Missed opportunities in resolving J&K problems

By Balraj Puri

There hardly seems to be any way the Jammu and Kashmir government can pacify the current angry mood in Jammu over revocation of the government order for the transfer of forest land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB). For any such step is likely to revive the flare up in Kashmir from which it just recovered. On the other hand the leaders of the current agitation who are riding on a spontaneous popular upsurge can ill afford to back out.

Cussedness, underhand dealings mark countdown to trust vote

By Amulya Ganguli, IANS,

The prelude to the July 22 trust vote in parliament on the nuclear deal on which the fate of the Manmohan Singh government depends has added yet another dark chapter of opportunism and horse-trading to Indian politics.

Hope for coexistence enthuses delegates

By Michel Cousins, CGNews,

"I never expected anything like it" was the comment of one Pakistani Muslim attending the World Conference on Dialogue organised by the Muslim World League and hosted by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.

He could have been speaking for most of the participants at what is proving to be quite an extraordinary experience.

The forgotten peace

By Middle East Times editorial, CGNews,

Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty following the Camp David accords in 1978, yet it seems someone either forgot to inform the general public on Egypt's side of the border, or that the Egyptian public is still reluctant to accept the fact that peace may exist with a former enemy.

In essence, the peace between the Arab world's largest country and the Jewish state is a peace which subsists between two governments, but not a peace between two peoples.

Scandinavia's scarred Mr Dialogue

By Roger Cohen, CGNews,

Scandinavia does reasonableness well, even when faced with unreason. The Oslo Accords of 1993 were as close as Israelis and Palestinians have come to looking each other in the eye, admitting neither side is going away, and jettisoning a bitter past for a better future.

The mediation habit stayed with Norway, despite Oslo's collapse. Jonas Gahr Store, the Norwegian foreign minister, is a battle-hardened Mr. Dialogue. He took a personal terrorism course earlier this year while on a diplomatic mission to Afghanistan.

Israeli and Palestinian doctors affect change on the ground

By Leo Kramer, CGNews,

Last week, Prof. Marc Gopin wrote an article titled, "Leo the Healer: an untold story of Jewish/Palestinian medical partnership." The first responses have been positive and encouraging.

The article asks what we can do to help Israelis and Palestinians live in peace with justice. Prof. Gopin examined one of the foremost difficulties existing between the two sides: the border closing problems between Israel and The West Bank/Gaza, and the daily struggle of medical practitioners to save lives when political issues interfere.

Shebaa Farms can create momentum for peace

By Cesar Chelala, CGNews,

Shebaa Farms is a sliver of land located in the border area between Israel, Lebanon and Syria. It can play an important role, much larger than its size. An agreement on that area – located some 16 square miles on the western slopes of the Hermon Mountain range – can help create a much-needed momentum for peace in the region.

Land Allotment and Amarnath Shrine

By Ram Puniyani,

Jammu and Kashmir has been one of the regions of the country mired in different types of troubles all through. To add to the painful situation, the issue of land allotment to Amarnath shrine and later reversal of this decision has worsened the harmony, which is eluding the region.

~Youth Views~ Iranian women a force to be reckoned with

By Talajeh Livani, CGNews,

Iran's parliament convened last month for the first time since the April 2008 elections. The results of the parliamentary elections are in and all the votes have been counted. Surprisingly, or perhaps alarmingly, women now account for a mere 2.8 percent of this new conservative-dominated parliament. This is a decline from the already low 4.1 percent representation in the previous Iranian parliament.

Syria and Lebanon, more than just neighbours

By Sami Moubayed, CGNews,

When the French occupied Syria in 1920, they famously dissected the country, giving four major parts to the newly created state of Lebanon. The French left Syria 26 years later, and Syrian lawmakers claimed that the division was null and void, asking President Shukri al-Quwatli to officially request the area be restored to Syria.