The National Council of Churches, its key mainline members and other church organizations are calling for Israel to alter its policies on the Gaza Strip after an Israeli action against an international flotilla on the high seas resulted in nine deaths, many wounded and damaged diplomatic relations.
The president of Malawi, under pressure from UN and human rights groups, has pardoned a gay couple who were recently sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment with hard labor after they became engaged in a traditional ceremony.
Mubarak Awad, a Greek Orthodox Catholic influenced by Quakers and Mennonites, could have become the Palestinian Gandhi. After his father was killed by Jewish freedom fighters in 1948, his mother taught her children to turn the other cheek. In 1983 Awad opened the Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence in Jerusalem, with the aim of fomenting mass nonviolent resistance to Israeli occupation. His peaceful efforts got him kicked out of the country in 1988. He now teaches nonviolence at American University. He remains optimistic about the prospects of nonviolent resistance in the Middle East, but fears the current conflict between Israel and Gaza is driving more people into the extremist camp (Newsweek, August 11).