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Saturday, December 31, 2016

My letter to the NYTimes RE "John Kerry and Israel: Too Little and Too Late" by Rashid Khalidi


RE "John Kerry and Israel: Too Little and Too Late" by Rashid Khalidi

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/29/opinion/john-kerry-and-israel-too-little-and-too-late.html?ref=opinion

Dear Editor,



for publishing








Diana Buttu in the Boston Globe: Kerry describes a reality that Palestinians are living


CNN video Noura Erakat regarding Israel as "The Jewish State"


Hussein Ibish Kerry’s words and the UN vote don’t help Palestinians ..."Israel builds and expands settlements no matter what, but this resolution will undoubtedly lead to even more aggressive building than usual. And Israel may take other retaliatory measures, all of them aimed at Palestinians, who alone are vulnerable to Israeli retaliation."


The Growth of Israeli settlements, explained in 5 charts

 
CNN VIDEO: Palestinian leader Hanan Ashrawi reacts to the UNSC vote calling on Israel to stop building settlements.  https://www.facebook.com/umkahlil?fref=ts 


 
Putting a Face on the Facts... An Easy to Understand Essay by Nancy Harb Almendras outlining a Global Controversy: The conflict between the state of Israel and the Palestinians.

Ibrahim's Estate

Jimmy Carter: America Must Recognize Palestine

Newsweek:
Award-winning Palestinian teacher on how to help traumatized kids

Baltimore's Susan Muaddi Darraj wins American Book Award for 'A Curious Land'

"We're a really diverse community, actually," Darraj says. "A lot of people think that all Palestinians are Muslims. But, the characters I write about are Palestinian Christians."  American Book Award winner Susan Muaddi Darraj among highlights of Baltimore Book Festival

Freda Hughes' art, created in 2008: Remember Palestine this Christmas

A mural by Norwegian artist, Per Krohg, depicts a phoenix rising from ashes, symbolizing the resurgence of peace, equality and freedom.

" This issue marks the eighteenth year of This Week in Palestine, and we are pleased to present you with another issue filled with articles that attest to Palestine’s cultural wealth. A high level of religious tolerance and the integration of various faiths are defining facets of Palestinian culture, historically and today. Such practice sets Palestine apart in a region where too many people have been immensely traumatized by acts of violence frequently caused by lack of tolerance, greed, and thirst for power and dominance. It is time to remember, in the Holy Land and elsewhere, that the central tenets and pillars of our religions are good will and kind deeds towards our fellow visitors on this planet." Tina Basem, This Week in Palestine editor's message Issue #224, December 2016

The Golden Rule... Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?
The time is always right to do what is right.
We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

My letter to the NYTIMES RE "The Two-State Solution: What It Is and Why It Hasn’t Happened" oped- by Max Fisher & NYTimes Editorial "Is Israel Abandoning a Two-State Solution?


RE: "The Two-State Solution: What It Is and Why It Hasn’t Happened" oped- by Max Fisher & NYTimes Editorial "Is Israel Abandoning a Two-State Solution?" http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/29/world/middleeast/israel-palestinians-two-state-solution.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/28/opinion/is-israel-abandoning-a-two-state-solution.html?src=me
& a very good letter by IBRAHIM AHMED: "I encourage both parties to negotiate to end this conflict. It can be done." http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/29/opinion/the-rift-between-the-us-and-israel.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

Dear Editor,

Your American letter writer, Ibrahim Ahmed, gets to the right to heart of the matter when he gracefully points out that  "Palestine and Israel should put their religious differences aside..."

Think it through and it becomes quite obvious that the popular argument that Israel needs to make peace with Palestine so that Israel can remain Jewish is a bad argument, as well as an extremely dangerous and cruel decades long status quo that has shaped and exasperated the angst of the Israelis and the very real plight and suffering of the men, women, and children of historic Palestine.

Think it through: Tax payers here and there should not be funding and fueling state sponsored bigotry, injustice and escalating religious conflict.

Golden Rule thinking based on full respect for international law and all Universal Human Rights can and should guide every conversation, every choice, and every negotiation on the way to a just and lasting peace: One state or two, religion needs be a personal, private matter.

Sincerely,

Anne Selden Annab

NOTES

CNN VIDEO: Palestinian leader Hanan Ashrawi reacts to the UNSC vote calling on Israel to stop building settlements.  https://www.facebook.com/umkahlil?fref=ts 



Putting a Face on the Facts... An Easy to Understand Essay by Nancy Harb Almendras outlining a Global Controversy: The conflict between the state of Israel and the Palestinians.

Ibrahim's Estate

Jimmy Carter: America Must Recognize Palestine

Newsweek:
Award-winning Palestinian teacher on how to help traumatized kids Baltimore's Susan Muaddi Darraj wins American Book Award for 'A Curious Land'

"We're a really diverse community, actually," Darraj says. "A lot of people think that all Palestinians are Muslims. But, the characters I write about are Palestinian Christians."  American Book Award winner Susan Muaddi Darraj among highlights of Baltimore Book Festival

Freda Hughes' art, created in 2008: Remember Palestine this Christmas

A mural by Norwegian artist, Per Krohg, depicts a phoenix rising from ashes, symbolizing the resurgence of peace, equality and freedom.

"This issue marks the eighteenth year of This Week in Palestine, and we are pleased to present you with another issue filled with articles that attest to Palestine’s cultural wealth. A high level of religious tolerance and the integration of various faiths are defining facets of Palestinian culture, historically and today. Such practice sets Palestine apart in a region where too many people have been immensely traumatized by acts of violence frequently caused by lack of tolerance, greed, and thirst for power and dominance. It is time to remember, in the Holy Land and elsewhere, that the central tenets and pillars of our religions are good will and kind deeds towards our fellow visitors on this planet." Tina Basem, This Week in Palestine editor's message Issue #224, December 2016

The Golden Rule... Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Growing Gardens for Palestine... #Christmas #Palestine #PalmTrees #Mary... Informative, inspiring and entertaining facebook posts today from my friend Mike

Wednesday, December 21, 2016
#Christmas #Palestine #PalmTrees #Mary

Informative, inspiring and entertaining facebook posts today from my friend Mike -

So I was in the Mall yesterday when I heard some ladies discussing #Christmas and the weather. A couple of them had just gotten back from Florida and were commenting about palm trees decorated with lights and how out of place it felt, and so, once again, sensing an opportunity to educate and inform, I chimed in by asking them if they had ever seen a Nativity Scene. "Of course" they all replied. I them asked what kind of tree is always included in those scenes. They gave me a puzzled look, and finally one of them said "I am almost sure its a palm tree". I said that is correct, a palm tree because the trees that you are used to seeing decorated originated in European tradition, not #Palestinian because those trees are not at all native to #Palestine, the birth place of #Jesus., while palm trees are.

I then asked them why is a palm tree included in the nativity scene, and of course none of them knew, thinking it was there for "decoration". I then informed them that in the Quran, where the blessed Virgin Mary has her own story, we are told that after having given birth, weak and hungry, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to her and instructed her to "nudge the palm tree" for sustenance, whereby ripe dates would fall for her to eat, and today, science has proven that dates are a "super food"...They were amazed, and by now I had an audience of about 10 people, and so we went in depth about Palestine, Islam and Jesus, and I was peppered with questions which I was most certainly more than happy to answer, complete with pictures because I "conveniently" keep thousands of relevant photos of Palestine, #Bethlehem, and #Jerusalem...One at a time


Jesus is Born

The pains of childbirth drove her to clutch at the trunk of a date-palm tree and she cried out in anguish:

“Would that I had died before this, and had been forgotten and out of sight!” (Quran 19:23)

Mary delivered her child right there, at the foot of the date tree. She was exhausted after the birth, and filled with distress and fear, but nevertheless she heard a voice calling out to her. .

“Grieve not! Your Lord has provided you a stream of clear water under you; and shake the trunk of palm tree towards you; it will let fall fresh ripe dates upon you. So eat and drink and be glad...” (Quran 19:24)

God provided Mary with water, as a stream suddenly appeared beneath the place she was sitting. He also provided her with food; all she had to do was shake the trunk of the date tree. Mary was scared and frightened; she felt so weak, having just given birth, so how could she possibly shake the immense trunk of a date tree? But God continued to provide Mary with sustenance.

The next event was indeed another miracle, and as human beings we learn a great lesson from this. Mary didn’t need to shake the date tree, which would have been impossible; she only had to make an effort. As she attempted to follow God’s command, fresh ripe dates fell from the tree and God said to Mary: “…eat, drink and be glad.” (Quran 19:26)

Mary now had to take her new born child and go back to face her family. Of course she was afraid, and God knew this well. Thus He directed her not to speak. It would not have been possible for Mary to explain how she had suddenly become the mother of a new born child. Since she was unmarried, her people would not believe her explanations. God said:

“And if you see any human being, say: ‘Verily! I have vowed a fast unto the Most Gracious (God) so I shall not speak to any human being this day.’” (Quran 19:26)


 Bethlehem, Palestine...Circa 1898































 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Putting a Face on the Facts... An Easy to Understand Essay by Nancy Harb Almendras outlining a Global Controversy: The conflict between the state of Israel and the Palestinians.

Palestinian Woman in traditional Ramallah dress.
A Global Controversy: The conflict between the state of Israel and the Palestinians. 
An Essay
by Nancy Harb Almendras
-->

A global controversy for which there has been no solution for sixty-eight years is the conflict between the state of Israel and the Palestinians.   

In 1967 the United Nations proclaimed the state of Israel on two-thirds of historic Palestine.  At this time the land set aside for the Jewish State had a majority of Palestinian Arab inhabitants. The solution for the problem is to afford those Palestinian Arabs who want to return to their original towns and villages in what is now Israel to return and to allocate the area which Israel has occupied since 1948, referred to as the West Bank and Gaza for a Palestinian State.

A majority of Israelis will argue that if Palestinians who wish to return to their homes in present day Israel do so, then Israel will cease to be a Jewish state.  One could argue that it is a racist concept to define a state based upon religion and to keep those out whose ethnicity or religion differs from the majority.  Besides, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “every man may leave his home and return to his home.”

Imagine if one was born in California, but due to a political issue, could not return to California.  Not return to California to see Sequoia National Forest, Yosemite, the Golden Gate Bridge, the trees in one’s own backyard.  This is precisely what happened to the Palestinians even prior to 1948, when the leaders of Jewish militias put in place a plan, Plan Dalet, to ethnically cleanse the future Jewish state of its Palestinian Arab inhabitants.  This is a historical fact attested to by Palestinian historians, i.e., Princeton Professor Emeritus Walid Khalidi, researcher Dr. Salman Abu Sitta, as well as Israeli historians, Ilan Pappe and Benny Morris.  Proponents of the state of Israel will say that Israelis were defending the emergent state from invading Arab armies, but before any Arab armies entered Palestine, many of its inhabitants were already ethnically cleansed.  Ghassan Kanafani writes beautifully of the trauma he and his family endured upon becoming refugees in the moving short story “Land of Sad Oranges.”

What will become of Israel’s Jewish citizens if Palestinians decide to exercise their right of return?  Researcher, Dr. Salman Abu Sitta, has written that on many of the over 530 Palestinian villages that were destroyed in the aftermath of the state of Israel, Israel has not rebuilt and Israelis do not live in them.  Palestinians and their descendants who return could rebuild their villages with little disruption to the lives of the current Jewish Israeli inhabitants.  Keep in mind that Israel currently has a Palestinian Arab minority of roughly one-quarter. 

Currently, Israel, when one includes occupied Gaza and the West Bank, rules over a majority of Palestinian Arabs.  These Palestinians enjoy few civil rights, including the right to self-determination, as they are not allowed to vote.  Contrary to international law, Israel has moved its own citizens to the territories which it occupies, taking prime Palestinian land, using an inordinate amount of the water, raiding Palestinian villages, demolishing Palestinian homes, and displacing Palestinians.  Little has changed since 1948.  Many Israelis ask what will become of the settlers if the West Bank becomes part of a Palestinian state.  Just like Palestinians will have a right whether to return to their original homes in Israel or instead live in the new Palestinian state, the settlers will have the same choice: live in a sovereign Palestinian state or return to Israel.

Some Palestinians argue that instead of a separate Palestine and Israel there should be just one state in which all of its citizens enjoy equal rights, just as some Israelis argue that if Palestinians return, Israel will cease to exist as a “Jewish” state.  Basically, what exists now is one state, albeit, one in which Palestinians have no rights.  One must take into consideration that if there are no separate states, how will the economically inferior Palestinians fare?  Will it be much of the same as under occupation?  To those who say that Israel will lose its “Jewish” character, well welcome to the twenty-first century.  How ludicrous does it sound if one maintains that the US must retain its white character?

Edward Said once said that it’s unfortunate that the foe of the Palestinian-Arab is the Jew.  One reason is that the Jewish people, because of the tragedy which occurred to them in World War II, have the sympathy of the world.  He also showed that it is not impossible for Palestinians and Jewish Israelis to work together; he and Daniel Barenboim, an Israeli Jew, together sponsored the Palestinian Youth Orchestra, which travels the world to much acclaim.   Today, there are many Jewish advocates, working alongside people of many ethnicities, for the end of the occupation and the creation of a separate Palestinian state.  In an increasingly globalized world, it is important to both honor and set aside ethnic and religious differences.  It is still possible to believe that human beings are capable of living together in a spirit of respect and trust.


Putting a face on the facts
Nancy's father- from Palestine- Basil Harb
Nancy at 19 in traditional dress- Her first visit to Ramallah Palestine
Nancy Harb Almendras in 2014

Friday, July 22, 2016

My letter to the NYTimes RE Israeli Defense Minister Compares Beloved Palestinian Poet [Mahmoud Darwish] to Hitler & For Palestinians, Raising Arabian Horses Is ‘the Hobby of the Poor’



Mohammad al-Eisawi, 39, and his son Majd, 5, atop an Arabian horse named Furys near Issawiya. Photo Credit Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times
Israeli Defense Minister Compares Beloved Palestinian Poet [Mahmoud Darwish] to Hitler
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/22/world/middleeast/avigdor-lieberman-compares-mahmoud-darwish-to-hitler.html?_r=0
&
For Palestinians, Raising Arabian Horses Is ‘the Hobby of the Poor’
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/14/world/middleeast/for-palestinians-raising-arabian-horses-is-the-hobby-of-the-poor.html?action=click&contentCollection=Middle%20East&pgtype=imageslideshow&module=RelatedArticleList&region=CaptionArea&version=SlideCard-1

"The poem is always incomplete, the butterflies make it whole.To A Young Poet - Poem by Mahmoud Darwish

The beloved Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish, wrote many different things- and many different things have been written about him.  Friday 7 June 2002, The Guardian published a fascinating article on Darwish byPoet of the Arab world. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2002/jun/08/featuresreviews.guardianreview19 "Poetry and beauty are always making peace. When you read something beautiful you find coexistence; it breaks walls down... I always humanise the other. I even humanised the Israeli soldier," which he [Darwish] did in poems such as "A Soldier Who Dreams of White Lilies", written just after the 1967 war. Many Arabs criticised the poem, but he says: "I will continue to humanise even the enemy... The first teacher who taught me Hebrew was a Jew. The first love affair in my life was with a Jewish girl. The first judge who sent me to prison was a Jewish woman. So from the beginning, I didn't see Jews as devils or angels but as human beings." Several poems are to Jewish lovers. "These poems take the side of love not war"

Taking the side of love not war, I won't tweet or blog my outrage that the "Israeli Defense Minister Compares Beloved Palestinian Poet [Mahmoud Darwish] to Hitler". No need to add into the click bait hate mongering found on every side- everywhere... on every topic. Yes we need to know the facts, but in hoping for peace and an end to the very real plight and suffering of the Palestinians (and Israelis) I'd rather notice and reinforce the magic of "Raising Arabian Horses" which has the capacity to coax us all into "the same arenas, where the conflict briefly melts away and everyone admires the horses"

Sincerely,
Anne Selden Annab

The Golden Rule... Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

New York Times July 2016: For Palestinians, Raising Arabian Horses Is ‘the Hobby of the Poor’


"Palestinians and Israelis in the business say Arabian horses have another effect that is almost magical: They coax Israelis and Palestinians into the same arenas, where the conflict briefly melts away and everyone admires the horses as they strut, dance, gallop and compete for trophies."

 

 For Palestinians, Raising Arabian Horses Is ‘the Hobby of the Poor’

 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

“ISMAIL”- SHORT FILM (2013) Inspired by a day in the life of Palestinian painter Ismail Shammout (1930-2006)

"ISMAIL"- SHORT FILM (2013) WOM from Ismail Film on Vimeo.
Inspired by a day in the life of Palestinian painter Ismail Shammout (1930-2006), Ismail tells the compelling story of a young Palestinian struggling to support his parents after their expulsion to a Refugee camp in 1948 by the Israeli forces.

Despite the wretched life and distressing conditions he holds to his dream to go to Rome to learn painting. One day and after selling cakes at the train station with his little brother, they heedlessly enter a minefield. As Ismail faces death, and in his struggle to save himself and his brother, we discover his true spirit.

A Greyscale Films / Bumpy Road Films production

Director | Nora Alsharif
Writer | Hatem Alsharif
Producer | Abdelsalam Akkad
Producer - UK | Ana Moreno
Cinematographer | Felix Weidemann
Production Designer | Salim Shehade
Props Master | Bashar Hasuneh
Costume Designers | Jamila Aladdin, Jess Snyder
Wardrobe Assistant | Seba Younis
Make-Up & Hair Artist | Farah Jad’an
Assistant Make-Up & Hair | Bill Azzam
Casting Director | Mohammed Bani Hani, Nabil Koni
Production Manager | Alaa Abbad
First Assistant Director | Hans Lucas
Second Assistant Director | Hazem Agha
Location Manager | Yazan Al Rousan
Production Coordinators | Yasmine Abunuwaar, Dalia Naber
Production Assistant | Dalia Abuzaid
Runners | Bassel Mawlawi, Hanan Khalaif, Mutaz Sinokrot
Script Supervisor | Suhad Al Khatib
First Camera Assistant | David Agha-Rafei
Second Camera Assistant | Haitham Matouk
Gaffer | Alex Edyvean
Key Grip | Felix Milburn-Foster
Steadicam Operator | Marc Covington
Sound Recordist | Noor Halwani
Boom Operator | Mohammed-Reda Courdi
On set Photographer | Dalia Naber
Editing Supervisor | Barry Vince
Offline Editor | Hans Lucas
Sound Designer I Victor Bresse


****
On-line gallery of the work of Ismail Shammout and Tamam Al-Akhal. Includes their biographies, details of their exhibitions and contact details.