Israelis and Palestinians for Moon

From HometownAnnapolis:

Raymond J. Mas of Odenton, along with 13 other Americans, returned home Christmas Eve after a six-day tour – a bridge-building mission to the Holy Land…The trip was organized by the Middle East Peace Initiative…

Participants in the initiative’s peace-building conferences have included civic leaders of Israeli cities such as Yona Yahav, who is mayor of Haifa; Dr. Eliezer Glaubach, former Jerusalem city councilman; Sheik Aziz Bukhari, a Muslim leader in Jerusalem; Naila Kharroub, principal of Dar Al-Kalima High School in Bethlehem; and Abouna Hatoum, a Melkite Catholic priest from Nazareth.

“When the high-level Ambassadors for Peace continue to come from all faiths and all nations, it gives us strength to overcome all barriers. We feel the world is supporting our efforts to end violence and promote dialogue and understanding,” said Mr. Bukhari, whose family has lived in Jerusalem’s Via Dolorosa for 300 years.

The Rev. Hatoum said, “Ambassadors for Peace do not ‘talk’ about peace, we do the work of peace; we ‘do’ the peace.”…

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President Ma Addresses UPF Conference in Taipei

Conference held at same place and time as WACL event

The Taiwan News reports from this weekend’s International Leadership Conference held at the Grand Hotel in Taipei, where Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou addressed “more than 100 religious, political and academic representatives from 16 Asian countries and 300 local delegates” on the need for closer relations with China:

The 2009 International Leadership Conference is jointly sponsored by several nongovernmental organizations, including the Women’s Federation for World Peace, Taiwan, R.O.C., and the Universal Peace Federation, with an aim to provide a platform for countries to exchange views and discuss solutions to major issues.

The “Women’s Federation for World Peace” and the UPF are of course actually the same thing – fronts that exist to promote the religious message of Rev Sun Myung Moon.

Apparently there was some dissent at the meeting, as the Taipei Times reports:

Reverend William Luo, a pro-independence advocate who attended the conference, shouted: “No Justice” at Ma during his speech. Ma ignored the remarks and continued his speech.

Lou helps to run the Taiwan United Nations Alliance, which lobbies for Taiwan to drop its official “Republic of China” name and declare complete indepedence from mainland China; other Taiwanese Presbyterians are also active in this cause.

By happy coincidence (or maybe something more?), the conference was held at the same location and at the same time as the 2009 convention of the World League for Freedom and Democracy (WLFD), where President Ma also spoke. The WLFD carries a certain amount of baggage, and it was previously known as the World Anti-Communist League. WACL was founded in 1966 to bolster support for anti-Communist military rule in Taiwan and South Korea, and it soon attracted all kinds of far-right regimes and chancers looking for respectability on “anti-Communist” grounds. Rev Moon was associated with WACL for a while, and although he broke public links in 1975 (perhaps after failing to take it over), the Japan branch of the Unifcation Church remained a member and several Moon-linked persons were at the 1984 WACL conference in San Diego. The 1980s also saw WACL work with Moon’s CAUSA International in Central America on issues such as assisting the Contras (1).

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(1) Details in last paragraph taken from Scott Anderson and John Lee Anderson, Inside the League: The Shocking Expose of How Terrorists, Nazis, and Latin American Death Squads Have Infiltrated the World Anti-Communist League (1986).

Meet Ambassador Diasen

From the Philippines Information Agency:

Tabuk City, Kalinga (10 January) — Governor Floydelia Diasen.. was conferred last December 2008 during the 4-day global peace festival in Manila the title of peace ambassador by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), an NGO with special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations that is working efforts to implement the UN Millennium Development Goal (MDG).

An advocate of peace, Diasen’s PEACE agenda is parallel to the objectives of UPF that looks for ways in which the world can actually become a “global family” by bringing people together across the dividing lines of faith, ethnicity and national background. Best local peacekeeping practices and laudable achievements earned her the prestigious award.

“PEACE” here apparently stands for “peace promotion, educational growth, agriculture enhancement, culture and tourism development, environment and health.