Good to see a Palestinian voice pop up in your pages- and to hear that Palestinian voice clearly articulating the bottom line: "The goal of negotiators must be a viable Palestinian state based on the 1949 armistice lines with its capital in East Jerusalem; Palestinian control over borders, airspace and seaports; a connector between Gaza and the West Bank; and a just resolution of the Palestinian refugee issue that resolves the plight of the more than 700,000 Palestinians expelled 62 years ago by Israel and never allowed to return."
The persecuted and impoverished men, women and children of Palestine need to have real freedom and real job opportunities where ever they might decide to live as the Israel/Palestine conflict ends.... "Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world." Eleanor Roosevelt (at the presentation of "IN YOUR HANDS: A Guide for Community Action for the Tenth Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.")
One state or two, Israel really does have to start FULLY respecting international law and the Palestinians' basic human rights- including but not limited to the Palestinians refugees inalienable legal, natural and moral right to return to original homes and lands. Yes it is going to be hard as well as humbling- and there are many huge challenges ahead, but surely a just and lasting peace are worth the work !
Surely civilization itself deserves all our best efforts- for everyone's sake.
Anne Selden Annab
The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
- Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.
In 1948 United Nations Mediator Count Folke Bernadotte pointed out that "It would be an offence against the principles of justice if those innocent victims of could not return to their homes while [Zionist] immigrants flowed into Palestine to take their place." This is still true today.
"Continued settlement activity, confrontations in East Jerusalem, excavations near holy sites, evictions of Palestinian families, travel and visa restrictions, belligerent conduct by extremist settlers, and sporadic violence by individual and organized Palestinian extremists all undermine the viability and credibility of negotiators and negotiations. " Ziad Asali
Why it's a good thing that Palestinians are returning to negotiations with Israel: "I find the reality of the occupation totally unacceptable and even a slim chance to end it is worth pursuing, and also because I have very grave concerns that if the conflict continues, it will further metastasize and morph into a religious conflict led by bearded fanatics on both sides over the will of God and holy places and therefore become much harder to resolve and much more dangerous for Israelis, Palestinians and all of their neighbors, if not the whole world." Hussein Ibish
Emanating from the conviction of the Arab countries that a military solution to the conflict will not achieve peace or provide security for the parties, the council:
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.
4. Assures the rejection of all forms of Palestinian patriation which conflict with the special circumstances of the Arab host countries.
5. Calls upon the government of Israel and all Israelis to accept this initiative in order to safeguard the prospects for peace and stop the further shedding of blood, enabling the Arab countries and Israel to live in peace and good neighbourliness and provide future generations with security, stability and prosperity.
6. Invites the international community and all countries and organisations to support this initiative.
7. Requests the chairman of the summit to form a special committee composed of some of its concerned member states and the secretary general of the League of Arab States to pursue the necessary contacts to gain support for this initiative at all levels, particularly from the United Nations, the Security Council, the United States of America, the Russian Federation, the Muslim states and the European Union.