Jerusalem is our Future

 

Álvaro Vasconcelos

The recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in violation of the decisions of the United Nations, is an attack against a city that, more than any other, is a world city.
In 2000 in Ramallah, Faisal Husseini, the late PLO leader,in a EuroMeSCo seminar, declared that Jerusalem should be an open city, with a municipality run jointly by Israelis and Palestinians. Faisal Husseini explained that in a city that is home to the sacred sites of more than 2 billion inhabitants of the world – the ruins of the Temple of Solomon, the Mosque of Al-Aqsa or the Holy Sepulchre – only a shared management would guarantee peace and the free access of all.
Jerusalem is much more than a geographical reference, it is a symbol of the millennial coexistence between the three great monotheistic religions, in all its declinations, is multiculturalism made world, the Tower of Babel as a “realizable Utopia” to use Paul Ricoeur formula .

 

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Seeds of Hope in the Trump-Era?

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Cláudia de Castro Caldeirinha

Donald Trump is on the news everyday, all over the world – and this well before his official term as US President started. His controversial personality and decisions leave little space for neutrality and soft positions. His zero-sum positions provoke an endless succession of tensions and intense reactions, at home and abroad. The least we can say is that he is not good at making friends, as his stances on Mexico, China, the Muslim countries, on multilateralism, on trade, on NATO, the UN and the EU, on freedom of the press, etc, are currently showing.

Gone are the expectations of those who had expected (read “hoped”) that his campaign promises would be replaced by a more pragmatic agenda, once he got elected. His ominous vision of “America first” is everyday incarnating into controversial nationalist measures that are fuelling widespread discontentment. The refugees and immigration bans (also called “Muslim-ban”, as it became known in social media); the anti-abortion rulings; the order to build a border wall to prevent Mexican immigrants to enter the US; the persistence on supporting an unsustainable fossil fuel industry; the destruction of Obamacare, Barack Obama’s healthcare law, are some of the most contentious decisions. Moreover, his radical positions seem to dismiss the point that stable international relations, security and trade are based on compromise-building. This apparent unconsciousness leads many to fear that the new American President might precipitate serious conflicts and even provoke a new global recession with his drastic populist agenda.
It is therefore not a surprise that democrats and liberals all over the world both fear and abhor Donald Trump. Not one day passes without Trump-related declarations. From Obama to the Silicon Valley tycoons, from world leaders to the Members of European institutions, from civil society leaders to concerned citizens. This article focus on the latter, i.e. on the social mobilization gradually building in these first weeks of Trump’s rule.

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