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Posted on on April 25th, 2011
by Pincas Jawetz (

April 24 in modern history is a peace day date. We just discovered this accidentally. We think the UN should look into the possibility of making this a holy day in its calendar.

This year it happened to be Easter Sunday, but this is not our point. Rather, we coincidentally did something we never do – we looked at the listing of things that happened on this date in modern history and it rang bells in our mind.

Look at April 24, 1916 – it was the start of a down-played conference of European Socialists at Kiental in the Swiss Canton Bern. The Conference lasted till April 30th and was officially painted as a tourism event. But it was much more then that. At this meeting Lenin called to the workers in all countries of WWI to act so the War is ended. That was a Lenin call to the workers of the world to stop a useless war!

In 1926 on April 24th there was the signing of an international agreement relating to mobile vehicles – this was an aspect of the start of globalization. It was thought at that time that mobility will bring people together.

On April 24, 1941 the US and Japan held secret talks to establish a “MODUS VIVENDI” in the Pacific and East Asia. It led to no results, but it was some sort of secretly held effort at avoiding war. Had it led to results, there might have been peace in the Pacific but Hitler would have won in Europe and this surely would not have been the peace we could have enjoyed. So, Japan actually helped bringing about peace by leading to its own defeat – something I could not miss contemplating.

April 24, 1981 President Reagan lifted the grain embargo against the Soviet Union. Was this the start of West-East detente or just the recognition that the “Containment” policy is bringing results?

April 24, 1996, The Palestinian National Council decided to take out the statement about the destruction of the State of Israel from the PLO Charter. This allowed for a step  towards the eluding Peace Accord in the Middle East -though without results yet, it was a required step in the right direction nevertheless.

Looking at birthdays – it was April 24, 1941 – (remember the US-Japan secret talks?) that was also the birthday of Richard Holbrooke – a man who tried to bring peace to places other did not dare to go – Holbrooke achieved great public prominence when he, together with former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt, brokered a peace agreement among the warring factions inBosnia that led to the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords. It is sad to look reality in the face – but it was the Holbrooke effort that led to the only tangible peace making event in Europe in the post WWII era – and again it had to be initiated by the US  as the EU has not moved away yet from the bickering among its constituent governments. (The EU is a Federation when it comes to common standardization of goods and measurements – this more then in the USA, but in the all important matters of Foreign Policy, Security, and military command, it is yet much less then the American style of Federal Government. Thus not yet able to be effective in Peace making.

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