Peace and Justice - Fr. Benjamin J. Urmston

Citizens for Global Solutions

Citizens for Global Solutions, Cincinnati Chapter

In Honor of Mary Ann Lederer, Jewish Peacemaker Extraordinaire

Many of us from all religions and those of no religion share a simple but crucial idea. An idea put forth in various ways throughout history. I'd like to shout it from the housetops. I invite you to join in shouting it or whispering it in whatever way we can: War is over! Yes, we want to rethink Afghanistan and all past and present wars. We also want to rethink the war system itself. Are there better alternatives? I suggest there are five goals we need to pursue together as steps toward an orderly and secure world. For my vision see this web-site: On the first page you can play my fifteen minute DVD. Fr. Ben Urmston, S.J.

For my blog on the Citizens for Global Solutions web site

Constitution of the Federation of Planet Earth

One of the better ways to go together toward peace is through Citizens for Global Solutions. There are about thirty chapters in the US. We have a chapter here in greater Cincinnati. The World Federalist Association started in 1947. They merged in recent years with the Campaign for United Nations Reform to form Citizens for Global Solutions. Based on the direction of the national group, below is our mission:

Mission: To envision and work towards a future in which nations work together to provide security, protect our rights and freedoms, and solve problems facing humanity that no nation can solve alone.

Principles: We favor love over hate and hope over despair.


· We envision structures that make it easier to promote a sustainable planet and practice ethical and moral behavior within our human family.


· We strive to practice active nonviolence in all areas including our communications and personal relationships.


· We seek to establish a nonviolent world with security and justice for all where individuals and nations do not resort to force to resolve conflicts.


· We believe that peace without justice is unsustainable.


· We insist on basic human rights for all while caring for the earth and all life forms.


· We believe that a fair and inclusive global economy is needed to support peace and justice.


· We need stronger, more democratic global institutions to act as a legal governing body for Planet Earth.


Priorities: 1. World Peace through World Law. Winning the hearts and minds of US citizens that we need stronger, more democratic global institutions to act as a legal governing body for Planet Earth to end war, protect our rights and freedoms, and deal with issues that no nation can solve alone.

2. Working for a sustainable planet.

3. Working for peace and justice everywhere . Now the lack of a just world in many areas is an occasion for terrorism, a major obstacle to peace globally, and a source of tension among religions, ethnic groups, and nations. Violence helps no one. Injustice helps no one. We favor love over hate and hope over despair.

Josh Ruebner is the National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the
Israeli Occupation, a national coalition of more than 400 organizations working to change U.S. policy towards Israel/Palestine to support human rights, international
 law, and equality.

Jewish Voice for Peace members are inspired by Jewish tradition to work together for peace, social
justice, equality, human rights, respect for international law, and a U.S. foreign policy based on these
ideals. JVP opposes anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression.  JVP seeks an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem; security and
self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians; a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on
principles  established in international law; an end to violence against civilians; and peace and justice
for all peoples of the Middle East.  Network of Spiritual Progressives 
OUR VALUES AND VISION We recognize that our well being depends on the well-being of everyone else on the planet and the well being of the Earth.
We seek a world in which all of life is shaped by peace, fairness, environmental
sanity, love, care for one another, care for the Earth, generosity, compassion,
respect for diversity and differences, and celebration of the miraculous universe
To realize such a world, we seek a New Bottom Line for corporations, social practices, government policies, our educational system, our legal system, our medical system and even our personal behavior is judged efficient, rational and
productive to the extent that each one maximizes love, caring, kindness,
generosity, ethical and ecologically sensitive behavior and enhances both
our capacity to respond to others as embodiments of the sacred and to the
universe with awe, wonder, and radical amazement at the grandeur and mystery
of all being.

Craig@Cindy Corrie, parents of Rachel Corrie

Anna Baltzer, Jewish-American activist and speaker

International Solidarity Movement

Rabbi Arthur Waskow |The Shalom Center The Shalom Center 6711 Lincoln Drive Philadelphia, PA 19119

Bereaved Families Supporting Peace, Reconciliation and Tolerance

Parents Circle - Families Forum (PCFF) is a grassroots organization of bereaved Palestinians and Israelis. The PCFF promotes reconciliation as an alternative to hatred and revenge. Mission:

To create a framework of reconciliation between the 2 peoples that takes into account that any peace agreement must include an infrastructure for the process of reconciliation.

To work towards an end to violence and towards achieving an accepted political agreement.

To influence the public and the political decision makers to choose dialogue and the path of peace over violence and war in order to achieve a just settlement based on empathy and understanding.

To avoid the use of bereavement for further violence and retribution.

Rabbi's For Human Rights

"Beloved are human beings, for they are created in the image of God"-Pirkei Avot 3:18

About Rabbis for Human Rights:

Founded in 1988, Rabbis for Human Rights is the only rabbinic voice in Israel that is explicitly dedicated to human rights. Representing over 100 Israeli rabbis and rabbinical students from different streams of Judaism, we derive our authority from our Jewish tradition and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Our mission is to inform the Israeli public about human rights violations, and to pressure the State institutions to redress these injustices. In a time in which a nationalist and isolationist understanding of Jewish tradition is heard frequently and loudly, Rabbis for Human Rights give expression to the traditional Jewish responsibility for the safety and welfare of the stranger, the different and the weak, the convert, the widow and the orphan.

RHR works primarily in the following 4 fields, where we think our rabbinic voice will be most effective:

1. Human Rights Work in the Occupied Territories:

Olive Tree Campaign: RHR works year round with Palestinian farmers from several dozen villages in the Occupied Territories, to ensure that they can regularly access their agricultural lands, often denied to them because of their proximity to Israeli settlements. We negotiate and coordinate with the army to ensure the High Court mandate military protection during the olive harvest, and to ensure access to lands when denied. We also bring hundreds of Israeli and international volunteers to work side by side and in solidarity with Palestinians during the olive harvest, who help provide protection against possible settler intimidation. We also track Israeli settler acts of damage of Palestinian trees and property, and monitor the state response. During Tu B'shvat, we purchase and bring hundreds of Israeli and international volunteers together with Palestinians to plant some 2,500 olive trees in areas where settlers have cut, uprooted and/or burned trees in acts of vandalism and arson.

Advocating for the Rights of the Jahalin Bedouin: Since the early 1990s, RHR has worked to challenge government plans to demolish structures and forcibly transfer the Jahalin Bedouin community elsewhere. More recently, we have focused on rights to education of this community. We work with several local Bedouin women community activists, and we have helped them create an educational center for girls, slowly expanding to include boys, and a library. With the help of volunteers, we provide English and Hebrew lessons for Jahalin children throughout the school year, and we regularly organize and run summer camps; this past year, 146 children attended 2 different camps, which included taking them to the sea.


2. Challenging Land Confiscation in the Occupied Territories:

RHR works to legally prevent or reverse the takeover of Palestinian lands in Area C, and ensure that Palestinian farmers can safely access those lands. We started working in villages in the South Hebron Hills, and we have recently expanded to the villages around Bethlehem as well as to a few villages in the Northern West Bank. We continually monitor the implementation of previous rulings on land access issues, and currently are working on 200 open cases relating to land confiscation and criminal charges and complaints lodged by Palestinian farmers against settlement security personnel.


3. Socioeconomic Justice Work in Israel:

Rights of the Poor: RHR focuses on raising awareness and lobbying the Knesset for better economic rights for impoverished Israelis at the national level. At the local level, our Rights Center in Hadera helps hundreds of Jews and Arab citizens obtain socioeconomic rights that have been denied to them, such as unemployment benefits, etc. We also run a empowerment and advocacy groups of local Arab and Jewish citizens from the Hadera area who focus and advocate for policy changes of their choosing.

Rights to Public Housing: RHR provides legal representation for public housing tenants in Beit Shean, Beersheva, and Hadera whose housing does not meet their needs or who are facing eviction. In Jerusalem, we work with those who are not even deemed eligible for public housing due to criteria that do not reflect true need. In coalition with other organizations, we wrote proposed legislation to save Israel's public housing, and helped to create an officially-recognized Knesset lobby to promote public housing.


Defending Israel's Unrecognized Bedouin Villages of the Negev: RHR engages in both raising public awareness and advocacy to challenge the government's plan to remove 30-40,000 Bedouins from their homes and resettle them in 7 existing towns, plagued with poverty.


4. Promoting Human Rights Education in Israel:

Teaching Human Rights in Israel's Pre-Military Academies: RHR works in 12 pre-military academies, exposing every year some 600 young Israelis to our human rights teachings based on our rabbinic interpretation of Israel's Declaration of Independence. Tours to witness firsthand the human rights challenges created in Jerusalem by the Separation Wall and facing African refugees and asylum seekers in South Tel Aviv are a highlight of this program. We believe that teaching human rights to young people who then continue onto their army service better equips them to deal humanely with the realities on the ground.

Human Rights Yeshivas: For more than a decade, RHR has been teaching about human rights and Judaism to Israeli university students. We currently run 2 human rights yeshivas, with a total of 40 participants. Students who participate in the program receive a stipend, and intern in a human rights or social change organization in order to understand more deeply the challenges facing Israeli society.



Perhaps the basic picture for us to visualize is what astronauts saw from space, one globe, one people, one story. When we see there are global issues, we will search for global solutions.


Selected History of the US and Peace
Taken from Bragdon, McCutchen, History of a Free People: Washington's Farewell Address: Washington warned the people of the United States against permanent dislike of some nations and passionate affection for others. The nation which indulges an habitual hatred for some nations will be too quick to resent the actions of the country it dislikes and too apt to make concessions to the country it likes. Washington feared the "spirit of party" the bitter struggle between the followers of Hamilton (the Federalists) and Jefferson and Madison (the Republicans).

p. 272 ff. In 1828 the American Peace Society advocated the abolition of war. Since the formation of a U.S Federal union of independent states was working and we were in no danger from our neighbors, it was natural for Americans to think universal peace attainable. William Ladd, successful as a ship captain and then as a farmer, devoted his entire energy to the cause of peace. Ladd agitated for a Congress of Nations with courts of international justice to settle all disputes.

339 ff. Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address: "with malice toward none and charity toward all, let us bind the nation's wounds and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."

Woodrow Wilson's peace program had detailed points: 1. Abolish general causes of war; have open diplomacy, disarmament

2. self-determination for colonies 3. The League of Nations. Justice for all nations and peoples.

Major General Smedley Darlongton Butler was awarded two medals of honor. After World War I he visited veterans' hospitals, researched those who profited monetarily from war, those who paid the cost and are still paying in taxes; for veterans who paid in physical and mental injuries.

Herbert Hoover had seen the devastation and suffering of World War I. As a Quaker he believed war was morally wrong. "I think I may say that I have witnessed as much of the horror and suffering of war as any other American. From it I have derived a deep passion for peace. Our foreign policy has one primary object, peace. We have no hates, we wish no further possessions, we harbor no military threats." Hoover wanted to be a good neighbor to Latin America, and he withdrew our troops from Nicaragua. He promoted disarmament because armaments increased tax burdens and was wasteful of personnel and the means of production.

In 1928 France and the U.S. took the lead in promoting the Kellogg-Briand Treaty which attempted to outlaw war. 63 nations ratified the document whereby they agreed to abandon war as an instrument of national policy and to settle disputes by peaceful means. The Pact of Paris had no enforcement mechanism and did not prohibit wars in self-defense.

Speech of Donna Park, Board of Citizens for Global Solutions, Patriotic American Peace Rally, Cincinnati, Ohio, Mar. 19, 2011


I want to thank the Coffee Party Cincinnati for inviting me to speak today at this Patriotic American Peace Rally. And thank you for coming out today to rally for Peace. We all are Patriots.and we all want Peace. We also want the US to stop being the world's policeman.

I am here to share my belief and that of the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of Citizens for Global Solutions that the only way to lasting peace is through law. And if we want World Peace, then we need World Law. I believe that a close look at American History can provide a blueprint for the world to achieve peace through law.

Back in 1786, George Washington was more worried about the future of the United States than he was during the American Revolution. It turns out that the loose confederation of states that was established after the revolution was not working very well. The states were literally fighting each other, (yes soldiers from one state were fighting soldiers from another state and they were killing each other). The states were not recognizing each other's currency and there were serious trade disagreements. It was an ugly and non-peaceful time in our history.

Then in 1787, the Constitutional Convention happened. The best minds in the United States came together and in a short time they wrote our constitution and established our system of 3 branches of government, with checks and balances between the branches, and a clever compromise of 2 houses in the legislative branch to settle the disagreement between the small states and the large states. Our loose confederation of states was transformed into the strong federation that we now have.

Our American system of government, with a strong federation of states, and a democracy where each person has a vote is a source of pride for all us Patriots and an inspiration for people from all over the globe. Indeed our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution also are a big source of pride for all Americans and an inspiration for people from all over the globe.

The important lesson from American History is that Peace is best established by law. It wasn't war that brought Peace between Pennsylvania and Connecticut. It was the rule of law, as established by the US Constitution.

The time has come in the 21st Century for us to lead the world in a repeat of our American History. It is time for a Constitutional Convention where the nations of the world come together to create a strong federation of nations: one based on the principles of democracy, where the people of the world vote for a government of the world. We need to get the best minds together to think creatively, to create a government with 3 branches, with checks and balances, and with creative compromises between the small nations and the large nations, the rich nations and the poor nations. We need a truly global peace-keeping force so the US can stop being the world's policeman and we can redirect billion of dollars from war to peace and use those dollars to solve problems in our nation. It's time!

Ever since the astronauts experienced the view of our beautiful planet from outer space, ever since we had that beautiful picture of our blue and green planet, so small in our universe, we have had an opportunity to develop a second set of patriot feelings: pride and love for our planet. It takes nothing away from our patriotic pride of being citizens of the United States of America. Rather a sense of connection to our planet, a sense of responsibility for Earth is added on top of our patriotism to USA. On top of being proud patriots of the United States of America we are also proud patriots of Earth. All people of Earth need to come together, one planet for all.

The Nations of Earth need to continue to take care of national issues and national problems. But we need a world authority, a world governance to deal with global issues like war, like the global economy, like the health and well being of our planet.

This is not a new idea. Many well known Americans have been articulating this idea for many years:

President Taft, 1910: I am strongly convinced that the best method of ultimately securing disarmament is the establishment of an international court and the development of a code of international equity which nations will recognize as affording a better method of settling international controversies than war.
President Dwight Eisenhower, 1956: There can be no peace without law.
And The world no longer has a choice between force and law. If civilization is to survive, it must choose the rule of law.
Albert Einstein: Mankind's desire for peace can be realized only by the creation of a world government.
President John F. Kennedy: We must create world-wide law and law enforcement as we outlaw world-wide war and weapons.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: Our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole, a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one's tribe, race, class, and nation.
Nelson Rockefeller, Vice President of the US: The federal idea, which our Founding Fathers applied in their historical act of political creation in the eighteenth century, can be applied in this twentieth century in the larger context of the world of free nations if we but match our forefathers in courage and vision.
William Douglas, Former Justice of the Supreme Court: More and more people are coming to realize that peace must be more than an interlude if we are to survive; that peace is a product of law and order; that law is essential if the force of arms is not to rule the world.
Walter Cronkite: Today we must develop federal structures on a global level. We need a system of enforceable world law, a democratic federal world government to deal with world problems.

Lasting world peace can only be brought about by world law. Our American History provides a practical blueprint for creating a democratic world governance that will create and enforce world law thereby bringing lasting peace. The time is now to repeat American History at a global level, to consider our US Constitutional Convention a dress rehearsal for a Constitutional Convention at a global level. Our planet is too small, too precious not to. It is time to embrace not only our American patriotism but also our patriotism for Planet Earth.

Thank you.

CEDAW-Covenant to End Discrimination Against Women

The U.S. played an important role in drafting CEDAW, which the United nations adopted in 1979 and President Carter signed in 1980. American women enjoy opportunities and status not available to most of the world's women. When the U.S. ratifies this covenant, we can more easily help women throughout the world and promote a safer, more peaceful planet with a more inclusive, fair economy.

On the other hand, few would dispute that more progress is needed even in the U.S. for women. U.S. women earn on average only 77 cents for every dollar that a man makes. Women should receive equal pay for equal work.

Two million women in the U.S. report each year injuries from current or former partners.

There may be 20,000 women, men, and children trafficked into the U.S. each year.

The U.S. ranks 41st among 184 countries on maternal deaths during pregnancy and childbirth, below all other industrialized nations and a number of developing countries.

CEDAW would provide an opportunity for national dialogue on gaps in women's full equality. CEDAW would be a catalyst of the U.S. to engage in a systematic analysis of discrimination against women and develop strategies for solutions.

To get involved, contact Citizens for Global Solutions.