Saturday, October 17, 2009
My letter to the Washington Post RE U.N. Panel Backs Gaza Report, Rights Council's Vote Decried by Israelis, Hailed by Palestinians
I hope some good can come out of this contentious Goldstone report, and that it does not become yet another distraction- another way to put off making Palestine a real state for its citizens rather than an ongoing crisis and a world wide rally call for angry dissidents and extremists.
In light of that I wish that in addition to covering the news concerning the UN Panel backing the Gaza report the Washington Post had also headlined and covered the recent ATFP Gala "Palestine Alongside Israel: Liberty, Security, Prosperity" held at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington DC, and National Security Advisor Gen. James L. Jones' speech there, representing President Obama at the Fourth Annual Gala of the American Task Force on Palestine...
"Throughout the past several months, I believe that our policy has been clear, unambiguous and consistent. We have called on all parties to meet their responsibilities and to take steps to promote an environment in which negotiations can prosper and succeed. These steps were never meant as an end in themselves but as a way to relaunch talks on the core issues of the conflict: security for both Israelis and Palestinians, borders, refugees and Jerusalem." National Security Advisor Gen. James L. Jones. http://www.americantaskforce.org/remarks_national_security_advisor_gen_james_l_jones
Anne Selden Annab
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Israel is threatening that it will not enter into any negotiations with the Palestinians if the international community should in any way, shape or form endorse the Goldstone report on Israeli war crimes in Gaza.
This takes an awful lot of nerve, considering the context.
Israel is refusing to recognise that Palestinian refugees, like refugees all over the world, have a right of return to the homes and lands from where they were deported. Israel refuses to accept the 1967 borders as the starting point for negotiations to create two states. For example, it considers occupied East Jerusalem its, alone. It considers large settlement blocks as non-negotiable. It considers the Jordan Valley as well as the Golan Heights of supreme strategic military importance, and hence also non-negotiable.
Israel is in effect willing to negotiate only over what is left of the occupied West Bank once East Jerusalem; settlement blocks and the Jordan Valley are taken out of the equation. And over this remaining 12 or 13 per cent of historic Palestine, Israel still wants to negotiate. But not if the Palestinians have the nerve to set preconditions for talks.
Israeli preconditions, you see, only look like preconditions, they are in fact an entirely rational framework for a government that considers it has divine entitlement to the land.
Israel, furthermore, rejects any suggestion that its military or political leaders could possibly be guilty of war crimes. The fact that an independent committee of world-renowned jurors should raise that possibility only shows that the world is inherently anti-Semitic. That one of those jurors should happen to be both Jewish and a Zionist matters not to the paranoid mind.
It is tempting to wonder what the Palestinians did to deserve an enemy like this. More puzzling, perhaps, is the world’s abject failure to deal with what is clearly a rogue state with a rogue-state mentality.
How long can this continue? How long can a country that clearly has so much contempt for international law, for the demands of peace and for human rights continue to lead the world by its nose?
One hopes that this current Israeli government, composed as it is of settlers, bigots and rejectionists, will finally force the scales from everyone’s eyes. One hopes.
Media contact: Hussein Ibish, (202) 438-7297
Washington, DC, Oct. 9 – ATFP is pleased to announce that National Security Advisor to the President, General James Jones, USMC (Ret), will be the featured keynote speaker at the Fourth Annual Gala of the American Task Force on Palestine. Prior to his appointment as National Security Advisor, General Jones served as the State Department’s Special Envoy for Middle East Regional Security.
Entitled “Palestine Alongside Israel: Liberty, Security, Prosperity,” the Gala will be held on Oct. 15 in Washington, DC, and will honor Dr. Najat Arafat Khelil, Dr. Shibley Telhami, and Dr. Fuad Jubran for their contributions to the fields of Conflict Resolution, Scholarship, and Science & Medical Education. At the Gala ATFP will also present a Special Recognition to Amb. Robert H. Pelletreau commemorating 20 years of US-Palestinian diplomacy.
Who: National Security Advisor James Jones
What: American Task Force on Palestine Fourth Annual Gala
Where: Ritz-Carlton, 1150 22nd street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037
When: Thursday, October 15, 6:30PM
Attire: Black tie
The Gala will feature a silent auction of approximately 150 works of art and crafts.
For more information on the auction and the items available:
To view the Gala Host Committee:
To Purchase Tickets online:
For more information:
Israel is the one most eager to dismiss diplomatic initiatives to end the Palestine/Israel conflict. Fact is Israel has spent the past 61 years systemically and intentionally destroying Palestinian homes and usurping Palestinian land: Israel's settlers assisted by ardent propagandists both here and there, seek to sabotage all hope of peace and justice today so that a basically borderless Israel can usurp even more Arab land and push even more Arabs into poverty, forced exile, despair and extremism tomorrow.
Anne Selden Annab
1. Requests Israel to reconsider its policies and declare that a just peace is its strategic option as well.
2. Further calls upon Israel to affirm:
I- Full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the June 4, 1967 lines as well as the remaining occupied Lebanese territories in the south of Lebanon.
II- Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194.
III- The acceptance of the establishment of a sovereign independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since June 4, 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
3. Consequently, the Arab countries affirm the following:
I- Consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended, and enter into a peace agreement with Israel, and provide security for all the states of the region.
II- Establish normal relations with Israel in the context of this comprehensive peace.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
RE: Obama Peace Prize not without some merit by DeWayne Wickham
Good to see a positive as well as thoughtful response to our President Barack Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize, framing the story so as to move forward in a positive direction... Seems to me that we can choose to believe in diplomacy, decency and hope- or we can be snide cynics ushering in a futile future of global negativity where pessimism and pervasive nastiness negate all noble attempts to end ignorance, cruelty and violent conflicts.
I think it is very important to support optimism- and accountability: Peace and possibility start with each and every one of us, with how we choose to interact, who we opt to listen to, and where we decide to put our time and energy... One by one by one we help build a better world- or not.
Anne Selden Annab