Meditation Focus #12
THE ELEVENTH HOUR MIDDLE EAST PEACE NEGOTIATIONS
Web posted on July 21 for the week beginning Sunday July 23
What follows is the 12th Meditation Focus suggested by the Global Meditation Focus Group for the week beginning Sunday July 23.
2. Meditation Times
3. Latest developments on the Middle East peace negotiations
After 9 days or almost round-the-clock negotiations in Camp David, the talks almost broke down Wednesday night but then Chairman Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister Ehud Barak and their respective teams of negotiators decided in extremis to persist in trying to make a comprehensive peace deal despite President Clinton's departure for the G8 Summit in Okinawa, Japan. The news blackout still holds as to the exact content of the talks but according to sources involved in the negotiations, the main bone of contention is whether the Palestinians will get back full sovereignty over East Jerusalem or whether Israel et Palestine will share sovereignty over parts of Arab East Jerusalem. The return of a certain number of Palestinian refugees and the exact new borders of the state of Palestine are also said to be part of a potential peace settlement.
The progress made so far is remarkable considering that those tough issues are for the first time being discussed so thoroughly at such a high level and there is still hope that some meaningful deal can be made. But whatever the immediate outcome of these negotiations, it is important that the will for peace and the process of healing continue to be supported by our prayers and meditations as there are elements with uncompromising attitudes in both societies who would like to derail this peace process.
Please hold in your heart and mind a vision, as guided by Spirit during your meditation, of tolerance, openness and continued dialogue, and of support for the will for peace and healing by all elements involved, so that the peace process may continue to its ultimate positive conclusion and the people in Israel and Palestine may live in peace and harmonious coexistence as brothers and sisters. May peace prevail in Israel and Palestine, for the highest good of all.
2. MEDITATION TIMES
i) Sunday at 16:00 Universal Time (GMT) or at noon local time. Suggested duration: 30 minutes with a special Earth Healing Focus in the last few minutes.
ii) Daily, at the top of any hour, or whenever it better suits you.
These times below are currently corresponding to 16:00 Universal Time/GMT: Honolulu 06:00 -- Los Angeles 09:00 -- Denver & San Salvador 10:00 -- Mexico City, Houston & Chicago 11:00 -- New York, Toronto, Montreal, Asuncion & Santiago 12:00 -- Rio de Janeiro & Montevideo 13:00 -- Reykjavik & Casablanca 16:00 -- London, Algiers & Lagos 17:00 -- Geneva, Rome, Berlin, Paris, Johannesburg & Madrid 18:00 -- Athens, Helsinki, Jerusalem, Nairobi & Istanbul 19:00 -- Moscow & Baghdad 20:00 -- Tehran 20:30 -- Islamabad 21:00 -- Calcutta & New Delhi 21:30 -- Dhaka 22:00 -- Rangoon 22:30 -- Hanoi, Bangkok & Jakarta 23:00 -- Hong Kong, Perth, Beijing & Kuala Lumpur 00:00+ -- Seoul & Tokyo 01:00+ -- Brisbane, Canberra & Melbourne 02:00+ -- Wellington 04:00+
(+ means the place is one day ahead of Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time)
3. LATEST DEVELOPMENTS:
Friday July 21 2:21 AM ET
Barak Said to Back Shared Rule in Jerusalem Areas
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli cabinet minister said Friday that Prime Minister Ehud Barak had accepted a U.S. proposal enabling Israel and the Palestinians to share sovereignty over parts of Arab East Jerusalem.
Michael Melchior, part of Barak's public relations team during a 10-day-old Israeli-Palestinian peace summit at Camp David in the United States, confirmed what Israeli officials in the United States had said only privately.
Palestinians have yet to accept the proposal.
``What's being spoken of is a (U.S.) proposal that is definitely within the red line of the prime minister and therefore the prime minister agreed to the proposal,'' Melchior, minister for diaspora affairs, said on Israel Radio.
Earlier, an Israeli official said U.S. proposals were on the table that would have the two sides sharing sovereignty over parts of Arab East Jerusalem, captured by Israel at war 33 years ago and annexed in a move never recognized internationally.
The U.S. proposal would also freeze the status quo in Jerusalem's Old City, home to some of the three world religions' holiest sites, for several years -- until a permanent solution could be negotiated, the Israeli official said.
Under the proposal, Palestinians would get some form of safe passage to the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in the Old City, Islam's third-holiest site.
Under the proposal, Israel would annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank to Jerusalem, including the largest settlement Maale Adumim, while Palestinian neighborhoods in Arab East Jerusalem could be jointly controlled, Melchior said.
``It's about administration-plus, perhaps also with signs of joint sovereignty, in the (Arab) neighborhoods outside the Old City, in the neighborhoods at the edge of Jerusalem such as Shuafat,'' Melchior said.
Israel says Jerusalem must remain its undivided capital. Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, at Camp David with Barak, wants East Jerusalem for the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has been urging Israeli and Palestinian officials to make tough decisions on Jerusalem before President Clinton races back to Camp David from a G8 summit in Japan. He left early Thursday.
Israeli officials, leaning on the Palestinians to bend on Jerusalem, have said that Barak plans to leave Camp David on Sunday for Israel if there is no deal.
Washington-based PLO representative Hassan Abdel-Rahman indicated earlier that nothing had changed on an issue that officials said in advance was so difficult it might be left out of any final deal.
``We will not accept any proposal that gives us less than full sovereignty (in East Jerusalem),'' he said. ``Without full sovereignty, there will be no deal.''
Full Coverage at http://fullcoverage.yahoo.com/fc/World/Middle_East_Peace_Process/
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