On the first Friday when we heard of "rioting" on Temple
Mount - the morning after Sharon had paid a "visit" to the Al Aqsa Mosq -
we still thought that this was a one day event, an outburst at an
occasional offense, and maybe also a reminder like there had been before
as to what the explosion would be like if the peace talks would come to
naught. Gradually we start to realize that the big explosion is happening
here and now. From talking to Palestinian friends it seems it also
surprised them. Nobody had really expected that there would be such an
overreaction by the police, whose only response to what started with stone
throwing was shooting to kill.

On Saturday there were riots all over the Palestinian territories, which
was the first day of Rosh Hashana (holiday marking the beginning of the
Jewish new year). Activists of Gush Shalom and Committee Against House
Demolitions started calling each other, mobilizing within a few hours via
phone and email a tiny vigil - including of course Uri Avnery - at the
Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem, with as its most remarkable
event: a religious bypasser, supporter of the Shas Party, complaining "why
did Sharon have to do it the day before Rosh Hashana. Now I can't go pray
at the Wailing Wall."

On Sunday, Oct. 1, at 8.00 o'clock - after public transportation restarted
at the end of the two-day Holiday, and after another day of violence and
bloodshed - and the spreading of the terrible pictures of the killing of a
so obviously innocent child. On the pavement in front of Dizengoff
Centre, Tel-Aviv main shopping mall, as central a place as can be found to
address the metropolitan public, we arrive, some forty peace activists. We
know most faces, though some have not been seen for years. Different
groups are represented: Gush Shalom, Committee Against House Demolitions,
Hadash, Women for Political Prisoners, Nuclear Whitleblowers... in fact,
many participants have overlapping organizational affiliations. Some have
brought signs with them. Others take up marking pens and improvise their
own slogans, sitting down on the sidewalk. Soon, two ragged lines take up
position, holding both sides of the intersection. Sign after sign is
displayed to the bypassers and the motorists halted at the traffic light:
"Stop shooting!" - "Down with the Occupation" - "Stop the murder of
demonstrators!" - "We have no children for unnecessary wars!" - "Get out
of the Territories - Now!" - "Killing Palestinians is not the way to
peace" - "Hands off Temple Mount" - "Sharon sets the fire, Barak kills" -
"Enough blood has been shed" - "Yes to the 1967 borders" - "29 dead
Palestinians on Rosh Hashana - Happy New Year!". We have come with some
trepidation to this site. During the Intifada, on days similar to this
one, peace demonstrators have more than once been violently assaulted on
this very spot. But this evening there is nothing of the kind. There are,
in fact, astonishingly few reactions of any kind. Most bypassers just
glance at the signs and continue on their way. How are we to interpret
this indifference? As lack of support for what the army and police are
doing? As lack of moral concern? Probably a bit of both - and what does
that say about Israeli society at the start of the Third Millenium?

A police patrol car stops by, then another one. A mild-mannered officer
approaches the line. -"Who is your leader?" -"We have no leader". -"Who is
responsible for this demonstration?" -"We all are". -"Who organized it?"
-"The Internet". He scratches his head. For a moment he seems about to
arrest us, or at least some. Then he goes back to the patrol car. Half an
hour later, he comes again, accompanied by a female colleague. "Listen,
you guys! Do you know that the whole of Jaffa has burst out in violence?
More than half our force is over there, and here you are tying up two
patrol cars. Can you not end this, so that we can go to reinforce our
fellows over there?" We find it difficult not to laugh. Just before the
officer came over we had held a quick consultation and decided to pack up
the signs and go to Jaffa so as to stand in the way of the police which
had reportedly started shooting the (not so innocuous) "rubber bullets".

Could the outbreak of spontaneous anger of Arabs in one of the most
miserable slums in Israel be combined with the more measured protest of
middle-class leftist Jews? But when we pile into taxis and private cars
and arrive in the Ajami Quarter of Jaffa - a short distance, yet worlds
away, from downtown Tel-Aviv - we find Yeffet Street, the main throughfare
of Arab Jaffa, completely empty: pavements strewn with stones, many
smashed windows, some scorched paches on the pavement, no demonstrators.
At home on a later hour, we hear - among all the dispatches from further
away - a report of "a new outbreak in Jaffa, ending the shaky ceasefire
agreed between the police and the Jaffa Arab leadership". Of our own
action, not a word. On such a day, editors do not seem to consider a
demonstration without violence to be news.

Today (Monday) we are more than a hundred, outside the
Defence Ministry. From the outside there is not much to see of the nerve
centre of all that is going on in the Territories. But as soon as we take
up positions on the parking lot opposite the main gate, an armed soldier in
full battle gear crosses the street in between and approaches us, with a
suspicious look on his face, talking quickly into a small communications
device. A quite unusual sight. We demonstrate here quite often, and in
general the only soldiers you encounter are unarmed office staff going out
to grab a quick lunch.

Again, as yesterday, there responses are surprisingly mild. Not many pass
here on foot, but the traffic on the narrow Kaplan Street is heavy and
congested. Civilian and military drivers pass slowly and get a full sight
of our ranked slogans, especially of the giant banners prepared by Gush
Shalom and Hadash; they could hear the full-throated chanting "Peace -
Yes! Occupation - No!" and "How many children did you kill today?". Yet
the amount of heckling, the number of reactions of any kind, seems no
greater than in vigils held here on normal days. At the very end, just as
we are about to pack up, a lone TV crew at last appears. We discover,
however, that it is of the Japanese Television. For the mainstream Israeli
media, our protest is still non-existent.

A phone call from Jerusalem: some 170 people, mostly youths, had turned up
for the simultaneous demo outside the Prime Minister's residence. That
event had a quite complicated history. It was originally called by Peace
Now; this movement seems, however, in crisis - many of its leaders shying
away from any criticism of Barak, the Labour Prime Minister which
practically all of us supported in last year's elections. The Peace Now
manifesto published today in Ha'aretz apportioned blame for the violent
outbreak between Sharon and the Palestinians, effectively clearing Barak
of share. A few hours before it was to take place, Peace Now called off
the action, apprehensive lest "radicals" like ourselves would appear with
their own slogans and turn the protest in "unwanted" directions, Still, a
dissident faction, mainly from the more militant youths, decided to hold
the demonstration anyway, though not under the Peace Now name - and did
it quite well, with help from Meretz youths as well as the Jerusalem
activists of Hadash, the Bat Shalom women and Gush Shalom.

Another phone call - from Lili Traubman, Bat Shalom activist at Kibbutz
Meggido in the north. They had their own women's vigil - right there, very
near the storm center of the riots inside Israel. The Arab women who
planned to join could not arrive - roads blocked by police - but expressed
support on the phone and told of shootings and police brutality at their
doorstep. Ten Bat Shalom women stood at the highway, with signs reading
"Peace will win" and "Jewish-Arab parnership". They did get many reactions
- no indifference at that part of the country. Some positive reactions,
many hostile. In a sad harmony, some Jews and some Arabs had the same
reaction: "Peace? What peace? There can never be peace with THEM!"

And so, it is late evening - another evening after a long day of escalation
and violence and bloodshed which we could not stop. And how many hale
young people, living and breathing at this very moment, will be in their
graves by tomorrow night?

***

How did we come to be in this miserable situation - two months
after the high hopes of Camp David, less than a week after Barak and
Arafat met for what was described as a "highly cordial meeting" in the
living room of the Israeli PM's private home? Obviously, the fuse was lit
by the notorious Ariel Sharon, leader of the opposition Likud Party, in a
calculated provocation - designed, at least in part, to bolster his
position in the right-wing against the intended comeback of former PM
Netanyahu. There was no need of the accumulated wisdom of the US State
Department pundits to guess what would result from the trumpeted "visit"
of a man whose entire military and political career consisted of fighting
Palestinians and killing them. A visit to the sensitive Temple Mount/Haram
A-Sharif Compound, made even more sensitive since the failure of Camp
David. (To add insult to injury, it took place precisely on the
anniversary of the 1982 massacre at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in
Beirut, a massacre carried out by the armed militias which Sharon as
Defence Minister had let into these camps.)

But it is far too easy to put the entire blame on Sharon - as the
Americans and some Israelis do. The conflagration would not have started,
if not for the decision of Prime Minister Barak to let Sharon trample into
this sensitive spot, exactly at the moment when an a web of delicate
international diplomatic formulas was being woven to find a
mutually-acceptable arrangement for the holy place's future. In fact Barak
- and the PM's second in command, Prof. Shlomo Ben-Ami, the prominent
"dove" who holds a unique combination of the Foreign Affairs and Police
portfolios - did more than let Sharon into the Mount. They provided the
Likud leader with an escort of more than a thousand police and
semi-military "Border Guards", effectively reconquering Temple Mount
(actually, it was a far bigger Israeli force than that which originally
conquered the place in 1967). Add to this the well- known fact that
Israeli police in general, and its "Border Guards" in particular, tend to
regard Arabs as dangerous enemies - and the result was inevitable.

Even that does not fully explain the extent and fast spread of
the conflagration: forty Palestinians and four Israeli soldiers dead
within a single weekend, with the number steadily rising by the hour;
hundreds of wounded, many of them maimed for life; widespread riots all
over the Palestinian Territories, often escalating into full-scale battles
involving not only handguns but also anti-tank misslies, machine guns and
helicopter gunships; the angery outburst spilling over to the Arab
citizens of Israel itself, with large riots at practically all Arab
population centers and the blocking of main highways.

By this evening, at least seven Arab citizens of Israel have been shot to
death by "their" police force...

Such conflagrations do not result from a single provocation, gross and
insulting as it may be. There had been quite a lot of fuel building up,
mounting anger and frustration among the Palestinians. The normal routine
of occupation, which rarely gets into the media: another row of olive
trees uprooted by order of the Israeli miltary governor; another
settlement extending itself over a parcel of land which a Palestinian
family had cultivated for generations; another rough search by Israeli
soldiers at a roadblock; another late-night raid on a Palestinian home by
Israeli "special units" - all made the more unenduarable when peace
negotiations are supposed to be going on with the declared aim of putting
a definite end to the conflict, and when Barak has managed to convince
much of international opinion that "Palestinian intransigence" is to
blame...

At Camp David, and ever since its failure, Barak has striven to block off
the Palestinians' option of declaring independence unilaterally; using
the particular conditions of the US elections year, Barak got the
administration and Congress to take an openly biased position, condemning
"a unilateral Palestinian step" while turning a blind eye to the ongoing
settlement extention and other unilateral Israeli steps; also the United
States' European and Japanese allies effectively withdrew their pledge to
recognize the independence of Palestine. Barak had been striving to
dictate rather then negotiate, repeatedly proclaiming that "the ball is in
Arafat's court" and demanding that the Palestinians accept terms that -
while more generous, on some issues, than offered by previous Israeli PM's
- still fall short of the minimal Palestinian aspirations, especially with
regard to Jerusalem and the Palestinian refugees. Altogether, there was
very much reason for all Palestinians - grassroots and leadership,
Arafat's followers as well as those of the opposition factions - to feel
frustrated and dissatisfied; Sharon's provocation united them as nothing
else could have.

Israel's Arab citizens had their own load of long-standing grieveances -
decades-long discrimination in all spheres of life; an unemployment rate
double or more that in the Jewish sector; a government bureaucracy which
treats them not much better than their brethren under occupation. And just
recently, they have been stirred into anger by a series of inflammatory
racist remarks uttered by Alik Ron, commander of the Gallilee Police. It
might be more than a coincidence that Ron is rumored to be seeking a
political career that he is known to have recently held a series of
meetings with Sharon...

"The New Intifada", as Palestinians now call it, has changed the focus of
public opinion, both in Israel and internationally. From the debate on
diplomatic formulas it returned to the harsh reality on the ground - the
reality of occupation, once again flooding the international TV screens.
Particularly poignant episodes were seen in living rooms across the globe,
such as the 12-year old boy Muhammad Al-Dura - caught with his father in
a cross-fire outside Gaza City, desperately seeking shelter behind a small
barrel, and shot to death by the relentless fire of Israeli soldiers.
(The soldiers claim they did not know it was a child.)

For Israelis, a public debate was opened (or rather, reopened) by the
death of two soldiers in defence of settlement enclaves, inhabited by
religious nationalist fanatics and located in the midst of Palestinian
territory. "He sacrificed himself for Netzarim, for this settlement which
is perhaps not at all necessary" said on TV the cousin of David Biri, the
soldier killed in a Palestinian ambush while on settler convoy duty. This
kind of sentiment could, in time, develop into a mass movement which may
sway government policies - as happened with regard to Lebanon - but it
would take quite a bit of time and far too much bloodshed.

Is there still a chance of a more immediate solution, of a revival and
successful conclusion of the negotiations which seemed moribund even
before the present outbreak? Paradoxical and cynical as it may seem,
earlier episodes in our region's history have shown violent outbreaks and
confrontations serving as a catalyst to deadlocked diplomatic processes.
The "Tunnel War", as the armed confrontations of September 1996 came to
be known, bore much similarity to the present outbreak, both having an
Israeli provocation around Temple Mount starting the immediate
conflagration throughout the Palestinian territories - and in 1996 it
ended with Netanyahu signing an agreement with Arafat and agreeing to
withdraw from Hebron (most of Hebron, anyway). Earlier, it was the Yom
Kippur war which broke a logjam in Israeli-Egyptian relations and
eventually led to peace between the two countries and Israel's withdrawal
from the whole of Sinai. But on more than one occasion, conflicts and
violent confrontations have also been known to spiral uncontrolled, beyond
what anybody planned or intended...

With all the carnage, both sides so far avoided anything irrevocable; the
Israeli tanks placed around Palestinian cities have not been sent in - not
even to relieve the sorely-pressed garrison at Joseph's Tomb, in the heart
of Palestinian Nablus; and though Hamas fighters are reportedly taking
active part in the fighting, there have been so far none of the
spectacular terrorist attacks which can rouse the people of Israel's main
population centers to fear and anger. Clearly, room is still left for
renewed negotiations. Indeed the basic maxim of recent Israeli politics -
that an agreement with the Palestinians is vital to Barak's political
survival - is, if anything, reinforced by recent events. And the
alternative ploy occasionally mooted by Barak aides - getting Sharon into
a "National Unity Government" - has just become far more illegitimate,
inside and outside Israel.

It is a tragic feature of what is going on now that at Camp David, Barak
in principle agreed to give up many of the positions which are at present
being ferociously fought over (for example, the settlement enclaves in
the Gaza Strip). He agreed to give them up - but only at a stiff price of
Palestinian retrocessions, some of them very unpalatable and others
completely unacceptable to the Palestinian side. Will he now soften these
positions, at least to some degree? Having gone already so far at Camp
David, can he not simply get out of the occupied territories?

One can only hope and do what can be done, to protest and pressure. At the
initiative of Gush Shalom, a venerable peace sticker, first published in
1982 with the slogan "Bring the Soldiers Back from Lebanon" and
subsequently published again and again, was given a new lease of life. Now
bearing the caption "Bring Them Back from the Territories", it should soon
become a frequent sight in the streets of Tel-Aviv.

Adam Keller
Beate Zilversmidt

P.S. We pass on the request for instant financial help to the Makassad
Hospital in East Jerusalem where the wounded have been streaming in.
Because the situation is so desperate, and the need so immediate, please
send donations by wire transfer (USD preferably) directly into their bank
account. The account is at the Mercantile Discount Bank Ltd., Jerusalem,
Salah al-Din Branch. The Swift Code is BARDiLit The Branch number is 638.
Their account number is 400335.

Alternatively, you can send cash donations by mail to:
Makassed Hospital
P.O. Box 19482
Jerusalem

Or, if you, or anyone you know, is in a position to send surgical or
pharmaceutical supplies, please contact the hospital directly at telephone
number +972 2 627-0222. Ask to speak to Dr. Khalid, Director of the
hospital.




Saddam threatens Israel

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_956000/956084.stm

Palestinian killings have enraged Iraqis

By Middle East correspondent Frank Gardner
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has said his country could destroy Israel if it
was given access to land next to the Jewish state.

On Wednesday, Iraq's state controlled newspapers carried the president's
threat, which he made following the recent bloody clashes between Israelis
and Palestinians.

Iraqis are calling the threat one of the strongest statements by Saddam
Hussein in years.

An idle boast or a serious threat to Israel? With Iraq's unpredictable
leader, it is hard to tell.

The government controlled press quoted the president as saying Iraq could
put an end to Zionism in a very short time if only it was given a piece of
land next to Israel.

That is highly unlikely to happen, but Iraq did physically attack Israel
during the Gulf War nine years ago by firing 39 Scud missiles at the Jewish
state.

Iraqis say the clashes over the last few days between Israeli forces and
Palestinians have enraged their president.

Angry outburst

On Tuesday he was seen on television banging his fist on the table in anger,
criticising Arabs for not doing enough in response to Israeli killings in
the Palestinian territories.

He said the great people of Iraq were ready to destroy Zionism right now and
he called on Arabs to brandish their swords and make the sacrifices needed.

Iraq has also been calling for a holy war to liberate Jerusalem from Israeli
control. President Saddam Hussein has said Iraq did not need to wait for
sanctions to be lifted before striking Israel.

The United States says it closely monitors Iraq for any signs of military
activity, but United Nations inspectors looking for Iraq's alleged weapons
of mass destruction have not been in the country for nearly two years now.




From: "Mathew Webb" <visionquest@eoni.com>
Subject: Fw: Fidel Castro Speaks to the U.N.------THE WHOLE WORLD APPLAUDS!!
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2000

THIS IS WELL WORTH READING.

From: art b Rosenblum <artr@juno.com> Date: 08 September 2000 14:33 Subject: Fidel Castro Speaks to the U.N.

Dear Friends,

In case you haven't heard, Dr. fidel Castro is one of the world's most long-winded speakers. In Cuba he goes on for hours. All expect that.

Well, today each of the 150 or so world leaders meeting at the U.N. Millennium summit were given just five minutes to say their thing. Clinton, of course was one of the first and spoke for nine minutes about achieving Middle East peace. He got a polite applause.

Finally Dr. Castro rose, took out a handkerchief and covered the clock, saying "You won't need this". There was laughter. He then spoke for only 3 1/2 minutes and received an entusiastic standing ovation.

Here's the translation:

TRANSLATION OF THE TRANSCRIPT OF THE COUNCIL OF STATE SPEECH:

Your Excellencies:

In our world, chaos reigns within and beyond borders. Blind laws are presented as divine norms that will bring the peace, order, well-being and security so much needed by our planet. That is what they want us to believe. The 30 developed and wealthy nations which have the monopoly over economic, technological and political power are meeting here with us to offer us more of the same prescriptions that have only served to make us steadily poorer, more exploited and more dependent. There has not even been any mention of radically reforming this longstanding institution, which came into existence more than 50 years ago when there were only a few independent countries, of converting it into an agency which is truly representative of the interests of all the peoples of the world, without anybody having access to irritating and undemocratic veto power, and of initiating a sane process to extend the number of members and the the representativity of the Security Council, and convert it into an executive body subordinate to the General Assembly, which should make the decisions on issues as vital as intervention and the use of force. We have to state with total conviction that the principle of sovereignty cannot be sacrificed to an exploiting and unjust order in which a hegemonic superpower, with the backing of its power and force, attempts to decide everything. Cuba will never accept that.

The fundamental causes of current conflicts are to be found in the poverty and underdevelopment prevailing in the immense majority of countries, and in the unequal distribution of wealth and knowledge reigning in the world. It should not be forgotten that this underdevelopment and poverty are the direct consequence of the colonial powers' conquest, colonization, slavery and plunder of most of the earth, the emergence of imperialism and bloody wars fought in order to carve up the world again and again. Today they have the moral responsibility to compensate our countries for the damage they have inflicted on them over centuries. Humanity must become aware of what we have been and what we continue to be.

Today, our species has acquired sufficient knowledge, ethical values and scientific resources to advance toward a new historical stage of genuine justice and humanism. Nothing in the existing economic and political order is of service to humanity. It cannot be sustained. It has to be changed. It is enough to recall that we are now six billion inhabitants, 80% of whom are poor. Centuries-old diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and other equally mortal illnesses have not been overcome in the Third World nations; new epidemics like AIDS are threatening to extinguish entire populations, while the rich nations are investing fabulous sums in military spending and luxuries, and every day a voracious plague of speculators are exchanging currencies, stocks and other real or fictitious assets valued at trillions of dollars. Nature has been destroyed, the climate is visibly changing, water for human consumption is contaminated and insufficient, the oceans' source of food for humans is being exhausted, nonrenewable and vital resources are being squandered on luxuries and vanities. Anyone can comprehend that the fundamental objective of the United Nations in the century which is upon us is that of saving the world, not only from warfare, but from underdevelopment, hunger, disease, poverty and the destruction of the natural resources indispensable for human existence.

And this must be done in haste, before it is too late! The dream of attaining norms that are truly just and rational to rule over human destiny would appear to many as an impossible one. Our conviction is that the struggle for the impossible should be the theme of this institution which has brought us together today! Thank you very much.

(PROLONGED APPLAUSE)

(I'm told it was a standing ovation received by very few - Art.)







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