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"Peace News has compiled an exemplary record... its tasks have never been more critically important than they are today." Noam Chomsky

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Bruce Kent, London

ImageSo David Cameron is in 2014 going to spend millions on British celebrations of the First World War. Let’s get our hands on some of that dosh.

15 May, International Conscientious Objectors’ Day, could do with some publicity and celebration in places large and small around the country. We locally are already planning a Peace Festival in London’s Finsbury Park on Sunday 3 August — the day before that barbaric war started. It will be a focus of anti-war protest .

Football matches with English, French, Germans, Russians (if we can find some) etc all on the same teams. Children’s peace games etc etc. Let’s organise the same in all public parks. Thanks to the invaluable Housmans Peace Diary, I see that 11 November in 2014 is on a Tuesday. So large silent vigils on Sunday 9 November? Trafalgar Square?

Several peace groups are already at work on such ideas. Let’s all join in.

A medal for anyone who actually does get a slice of Cameron’s millions.



Arkhipov

Terry Brady, online

ImageCan you let me know what progress has been made regarding recognising the actions of Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov to prevent nuclear war?

I emailed the Nobel Committee suggesting they should recognise achievements posthumously but I’ve had not a reply. I saw a documentary some years ago about this gentleman’s actions and have had him as a hero since.

Editor Response: 

Plans are afoot — eds

Radical Jews

Jennifer Verson, Liverpool

ImageOn the long and extended train journey from Brighton to Liverpool I found the stomach to finally read the letter about my diary entry and I would like to support the editors in their response, primarily because the writer has specifically asked for a response.

On a very personal level, I feel more able to speak up at the moment because I am a really good jew, I go to synagogue every week, try to observe the Sabbath, love and am loved by a community that has been decimated. So, say what she will, but she certainly cannot call me anti-Jewish.

The response is sitting within a cultural context where radical jews are being bullied, Judith Butler discusses this exact slur in Udi Aloni’s book. It also must be noted that this type of letter-writing is part of a larger system.

I feel like there are a number of different ways that the editors could respond and I am wondering about how I need to assist, I did think about an interview with Udi Aloni who is very engaged in the Israeli/anti-occupation anarchist movement, or Windows for Peace (whose founder I just heard speak) might be a way to up the level of dialogue to a place where there is a possibility for transformation.

Let’s discuss this.

Much love

Editor Response: 

Thanks for your support and constructive ideas, Jennifer. It may be useful to note that Udi Aloni is an Israeli-American artist and filmmaker who sits on the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace. Windows for Peace is a British charity that supports dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian youth through ‘Windows Channels for Communication’ in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Awaiting

Lotta Kronlid, Göteborg

I am soon a subscriber to this great magazine, working on it!

I saw Jen Steiner’s interesting writing following Mil’s great article about the important work on racism that happened at the Peace News camp.

I would love to know what you think of what she wrote. What are you thinking of replying?




Iran, Cuba

Elizabeth Morley, Aberystwyth

Your attempt to apply the lessons of the Cuban missile crisis to the situation with Iran [PN 2550] omits an important piece of the jigsaw: Israel.

Would we really be on the brink of a catastrophe were it not for Mr Netanyahu’s attempt to push Obama into a corner, and on the very eve of the elections lead him by the nose with his synthetic hysteria, his ridiculous bomb cartoon and ‘red lines’?



Editor Response: 

Milan Rai writes: Thank you for your letter. I agree that the current Israeli leadership has heightened the danger of war over Iran’s nuclear programme. However, quite independently of Israel’s warmongering, the US has long been on a path towards confrontation with Iran, for reasons explored in previous issues of PN.
We’ve also long argued that the Israeli threats to strike Iran have so far been negotiating devices, to exert pressure on the US, rather than real operational plans.

Topics: Iran

Dear Subscribers

Claire Poyner, PN admin worker

ImageSome of you had to collect the September issue of PN at your local sorting office as it had been marked as ‘underpaid item — deficient postage’ and had to pay the fee, others didn’t collect (so far I’ve had seven envelopes returned as not collected). Those who did collect their mailing may have noticed the item was NOT over 100g and therefore the Royal Mail had made a mistake.

I have put in an official complaint about this which has been accepted by RM. Any subscriber who paid the extra would be entitled to claim the money back (and get a free book of stamps as we did!). You will need a P58 form from the Royal Mail website. If you want to do this, contact me for the Freepost address and the reference number (which should be quoted to link up the complaints), I can also print out the required form if you don't use the internet.

In the meantime, if you are missing the September issue and would like another copy, get in touch and I will post one.

Apologies to all concerned!