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… It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. - Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863At the time, President Lincoln was speaking in the context of the horrors of the American Civil War. But his words are most appropriate at a time when Americans face great societal, economic, and political problems, be it health care, the national debt, and/or “gun control.” In some ways, our country is divided. It doesn’t have to be so. If people get involved with the democratic process, they can surely bring about astonishing changes for the betterment of our great nation. With a little effort, Americans can have “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” We just proved it New Mexico. (Read more…)
Amb. Alan Baker
On 31 January 2013 the “International Fact-Finding Mission on Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory” published its findings on the implications of Israeli settlements on the human rights of the Palestinian people.
The enabling resolution of the Human Rights Council, the composition of the mission, its mandate, mode of operation, and substantive content are, from the outset, based on a premise that considers Israel’s settlement policy to be illegal. This premise dictates the one-sided and prejudiced nature of the mission and its report. (Read more…)
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