Armageddon is, in the West,
symbolic of the the war that ends all wars. of a terrible battle, a nuclear
The hill (har) of Megiddo is the place
described in the Bible as Armageddon.
We plan to create an International Art
for Peace Festival in Galilee projected to develop over a four year period
in the month of April for one or two weeks around Earth Day (April 22)
on the site of Megiddo. The themes will be: "Transforming Armageddon, Swords
into Plowshares" and "A Turning of Hearts" (from the last words of the
last Jewish prophet)
Megiddo is located in northern Israel, at
the crossing of the Haifa-Jenin road and Hedera-Afula road. It is an archeological
tel, (Israel National Park Authority ) next to Kibbutz Megiddo and Umm
el Fahm (second biggest arab israeli town). The tel dominates the valley
of Jezreel. At the crossroad also is the Megiddo prison. Nearby the Mayaan
Harod National Park (spring of Gideon) is a large camping and outdoor theater
which sits 7,000 people, about 15 miles from Megiddo.
The world is already engaged in an Armageddon
of sorts: 47 or so wars around the planet, the degradation of the environment,
the cutting of the last old forests, the poverty which affects much of
the world's population, the debts, the violence, the diseases.....the ongoing
loss of many thousands of animal and plant species. Now is the time to
begin global peacemaking.
People long to see peace and justice in
But we are isolated, disconnected, divided
by nationalisms, at a time when many of our cities are becoming "global
Wars and other crises need to be seen wholistically
as part of a "war system". We need to reconnect what has been disconnected.
To create a social cultural atmosphere of
"peace culture" at a symbolic meeting place, in the Galilee region where
peace teaching has deep roots, conducive to undertaking an international
peace conference, addressing all outstanding wars and related questions.
To encourage the creation and exhibition
of artistic visions for peace.
To produce a benefit concert, annually,
affirming the call, for a "turning of hearts".
To educate invited guests, and especially,
Israeli Jewish and Arab youth on approaches to international peacemaking,
using the resources of local existing peace groups, universities, institutes.
To bring universalist perspectives to particular
struggles; and integrate specific struggles into a planetary understanding.
Develop a way of looking at wars as part of a global war system in which
common questions need to be put on the table and resolved.
To look at approaches developed by the
local Non Governmental Organizations' responding to local needs, considering
as many different war situations as we can include.
To enhance the Israeli and Palestinian peace
movements, and foster justice and security for all people in the region.
To connect peace movements internationally.
To strenghten exchanges and communications
between the people of Israel /Palestine, and the people of Ann Arbor (Michigan),
Berkeley (California), and other participating towns. To stimulate local
followup meetings in participating communities.
At Megiddo: to realize this year
April 22 to 25, 2000, focusing on Earth Day,
Gather at a wooden peace pole with:
"May Peace Prevail on Earth" in four languages, planted on the site by
the Megiddo Project/Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, Ann Arbor,
Interfaith prayers/ meditations for peace
facilitated by Jews, Muslims, Christians, and people from other traditions
and sources Buddhists, Hindus, Baha'is, Native Americans.
Art for Peace: Beginning of bringing visons
of Peace from the youth in the area, and Art work/Posters from around the
world, art on the spot, improvised theater.
Organize a team on the ground for co-ordination,
fundraising, beginning planning the 2001 program.
Teachings from the stones: an interpretative,
exploratory tour. There are 20 different strata excavated at Megiddo from
the Chalcolitic period (3100 B.C.E.) to the Persian period (332 B.C.E.)
The stones themselves teach us about human vanity, of powers that came
and went, and of wars...past, present and around the world.
At the City's Gate (18 century B.C.) we will
meditate on the question of security,state, personnal....is the nation
military buget killing us?
From the Columns of a building of Salomon's
time (970-930 B.C.) the question of land sharing comes to mind, overlooking
the contested valley and the "green line." Salomon's wisdom taught about
who was the rightful mother of one live child: the land being "our mother
"can two or many children share the land together? where is the wisdom
of the day?
In the "Water Tunnel" we could ponder on the
question of the lack of water and how to conserve and share it.
Near the "Tomb of Royalty" we will think about
the question of privileges. Would the powerful and rich people relinquish
their privileges for the benefit of the many, or put these privileges at
the service of the poor?.....would we?
The "High Place" from canaanite times makes
us think of the cost of human sacrifices, and about patriarchy that replaced
the old religion, and what would be a new social contract around caring
nuturing and democratic empowerment.
The Grain Silo: the question of food; now
that we have the resources to feed everyone in the world, how can we share
and use them to enhance life on our planet.
Specific plan to realize this year: in our
To initiate a town meeting, to consider the
wars at home, the relation of our community to the global war system, and
the peace and justice programs people are advancing.
Possible Plans for the next year, 2001
Involve local youth through cooperation with
other organizations, as an example:
Other possible examples: Art for Peace exhibit/from
the Jerusalem Link (Jerusalem) or from France, Le movement de la Paix (Paris)
and L'appel des Cents, (Lyon), Posters from Beijing: Fourth World Women
Conference, Swords into Plowshears Gallery (Detroit), Peace Museum, (Chicago).
On site art activities with the help of Givat
Haviva, and local Israeli artists.
Path of Peace, exhibit developed by L'Appel
des Cents, from the French peace movement to teach peace.
Seeds of Peace, youth meeting to learn from
each others /North America.
Peace Camps and the Leadership Instititute
developed by the Women International league for Peace and Freedom.
Teach Peace: by Neve Shalom-Wahat Al Salam
"school of peace" and by the Association of Mediterranean Women.
U.N. work explained to youth per different
video tapes by the World Center for Peace, Human Rights and Liberty, Verdun
Create an art exhibit called: "Visions of
Peace" centered around a table for peace, tent of meeting, chairs, and
necessary furnishings for a peace meeting, made by contributing artists
from many different countries.
- Organize multigenerational inter-cultural
events: concerts, music, poems sensitive to diverse local traditions
bringing together Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews; Irish, Ethiopian,
Russian, North African, Chilian, Chinese, Indian, American and Israeli
Jews and Arabs and Palestinians, along with others International guests.
- Organize a women's march and rituals
- The women would have a women's council
and peace camp on top of Mount Tabor; then march across the valley
of Jezreel to the "high place" at the Megiddo site. The rituals would
express and foster evolution from a patriarchal culture to one of
partnership between men and women which supports the values of caring,
nuturing, equity and democratic decision making.
- Convene a delegation of medical personnel
to envision the construction of medical facilities for peace specially
focused towards treating people previously injured in the Israeli/Palestinian
- Convene a forum of people coming from
the many different wars and milltarized conflicts around the world:
Columbia, Algeria, Burundi, Rwanda, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Kashmir, Chiapas,
Iraq, Cuba, Cosovo, Guatemala, Philipinnes, Burma, Indonesia, Turkey...around
common questions and specific directions towards a just peace.
- Organize an international conference
of discussions on the themes of sharing lands and water, security,
patriarchy, privileges, destructive consumerism, local/global economy,
"eco-logic", sustainable (if it can be) development, co-operative
economies. The building of a proactive society to enhance all life
on our planet.
- Raise money through an annual Benefit
concert., to design, initiate and sustain a program of specific benefit
for children - educational, health, skills training, creative arts,
- Develop an art theater production
dramatizing how to make peace, create justice and end all the wars
in the world.
- Invite artists, peace organizations,
churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, and other religious, spiritual,
cultural and philantrophic associations to join in sponsorship of
the Megiddo Project.
- Develop a traveling art for peace
- Develop a continuing, permanent "peace
education center" at megiddo, attractive to tourists and integrated
into the tour programs that bring thousands of tourists to the site
every year form all over the world
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