Thursday, January 20, 2011

My letter to the IHT RE Palestinians, America and the U.N. by Hanan Ashrawi

RE: Palestinians, America and the U.N. by Hanan Ashrawi

Dear Editor,

Thank you for publishing "Palestinians, America and the U.N." by Hanan Ashrawi, providing Americans with much food for thought...
I very much wish that more people worldwide were more enthusiastic about endorsing and supporting a fully secular two state solution to end the Israel/Palestine conflict once and for all.

For everyone's sake- and for the sake of civilization itself- modern Middle East peace must be based on full respect for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Law.

UN Resolutions can help guide the way- but at the end of the day the people of Israel and the people of Palestine (and all their various supporters) have to be in charge of their own destinies- and their own discussions and day by day negotiations and business deals.

What matters most is not this upcoming UN Vote, but an actual end to the conflict.

In any case, with an eye towards actually ending the conflict, KUDOS to the U.S. diplomats and officials (including former Reagan Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci and former Assistant Secretaries of State Thomas Pickering and James Dobbins), who have written to President Obama "urging him to support the resolution, which they argue is not incompatible with negotiating an end to the conflict nor a deviation from the U.S. commitment to Israel's security." (U.N. Resolution on Israeli Settlements Puts Obama in a Diplomatic Bind)

Anne Selden Annab

"And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man." John F Kennedy 1961 Inaugural Address

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.

Article 1

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

"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

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