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April 23, 2013

Palestinian Statehood and the Quest for a Lasting Middle East Peace

The Palestinian-Israeli issue has always been controversial.  Palestine’s upgraded UN status from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state,” passed in the General Assembly by a large margin on November 30, 2012, brings with it, on one hand,  new opportunities for Palestinians, while on the other hand,  it is potentially more of “a headache” for Israel.

Israeli-settlementsThe change from “non-member entity” to “non-member state” for Palestine at the UN has deepened the concerns and hardened the positions of both sides in the conflict.  Israel considers the fact to be counter-productive in terms of returning to direct negotiations for peace while Palestine continues to call for a freeze on building new settlements in the occupied territory as a precondition for direct negotiations.  Hence, the upgraded status for Palestine at the UN seems to have largely impeded further efforts and possibilities to reach reconciliation.

The complex issue of whether Israeli settlements in the occupied territory are legal or illegal was addressed in the UN Human Rights Council report, approved in Geneva in March 2013.  The report states that the settlements are illegal because they violate international humanitarian law under the Fourth Geneva Convention, specifically Article 49 which sets out basic criteria for what is acceptable as humane during wartime.  Palestine insists that before direct negotiations for peace can resume with Israel, building by Israel in the occupied territory must stop.  Israel is firm in its position that there can be no preconditions to the resumption of peace talks.

UN ruling on Palestine status changeThe recent change of status allows the Palestinians to participate in UN General Assembly debates, and gives them a chance to join UN agencies and the International Criminal Court (ICC). Palestine could choose to sign the ICC’s treaty and Rome Statute which may offer the opportunity to urge an investigation of perceived Israeli war crimes, and/or make other legal claims against Israel. This possibility, however, is not without potential problems for Palestine as Israel could lodge charges of their own against Palestine and ask for an ICC investigation.  Hence, while Palestine’s access to the ICC through its new UN status could eventually lead to enforcement of international law decisions resulting in an Israeli retreat from its present positions, ICC access exposes Palestine to the same international law and its enforcement.

Considering the historical experience and rapid developments in the Middle East, it remains very hard to predict whether a sustainable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be reached for the long-term. But the UN action in November 2012 to upgrade Palestine’s status can be a first step to bringing the elusive lasting peace in the Middle East, so long sought after by both Palestine and Israel.  Perhaps it can offer an alternative road-map to Israeli-Palestinian coexistence.

April 11, 2013

Musical Cover Contest Tribute to Jyoti Singh Pandey – Delhi gang rape victim.

Jyoti Singh PandeyFollowing the tragic rape and murder of the Delhi Gang Rape Victim, Jyoti Singh Pandey, The Pixel Project dedicated our Valentine 2013 YouTube Cover Carnival contest to honour Ms. Pandey’s courage and strength in fighting for her life until the bitter end.

Ms. Pandey’s death is a tipping point that triggered a major backlash against Violence Against Women in India and worldwide and we hope this collective musical tribute will be a positive way of keeping the momentum of the activism going.

The Pixel Project is a global, virtual, volunteer-led 501(c)3 nonprofit working to raise awareness, funds and volunteer power for the cause to end Violence Against Women using the power of the internet, social media, new technologies and popular culture/the Arts.

We are joined and supported by an all-star panel of judges including:

  • AHMIR (also The Pixel Project’s YouTube Music Ambassador)
  • Ali Brustofski
  • J Rice
  • Lisa Lavie

Our YouTube Cover Carnival Contest is open to all up-and-coming YouTube artistes. Contestants have a choice of 2 songs to cover:
“Little Things” by One Direction
“Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston

Music For Pixels Music Campaign
YouTube Cover Carnival Contest:

Artists Submission page:

music4pixels@thepixelproject.net http://music4pixels.thepixelproject.net

inf2013 YouTube Cover Carnival contest


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