Peace Lines NGO

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Peace Lines Logo

Peace Lines is a humanitarian n.g.o., which was created in 1993, during the war in Bosnia. Its aim is to "convey all messages and texts for peace between people, cities, and nations" (2nd Article, Statutes).

Beyond Bosnia, Peace Lines has offered its support in Algeria, Kosovo, and Senegal; since 2000, it has been focused on peace work between Israel and Palestine.

History

Humanitarian Convoy on the Diamond Road in Middle Bosnia, winter of 1993

- Bosnia (1993–1996 & until today)

Peace Lines was established in the summer of 1993, on the Diamond Road to Sarajevo, which had been besieged for sixteen months. From 1993 to 1995 the organization conveyed twenty tons of medicine and food, books too, to Middle Bosnia, through the front-lines. With the books were booklets translated into Serbo-Croat (Martin Luther King, Henry Thoreau, Jean Giono, Martin Gray, Saint-Exupéry...), and widely distributed, along with anti-war audio-cassettes, at every check-point, on every front-line, among Croats, Bosnians, Serbs alike. From side to side, and with the help of the U.N. Forces on the ground, Peace Lines' teams met with a number of war leaders and participated in negotiations to bring peace back between Croats and Muslim Bosnians, notably in Vitez in early 1994.

The next goal was to spread an international campaign for a final cease-fire through the Bosnian media (radio & TV), in Sarajevo, Kiseljak, Zenica, Mostar, and Pale, from the spring until the fall of 1995, when the war stopped. This campaign was supported by 33 Nobel Laureates (among them Presidents de Klerk and Gorbachev, Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin, the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa...).

Peace Lines pursued this involvement after the cease-fire, conveying books for high schools and libraries.[1]

- Algeria (1997–1998)

In 1998, terrorism in Algeria was at its climax. From 1993 on, the GIA (Armed Islamic Groups) and other jihadi groups murdered journalists systematically, slaughtered civilians en masse, and decreed a fatwa to kill all foreigners on their land. A call of solidarity We are human beings was conceived in Algiers, and supported by 68 Nobel Laureates. It was very widely broadcast in the Algerian media (radio and press) in the spring of 1998.[2]

- Kosovo (1999–2001)

In Kosovo, the situation quickly became unbearable for its Serbian minority, and the bilingual programme of Peace Lines could not be developed as it was in Bosnia.

Well dug for a family in Senegal, 1999

- Senegal (1998–2000)

In four missions, a "Field of Friendship and Brotherhood" was created in Sahel. A limited intervention, reaching its aim of digging wells, and enabling the people to start growing their own vegetables and fruit-trees, so they could be self-supporting. Some construction was also done, to improve conditions of life.

- Israel-Palestine (2000 until today)

Permanently involved in its educational programme, the main priority is to restore the conditions of possibility of such a programme, starting with a final end to bloodshed and the seemingly unending "dialogue of rockets and missiles" between Gaza and Israel.

In this spirit, in November 2000, Peace Lines launched a first call with 11 Nobel laureates, "the Ramallah, Nazareth, Jerusalem Call". "There must be an end to the blood-smeared logics of talion, and armed forces !",[3] followed in March 2001 by "the Peace through Justice Call", supported by 16 Nobel laureates and 8 European Parliamentarians "Both Palestinians and Israelis share the same tiny piece of land. Both breathe the same air, drink from the same sources... address each other with the same peace salute : Shalom, Salam..." [4]

Its 2005-2007 Campaign Against Terror, for Common Sense had gathered the support of 69 Nobel Laureates and 97 Members of the European Parliament.[5]

From 2008 till 2011, Peace Lines campaigned for the liberation, on humanitarian grounds, of Sergeant Gilad Shalit and significant numbers of Palestinian prisoners.

As of June 2009, at the time of the last European elections, the ongoing Open the Doors Campaign had gathered the support of 63 Nobel Laureates (among them 11 Peace Laureates : Bishop Belo, Shirin Ebadi, John Hume, Mairead Maguire, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Archbishop Tutu, Betty Williams and Jody Williams & 4 Literature Laureates : Elfriede Jelinek, Toni Morrison, Dario Fo and Wole Soyinka), as well as 202 Members of the European Parliament (representing all 27 countries).[6]

By the end of 2011, along with the afore mentioned 11 Peace Laureates, 25 Chemistry Laureates, 20 Medicine Laureates, 12 Physics Laureates, 5 Literature Laureates, and 3 Economics Laureates had joined the campaign. Among them, Professors Roald Hoffmann, Sir Aaron Klug, Sir Harold Kroto, Jean-Marie Lehn, Zhores Alferov, Baruj Benacerraf (deceased in 2011), Brian Josephson, Sir Paul Nurse, Christian de Duve (deceased in 2013), Roger Guillemin, Torsten Wiesel, Leon Lederman, Jack Steinberger, Gerardus 't Hooft, Daniel Kahneman (see the full list on the Peace Lines site, see Links).

In mid-2015, the numbers are back at 250 for the MEPs and 69 for the Nobel laureates (due to deceases of signatories). Among the non-Nobel signatories : Yasmina Khadra, Noam Chomsky, Jean-Luc Godard, Martin Gray, David Grossman, Amos Oz and Satish Kumar.

External links

Peace Lines Official Site

Gimme shelter, August 1, 2014

Gaza, a two-year siege, June 17, 2009

Gaza, Mediterranea, July 13, 2008

Give Anapolis une chance, November 2007

References

  1. Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace (France), "Humanitaire : Des livres pour la Bosnie", DNA, 2005/04/21
  2. Le Matin Algérie (Algeria), "OUVREZ LES PORTES ! Un appel de 58 Prix Nobel, en faveur de Ghaza", Le Matin DZ, 2009/07/14
  3. Maria Malagardis, Libération (France), "Onze Nobel contre la violence", Libération, 2000/11/25
  4. Le Monde, "Seize Nobel et huit députés européens appellent à la paix par la justice ", Le Monde, 2001/03/08
  5. AFP, La Dépêche, "Des Prix Nobel appellent à la paix entre Israël et les Palestiniens", La Dépêche, 2007/12/17
  6. le Nouvel Observateur, "Ouvrez les portes, un appel de 59 Prix Nobel et 202 eurodéputés contre le blocus de Gaza", Le Nouvel Observateur, 2009/06/18

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